Living with cancer blog

Cancer caregivers and quality of life — new study opportunity

By Sheryl M. Ness, R.N. March 5, 2014

Many of you are caregivers of cancer patients. You are the family and friends helping someone you love as they go through the journey of diagnosis, treatment and survivorship of cancer care.

Maybe you don’t think of yourself as a caregiver — it's just something you do naturally as you take care of someone you love.

Caregiving can mean daily things such as traveling to doctor visits, making meals, running errands, picking up prescriptions and taking on new and extra roles at home. There may be difficult emotions and feelings to cope with.

As a caregiver, it's normal to put your own needs aside for a while. However, it's also important to be aware of your own health and wellbeing during this time. You need to take care of yourself so that you can continue to care for others.

Mayo Clinic has a new study open to cancer caregivers that is researching interventions to improve quality of life and prevent burnout by addressing multiple areas of concerns including physical, mental, psychological, social, and spiritual wellbeing.

This cancer caregiver intervention will be delivered by a team including a chaplain, social worker, physical therapist, psychiatrist and psychologist.

You may be eligible to participate if:

  • You provide care for an adult who has been diagnosed with cancer within the last 12 months
  • You are able and willing to participate in videoconference sessions through your personal computer or device

The study requires only one in-person visit for enrollment. All other study visits (total of 8 visits over a period of 4 weeks) will be conducted through videoconference sessions.

After you complete the 8 video session visits, additional follow-up assessments studying the impact of the intervention will be completed online once a month for 5 months.

For more information, please contact Deb Schott at (507) 538-1521.

I'd love to have you share your thoughts on caregiving. What's been your experience? What are some of the strategies that helped you?


Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.

Follow on Twitter: @SherylNess1

March 05, 2014