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Spouse Caregivers of Cancer Patients 

Spouse Caregivers of Cancer Patients
Chapter:
Spouse Caregivers of Cancer Patients
Source:
Psycho-Oncology (3 ed.)
Author(s):

Laurel L. Northouse

and Ruth McCorkle

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199363315.003.0075

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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