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28.05.2018 | Clinical Study

Outcomes of an electronic social network intervention with neuro-oncology patient family caregivers

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Neuro-Oncology
Autoren:
Maija Reblin, Dana Ketcher, Peter Forsyth, Eduardo Mendivil, Lauren Kane, Justin Pok, Miriah Meyer, Yelena P. Wu, Jim Agutter

Abstract

Introduction

Informal family caregivers (FCG) are an integral and crucial human component in the cancer care continuum. However, research and interventions to help alleviate documented anxiety and burden on this group is lacking. To address the absence of effective interventions, we developed the electronic Support Network Assessment Program (eSNAP) which aims to automate the capture and visualization of social support, an important target for overall FCG support. This study seeks to describe the preliminary efficacy and outcomes of the eSNAP intervention.

Methods

Forty FCGs were enrolled into a longitudinal, two-group randomized design to compare the eSNAP intervention in caregivers of patients with primary brain tumors against controls who did not receive the intervention. Participants were followed for six weeks with questionnaires to assess demographics, caregiver burden, anxiety, depression, and social support. Questionnaires given at baseline (T1) and then 3-weeks (T2), and 6-weeks (T3) post baseline questionnaire.

Results

FCGs reported high caregiver burden and distress at baseline, with burden remaining stable over the course of the study. The intervention group was significantly less depressed, but anxiety remained stable across groups.

Conclusions

With the lessons learned and feedback obtained from FCGs, this study is the first step to developing an effective social support intervention to support FCGs and healthcare providers in improving cancer care.

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