eISSN: 2081-2833
ISSN: 2081-0016
Medycyna Paliatywna/Palliative Medicine
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3/2023
vol. 15
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Coping with stress by caregivers of patients under the care of the Home Palliative Care Team

Beata Babiarczyk
1
,
Beata Ślezińska
2
,
Ewelina Jaksz-Recmanik
1

1.
Uniwersytet Bielsko-Bialski, Bielska-Biała, Polska
2.
Beskidzkie Centrum Onkologii – Szpital Miejski, Bielska-Biała, Polska
Medycyna Paliatywna 2023; 15(3): 119–129
Online publish date: 2023/11/16
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Introduction
Analysis of coping with stress strategies in the families of patients under the care of the Home Palliative Care Team (ZDOP).

Material and methods
The survey was conducted between May and September 2022 in the city of Bielsko-Biala. A total of 84 family members of palliative patients were included. The diagnostic survey method was applied. MINI-COPE and our own designed questionnaire were used as the research tools.

Results
All respondents were caregivers for cancer patients (n = 84; 100%). Most of the respondents were familiar with the assumptions of palliative care (n = 67; 79.8%) and were satisfied with the care of ZDOP (n = 76; 90.5%). For most respondents, especially those who were the main caregivers, the experienced situation was a physical, organizational, and mental burden. The factor that particularly increased the sense of burden was the poor mental condition of the respondents. Most of the respondents had somatic complaints that could indicate chronic stress (n = 66;78.6%), and its main sources were watching the suffering and pain of a loved one (n = 51; 60.7%), experiencing internal blockages (n = 35; 41.7%) or watching at the altered body of a loved one (n = 30; 35.7%). The respondents mentioned many fears related to caring for their loved ones (most often the fear that a loved one will die or suffer). Among the stress coping strategies, the respondents most often chose those related to active coping. However, a certain group of respondents, especially those who were older, less educated, and with a worse financial situation, showed a high level of helplessness and avoidance behaviours.

Conclusions
Caregivers of palliative patients, in response to the burden in various domains, take actions referred to as „active coping”, i.e. taking specific actions to overcome this situation.

keywords:

stress factors, coping with stress strategies, terminal care, caregivers’ burden

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