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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 152-159

Unmet needs and quality of life of family caregivers of cancer patients in South Korea


1 Department of Nursing, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
2 College of Nursing and Research Institute of Nursing Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea

Correspondence Address:
Myungsun Yi
College of Nursing and Research Institute of Nursing Science, Seoul National University, Seoul
South Korea
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Source of Support: This study was supported by the grant from the Korean Oncology Nursing Society, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2347-5625.158019

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Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the levels of unmet needs and quality of life (QOL) among family caregivers (FCs) of cancer patients and to characterize the relationship between unmet needs and QOL. Methods: A descriptive correlation design was used. Data were collected by convenience sampling during 2013 from 191 FCs of cancer patients who visited an outpatient cancer center in a general hospital in Korea. The comprehensive needs assessment tool for cancer-caregivers and the Korean version of the Caregiver QOL Index-Cancer were used to measure unmet needs and QOL, respectively. Results: FCs of cancer patients had a variety of unmet needs with prevalence ranged from 57.0% to 88.9%, depending on the domain. The domain with the highest prevalence of unmet needs was healthcare staff, followed by information/education. The mean QOL score was 74.62, with a possible range of 0-140. A negative correlation was found between unmet needs and QOL. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that unmet needs relating to health/psychological problems, practical support, family/social support, in addition to household income, cohabitation with the patient, and patient's age, explained 52.7% of the variance in QOL. The most influential factor was unmet needs relating to health/psychological problems, which accounted for 35.7% of the variance. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that oncology professionals need to develop interventions to improve the QOL of FCs by focusing not only on information/educational needs of patient care but also on physical and psychological needs of FCs.


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