Document Type: Review Article

Authors

1 Nursing Department, Al-albayt University, Mafraq, Jordan

2 Nursing Department,Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan

Abstract

Background: Cancer diagnosis has a significant impact not only on women, but also on their Primary caregivers. Understanding the effects of a breast cancer diagnosis on physical and mental health outcomes in caregivers is important because these variables are key components of quality of life. Quality of life is a multi-dimensional construct measuring overall enjoyment of life. This study intends to describe the impact of caring for women with breast cancer on the quality of life among their primary caregivers.Method: We conducted a comprehensive search in PubMed, MEDLINE and CINAHL. In addition, we used the web search engine “Google” for abstracts from 2007 to 2012. A total of eight studies were reviewed that met the following inclusion criteria: adult women with breast cancer, research conducted in English. Studies ranged from 2007-2011. The total sample size in the eight studies on adult caregivers totaled 789 participants. The average age of participants in all of the studies was 49.55 years.There were seven studies that had a quantitative focus,which mainly used a questionnaire and survey to estimate quality of life among primary caregivers. The qualitative approach included in-depth interviews and a focus group. Results: Accumulating evidence has supported the concept that cancer affects not only the patients but also their primary caregiver's quality of life.They face multiple challenges in caring for women with breast cancer, including physical, emotional, social, and financial stress that affects the caregiver's quality of life.Conclusion: Breast cancer diagnosis not only affects the patient's quality of life, but in parallel, also affects the quality of life of the primary caregiver. Thus more focus should be placed on providing moral and social support, and educational resources to improve the level of the caretaker's quality of life.