Aim: Caregiver burden refers to people's emotional response to the changes and demands of giving support to another. This study aims to highlight the burdens faced by the primary caregiver of oral cancer patients and assess which amongst them contributes to the highest stress.
Materials and methods: The study was conducted at oncology ward of our hospital. The cross-sectional correlational study design was employed. The data was collected through a structured questionnaire. A total of 50 oral cancer patients' primary caregivers consented to participate in the study. Two-step data analysis was done. First descriptive statistics were used to analyze the background characteristics. Then the patient's overall burden was calculated based on the scoring system obtained from ZBI. In the second step, regression analysis was done to predict the burden degree and also to find the main cause of the burden.
Results: Binary logistic regression analysis revealed the following burdens (stressed managing to balanc–0.896, embarrassed–0.896, no privacy–0.980 and uncomfortable about having friends–1.094) as statistically significant. Again with those significant variables, forward stepwise logistic regression was done which revealed the following burdens (not enough time for themselves–0.013 and uncomfortable about having friends–0.023) very significantly associated.
Conclusion: This study highlights that the caregivers, though burdened to some extent, wanted to take care of their relatives till the last day.
Clinical significance: The purpose of the study was to create awareness among the professionals to give more importance to the primary caregiver. The importance of primary caregiver in the life of the diseased is paramount because of the emotional attachment they share. So this inter-relationship between the doctor, the patient, and the primary caregiver will help in a significant way in the wellbeing of the patient.
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