Grant R03CA139862

Psychosocial Support Needs and Preferences of Caregivers of Lung Cancer Patients

Research has shown that a significant proportion of advanced cancer patients'family caregivers (30% to 50%) experience clinically significant distress. Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths, and patients with this disease experience more symptom distress relative to patients with other cancer types, which may increase care-giving demands. Currently, there is limited knowledge of the reasons that cancer patients'family caregivers underutilize psychosocial support services, and there is a paucity of research-based interventions that are tailored to the needs of this population. In this study, a sample of primary family caregivers (e.g., spouses, adult children;N = 80) with clinically significant distress will be recruited to complete individual phone assessments approximately 4 to 6 weeks after the patient's lung cancer diagnosis and three months later. A subsample (n = 30) that has not accessed psychosocial services over the study period will also complete a qualitative interview within 2 weeks of the 3- month follow-up. The study aims are to examine: (1) psychosocial and practical needs of primary family caregivers of lung cancer patients;(2) psychosocial and practical barriers to psychosocial support service use in this population;and (3) family caregivers'preferences (preferred topics, modality, provider, timing) regarding psychosocial support interventions. Finally, the extent to which theory-driven demographic and psychosocial variables at baseline predict subsequent psychosocial support service use among family caregivers will be assessed. Results will directly inform the design and delivery of new psychosocial interventions that are tailored to the needs of lung cancer patients'family caregivers. In addition, this study will provide new and valuable information for identifying distressed family caregivers of lung cancer patients who are less likely to use psychosocial support services and developing strategies to increase appropriate use of these services.