To compare the impact of cancer caregiving in curative and palliative settings on family caregiver quality of life (QOL), 267 family caregivers of cancer patients receiving curative treatment were compared to 134 family caregivers of cancer patients receiving palliative treatment through hospice. Both groups completed a demographic profile in addition to two self-report QOL questionnaires. Patient performance status and disease site were also recorded. Family caregivers of patients receiving palliative care had significantly lower QOL scores and lower scores on physical health. Hierarchical multiple regressions showed that after accounting for patient performance status, treatment status accounted for no additional significant variability in QOL scores. After accounting for caregiver level of education, treatment status accounted for no additional significant variability in physical health. These results suggest that the lower QOL scores of caregivers in the palliative setting are a reflection of the patients' poorer performance status. The lower physical health scores of caregivers in the palliative setting appear to be a reflection of their lower educational level. Additional research is needed to evaluate the influence of specific demands of caregiving and emotional distress of the caregiver on caregiver QOL.
Weitzner, M. A., McMillan, S. C., & Jacobsen, P. B. (1999). Family caregiver quality of life: Differences between curative and palliative cancer treatment settings. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 17(6), 418–428. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0885-3924(99)00014-7