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.
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Massey Cancer Center
Virginia Commonwealth University