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A systematic review of instruments assessing dimensions of distress among caregivers of adult and pediatric cancer patients

Journal title
Palliative & supportive care
Publication year
Tanco, K.; Park, J. C.; Cerana, A.; Sisson, A.; Sobti, N.; Bruera, E.

OBJECTIVE: Caregivers of cancer patients face intense demands throughout the course of the disease, survivorship, and bereavement. Caregiver burden, needs, satisfaction, quality of life, and other significant areas of caregiving are not monitored regularly in the clinic setting, resulting in a need to address the availability and clinical effectiveness of cancer caregiver distress tools. This review aimed to determine the availability of cancer caregiver instruments, the variation of instruments between different domains of distress, and that between adult and pediatric cancer patient populations. METHOD: A literature search was conducted using various databases from 1937 to 2013. Original articles on instruments were extracted separately if not included in the original literature search. The instruments were divided into different areas of caregiver distress and into adult versus pediatric populations. Psychometric data were also evaluated. RESULTS: A total of 5,541 articles were reviewed, and 135 articles (2.4%) were accepted based on our inclusion criteria. Some 59 instruments were identified, which fell into the following categories: burden (n = 26, 44%); satisfaction with healthcare delivery (n = 5, 8.5%); needs (n = 14, 23.7%); quality of life (n = 9, 15.3%); and other issues (n = 5, 8.5%). The median number of items was 29 (4-125): 20/59 instruments (33.9%) had

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