Caregiving Tasks Among Family Caregivers of Patients With Lung Cancer

Tamilyn Bakas

Rebecca R. Lewis

Jayne E. Parsons

caregiver burden, lung neoplasms

Purpose/Objectives: To describe family caregivers’ perceptions of time spent and difficulty experienced with performing specific caregiving tasks for patients with lung cancer. To compare adult child and spousal caregivers in relation to time and difficulty of tasks.

Design: A secondary analysis of data from a study using a cross-sectional, descriptive, comparison design.

Setting: A university outpatient oncology center, two veterans administration outpatient clinics, and a private outpatient oncology practice.

Sample: 78 family caregivers of patients with lung cancer (62 spouses and 16 adult children).

Methods: Data that previously had been collected using a structured interview guide were analyzed using descriptive statistics, comparison of item means, and multivariate analysis of variance.

Main Research Variables: Time and difficulty with caregiving tasks.

Findings: The most time-consuming tasks for adult children and spouses were providing emotional support, transportation, and monitoring symptoms. The most difficult duties were emotional support, behavioral management, monitoring symptoms, and household tasks. Time and difficulty of tasks did not differ significantly between adult child and spousal caregivers.

Conclusions: Some caregivers may require guidance in providing transportation, emotional support, behavioral management, and symptom management.

Implications for Nursing Practice: Oncology nurses can make a significant impact in assisting family members in providing care by addressing the provision of transportation, emotional support, behavioral management, and symptom management.

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