The aim of this review was to identify the factors associated with positive experiences in non‐professional carers of someone with a cancer diagnosis. A systematic search of the following electronic databases was undertaken: Cochrane Library, CINAHL, PsycINFO, SocINDEX and Medline. Literature was searched using terms relating to cancer, caring and positive experiences. Additional records were identified through a manual search of relevant reference lists. The search included studies published in English from 1990 to June 2015. Two raters were involved in data extraction, quality appraisal, coding, synthesis and analysis. Evolutionary concept analysis was used as a guiding framework in order to focus on attributes associated with positive experiences. Fifty‐two articles were included in this review. Analysis identified four overarching attributes: “gender,” “personal resources,” “finding meaning” and “social context.” Despite the challenges associated with caring, this combination of internal and external factors enabled some carers to report positive experiences related to caring. This knowledge may be clinically helpful when designing supportive interventions. Strengths and limitations of these claims are discussed.
Systematic review registration number: CRD42014014129.