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ev méd cienc Haban Havana Vol VII No. 3 July-September 2008

Superior Institute of Medical Sciences of Havana (ISCM-H)
School of Nursing Lidia Doce Sanchez

QUALITY OF LIFE IN PRIMARY CAREGIVERS OF PATIENTS WITH CANCER
MSc. Expósito Yaquelín Conception. Phone: 2741402. yaquelin.exposito @ infomed.sld.cu
Degree in Nursing. Master in Nursing. Assistant Professor. Scientific degree ofcandidate for Dr. C of Nursing.
INTRODUCTION
In the world every day, more people sick from cancer. There is evidence that the care of patients with terminal cancer beyond the scope of action of conventional Oncology and requires both the input and the interdisciplinary home care where the patient lives. It is therefore necessary to consider the family as part of the team in caring for these patients. 1The weight and importance of the family in the development and evolution of the individual action potential increase in the interaction of each of its members, therefore, the family defined as a system is affected as such when one of its members suffer some vital change. In Bowen Systems Theory proposes an understanding of the family as a body, within which what happens to each of its memberswill impact on everyone else. 2
Terminal illness is probably the most common event that triggers crisis in the family, as it causes a great suffering for the patient and for the whole family. According to the Family Caregivers Alliance, about 52 million Americans care for family of disease or disability. 3 Many of these people care for relatives with cancer.
The continuing care patients areintended to give comprehensive care to all levels and at all stages of the disease. The patient should be treated from a biological standpoint, psychological, familial, and social work. The aim of this paper is to reflect from a literature review on quality of life of primary caregivers of patients with cancer.
WHO WILL PROVIDE CONTINUING CARE?
Continuing care should be given by all healthprofessionals related to the patient and their relatives in order to maintain its comprehensive nature. Increasingly, cancer services advocate a person-centered care in their desires and needs that extends to the communities where the palliative care team with the family will offer a basic coverage of patient care.
Palliative care is defined by WHO as "the active total care of patients whose disease is notresponsive to curative treatment and therefore the control of pain, other symptoms and psychological problems, become paramount, with the aim of them achieve the highest quality of life for patients and their families. "4
The WHO defines quality of life as "the individual's perception of their position in life in the context of culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to theirgoals, expectations, standards and concerns". 5
Many researchers working with the family, but not always done with a holistic approach. In the specific case of family care of the terminally ill, we see this trend, which remain little addressed issues related to psychological assessment and intervention during family crisis, and assessing their quality life during the crisis. 6,7,8
TERMINALILLNESS AS A FAMILY CRISIS TRIGGER
It is true that "the disease invades the family in the same way that invades the human body." 6 The disease gradually evolves until the family has to make a general mobilization of resources, finding all the attention on the sick member . The family can make great sacrifices to meet the needs of the patient, but the primary factor that determines the onset of thedisease to family crisis is the imbalance between the resources of the family system and the experience of the disease by the family. Thus, the crisis being experienced by the family develops into three fundamental stages: 9.10
• Disorganization: Due to the impact that the diagnosis and prognosis of the disease. Suddenly, the tensions are disrupted family life, the future projects. There is a...
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