Impact of Home Education on Levels of Perceived Social Support for Caregivers of Cancer Patients

  • Published : 2012.06.30


Background: The healthcare needs of cancer patients are complex and persons involved in their caregiving process are faced with many issues that need to be addressed. The entire family and particularly the person taking on responsibility for patient care develop expectations from healthcare professionals, especially nurses. Objective: The study was conducted to evaluate the impact of a home education program provided to caregivers of cancer patients on the level of their perceived social support and problems in caregiving. Interventions/Methods: The caregivers of thirty seven cancer patients of 2,400 registered people in a family center were given an educational program in this descriptive and cross-sectional study twice a week for a month during the period of March 2011 - April 2011. Results: Of all caregivers, 56.8% were between the ages 36-40, 94.5% were female, 91.9% had received no education on caregiving, 81.0% stated that they mostly felt physically and mentally inadequate in their caregiving. Perceived Social Support from the family indicated a significant difference at $8.05{\pm}4.38$ before and $11.7{\pm}4.97$ after the education. A comparison of the mean scores of caregivers on emotional issues before and after the education revealed the following: spiritual distress scores were $2.54{\pm}0.69$ before and $2.44{\pm}0.43$ after the education; hopelessness scores, $2.24{\pm}0.59$ before and $2.23{\pm}0.38$ after the education; ineffective individual coping was $3.89{\pm}1.42$ before and $2.45{\pm}0.59$ after the education; competing needs in decision-making were $3.54{\pm}0.69$ before and $2.10{\pm}1.24$ after the education; depressive feeling were $3.01{\pm}1.53$ before and $2.02{\pm}0.99$ after the education (p<0.05). Conclusions: Positive effects of home education on levels of perceived social support and caregiving problems of caregivers of cancer patients were observed. Home educational programs for caregivers of cancer patients are important for both better understanding of the requirements of their patients and themselves.


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