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Cancer Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e31826c79d0
Articles: Online Only

Change and Predictors of Social Support in Caregivers of Newly Diagnosed Oral Cavity Cancer Patients During the First 3 Months After Discharge

Hung, Hsiu-Chin MS, RN; Tsai, Mei-Chu MS, RN; Chen, Shu-Ching PhD, RN; Liao, Chun-Ta MD; Chen, Yi-Ru BS, RN; Liu, Jen-Fong MS, RN

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Abstract

Background: Caregivers of oral cavity cancer patients report stress during caregiving time.

Objective: This study aimed to examine changes in social support and predictors in caregivers of oral cavity cancer patients over the 3 months after patients’ first discharge.

Methods: This was a prospective longitudinal study. Caregivers of oral cavity cancer patients with planned discharge were recruited from inpatient wards and the outpatient department at a major medical center in Taiwan. Caregivers’ needs and satisfaction with available social support were assessed at 4 time points: before discharge and at 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months after the first discharge. The generalized estimating equation was used to determine predictive factors of social support.

Results: Caregivers had mild-to- moderate levels of needs and were satisfied with available social support during the first 3 months after discharge. The peak for both overall and individual needs of social support was before discharge. Caregivers overall and individual satisfaction with social support peaked at 3 months after discharge. Spouse caregivers had greater overall needs for social support. Caregivers with longer caregiving time were associated with dissatisfaction during the first 3 months after discharge.

Conclusions: Caregivers of oral cavity cancer patients had unmet needs of social support, especially wife caregivers.

Implications for Practice: A comprehensive assessment of caregiver needs and satisfaction with available social support is necessary to improve caregiving for oral cavity cancer patients and address the concerns of caregivers in a timely manner.

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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