The role of family caregiver in the head and neck cancer: Psychological distress and quality of life evaluation.

Head and Neck Cancer
Session Type and Session Title: 
General Poster Session, Head and Neck Cancer
Abstract Number: 



J Clin Oncol 30, 2012 (suppl; abstr 5546)


Mario Airoldi, Massimiliano Garzaro, Luca Raimondo, Claudia Bartoli, Simona Carnio, Gianluca Fora, Carlo Giordano, Giancarlo Pecorari; San Giovanni Antica Sede Hospital, Turin, Italy; 1st ENT Division, Physiopathology Department, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 1st ENT Division, Clinical Physiopathology Department, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 2nd Medical Oncology Division, San Giovanni Battista Hospital, Turin, Italy

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Abstract Disclosures


Background: The family caregiver (FCG) has become a hot topic. This figure among head and neck cancer patients is still largely un-investigated; aim of our study was: 1) to describe in a more detailed way the role of FCG, 2) to evaluate quality of life (QoL) and psychological distress of FCGs and patients 3) to investigate relationships between FCG’s wellbeing and patient’s QoL and emotional pattern. Methods: Sixty couples of patients and their caregivers were enrolled in this observational cross-sectional study between April 2007 and May 2011 at 1st ENT Division, 2th Medical Oncology Division and 2th Radiotherapy Division of San Giovanni Battista Hospital of Turin. Inclusion criteria were: diagnosis of SCC, advanced stage (III-IV), completion of curative treatment and no evidence of disease at the enrolment. Psycho-oncological assessment was performed using: Distress Thermometer (DT), Stay-Trait Anxiety Inventory Manual in Y1 and Y2 form (STAI Y1-Y2), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MDRS), EORTC-QLQ-C30 and Head and Neck-35 module and Caregiver Quality of Life Index-Cancer (CQOLC). Results: Patients: state and trait anxiety are 46,7% (STAI Y1 mean value 40,2±10,2; cut-off 40) and 36,7% (STAI Y2 mean value 36,7±8,2; cut off 40) respectively; self reported and clinician rated depression are 31,6% (BDI mean value 8,2±5,3; cut-off 9) and 48,3% (MDRS mean value 7,9±5,9; cut-off 6) respectively.CGs: state and trait anxiety are 50% (STAI Y1 mean value 42,5±9,9; cut-off 40) and 41,7% (STAI Y2 mean value 39,1±8,7; cut off 40) respectively; self reported and clinician rated depression are 28.3% (BDI mean value 7,3±4,7; cut-off 9) and 41.7% (MDRS mean value 7,6±5,8; cut-off 6) respectively.Data analysis underlined a positive association among emotional scales of patients and caregivers. Patients’ psychological aspects are negatively associated with caregivers’ QoL and vice versa. Conclusions: Anxiety and depression are often present in FCGs and cured HNC patients. Long term patient's QoL is the result of a frail balance between FCG and patiet emotional and psychological distress. A psychological support for FCG could improve patient well-being.