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Assessment of the perceived stress and burden of family caregivers of the head-and-neck cancer patients at a tertiary care cancer center: A cross-sectional study


 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Vivekanandha Dental College and Hospital for Women, Tiruchengode, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
S Sathiya Priya,
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Vivekanandha Dental College and Hospital for Women, Tiruchengode - 637 205, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_309_19

Introduction: Cancer is a major life-threatening disease and has an impact on both patients and their family members. Caring for cancer patients may lead to several levels of stress which may affect their own health as well as their quality of life. Aim: To assess the perceived stress and burden of family caregivers of head and neck cancer patients (HNC) attending cancer care centre at a tertiary care centre, Tamil Nadu. Objectives: To assess the perceived stress and the burden among caregivers of patients with head and neck cancer using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and Caregiver Strain Index (CSI) respectively. Materials and Method: A Cross-sectional study was carried out for a period of three months among the caregivers of head and neck cancer patients at a cancer care centre, Madurai. A total of 200 caregivers were selected by Convenience sampling method. Data was collected using a pretested, self-structured, closed-ended questionnaire by face to face interview method. Results: The study population consisted of Caregivers aged 21-60 years, mostly females (80%), spouses (54%), employed (57%) and uneducated (66%). Most of the caregivers were from lower socioeconomic status (66%) and those who are providing care for 1 to 6 months were more in number. In this study, 82% of caregivers reported high caregiver burden (CSI ≥7) and 67% of caregivers reported high stress (PSS ≥ 26 - 40). Conclusion: Caregivers are experiencing significant burden, particularly with respect to their physical and psychological well-being, economic circumstances, social and personal relationships.


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