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Emotional and Psychological Burden on the Informal Caregiver

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By carlyb117
Words 887
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Emotional and Psychological Burden on Informal Caregivers-

In general, all articles explain that this is an area where more research needs to be done, especially in cancer patients. This research should extend into the bereavement period and beyond the palliative care phase.

Burden is defined as a predictor of health and likely to have an adverse impact on a caregiver’s future (Nijboer). Caregivers often feel responsible, they make little use of professional services, and may become ill themselves. Lower socioeconomic status are assumed to have a higher burden, which leads to poorer health. The availability of social support and social contacts was found to be an important determinant of caregiver’s well-being. “Informal caregivers need to be recognized as equivalent members of the health care team”.

In general, informal caregivers report anxiety, depression, stress, frustration, and fear when caregiving. Using surveys, it was found in one study that anxiety and depression are the leading factors that play into the burden. 55% of male and 36% of females were found to have moderate or severe anxiety (Oechsle), 36% of male and 14% of females were found to have severe or moderate depression. No significant differences found, but there was a trend that male caregivers were more stressed and depressed.

Another article (William Haley) reports that particularly burdensome stressors is managing physical care, symptoms, and treatments, emotional support, and watching the patient suffer. Personal tasks appear to be more stressful than non-personal tasks (going to the grocery store). Research shows that most family members do not have CLINICALLY emotional distress (probably why it does not receive enough attention).

One study (Peter Hudson) says that the ability to cope depends on a couple of things: 1. The circumstances surrounding the patients death…...

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