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Burden of Care and Perceived Psychosocial Outcomes Among Family Caregivers of Patients Living with Cancer in Teaching Hospital in Lagos

OM Kolawole
C Nwozichi
AJ Adetunji


Background: The scourge of cancer is a major public health concern globally as it is one of the leading causes of morbidity (terminal illness), with its incidence increasing worldwide. Caregiving especially by a family member of cancer patient is critical in the overall management of cancer. The emotional and physical burden shouldered by this primary caregiver is always enormous being that they help the cancer patient to be active and remain connected to their communities.
Objectives: This study assessed level of burden of care and perceived psychosocial outcomes among family caregivers of patients living with cancer in LUTH, Idi-Araba, Lagos.
Method: This quantitative cross-sectional descriptive study utilized a probability sampling method to select 320 caregivers who were direct family members but 315 were validated for the study as they completely filled a validated Burden Scale for Family Caregivers (BSFC-28) (r=0.82) and Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) questionnaire (r=77). Data obtained using pre-tested questionnaire, with an overall Cronbach's Alpha score of (r=0.8), analyzed electronically using SPSS and presented in frequency tables. Descriptive statistics of frequencies, percentages, mean scores and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions.
Result: The results revealed that mean age was 31.1 ± 0.67 years and majority (61.3%) were females. The mean burden of care was 2.86 and 90.5% of caregivers were burdened. However, most were moderately affected by the burden of care (mean=2.86). About 51.1% were severely affected psychologically while 58.1% were severely affected socially in the course of caring for their cancer relatives. There was statistically significant association between respondents' social demographic characteristics of age, educational level and marital status and burden of care as but no statistically significant association of gender, occupational status and burden of care as (p>0.05).There was significant relationship between the burden of care and psychological effect of caregiving with (r= .175, p=.002) and social effect of caregiving with (r= .173, p=.002).
Conclusion: The study concluded that diverse burden of care was experienced by the family caregivers thus calling for initiation and regular maintenance of a routine of assessment for all caregivers of people living with cancer by healthcare providers for better understanding of the burden they face and how to help ameliorate them.

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