J Korean Acad Nurs.  2012 Apr;42(2):280-290. 10.4040/jkan.2012.42.2.280.

Experiences of Family Caregivers of Patients with Terminal Cancer

Affiliations
  • 1Center for Lung Cancer, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea. eunsookc77@ncc.re.kr
  • 2Seoul National University, College of Nursing, Research Institute of Nursing Science, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE
This study done to identify the experiences of families caring for patients with terminal cancer. The question was, "What is the caregiving experience of a family who has a member with terminal cancer?"
METHODS
Grounded Theory was applied and in-depth interviews were done with 11 family members. Interviews were recorded with the interviewees' consent and were transcribed and analyzed. Participants' relationships to patients were 6 spouses, 4 daughters, and 1 mother. The ages of the participants were between 32 and 62, with an average of 47.5.
RESULTS
The study showed "enduring with bonds" as the main category and the main factor affecting this category was the "patients' diagnosis of terminal cancer." The caregiving experience was divided into four stages: shock, confusion, struggle, and acceptance. Mediating factors were relationship with the patient, intimacy with the patient, social support, communication, and trust. Conclusively, participants underwent internal maturity, and changes occurred in family and social and personal life.
CONCLUSION
The families took care of the patients with responsibility and love. The study results should help with the understanding of a family with a member with terminal cancer and should be used to develop nursing, mediating, and consulting programs for these caregivers.

Keyword

Terminally ill; Family caregivers; Caring; Grounded theory

MeSH Terms

Adult
Caregivers/*psychology
Communication
Female
Humans
Interviews as Topic
Male
Middle Aged
Neoplasms/pathology
Social Support
*Terminal Care
Terminally Ill
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