1Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Hospital Tuanku Jaafar, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
2Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Hospital Tuanku Canselor Tuanku Mukhriz, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Cheras, Malaysia
3Department of Psychiatry, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Pahang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Background: Anxiety is recognized as a normal psychological reaction of those caring for cancer patients. However, anxiety disorders in caregivers may interfere with their care-giving role and require further clinical attention. Objectives: To determine the prevalence and associated factors of anxiety disorders among caregivers of breast cancer patients receiving oncologic treatment in Kuala Lumpur Hospital. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 130 caregiver-patient dyads, recruited by non-random sampling at Kuala Lumpur Hospital. Data were collected in 2 stages: 1) the caregivers were screened for psychological distress using the Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Scale (DASS-21) while other related factors for the patients and their caregivers were obtained; 2) the identified distressed caregivers (n=64) were then administered the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) to diagnose anxiety disorders. Results: A total of 11.5% (n=15) of the caregivers reported suffering from anxiety disorders. Bivariate analysis found duration of caregiving (OR=3.31; CI=2.21-11.93), shared caregiving (OR=4.07; CI=1.34-12.36), and patients’ treatment type (OR=3.42; CI=1.92-12.76) were significantly associated with anxiety disorders (p value <0.05), with shared caregiving and patient’s treatment type remaining significant using logistic regression (p value < 0.05, R2 = 0.255). Conclusions: Every one in ten of the caregivers in this study had a diagnosable anxiety disorder, associated with certain care-giving factors and patients’ treatment. This should alert clinicians to such risk and indicates psychological support needs for family caregivers.