Experience of distress and growth in family caregivers of oncological palliative care patients


  • S. Moutinho
  • S. Castro
  • M. Oliveira


Background: This study aims to achieve a comprehensive approach to the experience of care, trying to understand the interface between distress and growth in caregivers of Palliative Care patients, and identify some possible mediating variables and outcomes of this relation. Design: quantitative; transversal Participants: 61 informal caregivers Measures: socio-demographic and clinical questionnaire, Distress Thermometer (DT), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), Stress-Related Growth Scale (SRGS), Meaning of Life (ML), Informal Caregiver Burden Questionnaire (QASCI), FACIT (General / Spirituality). Analysis:  DT is: positively correlated with HADS; negatively associated with FACIT.  HADS is: positively related with DT, negative affect (NA), and QASCI; inversely related with ML, FACIT, spirituality.  Perception of Positive Changes (PPC) is positively related with positive affect (PA) and SRGS.  PA is positively correlated with PPC, SRGS.  NA is positively related with HADS and QASCI; negatively with ML, spirituality, and FACIT.  QASCI is negatively correlated with ML, FACIT, spirituality; positively related with HADS and NA.  Accordingly to DT scores data shows differences between groups in HADS (and subscales) and FACIT (2 dimensions). Conclusions: Different measures of suffering showed similar results. Is important to note that PA seems to have an important role as mediator of PPC and growth. Otherwise, NA is associated with all suffering measures. This outcomes highlight the need of study the role of affectivity as mediator of distress and growth in cancer patient caregivers. Spirituality and ML shown to be also protective dimensions of suffering and low quality of life.





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