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Quality of Life of Family Caregivers and Challenges Faced in Caring for Patients With Lung Cancer

Rebecca Fujinami
Shirley Otis-Green
Linda Klein
Rupinder Sidhu
Betty Ferrell
CJON 2012, 16(6), E210-E220 DOI: 10.1188/12.CJON.E210-E220

Family caregivers (FCGs) of patients with lung cancer face multiple challenges that affect their quality of life and well-being. Whether challenged physically, emotionally, socially, or spiritually, distress in one area may compound challenges in other areas. To maintain function and health of FCGs as they provide valuable care for the health and well-being of the patient, attention must be given to the needs of FCGs for support and education. The purpose of this article is to describe the multifaceted challenges that FCGs of patients with lung cancer experience using case studies selected from a National Cancer Institute-funded program project. The cases are discussed in terms of how the FCG's quality of life is impacted by the caregiver role, as well as how stressors in one or more domains of quality of life compound difficulties in coping with the demands of the role. The importance of the oncology nurse's assessment of FCGs' needs for support, education, and self-care through the lung cancer illness trajectory is discussed while presenting accessible community resources to meet those needs.

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