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Assessment of the Caregiver Burden of Caregivers of Colorectal Cancer Patients

Aim: To examine caregiver burden of caregivers of patients with colorectal cancer. Method: This is a prospective, cross-sectional, descriptive study. The sample consisted of 162 patients who underwent colorectal cancer surgery between January 1 and June 30, 2015 in the General Surgery ward of Dokuz Eylül University Hospital. Data were collected using the Caregiver Strain Index (CSI) and the Your Reactions to Helping Your Family Member scale (RHFM), which is a component of the Family Care Inventory. Descriptive statistics, Mann-Whitney U, Kruskal-Wallis test, and Pearson correlation analysis were used in data analysis. Results: The mean age of the patients was 58.5±12.7 years and the mean age of the caregivers was 51.8±10.8 years. Of the patients, 51.2% were male, 38.9% (n=63) underwent low anterior resection, and 66.7% had a stoma. Fifty-eight percent of the caregivers were female. The caregivers' mean CSI score was 3.61±3.52 and mean RHFM score was 50.50±9.78. There were statistically significant correlations between caregiving burden and patients' age and stoma status (p<0.05). Patient gender and surgery type did not affect caregiver burden (p>0.05). Caregiver age, duration of care (days), and receiving caregiving assistance were associated with caregiver burden (p<0.05). However, the caregivers' gender, marital status, and education level did not affect caregiver burden (p>0.05). Presence of stoma, caregiver gender, duration of care, and caregiver relationship to patient were found to affect RHFM score (p<0.05). Conclusion: Caregivers of colorectal cancer patients seem to have greater caregiving burden in the postoperative period. For this reason, it is important to provide patients self-care training and encouragement to facilitate their self-care. It will also be beneficial to support caregivers with scheduled education in topics such as stoma care and through support group initiatives

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Type of Reference
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Journal article
Galenos Publishing
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Turkish Journal of Colorectal Disease
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