Availability of Informal Caregivers for Palliative Care Patients with Cancer: Is there a Difference between Higher- and Lower-Income Settings.

Citation:
Abdel-Malek, R., D. E. Farag, K. S. Shohdy, and S. Cox, "Availability of Informal Caregivers for Palliative Care Patients with Cancer: Is there a Difference between Higher- and Lower-Income Settings.", Indian journal of palliative care, vol. 25, issue 3, pp. 379-382, 2019.

Abstract:

Objective: Family caregivers are the default caring personnel for terminal cancer patients. The characteristics, demographics, distribution, psychological burden, and socioeconomic standards differ between high- and low-income countries. We aimed to assess those factors and their direct reflection on both the patient and the caregiver.

Patients and Methods: This is a comparative cross-sectional study for terminal cancer patients in the palliative care unit between the United Kingdom (UK) as a high-income community and Egypt as a low-income community. We assessed the different characteristics, demographics, living place, the degree of relevance, and the availability of caregivers.

Results: We have recruited 216 patients from the UK and 117 patients from Egypt. Informal caregivers were available in 74.5% and 92.3% for these patients with a mean age of 71.5 (standard deviation [SD] 16) years and 50.9 (SD 15.18) years, respectively. There has been a statistically significant difference between the two countries' caregivers in being married, family, and living in the same household ( < 0.0001).

Conclusion: Low-income countries are more common to have an informal caregiver who is a family member of different degree of relevance. Caregivers in low-income settings tend to be younger, of the female gender, married, and living in the same household than in high-income ones.