Iranian caregivers, silent mediums in caring for relatives suffering from cancer

Masoumeh Hashemi, Fariba Taleghani, Shahnaz Kohan, Alireza Yousefi



Background: Poor interaction of treatment personnel with patients’ families leads to informational contrast in families, which may ultimately increase the tension and pressure in these conditions. Considering the necessity of caregivers’ contribution for an optimized treatment, continuation of care, and supporting patients, and with regard to caregivers’ important role, and also considering the emphasis placed by previous studies on the significance of the caregivers’ experiences and as there are a limited number of studies on eastern countries, the present study attempts to justify caregivers’ understanding of their own needs for interaction with the treatment team.

Materials and Methods: This study is a qualitative research conducted through a content analysis method with an inductive approach. 23 familial caregivers of breast cancer patients from Seyed-Al-Shohada and ayat- ollah khan sari Hospital of Isfahan and Arak were selected through purposive sampling. Data were gathered through in-depth interviews and field notes. The content was read for several iterations and units of meaning and primary codes were extracted, and then categories were extracted based on the centrality and similarity of meanings.

Results: Four categories were extracted: a) caregivers’ contribution and acknowledging them in the treatment system, b) training in efficient caregiving, c) efficient interaction of the medical team with caregivers, and d) easy and dynamic access to the medical services.

Conclusions: The results of the study showed that family caregivers should cooperate and interact with the medical team. They also need training from the medical team on caregiving to cancer patients. An understanding of caregivers’ experiences and needs in their interaction with the medical team and identifying their needs as an important aspect in cancer care system assists in designing evidence-based healthcare interventions and a comprehensive family-centered care program.

Key words: Cancer, Iranian family caregiver, need

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