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Published online: 2024-04-11

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Coping mechanisms employed by caregiver of cancer patients seeking treatment at a tertiary care centre in Northern India

Shipra Saini1, Happy Dagar1, Ankit Yadav2, Khushi Singla1, Sakshi Tanwar1, Mitasha Singh3, Pooja Goyal1

Abstract

Background: India enjoys a cultural setting wherein informal care givers predominantly take care of their chronic or terminally ill cancer relatives. Caregiver are needed even for minuscule activities all through the cancer journey. However, with the rapid switch of societal westernization, the health system must focus its services on the burnt-out caregiver too. The aim of the study was to determine the coping strategies and their factors using the stress coping behaviour scale (SCBS) in caregiver of cancer patients. Participants and methods: This study was a hospital based cross sectional study conducted on 190 caregiver of cancer patients. Data was collected in Oncology wing of hospital. A pre-designed interviewer questionnaire was administered along with Stress coping behavioural scale. Linear regression was done to see the effect of different factors on coping mechanisms of caregiver. Results: The mean age of the caregiver was 38.48 ± 13.89 years. Majority of the caregiver were males (52.1%) and living in nuclear family (42.1%). Number of caregiver ranging from 2 to 18 in cancer patients’ family. Mean score in avoidant coping was 1.64 ± 0.37, problem based coping was 2.52 ± 0.52 and emotional focused coping was 2.18 ± 0.37. Linear regression shows that avoidant coping was not significant with any factors, Problem based coping was significant with marital status, education level of caregiver, type of family and type of treatment received by patients and emotional coping was statistically significant with gender, marital status of caregiver, duration since time of cancer and number of caregiver of cancer patients. Conclusions: Caregiver of cancer patients are mostly their blood relatives or close family members. A positive or negative coping strategy is influenced by gender, marital and educational status, type of family and number of caregiver, duration of cancer and treatment modality. Utilizing positive coping strategies by caregiver will not only enhance their quality of life but will even improve the care giving of their diseased relatives.

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