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Perceptions of Family Cancer Caregivers in Tanzania: A Qualitative Study

Walker, Allison (2011) Perceptions of Family Cancer Caregivers in Tanzania: A Qualitative Study. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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There has been a documented increase in incidence and prevalence of noncommunicable diseases, in particular cancer, in low- and middle-income countries. With a lack of healthcare facilities and trained health care providers to support this new patient population, relatives and close friends provide the majority of care. The majority of research examining the emotional and physical impact of providing care to a loved one with cancer has been conducted in developed nations; however, there is a paucity of research examining the experience of providing care to a loved one with cancer in low- and middle-income countries, specifically in Tanzania. The overall goal of this study was to gain an in-depth understanding of the experiences of cancer caregivers in Tanzania. This study utilized a qualitative, cross-sectional design. Family caregivers of cancer patients were administered face-to-face interviews that lasted for approximately two hours. The participants were queried regarding sociodemographic information as well as overall well being, difficulties and positive aspects of providing care, access to information and resources, family and friends, and health care provider communication. These interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Content analysis was used to identify the emergent themes. Ten themes emerged from the participant interviews. The themes that were relevant to the specific aims of this study were accessibility of information, social support, providing care, and end of life. Other themes that emerged from the interviews and are important to highlight are: access to medication, time to diagnosis, no hope/no cure, access to hospital, symptom management, and formal healthcare. The results of the analysis suggest that caregivers have several unmet needs throughout the care situation and experience increased feelings of emotional and financial burden. With the rising incidence of cancer in Africa and the lack of institutional facilities and specialists to support this new patient population, family and friends become the primary caregiver. If caregivers' emotional and physical health is not preserved, the quality of care they deliver may suffer and more demands placed on the health care system by both the patient and caregiver.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Date: 29 June 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 5 April 2011
Approval Date: 29 June 2011
Submission Date: 7 April 2011
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: developing country; Tanzania; cancer; caregiver
Other ID:, etd-04072011-154033
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:35
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:39


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