Responsibilities and Difficulties of Caregivers of Cancer Patients in Home Care


Background: Having been known as a virulent disease in 1970s, cancer is now onsidered a chronic diseaseand 64% of cancer patients live for five years after diagnosis. Home care has gradually gained more importanceand it is a great burden on the shoulders of caregivers. Caregivers have to undertake the responsibility of thecancer patient’s home management, and organize care and arrange health care services according to the everchangingcondition of patients. Caregivers should be prepared for home care so they can provide accurate andcomplete care to patients. This descriptive study aims to investigate challenges that caregivers encounter in thehome care of patients and the reasons for these challenges. Materials and
Methods: The research group consistedof caregivers of outpatients in a daily treatment center in a university hospital. The research sampling consistedof 137 voluntary caregivers of patients who attended the Daily Treatment Center for control, chemotherapy orother supportive cares services between January-June, 2011. Data were collected with face-to-face interviewsin the Daily Treatment Center. Ethics Committee approval was taken university hospital; caregivers and theirpatients were informed about the research and their approval was taken as well.
Results: It was found that 54.01%of caregivers help patient’s nutrition, 50.36% help medicine use, 26.28% help oral hygiene, 26.28% help to meeturinary needs and 51.82% help to change clothes, 69.34% of caregivers help to change bed sheets, 38.69% helpthe patient to communicate with their environment and 71.53% help to bring the patient to hospital or outside.
Conclusions: This study, it was found that caregivers experience challenges due to following factors: patientnutrition, medicine use, oral and body hygiene, colostomy maintenance and stomach tube feeding, concern ofdropping the patient, feeling incompetency in body temperature and fever control, fatigue, and lack of personaltime.