Caregivers of persons with a brain tumor: a conceptual model


Correspondence: Paula Sherwood, College of Nursing, Michigan State University, 4101 Brunswick Avenue, Flint, MI 48507, USA.E-mail: <>


Researchers have documented negative physical and emotional consequences for both family caregivers of persons with cancer as well as caregivers of persons with a neurologic disorder. However, there is a unique subset of caregivers who must provide care for someone who may suffer from both a short, terminal trajectory of disease, as well as neurological and neuropsychiatric sequelae — the caregiver of a person with a primary malignant brain tumor. The purpose of this article was to describe a conceptual framework for providing care for a person with a primary malignant brain tumor. The demands of this particular care situation are described, as well as potential resources available to the caregiver to meet those demands. Finally, the stress response that results from the balance between care demands and caregiver resources is illustrated. Development of a conceptual framework for this caregiving population is the first step in assisting nurses to identify factors that place caregivers of persons with a primary malignant brain tumor at risk for negative consequences, and to design interventions to improve caregiver health.