Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 191--196

What does the informal caregiver of a terminally ill cancer patient need? A study from a cancer centre

Department of Palliative Care, Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Jaipur, India

Correspondence Address:
Anjum S Khan Joad
Department of Palliative Care, Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Jaipur
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.92335

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Aims: To assess the needs of informal caregivers of terminally ill cancer patients. Materials and Methods: Fifty four informal caregivers of patients registered in our palliative care service were interviewed 3-6 months after the death of the patient with the help of a semistructured questionnaire covering the physical, medical, psychological, social, and information domains. Results: Most of the caregivers were middle aged and had no prior experience of care giving. The caregivers were satisfied by the information and medical support provided to them by their treatment team. Most had an "emergency plan." Caregivers had unmet needs including homecare, psychological support, and financial help. Conclusions: informal caregivers provide most of the nursing and psychological support to the patient. However, palliative care services need to recognize that the caregiver too may need psychological and technical support.


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Online since 1st October '05
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow