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    Distress in long-term head and neck cancer carers: a qualitative studyof carers’ perspectives


    Balfe, Myles and Maguire, Rebecca and Hanly, Paul and Butow, Phyllis and O'Sullivan, Eleanor and Timmons, Aileen Mary and Gooberman-Hill, Rachael and Sharp, Linda (2016) Distress in long-term head and neck cancer carers: a qualitative studyof carers’ perspectives. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 25 (15-16). pp. 2317-2327. ISSN 0962-1067

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    Abstract

    Aims and objectives: To identify and describe the triggers of emotional distress among long‐term caregivers (more than 1 year postdiagnosis) of people with head and neck cancer. Background: Limited research has been conducted on the factors that cause head and neck cancer caregivers to become distressed. Design: Qualitative cross‐sectional. Methods: In‐depth semi‐structured interviews. Interviews were conducted via telephone. The study setting was the Republic of Ireland. Results: Interviews were conducted with 31 long‐term caregivers (mean time since diagnosis 5·7 years, SD 2·9 years). Head and neck cancer caregivers experienced significant distress. Six key triggers of emotional distress were identified: understandings and fears of illness, lifestyle restrictions and competing demands, facial disfigurement, financial problems, comorbid health problems and witnessing suffering. Cutting across all of these individual causes of distress was a strong feeling of loss caused by head and neck cancer. Conclusions: Some head and neck cancer caregivers became considerably distressed by their caring role. Although distress appears to decline with time for many caregivers, some continue to be distressed for years following the patient's diagnosis. It would be useful for future research to explicitly investigate caregivers' experiences of los

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: cancer; caregiver; carer; distress; head and neck; interview emotions; loss; qualitative;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 12599
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.13242
    Depositing User: Rebecca Maguire
    Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2020 17:16
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Clinical Nursing
    Publisher: Wiley
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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