This study aimed to explore the difficulties experienced by primary informal caregivers of Chinese patients with terminal cancer in Hong Kong and the social support available for such caregivers. For this exploratory study, 21 primary informal caregivers of patients with terminal cancer were recruited from a hospice home service to complete a questionnaire. The results show that all but one of the caregivers (95.2%) perceived difficulties in rendering care. They reported experiencing four major kinds of difficulties: relationship with the care receiver (n = 11, 52.4%), emotional reactions to caring (n = 9, 42.9%), physical demands (n = 10, 47.6%), and restricted social life (n = 11, 52.4%). Of the 21 caregivers, 20 (95.2%) felt that the support received from hospice home care nurses was useful, especially in skill training (n = 16, 76.2%), informational support (n = 20, 95.2%), and emotional support (n = 20, 95.2%). Informal caregivers also indicated that home care nurses provided more useful overall support than family members and friends (ξ2= 11.35; P = .003). With a better understanding of the difficulties experienced by caregivers and the support they receive, hospice home care nurses will be in a better position to identify effective strategies for helping informal caregivers cope with their difficult circumstances.
- Caring difficulties
- Informal caregivers
- Patients with terminal cancer
- Social support
ASJC Scopus subject areas