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Impact of Penny Brohn UK's Living Well Course on Informal Caregivers of People with Cancer

Objectives: This study evaluated the change in the concerns, wellbeing, and lifestyle behaviors of informal caregivers of people with cancer attending Penny Brohn UK's Living Well Course (LWC), a self-management education intervention. Design: A pre–postcourse design collected self-reported quantitative and qualitative data from informal caregivers attending a LWC. Setting/Location: Penny Brohn UK is a United Kingdom-based charity (not-for-profit) providing specialist integrative, whole person support, free of charge, to people affected by cancer. Subjects: Informal caregivers taking part in a Penny Brohn UK LWC between June 2014 and May 2016 attending alongside the person with cancer. Intervention: The LWC is a structured 15 h, multimodal group self-management educational course, designed to help people affected by cancer learn tools and techniques to help build resilience. Trained facilitators deliver LWCs to around 12 people with various types and stages of cancer and their informal caregivers. Outcome measures: Measure Yourself Concern and Wellbeing (MYCaW) completed precourse and at 6 weeks postcourse; and bespoke 6-week follow-up Patient Reported Experience Measure. Results: Four hundred eighty informal caregivers attended a LWC June 2014 to May 2016. One hundred eighteen completed a 6-week follow-up MYCaW: MYCaW Concerns 1 and 2 showed statistically significant improvements (p < 0.0001), there was no significant improvement in wellbeing. Informal caregivers' most reported concerns relating to themselves were psychological and emotional issues (59%). The primary concern of the caregiver for the care recipient was related to the physical health of the person with cancer (40%). Eighty-seven percent of responding informal caregivers stated that the LWC enabled health self-management. Conclusions: The LWC was followed by an improvement in informal caregivers' concerns, and increased self-management of their own health needs. More studies, with larger sample size, are needed to explore if better self-management by informal caregivers may also lead to improvements in patients' health and wellbeing. 

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Mary Ann Liebert Inc
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Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine
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