Factors affecting caregiver burden among parents of children with cancer: A path analysis

Niv Heller, Semyon Melnikov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aims: To investigate the relationships between parental resilience, illness perception and pain catastrophizing as factors affecting caregiver burden among parents of children with cancer, based on the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping. Background: Parents, as the primary caregivers of children with cancer, often face universal challenges. These include adverse health impacts, work, financial disruptions, strained social and family relationships, and the need for specialised support and intervention. Design: A cross-sectional design using path analysis. Methods: The STROBE guidelines for cross-sectional studies were followed. An online questionnaire was distributed through Facebook pages operated by various organisations that support parents of children with cancer, such as ‘The Israel Cancer Association’, ‘Giving Hope’ and ‘Hayim Association’ from October 2021 to February 2022. The participants completed a questionnaire about demographic and child-related characteristics, resilience, illness perception, pain catastrophizing, social support and caregiver burden. Associations between the variables were explored using Pearson's correlations and path analyses. Results: The study included 67 parents of children with cancer with an average age of 41.79 (SD = 6.31). The majority were mothers (n = 54, 80.6%) with a steady partner (n = 62, 92.5%). The level of caregiver burden was M (SD) = 25.00 (7.15) out of 48 possible, indicating a high burden level. Illness perception was directly positively associated with caregiver burden (β =.280, p =.017) and pain catastrophizing (β =.340, p <.01), and directly negatively with resilience (β = −.318, p <.01). Illness perception and pain catastrophizing serially mediated the relationship between resilience and caregiver burden among parents of children with cancer (β = −.190, p =.001). Conclusions: This study found that both illness perception and pain catastrophizing serially mediated the relationship between personal resilience and caregiver burden. Relevance to clinical practice: To ease caregiver burden for parents of children with cancer, programmes should address their psychological and emotional needs, including managing perceptions of illness and coping with pain-related distress.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • caregiver burden
  • childhood cancer
  • illness perception
  • pain catastrophizing
  • resilience

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Nursing

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