Quality of life evaluations of caregivers of ovarian cancer patients during chemotherapy treatment.

(1) To examine the quality of life (QOL) of caregivers of women undergoing chemotherapy for advanced ovarian cancers, and (2) to correlate the QOL measures of caregivers to those of the women undergoing chemotherapy.
Over a 9-month period, all women undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer at the Saskatoon Cancer Centre, and their caregivers, were offered participation. Two well-validated instruments were used to measure the "quality of life" concept. Women with ovarian cancer completed the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy--Ovarian (FACT-O) questionnaire in the clinic prior to each course of chemotherapy. Each caregiver completed a Caregiver Quality of Life Index--Cancer (CQOL-C) questionnaire at home at the start and conclusion of each chemotherapy regimen (cycle 1 and after the last chemotherapy treatment). The demographics of the caregivers were described. A paired t test was used to detect changes to caregivers' QOL scores before and after chemotherapy treatment. Correlation analysis was carried out to examine the relationship between the caregivers' total QOL scores and the various subscale and total scores of the FACT-O questionnaires completed by the women with ovarian cancer. Multivariate regression models were constructed to examine the relative importance of each of the QOL domain measures of the woman with cancer in predicting the effect on her caregiver's QOL.
Thirty different patient-caregiver pairs participated in the study, providing 50 separate assessments since not all pairs had completed the post-chemotherapy assessments. There was improvement (P <.05) in the caregiver's QOL scores at the conclusion of the chemotherapy treatment compared to the baseline assessments. The improvement was unrelated to the performance status or response to chemotherapy of the woman undergoing treatment. There was also a correlation (P <.05) between an increase in a caregiver's distress and worsening scores in the "emotional," "functional," and "concerns" QOL domain assessments of the woman undergoing treatment. Stepwise regression analysis showed the "concerns" score, measuring specific ovarian cancer-related symptoms, to be the only predictor of a caregiver's distress (P <.05).
Standard chemotherapy for ovarian cancer does not worsen a caregiver's QOL. There is a direct relationship between the QOL of women with cancer and that of their caregivers. Future research is required to identify how best to integrate the results of QOL assessments in cancer treatment protocols and to examine the long-term effects of ovarian cancer and its treatment on both caregivers and the women for whom they care.
AuthorsT Le, A Leis, P Pahwa, K Wright, K Ali, B Reeder, M Kinderchuck, K Ward
JournalJournal of obstetrics and gynaecology Canada : JOGC = Journal d'obstétrique et gynécologie du Canada : JOGC (J Obstet Gynaecol Can) Vol. 26 Issue 7 Pg. 627-31 (Jul 2004) ISSN: 1701-2163 [Print] Canada
PMID15248931 (Publication Type: Evaluation Studies, Journal Article)
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols (administration & dosage)
  • Caregivers (psychology)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms (drug therapy, psychology)
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

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