- Volume 2 Issue 1
Purpose: This study was to develop a stress-adaptation model for family caregivers of cancer patients that could provide the basis of planning nursing intervention. Method: A hypothetical model was developed using the family adaptation model proposed by Haley et al. (1987). In the literature, the stressor was identified as patient's characteristics, caregiver's characteristics, duration of illness, and family life events. It affected stress appraisal, family resources, family coping and finally caregiver's adaptation. In this model, 18 paths were constructed. Data were collected from 241 caregivers, whose family members were in treatment between June and August 2000, at 3 university hospitals and were analyzed by SPSS and LISREL programs. Results: 1) The overall fitness indices of the hypothetical model were x 2=267.78 (P= .0), GFI= .92, AGFI= .87, NFI= .93, NNFI= .93, PNFI= .64, PGFI= .55, and RMR= .43. Ten of the eighteen paths proved to be significant. 2) To improve the model fitness, the hypothetical model was modified considering modification indices and the paths proved not significant. Final model excluded 3 paths demonstrated to be improved by x2=161.96 (P= .00), GFI= .95, AGFI= .91, NFI= .96, NNFI= .96, and RMR= .23. Twelve of fifteen paths proved to be significant. 3) Stress appraisal was influenced by disease related characteristics and duration of illness and was explained 22% of the variance. Family resources were influenced by stress appraisal and was explained 57% of variance. Family coping was influenced by disease related characteristics, caregiver's characteristics, duration of illness, family life event, and stress appraisal and was explained 57% of variance. Family caregiver adaptation was influenced by disease related characteristics, caregiver's characteristics, stress appraisal, and family coping and was explained 31% of variance. Twelve of fifteen paths were significant. Conclusion: Based on this study, to help family caregivers to adapt, individual intervention is necessary with consideration of disease related and caregiver's characteristics and duration of illness. The intervention should include efforts to raise the family resources and to identify positively the stress they encounter, and there is a need to establish an adaptation model that considers emotional aspects of family caregivers. Since there is a difference in emotional status depending on the disease stage, a study needs to be done to analyze the differences among the disease stages (diagnosis, treatment, recurrence, and terminal stages).