Document Type : Original Article
Chronic Respiratory Diseases Research Center, National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (NRITLD), Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Tobacco Prevention and Control Research Center, NRITLD, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Cancer Registry Center, Masih Daneshvari Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Mycobacteriology Research Center, National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, NRITLD, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran,
Background: Cancer is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality around the world. Caregivers of these patients are affected by various physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and financial factors that can affect their quality of life (QoL). This study aimed to compare the QoL and general health status of thoracic cancer patients with their family caregivers in Iranian population.
Materials and Methods: Using the City of Hope-Quality of Life (COH-QOL) questionnaire and the General Health Status (GHQ) questionnaire, this cross-sectional study compared the QoL and general health status in 71 thoracic cancer patients with their family members as the primary caregivers. The study was conducted in Masih Daneshvari Hospital of Tehran, Iran from 2017 to 2018. Demographic data and results of the questionnaires were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS v.20). Student’s t-test, Chi square test, and Pearson’s correlation were used to compare the results.
Results: In patients and their caregivers, 53.5% (N=38) and 36.6% (N=26) were male, respectively (P=0.043). While the average score of physical wellbeing was 6.12 ± 1.95 in caregivers, it was 5.32 ± 2.08 in patients (P=0.021). In case of psychological wellbeing, the average score in caregivers was 4.14 ± 1.50 and in patients was 5.7 ± 1.54 (P=0.000). We observed no significant difference between caregivers and patients regarding social concerns (4.62 ± 1.50 vs. 4.90 ± 1.74) and spiritual wellbeing (7.03 ± 1.17 vs. 7.2 ± 1.53). Also, the mean scores of GHQ-12 were 5.06 ± 2.5 and 4.17 ± 2.53 in caregivers and patients, respectively (P=0.04). A significant negative correlation was observed between GHQ-12 and QoL scores (r=-0.593, P<0.001). The probability of acquiring mental disorders in female caregivers was two times higher than male caregivers (P=0.05).
Conclusion: Our findings demonstrated that family caregivers of thoracic cancer patients suffer from physical and psychological distress, sometimes even more than the patients. This highlights the important role of family caregivers in the process of approaching a patient with thoracic cancer.