The Emotional Toll of Caring for a Loved One With Cancer


More than 80 percent of caregivers for patients with terminal cancer are under significant stress, according to a survey from the University of Manchester in England. Cancer caregivers have worse health overall than the general population and report psychological stress levels that are five to seven times higher than typical.

The British researchers got survey responses from about 1,500 adult caregivers, a relatively small sample size and fewer than 30 percent of caregivers who received the questionnaire (5,271 adults). Nonetheless, results of the study support existing evidence that caring for a loved one who is terminally ill takes a heavy emotional and physical toll.

Eighty-three percent of survey respondents scored significantly lower than the general population on questionnaires used to measure psychological and physical health four months after the death of their loved one. According to the researchers, women caregivers experienced higher levels of stress than men.

Sourced from: Palliative Medicine