The relationship of the quality of life and burden of informal caregivers of patients with cancer in Lima, Peru

Maria Isabel Peñarrieta de Córdova, Reyda Canales, Sherin Krederdt, Tranquilina Gutiérrez-Gómez, Rodrigo Leon Hernandez


Objective: to evaluate quality of life the Informal cancer (IC) patients’ caregivers offer to relatives suffering from cancer and to determine their relation with the IC work overload.

Methods: The study was correlational cross-sectional design. The convenience sample included 164 caregivers of relatives diagnosed with cancer who are receiving chemotherapy treatment in a General Hospital in Lima, Peru. The instrument of “Zarit Rating Scale", and The Medical Outcomes Study Short Form, version 2(SF-36v2)SF36 were used, along with questions on sociodemographic data to the caregiver and the cancer patient. Descriptive statistics and Spearman’s rho were used.

Results: The 85% of IC referred to perform this role for more than three months, while 15% from one to two months. More than a half (60 %) cohabited with the patient. Most (74%) had greater burden. The areas of highest percentages of overload indicated fear and dependency of the IC towards the relatives diagnosed. The results on quality of life presented an average below 60% in social functions, vitality, mental health and general health. The results of significant correlation between quality of life and overload are: general health, social functioning and pain (p: 0, 01-0, 02).

Conclusions: The results described the caregivers group of people with cancer as a vulnerable group and in need of attention. The requirements described are referred to aspects, such as mental and social health. The effect of their role as caregiver has an effect on the intense overload for most of them, threatening their physical and mental health. Further research is suggested, as well as implementing programs of attention to this vulnerable group.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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