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Caregivers’ Need for Support in an Outpatient Cancer Setting

Nina Ingerslev Andersen
Carina Ingemann Nielsen
Dorthe Boe Danbjørg
Pia Krause Møller
Karin Brochstedt Dieperink
ONF 2019, 46(6), 757-767 DOI: 10.1188/19.ONF.757-767

Purpose: To investigate the needs of caregivers for individuals with cancer and to gain insight into how to provide support for caregivers.

Participants & Setting: 47 caregivers for patients with cancer in an outpatient setting in Denmark.

Methodologic Approach: This qualitative study used focus group interviews. Data were analyzed using a hermeneutics framework and Malterud’s systematic text condensation.

Findings: Results of the nine focus groups showed the experiences of caregiving. Theme 1 was interdependence, which consisted of the subthemes responsibility, a moral obligation and loneliness and talking. The results also revealed a second theme, different needs for support, which contained three subthemes: support through personal time, support through peers, and support through talking to healthcare professionals.

Implications for Nursing: Caregivers for individuals with cancer do not distinguish their own needs and perspectives of support from those of the patients. Caregivers’ need for support includes having support from peers, talking to healthcare professionals, and having personal time. Support of caregivers should allow for focusing on the family as a unit instead of solely addressing the patient.

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