A nurse-led psycho-education programme for Chinese carers of patients with colorectal cancer

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Abstract

Aim

To evaluate the efficacy of a nurse-led, telephone, psycho-education programme in reducing depression, anxiety, stress and burden of care among carers of patients with colorectal cancer.

Method

Using a randomised controlled trial, 140 carers were assigned to receive either usual care or usual care plus the nurse-led, telephone, psycho-education programme. All carers were assessed at baseline, two weeks, four weeks and eight weeks post-intervention for the primary outcome of depression as measured by the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21, and for the secondary outcomes of anxiety, stress, burden of care and quality of life. The mixed effects model was used in the efficacy analysis.

Results

The psycho-education programme reduced depression more for the intervention group at two weeks, and even more at four weeks. Moreover, the programme also reduced the intervention group's anxiety and stress. Burden of care and quality of life also generally improved.

Conclusion

The programme can effectively help to improve the psychological wellbeing and quality of life of Chinese carers.

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