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Enfermería Global

On-line version ISSN 1695-6141


MOREIRA DE SOUZA, R.  and  TURRINI, R.N.T.. Terminally ill cancer patient: caregiver burnout. Enferm. glob. [online]. 2011, vol.10, n.22. ISSN 1695-6141.

A quality study was developed to identify the emotions experienced by caregivers of terminally ill cancer patients. This study focused on the feelings related to their burnout. Material and methods: Seven family caregivers of patients treated in the ambulatory care centre of an Oncology hospital were interviewed. Content analysis was used to identify reports of burnout among the caregivers. Results. Three categories of burnout were observed. Physical overload was related to exhaustion and care at home. Mental overload was characterized by feelings of loss of self-esteem, despair, discouragement, sadness and loneliness. An exhaustion related to social aspects was also identified due to the female role, alteration in family functioning, compromised household income and access to the healthcare service. Conclusions: Family and professional changes in daily lives of caregivers cause physical and mental exhaustion and social compromising. Healthcare workers should offer support to caregivers at home, including education for the one cared.

Keywords : Medical Oncology; Terminally ill; Caregivers; Nursing.

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