Unmet Needs and Caregiver Burden Among Family Caregivers of Hospice Patients in South Korea

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Family caregivers of hospice patients experience burden of care, various unmet needs, and emotional pain, especially in cultures where social responsibilities are imposed on families with terminally ill patients. This study investigated unmet needs and caregiving burden of hospice patients’ family caregivers in South Korea who care for patients as they are dying. A descriptive correlation study design queried 101 family caregivers of patients hospitalized in 4 urban hospice palliative care institutions. Data gathered between September 2015 and March 2016 were analyzed using descriptive statistics and correlations. A positive correlation emerged between unmet needs and burden of care. Many subdomains of unmet needs showed a significant positive correlation with burden of care: health and psychological problems, family and social support, information, religious and spiritual needs, and practical support needs. Unmet needs in South Korean family caregivers of hospitalized hospice patients aligned with a higher burden of care. Assessment and intervention for health and psychological problems, family and social support needs, and informational needs were discussed affiliated with culture, aiming to alleviate the unmet needs and burden of care in family caregivers of hospice patients.

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