Psychological and psychiatric symptoms of terminally ill patients with cancer and their family caregivers in the home-care setting: A nation-wide survey from the perspective of bereaved family members in Japan

Makoto Kobayakawa, Asao Ogawa, Michiko Konno, Akiko Kurata, Jun Hamano, Tatsuya Morita, Yoshiyuki Kizawa, Satoru Tsuneto, Yasuo Shima, Maho Aoyama, Mitsunori Miyashita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective The psychological and psychiatric symptoms of terminally ill cancer patients are highly problematic and have been associated with greater burden among caregivers. Until now, the extent of these problems in the home care setting was unclear. Methods This retrospective study was conducted as part of a nationwide survey from the perspective of bereaved family members in Japan (J-HOPE3). The bereaved family members rated the symptoms of delirium and suicidal ideation of patients with cancer, and the sleeplessness and depressed mood of family caregivers utilizing home care services in the one month before the patients' deaths. Regression analyses were performed to identify factors associated with caregivers' sleeplessness or depressed mood. Results Of the 532 subjects analyzed, between 17% and 65% of patients experienced various symptoms of delirium, and 27% suicidal ideation. Among family caregivers, 60% experienced sleeplessness and 35% experienced depressed mood at least once during the week. Caregivers' psychological symptoms were associated with their own poor health status, being the spouse of the patient, and the patients' psychological or psychiatric symptoms. To manage patients' symptoms, 11% of caregivers had consulted psychiatrists or psychologists while another 11% wanted to do so. Conclusion Psychological problems assessed were common among patients with cancer and their family caregivers in the one month of home care prior to the patient's death. An effective complementary care system, run by home-visit physicians, nurses, and experts in mental disorders, is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-132
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Volume103
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Caregivers
  • Delirium
  • Depression
  • Home care services
  • Suicidal ideation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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