Cancer palliative care: Technology support for quality of life assessment of family caregivers

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Family caregivers (FCs) are fundamental for quality of life (QoL) optimization and well-being of cancer patients, contributing to the quality of palliative care services. The present study aimed to evaluate the QoL of FCs caring for oncological patients admitted to the Palliative Care Service of the Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto. It was also intended to identify multidimensional problems that could guide strategies to provide support to FCs. Two measurement instruments, translated and validated for the Portuguese population, were administered to FCs (n=150): World Health Organization Quality Life - WHOQOL-BREF and WHOQOL-SRPB questionnaires. The Platform for QoL Assessment in Oncology (OpQoL) was used for data collection. Most FCs were female (n=97, 64.7%), catholic (n=137; 91,3%), married (n =106; 70,7%), 7%), professionally active (n=147; 98,0%), having a daily care of less than 6 hours (n=88; 58,7%) and for less than 6 months (n = 87; 58,0%). The most frequent schooling years was between 8 and 11 (n =67; 44,7%) and the most common affective relationship with the patient was being son/daughter (n =63; 42,0%). FCs education and age influenced QoL results, with the worst impacts occurring in all dimensions evaluated in the age ranges 18-30 and 46-60 years. Women score worse in physical, psychological, social, and total domains of the WHOQOL-BREF. FCs from patients with 3 and 4 level on the ECOG scale have a greater negative overall and social impact. Worst results were observed in FCs who take care more than 6 hours/day. QoL systematic assessment is decisive for FCs QoL optimization in cancer palliative care. Technology support contributes to overcome technical, methodological and logistical constraints, allowing the use of QoL results on the shortest time. This study identifies FCs needs and signal affected domains - it provides guidance to the implementation of strategies that can optimize QoL.




Silveira, A., Amaral, S., Castro, A. R., Monteiro, E., Pimentel, F., & Sequeira, T. (2018). Cancer palliative care: Technology support for quality of life assessment of family caregivers. In Procedia Computer Science (Vol. 138, pp. 294–302). Elsevier B.V.

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