The positive aspects of caregiving for cancer patients: A critical review of the literature and directions for future research

Qiuping Li, Jean Tak Alice Loke Yuen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

156 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Although there is a vast body of studies exploring the negative aspects of spousal caregiving for cancer patients, there have also been reports on the positive aspects. The objective of this review was to summarize and appraise the positive aspects of spousal caregiving and to identify directions for future research. Methods: A systematic search was conducted to identity articles published in English or Chinese from January 1996 to July 2012. Studies were located using an electronic search, a manual search, and an author search. Results: A total of 35 articles were identified and included in this review. The focus of these studies and their results were described on the basis of the Conceptual Framework of the Positive Aspects of Caregiving. The findings revealed that spousal caregivers for cancer patients experienced various positive aspects of caregiving, such as an enhanced relationship with the care-receiver, the feeling of being rewarded, a sense of personal growth, and a perception of personal satisfaction. Daily enrichment events and self-efficacy on the part of the caregivers were identified as the determining factors in the positive aspects of caregiving. Conclusions: All of the three domains of the positive aspects of caregiving are interdependent and worked together to contribute to the positive outcomes experienced by spousal caregivers. An intervention program specially designed to enhance the positive aspects of caregiving will support spouses caring for cancer patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2399-2407
Number of pages9
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013


  • cancer
  • caregiving experience
  • oncology
  • positive aspects of caregiving
  • spousal caregivers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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