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Spouse Caregivers of Cancer Patients 

Spouse Caregivers of Cancer Patients
Spouse Caregivers of Cancer Patients
Psycho-Oncology (3 ed.)

Laurel L. Northouse

and Ruth McCorkle


Although spouses are typically the primary caregivers to people with cancer, they seldom receive the preparation and support they need to provide high-quality care. Spouses and other family caregivers are often asked to perform clinical care tasks in the home that well-trained health professionals previously provided in clinics or hospital settings. This chapter focuses on spouses as primary caregivers to people with cancer. The chapter begins with a discussion of the interdependence of patients and spouses and their reciprocal effect on one another. The research literature is reviewed, and the chapter discusses findings from recent meta-analyses on the effects of well-designed interventions on patient and spouse outcomes. In addition, the chapter reviews four types of interventions that have been conducted to meet the needs of cancer patients and/or their caregivers and the outcomes that have been reported for each type of intervention. The chapter concludes with directions for future research.

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