HSR20-078: Cancer Patients and Family Caregivers as a Unit of Care

Background: Cancer causes great disruption not only to patients but also to their family caregivers. Much of the care responsibility lies with family caregivers who help manage day-to-day activities. Underprepared or distressed caregivers may compromise their care and support of the patients. There is no psychoeducational intervention program available at Toledo, OH area targeting oncology patients and their caregivers. This Evidence-Based Practice Interventional Project (EBPIP) aims to translate an evidence-based research into practice at the local community and examine the effects of cancer patients and their caregivers’ self-efficacy, coping, and quality of life by using Northouse’s FOCUS program, a rigorously tested nurse-guided interventions focused on family involvement, optimistic attitude, coping, uncertainty reduction, and symptoms management. Methods: This pre and post-test intervention project targeted adult cancer patients and their family caregivers. Each dyad is offered a total of three bi-weekly education sessions: two 90-minutes face-to-face home visits and one 30-minutes phone call in between the visits. Intervention to each dyad is tailored to their needs. Data collected at baseline and after intervention includes four measures: Brief COPE; the General Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT-G version 4); the Caregiver Quality of Life Index-Cancer (CQOLC); and the Lewis’ Cancer Self-efficacy Scale (CASE) patient version and caregiver version. Results: Currently, this EBPIP has enrolled the targeting 30 dyads with only one dropout. We estimate to complete all data collection and analysis by the end of 2019. Preliminary results with data distributions, correlations, and paired t-test will be discussed. Conclusion: Disruption of life caused by cancer is pervasive; it affects the patient’s mental and physical health as well as their caregiver’s well-being. It is not easy to visually determine who needs additional help and support. Clinicians who proactively engage with patients and caregivers can offer timely guidance and services that help to alleviate or decrease the impact of cancer on these individuals. The results will enhance our understanding about how to translate an effective research project in a much-needed community to improve the quality of oncology care locally. The dyads’ outcome changes will further support the belief that the more healthcare professionals help family caregivers, the more support patients will perceive.

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Corresponding Author: Hui Ling Chen, BSN
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