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Family Caregiver Strain and Burden: A Systematic Review of Evidence-Based Interventions When Caring for Patients With Cancer

Ahlam Jadalla
Pam Ginex
Meghan Coleman
Mark Vrabel
Margaret Bevans
CJON 2020, 24(1), 31-50 DOI: 10.1188/20.CJON.31-50

Background: Caregivers of patients with cancer experience high levels of caregiver-related strain and burden (CGSB). Cancer caregiving is complex and can change dramatically depending on the cancer trajectory. Often, this experience leads to poor health outcomes for the caregiver.

Objectives: This review appraises the evidence on CGSB published from 2007 to October 2017.

Methods: 128 interventional studies found in PubMed® and CINAHL® were appraised and categorized based on the Oncology Nursing Society’s Putting Evidence Into Practice schema.

Findings: Psychoeducation, supportive care/support interventions, and cognitive behavioral interventions are recommended to decrease CGSB. Caregiver skill training, couples therapy, decision support, mindfulness-based stress reduction, multicomponent interventions, and palliative care are likely to be effective. The evidence is not established for 13 interventions. Despite the proliferation of studies focusing on CGSB, studies with stronger designs and larger samples are needed.

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