Characteristics and Prevalence of Depression Symptoms in Caregivers of Patients Undergoing Palliative Care

  • Elizabeth A Adol University of Nairobi
  • Ann A Obondo, PhD University of Nairobi
  • Pius Kigamwa, PhD University of Nairobi
Keywords: Depression, Depression Symptoms, Palliative Care, Caregivers, Prevalence of Depression

Abstract

Family role in taking care of patients undergoing palliative care leads to complex, multidimensional responsibility which may have consequences to the mental health of primary caregivers. Studies have shown that 40 to 70 percent of caregivers experience symptoms of depression. The general objective of this study was to determine the characteristics and prevalence of depressive symptoms among caregivers of patients in palliative care. The population comprised of caregivers of patients undergoing palliative care at the Kenyatta National Hospital. A cross-sectional study was used where questionnaires were administered using Beck‘s Depression Inventory and a researcher designed socio-demographic characteristics questionnaire for the caregivers. The results showed that 62.7% of the caregivers presented with symptoms of depression. This is four times higher as compared to the general population. The severity of the depressive symptoms ranged from mild to severe with the majority experiencing symptoms of severe depression. Spousal caregivers had the highest prevalence of depressive symptoms followed by those who were taking care of their children. The recommendations include having healthcare providers do routine screening for depression in family caregivers and not just on patients alone.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Aoun, S., Kristjanson, L., Currow, D., & Hudson, P. (2005). Caregiving for the terminally ill: At what cost? Palliative Medicine, 19, 551-555.

Baider, L., Kaufman, B. P., Manor, O., Ever-Hadani, P., & Kaplan, A. (1996). Mutuality of fate: Adaptation and psychological distress in cancer patients and their partners. In L. Baider, C. Cooper, & A. Kaplan, Cancer in the Family (pp. 173-186). Wiley: Chichester.

Beeson, R. (2003). Loneliness and depression in spousal caregivers of those with Alzheimer's disease versus non-caregiving spouses. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 17(3), 135-143.

Bemporad, D. (1988). Compound caregiving: When lifelong caregivers undertake additional caregiving roles. Rehabilitation Psychology, 55(4), 409-417.

Butler, S., Turner, W., Kaye, L., Ruffin, L., & Downey, R. (2005). Depression and caregiver burden among rural elder caregivers. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 46(1), 56.

Cameron, J., Shin, J., Williams, D., & Stewart, D. (2004). Brief problem-solving intervention for family caregivers to individuals with advanced cancer. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 57, 137-143.

Chen, M., & Hu, C. (2002). The generalizability of caregiver strain index in family caregivers of cancer patients. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 39, 823-829.

Clark, P. (2002). Effects of individual and family hardiness on caregiver depression and fatigue. Research in Nursing and Health, 25(1), 37-48.

Covinsky, K., Newcomer, R., Fox, P., Wood, J., Sands, L., & Dane, K. (2003). Patient and caregiver characteristics associated with depression in caregivers of patients with dementia. The Journal of General Internal Medicine, 18 (12), 1006-1014.

Deeken, J., Taylor, K., Mangan, P., Yabroff, K., & Ingham, J. (2003). Care for the caregivers: a review of self-report instruments developed to measure the burden, needs and quality of life of informal caregivers. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 26, 922-953.

Ferrario, S., Cardillo, V., Vicario, F., Balzarini, E., & Zotti, A. (2004). Advanced cancer at home: caregiving and bereavement. Palliative Medicine, 18, 129-136.

Gallicchio, L., Siddiqi, N., Langenberg, P., & Baumgarten, M. (2002). Gender differences in burden and depression among informal caregivers of demented elders in the community. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 17(2), 154-163.

Given, B., Given, C., & Kozachik, S. (2001). Family support in advanced cancer. A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 51, 213-231.

Grunfeld, E., Coyle, D., Whelan, T., Clinch, J., Reyno, L., Earle, C., . . . Glossop, R. (2004). Family caregiver burden: Results of a longitudinal study of breast cancer patients and their principal caregivers. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 170, 1795-1801.

Hinds, C. (1985). The needs of families who care for patients with cancer at home: are we meeting them? Journal of Advanced Nursing, 10, 575-581.

Rivera, H. (2009). Predictors of cancer caregiver depression symptomatology. Nairobi, Kenya: Graduate School Theses and Dissertation.

Seymour, J., Clark, D., & Winslow, M. (2004). Morphine use in cancer pain: from last resort to gold standard. Poster presentation at the Third Research Forum of the European Association of Palliative Care. Palliative Medicine, 18(4), 378.

Shanks-McElroy, H., & Strobino, J. (2001). Male caregivers of spouses with Alzheimer's disease: Risk factors and health status. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, 16(3), 167-175.

Siegel, K., Karus, D., Raveis, V., Christ, G., & Mesagno, F. (1996). Depressive distress among the spouses of terminally ill cancer patients. Cancer Practice, 41(1), 25-30.

Weihs, K., Fisher, L., & Baird, M. (2002). Families, health, and behaviour. Families, Systems & Health, 20(1), 7-46.

Weitzner, M., McMillan, S., & Jacobsen, P. (1999). Family caregiver quality of life: differences between curative and palliative cancer treatment settings. J Pain Symptom Manage, 17(6), 418-428.

Weitzne, L., & Leahey, M. (2005). The three most common errors in family nursing: How to avoid or sidestep. Journal of Family Nursing, 11(2), 90-101.

Published
2 March, 2020
How to Cite
Adol, E., Obondo, A., & Kigamwa, P. (2020). Characteristics and Prevalence of Depression Symptoms in Caregivers of Patients Undergoing Palliative Care. East African Journal of Health and Science, 2(1), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.37284/eajhs.2.1.120