The impact of cancer on key relatives: a comparison of relative and patient concerns.
AffiliationCancer Research Campaign Psychological Medicine Group, Christie Hospital, Manchester, U.K.
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AbstractThis study examines the impact of diagnosis on key relatives of 108 newly diagnosed cancer patients. Cancers of the breast, colon, female reproductive tract and testicle were included. Relatives completed a self-report checklist of concerns and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) (28 items). Patients were administered a corresponding concerns checklist as part of a semi-structured interview. More relatives than patients expressed each of the nine common concerns; the discrepancy was greatest for concern about the patient's emotional reaction, reported by 95% of relatives and only 18% of patients. The total relatives' concern score (median 16.0) was significantly greater than the patients' score (median 4.0) (P < 0.0001). Cancer type, age of patient and nature of relationship to patient had little impact on the frequency of relatives' concerns. 52 (48%) relatives scored above the usual cut-off on the GHQ, suggesting significant psychological morbidity. Relatives of newly diagnosed cancer patients report high levels of concerns and psychological distress, and deserve greater attention than they currently receive.
CitationThe impact of cancer on key relatives: a comparison of relative and patient concerns. 1995, 31A (11):1736-40 Eur. J. Cancer
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
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