Effectiveness of an interdisciplinary palliative care intervention for family caregivers in lung cancer

Virginia Sun, Marcia Grant, Marianna Koczywas, Bonnie Freeman, Finly Zachariah, Rebecca Fujinami, Catherine Del Ferraro, Gwen Uman, Betty Ferrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND Family caregivers (FCGs) experience significant deteriorations in quality of life while caring for patients with lung cancer. In this study, the authors tested the effectiveness of an interdisciplinary palliative care intervention for FCGs of patients diagnosed with stage I through IV nonsmall cell lung cancer. METHODS FCGs who were identified by patients as their primary caregivers were enrolled in a prospective, quasi-experimental study in which the usual care group was accrued first followed by the intervention group. FCGs in the intervention group were presented at interdisciplinary care meetings, and they also received 4 educational sessions organized in the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual domains. The sessions included self-care plans to support the FCG's own needs. Caregiver burden, caregiving skills preparedness, psychological distress, and FCG quality of life were assessed at baseline and after 12 weeks using validated measures. RESULTS In total, 366 FCGs were included in the primary analysis. FCGs who received the interdisciplinary palliative care intervention had significantly better scores for social well being (5.84 vs 6.86; P <.001) and had lower psychological distress scores (4.61 vs 4.20; P =.010) at 12 weeks compared with FCGs in the usual care group. FCGs in the intervention group also had significantly less caregiver burden compared with FCGs in the usual care group (P =.008). CONCLUSIONS An interdisciplinary approach to palliative care in lung cancer resulted in statistically significant improvements in FCG's social well being and psychological distress and in less caregiver burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3737-3745
Number of pages9
JournalCancer
Volume121
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2015

Keywords

  • family caregiver
  • lung cancer
  • palliative care
  • quality of life
  • symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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    Sun, V., Grant, M., Koczywas, M., Freeman, B., Zachariah, F., Fujinami, R., Ferraro, C. D., Uman, G., & Ferrell, B. (2015). Effectiveness of an interdisciplinary palliative care intervention for family caregivers in lung cancer. Cancer, 121(20), 3737-3745. https://doi.org/10.1002/cncr.29567