Caring for someone with high-grade glioma: a time of rapid change for caregivers
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Patients diagnosed with high-grade gliomas have a poor prognosis and limited life expectancy, and often experience rapid decline in function. Caring for a patient with high-grade glioma is particularly stressful because caregivers are faced not only with cancer-related caregiving issues, but also issues relating to caring for someone with cognitive impairment. This study aimed to articulate the experiences of family caregivers of people diagnosed with high-grade glioma and to describe their information and support needs. A grounded theory method was adopted. Twenty-one family caregivers of people with high-grade glioma were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. A constant comparison method of data analysis was employed. A central theme, A Time of Rapid Change and two sub-themes, Renegotiating Relationships and Learning to be a Caregiver, emerged to describe the experiences of participants. Caregiving was characterised by numerous role and life changes from the moment of diagnosis. Caregivers in this study reported experiences similar to those described by caregivers of people with other cancers. What differed for this group was the rapidity of change and the need for immediate information and support to assist with caring for a person with high-grade glioma.
The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Palliative Medicine, July 2010 by SAGE Publications Ltd, All rights reserved. © The Authors, 2010.
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