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Keywords:

  • burden;
  • cancer;
  • depressive symptomatology;
  • end-of-life;
  • family caregivers

Abstract

The purpose of this secondary analysis was to glean from prospective data whether those caring for elderly family members recently diagnosed with cancer who ultimately died reported different caregiver depressive symptomatology and burden than caregivers of those who survived. Findings from interviews with 618 caregivers revealed that caregiver depressive symptomatology differed based on family members' survival status, and spousal caregivers experienced greater burden when a family member was near death than did non-spousal caregivers. Family member symptoms and limitations in daily living, as well as caregiver health status, age, and employment, were associated with caregiver depressive symptomatology and burden; however, these associations had no interaction with family member survival status. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 30: 270–281, 2007