Strengths and resources used by Australian and Danish adult patients and their family caregivers during treatment for cancer

      Highlights

      • Family members’ perception of the cancer diagnosis influenced their engagement with seeking supportive resources.
      • Internal family communication influenced engagement with nurses highlighting the need for open discussion to tailor support.
      • Similarities with patient and family needs allow for development of international patient and family-centred care guidelines.

      Abstract

      Purpose

      Family plays an essential role in supporting the patient with cancer, however, relatively little attention has been given to understanding the strengths and resources of the family unit across different settings and countries. This study aims to investigate the strengths and resources of patients and family members in Australia and Denmark.

      Methods

      Using a descriptive, cross-sectional design, 232 patient and family participants from inpatient and outpatient oncology services in Australia and Denmark completed paper based surveys that included the Family Hardiness Index (FHI) and Family Crisis Orientated Personal Evaluation Scales (F-COPES), together with demographic and health information.

      Results

      The family's appraisal of the cancer and ways the family worked together predicted the level of external resources used to manage their circumstances.

      Conclusion

      After a cancer diagnosis patients and family respond in different ways related to their family functioning. There is a need for nurses to work closely with the family to understand their strengths and resources, and tailor support and information for family to promote optimal patient outcomes.

      Keywords

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