Caregivers, Patients Have Different Decision-Making Support Needs

Improving access to evidence-based information for caregivers could contribute to improved outcomes for patients with breast cancer, according to an abstract from the 2022 ASCO Annual Meeting.

Terri Kim, of Lunit Inc., Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues asked 330 patients with breast cancer and 53 caregivers to participate in an online survey to better understand various needs throughout the cancer journey. Eight patients and caregivers were asked 25 questions through a remote nurse support model.

The researchers found that the top areas needing support during the cancer journey were similar for caregiver and patients. However, they also found that caregivers showed a pronounced need for support that would help make treatment decisions.

For example, caregivers expressed greater need for knowledge to help determine the right treatment, to understand treatment costs during treatment, and to manage rehabilitation after treatment, as compared with the patients.

The researchers also saw differences in the questions caregivers asked during the remote nurse support service. Caregivers asked questions about treatment options that required significant clinical knowledge. Patients, in contrast, concentrated more on understanding their cancer and in seeking dietary recommendations to keep the cancer at bay.

Kim T, et al. Need of pretreatment support of breast cancer patient caregivers compared to patients. J Clin Oncol. 40, 2022 (suppl 16; abstr e24001)