Shared Attributes of Responsibility and Emotion in Patients With Lung Cancer and Family Caregivers

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To compare the attributions and emotions held by patients with lung cancer (affected individuals) and family caregivers in their management of the disease.

SAMPLE & SETTING:

A secondary data analysis of 304 affected individuals and 304 family caregivers. Participants were selected from five oncology outpatient settings.

METHODS & VARIABLES:

Comparative analysis and regression modeling. Variables include responsibility, anger, and pride in managing lung cancer.

RESULTS:

Affected individuals reported higher self-oriented blame, fault, and anger than did family caregivers. Family caregivers reported more blame, fault, and anger toward the affected individual than toward themselves. Current smoking behavior of either the affected individual or family caregiver was associated with increased reports of self-oriented blame, fault, and anger. Additional research is needed to understand the attributional and emotional responses affected by the type of lung cancer, gender differences, and characteristics of the caregiving dyad.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING:

Nurses should be aware of the potential for affected individuals to experience internal (self) and external (family caregiver) sources of blame, fault, and anger. Knowledge of the reasons for current smoking behavior is important for understanding emotional responses and determining interventions.

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