Angehörige - herausfordernd oder wertvolle Ressource?

Related Research units


Caring for patients’ informal caregivers is not part of oncologists’ treatment mandate. However, interactions with informal caregivers are a regular part of daily oncology practice and can be perceived as challenging.

Discussion of whether informal caregivers can also represent a valuable resource in the support and care of cancer patients.

Materials and methods
This article gives an overview on the state of research and international literature on this issue.

Informal caregivers are also affected by the patients’ cancer: not only as valuable companions, supporters or caregivers for the patients, but also as affected persons with their own sorrows, questions and problems. Emotional and practical support can reassure the informal caregivers, and also strengthen their role as companions, supporters or caregivers. This can improve the patients’ care quality and also relieve health care professionals. Studies describe multidimensional needs of informal caregivers including factors which can positively influence the support of informal caregivers. Informal caregivers want to be recognized as affected persons by the patients’ oncologists, to feel informed and prepared for future challenges and to be included in decision making. Information material, advice, counseling and education courses should address the multidimensional needs of informal caregivers, including, for example, medical, psycho-oncological, social and care-specific aspects.

With adequate support, informal caregivers represent a valuable resource for cancer patients and their health care professionals.

Bibliographical data

Translated title of the contributionFamily caregivers—challenging or valuable resource?
Original languageGerman
Publication statusPublished - 02.2024