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Support after brain tumour means different things: Family caregivers’ experiences of support and relationship changes

By Tamara eOwnsworth, Elizabeth eGoadby and Suzanne Kathleen Chambers and Suzanne Kathleen Chambers and Suzanne Kathleen Chambers and Suzanne Kathleen Chambers

Abstract

Shorter hospital stays and greater emphasis on outpatient care means that family members have primary responsibility for supporting a person with brain tumor to manage the physical, cognitive, behavioral and emotional effects of the illness and its treatment. Given the integral role of family caregivers, it is essential to understand their experience of the impact of brain tumor and their own support needs. Accordingly, this qualitative study aimed to investigate family caregivers’ experiences of support and relationship changes in the context of brain tumour. In-depth interviews were conducted with 11 family caregivers (8 spouse/partner, 3 parents) of people with malignant or benign tumor. A thematic analysis of interview transcripts identified two major themes, namely Meanings of Support and Relationship Impacts. The Meanings of Support theme was characterized by intertwined and distinct support needs, varied expectations of support and factors influencing support expectations. The Relationship Impacts theme depicted mixed experiences of strengthened, maintained and strained relations with the person with brain tumor. Overall, the findings highlight that there is considerable variability in caregivers’ experiences and expectations of support and the impact of brain tumor on relationships. The implications of these findings for the provision of caregiver support are discussed

Topics: relationships, support, qualitative research, brain tumour, family caregivers, Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology. Including cancer and carcinogens, RC254-282
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.3389/fonc.2015.00033
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:a93504114c634b379cb8e1609d6851af
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