People who care for someone with malignant pleural mesothelioma are at risk for depression and trouble attending work.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a cancer that forms in the lining of the lungs. It is caused by exposure to asbestos. Most patients with mesothelioma are elderly and male. Treatment for mesothelioma is difficult and the five-year survival rate is poor.
A MPM diagnosis is extremely difficult for a family. Both the patient and their caregivers can feel hopelessness and uncertainty.
Mesothelioma Caregivers at Risk
Researchers from the United Kingdom wanted to find out how taking care of someone with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) affects the person who takes care of them. The researchers wanted to know things like who the caregivers were, what they did to take care of the patients, and how taking care of someone with MPM affected their work and daily activities.
The researchers asked 291 caregivers in France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom questions about themselves and their caregiving duties. They found that most caregivers were female, lived with the patient, and were their partner or spouse. Caregivers spent over five hours a day helping patients with emotional and physical support.
Risk of Depression
The researchers found that many caregivers were at risk of depression. Almost three-quarters of caregivers were at risk of developing depression.
Caregivers also reported having trouble doing daily activities because of their caregiving duties. Caregivers who had jobs missed about 12% of their work over the previous week because of caregiving. They also had trouble working even when they were there.
The key findings from this study highlight the need for better support for caregivers. Taking care of someone with MPM is hard work. It can affect the caregiver’s emotional health and ability to work. They said that people who care for patients with MPM need support to do their job well.
Moore A, Bennett B, Taylor-Stokes G, Daumont MJ. Caregivers of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma: who provides care, what care do they provide and what burden do they experience? [published online ahead of print, 2023 Apr 25]. Qual Life Res. 2023;10.1007/s11136-023-03410-4. doi:10.1007/s11136-023-03410-4. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11136-023-03410-4