Author(s): Hggmark C, Theorell T, Ek B
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Abstract In this study we have examined how relatives of cancer patients change their social patterns when they are offered increased possibilities to take active part in the care of the patient. Relatives who were offered such an activation programme were compared with relatives who were offered the usual routine programme ('comparison group'). The instrument used for the present study was a modified version of the 'coping wheel' introduced by Shalit. Fifty relatives in the activation group and 45 in the comparison group were followed at repeated occasions approximately once a month during the patient's treatment. Twenty-two in the activation group and 19 in the comparison group were followed 1 and 2 month(s) after the patient's death. Relatives in the activation group reported a significantly higher proportion of activities concerning friends and relatives (P less than 0.04) during the treatment period. At the last observation occasion preceding death, relatives in the comparison group reported significantly more areas dealing with 'own feelings' (P less than 0.04). Relatives in the activation group reported a significantly greater increase in number of 'own activities' from the last observation preceding the patient's death to 1 month after death (P less than 0.04) compared to the comparison group.
This article was published in Soc Sci Med
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research