Support service use and interest in support services among distressed family caregivers of lung cancer patients

Catherine E. Mosher, Victoria L. Champion, Nasser Hanna, Shadia I. Jalal, Achilles J. Fakiris, Thomas J. Birdas, Ikenna C. Okereke, Kenneth A. Kesler, Lawrence H. Einhorn, Barbara A. Given, Patrick O. Monahan, Jamie S. Ostroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective This study examined support service use and interest in support services among distressed family caregivers of patients recently entering comprehensive cancer care facilities. Methods Primary family caregivers of lung cancer patients (N = 83) were recruited from three medical centers within 12 weeks of the patient's new visit to the oncology clinic. All family caregivers were screened for psychological distress, and those reporting significant anxiety or depressive symptoms were eligible for this study. Caregivers completed a baseline assessment of support service use (i.e., use of mental health services and complementary and alternative medicine [CAM]) and interest in support services. Support service use was also assessed 3 months later. Results Although all caregivers reported clinically meaningful distress, only 26% used mental health and 39% used CAM services during the 3-month study period. Patients' receipt of chemotherapy was positively associated with caregivers' mental health service use, whereas greater education and receiving assistance with caregiving tasks were associated with CAM use. Forty percent of caregivers who did not use CAM at baseline were interested in CAM. In addition, 29% of caregivers who did not receive mental health services at baseline were interested in professional psychosocial support, and 29% of caregivers who did not receive staff assistance with practical needs at baseline were interested in this service. Conclusions Findings suggest that distressed family caregivers of lung cancer patients underuse mental health services and that a sizable minority are interested in professional help with psychosocial and practical needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1549-1556
Number of pages8
JournalPsycho-Oncology
Volume22
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013

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Keywords

  • complementary and alternative medicine
  • family caregivers
  • lung cancer
  • mental health service use
  • oncology
  • psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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