Support Care Cancer. 2022 Jul 30. doi: 10.1007/s00520-022-07289-8. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer (BC) patients face various physical and psychological challenges. The mutual impacts of patients and caregivers on each other show the need for further supportive care from the community and family. This study aimed to identify the predictors of the direct and indirect relationships of the duration of cancer (CANCERT) and care time (CARET) with the supportive care needs (SCN) of the patients and the quality of life (QOL) of their family caregivers.
METHODS: This descriptive study included 150 patients and their caregivers in Iran. Data were collected using the Supportive Care Needs Survey-Short Form (SCNS-SF34), the Caregiver Quality of Life Index-Cancer (CQOLC) scale, and a socio-demographic checklist. The data were then analyzed in SPSS-24 and Lisrel-8.8 software using descriptive statistics and path analysis.
RESULTS: The mean age of the patients and caregivers was 45.76 ± 10.44 and 43.46 ± 9.5, respectively. The majority of patients (96%) were in stages II and III of the disease. There was no statistically significant relationship between cancer stages with SCN of the patients and also caregivers’ QOL (P > 0.05). Based on the test results, the CANCERT was positively correlated with the patients’ care and support needs (SN) in total effect (β = 0.24). The patients’ sexuality needs had the highest negative correlation with their CANCERT in the direct path (β = – 0.27) and had the highest negative correlation with psychological needs in the indirect path (β = – 0.174). The CARET (hours per day) had positive correlation with health systems and information needs in both the direct (β = 0.26) and indirect paths (β = 0.15). The highest positive correlation with physical needs was in the direct path (β = 0.34). The caregivers’ QOL had a negative and direct relationship with the CANCERT (β = – 0.19), and there was a positive and direct relationship between CARET and the caregivers’ QOL (β = 0.18).
CONCLUSIONS: The correlations obtained from this study are not necessarily strong, yet they are important and should be noticed and tested in the future studies. The present findings reveal the need to provide comprehensive care, planning to provide supportive care, and counseling to both BC patients and their family caregivers, especially when the duration of the disease is prolonged.