The emotions and coping strategies of caregivers of family members with a terminal cancer.


This study documents the emotional experiences and coping strategies of a group of caregivers as they move from the diagnosis of a close family member with terminal cancer through the stages of caring and post bereavement. Supportive evidence, matching that of previous literature, was gathered regarding the impact of such care, but additional findings counter the notion of "burden" by revealing that strong positive emotions were experienced by these caregivers regarding the opportunity given to them to express their love through care. By contrast and post bereavement, however, intense grief was reported. There appeared to be a complete lack of emotional support throughout from health professionals, particularly in the bereavement phase when need is very apparent.


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