Poster Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2017

The relationship between supportive care needs and perceived burden among breast cancer survivors and their caregivers. (#393)

Emma Kemp 1 2 , Kirsty Prior 3 , Lisa Beatty 1 2 4 , Chris Brown 5 , Sylvie Lambert 6 , Bogda Koczwara 1 2
  1. College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  2. Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  3. Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  4. Cancer Council SA, Adelaide, South Australia
  5. NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  6. Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada


While caregiver burden in cancer caregivers is high and associated with poor outcomes, little is known about relationships between types of supportive care needs, and survivor and caregiver perceptions of caregiver burden within survivor-caregiver dyads. This study sought to identify which survivor- and caregiver-reported demographic, medical and psychosocial characteristics and supportive care needs were most strongly associated with perceived caregiver burden in such dyads.


Survivors (N=55) and caregivers (N=44) completed self-report questionnaire measures of their own supportive care needs, anxiety, depression, functional wellbeing, and perceived caregiver burden, and medical and demographic items. Multivariate (regression) analysis was used to identify which characteristics accounted for the most variance in caregivers’ and survivors’ perceived caregiver burden. Further dyadic analysis examined interdependence of these characteristics in dyads.


In univariate analysis, survivors’ perceived caregiver burden was significantly associated with caregivers’ perceived burden operationalised as difficulty of caregiving (r = .56, p < .001), but not caregiver burden operationalised as time spent caregiving. Multivariate analysis indicated that characteristics most strongly associated with survivors’ perceived caregiver burden included caregivers’ functional wellbeing and survivors’ emotional wellbeing (R square = .724, F (2,41) = 53.66, p < .001), while characteristics most strongly associated with caregivers’ perceived burden in multivariate analysis included survivors’ sexual needs and caregivers’ social needs (R square = .61, F (2, 41) = 31.37, p < .001). Dyadic analysis will be reported at the time of presentation.


Cancer survivor and caregiver experiences are mutually interdependent, with survivors’ emotional wellbeing and caregiver functional wellbeing associated with survivor perceptions of caregiver burden, and survivors’ sexual needs and caregivers’ social needs predicting caregivers’ perceptions of caregiver burden. Further research with larger samples of additional contributing characteristics is warranted in order to inform interventions aiming to address caregiver burden.