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Prevalence and predictors of psychosocial problems in informal caregivers of older cancer survivors - A systematic review: Still major gaps in current research

Despite the abundance of studies concerning caring for patients with cancer, less is known about caring for an older cancer survivor (≥65 years). We aimed to systematically gather literature about the psychosocial well-being of caregivers of older cancer survivors and to identify possible risk factors for developing psychosocial problems. Fourteen articles met the following inclusion criteria: articles about (a) cancer, (b) informal caregivers, (c) older survivors and a (d) curative setting. After critical appraisal, nearly all were considered to be of moderate-to-strong quality. This results mainly from the specific study population, the valid and reliable measurement instruments and the appropriate statistical methods used in the articles. Main outcomes were burden, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, distress, communication issues, stress and QoL. For all these outcomes, measurement instruments and timing of measurements vary. Also, the results on studied predictors vary widely or not all of them were described in the reviewed articles. There seems to be a higher prevalence of distress, lower QoL and more anxiety in informal caregivers of older cancer survivors compared with the general population, but all were understudied. Based on these results and more focused future research, specific and qualitative support for this group of caregivers can be developed.

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
Type of Work
Review
Publisher
Wiley
ISBN/ISSN
1365-2354
Publication Year
2018
Issue Number
6
Journal Titles
European Journal of Cancer Care
Volume Number
27
Start Page
e12899