Identifying the needs of brain tumor patients and their caregivers.

Abstract:

:The purpose of this study is to identify the needs of brain tumor patients and their caregivers to provide improved health services to these populations. Two different questionnaires were designed for patients and caregivers. Both questionnaires contained questions pertaining to three realms: disease symptoms/treatment, health care provider, daily living/finances. The caregivers' questionnaires contained an additional domain on emotional needs. Each question was evaluated for the degree of importance and satisfaction. Exploratory analyses determined whether baseline characteristics affect responder importance or satisfaction. Also, areas of high agreement/disagreement in satisfaction between the participating patient-caregiver pairs were identified. Questions for which >50% of the patients and caregivers thought were "very important" but >30% were dissatisfied include: understanding the cause of brain tumors, dealing with patients' lower energy, identifying healthful foods and activities for patients, telephone access to health care providers, information on medical insurance coverage, and support from their employer. In the emotional realm, caregivers identified 9 out of 10 items as important but need further improvement. Areas of high disagreement in satisfaction between participating patient-caregiver pairs include: getting help with household chores (P value = 0.006) and finding time for personal needs (P value < 0.001). This study provides insights into areas to improve services for brain tumor patients and their caregivers. The caregivers' highest amount of burden is placed on their emotional needs, emphasizing the importance of providing appropriate medical and psychosocial support for caregivers to cope with emotional difficulties they face during the patients' treatment process.

journal_name

J Neurooncol

authors

Parvataneni R,Polley MY,Freeman T,Lamborn K,Prados M,Butowski N,Liu R,Clarke J,Page M,Rabbitt J,Fedoroff A,Clow E,Hsieh E,Kivett V,Deboer R,Chang S

doi

10.1007/s11060-011-0534-4

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2011-09-01 00:00:00

pages

737-44

issue

3

eissn

0167-594X

issn

1573-7373

journal_volume

104

pub_type

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