Background: A diagnosis of cancer is an intensely stressful experience for patients. How much it affects the caregiver’s is not apparent as it leads to hidden Co morbidity in the persons involved in the care giving process. Cancer can not only affect the patients, but can equally evoke emotional distress in the caregiver’s. Aims: We carried out a study to evaluate the prevalence of anxiety and depression as well as effects of socio demographic & cancer characteristics on emotions of caregiver’s. Methods and Material: This is a cross sectional study of 100 consecutive consenting caregiver’s of diagnosed cancer patients attending an oncology department of a tertiary care hospital. Caregiver’s are those who have willfully taken the responsibility of care giving to the ailing cancer patients. Hospital Anxiety, Depression Scale (HADS) a well validated questionnaire based scale to evaluate the prevalence of anxiety, depression and emotional distress. It has 14 items 07 related to anxiety & 07 related depressions. Results: 100 caregiver’s were studied to assess the anxiety and depression levels during their care giving task. The mean anxiety & depression score of subjects were 8.28 (SD-3.45) & 8.79 (SD-3.94) respectively. 34% caregiver’s were having score between moderate to severe category with a cutoff of (>10) on both the subscales of HADS. 53% of the subjects showed emotional distress as seen in high score above cutoff of (>15) on total HADS score. The data was compiled, tabulated and analyzed by using SPSS 16 .0 v. P < 0.05 is taken as statistically significant in our study. Conclusion: There are multiple factors involved in the emotional distress of the caregiver’s. A holistic treatment approach that encompasses both medical and psychological measures for reducing the hidden morbidity in co sufferers of cancer patients to be adapted in treatment of cancer patients.
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