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FOCUS Program: Treating patients with cancer and family caregivers as a unit of care

Background: Studies indicate that patients' and caregivers' responses to illness are interdependent; each person affects the other. Existing evidence reinforces the need to recognize family caregivers as equal recipients of care and support. Objectives: This evidence-based pilot study evaluated the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of the nurse-guided, psychoeducational, familybased FOCUS program intervention at a local oncology outpatient clinic. Methods: 30 patient-caregiver dyads were recruited from a local oncology clinic. Intervention delivery occurred using home visits and telephone calls. Self-administered questionnaires were used to assess participants' self-efficacy, quality of life (QOL), and coping pre- and postintervention, and intervention satisfaction postintervention. Three tailored psychosocial education sessions were held during a 6- to 9-week period. Findings: Significant changes in outcomes were found, including increased self-efficacy in both patients and caregivers, higher QOL in caregivers, and decreased use of substances for coping in patients. There was a trend for patients' emotional well-being to improve over time; other aspects of QOL showed little change. There were no significant changes in caregivers' coping.

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Type of Reference
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Journal article
Europe PMC
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Journal Titles
Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing
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