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Caregiver Burden as a Mediator Between Emotional Distress and Concentration Problems in Patients With Cancer

Yesol Yang
Wei Pan
Deborah “Hutch” Allen
Cristina C. Hendrix
ONF 2019, 46(6), E180-E184 DOI: 10.1188/19.ONF.E180-E184

Objectives: To examine the longitudinal mediation effect of caregiver burden on the relationship between emotional distress and concentration among individuals with cancer.

Sample & Setting: 96 patients with cancer and their caregivers (96 dyads) were selected from a study conducted at Duke University.

Methods & Variables: A secondary analysis from a longitudinal study was used. Caregiver burden, as well as patients’ emotional distress and concentration problems, were selected as variables and analyzed.

Results: Caregiver burden acts as a mediator between emotional distress and concentration problems among patients with cancer. More severe caregiver burden is associated with more severe concentration problems for the patient. Dyads with higher patient emotional distress at one week (T1) also had higher caregiver burden at T1, which increased the concentration problems of patients at T1. When caregiver burden became more severe over time, patient concentration problems also increased.

Implications for Nursing: Healthcare providers should assess caregiver burden and identify factors that contribute to increased caregiver burden. Providing support for managing caregiver burden and patients’ emotional distress will help improve patients’ concentration capacity.

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