Informal Caregiver Burden in Later Stage Cancer: Economic and Health Outcomes
Funding agency: National Cancer Institute
Funding period: August 2015 – July 2020

The purpose of this two-fold study is to better understand the experience of caregivers who look after patients with specific later-stage cancers. In particular, we are concerned with changes in daily activity of patients, as well as the impact on the psychological, physical, and financial health of caregivers. We follow up with our participants twice a month and visit them in person monthly.

Although shifting care of those with later stage cancers out of the healthcare setting and into their homes provides savings to the healthcare system, informal (non-paid) caregivers of patients experience a trade off in costs, which are often poorly described and quantified. While caregivers’ subjective burden, or stress or distress, has been examined, little is known about the objective burden, or number and hours, scope, or intensity of the tasks that caregivers perform for patients with later stage cancers, many with little training. With a better understanding of the burden experienced by caregivers and the impacts on their overall health, we aim to develop strong evidence for more comprehensive and appropriate support systems for cancer patients and their loved ones.

Research Team Contact:
Angela Cody

Research Partners:
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Massey Cancer Center
Virginia Commonwealth University

“Health research is now a team science, and we’ve come to understand how people maintain their health is complicated. It is a process between behavior, environment, genes, culture, and other factors, and we are training teams to come up with answers to some of our most complicated and pressing questions, issues, and concerns.”

- Laura A. Siminoff, Ph.D.

Today, we are an integrated college both in terms of education and research, across this spectrum of disciplines, which is not the traditional way that public health higher education institutions typically function. But if we consider where we are moving as a nation and as a field, I think this is the way to move forward and puts CPH ahead of the curve.

- Laura A. Siminoff, Ph.D.

Thank you to our CEaD Participants

Thank you to all who participated in the Communicating Effectively about Donation Study! We hope the training program was both informative and beneficial to all who took part. For inquiries regarding the study or how to access the training, please feel free to contact us at

Congrats Grads!

Congratulations to our graduating Research Assistants, Sonali Shah, Julianna Nass, and Faith Scanlon! We know you have great things in store for you!

Dr. Siminoff’s Newest Publication

Dr. Siminoff and colleagues recently published an assessment of the utility and usability of the rapid assessment of hospital procurement barriers in donation (RAPiD) as a tool for OPO hospital development staff. Click here to learn more about Dr. Siminoff’s most recent publication.