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Open Access Article

Depression Symptoms in Cancer Caregivers

Henry R. Rivera
CJON 2009, 13(2), 195-202 DOI: 10.1188/09.CJON.195-202

Patients with cancer are living longer as the disease has become a more chronic condition. Family and friends assume the role of caregiver as more cancer care shifts to the home. The value of informal caregivers and the support they provide to patients will continue to increase. However, caregiving has physical and psychological consequences, including depression. The purpose of this article is to increase awareness of the problem of caregiver depression because of its impact on health deterioration and early death in caregivers. This article discusses caregiving, depression, factors that may contribute to caregiver depression, and implications for oncology nurses. A case study, examples of instruments that can be used to identify caregivers exhibiting depressive symptoms, caregiver resources, and mental health resources are provided.

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