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Behavioral risk factors and use of preventive screening services among spousal caregivers of cancer patients

Supportive Care in Cancer
Publication Date
  • 복합학
  • Spousal Caregivers
  • Health Behavior
  • Preventive Health Services
  • Cancer
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Caregiving of cancer patients is burdensome and is likely to affect health behavior and outcome of caregivers. However, there are only a small number of studies on lifestyle behavior and use of preventive services by caregivers of cancer patients, especially in Asian populations. The aim of this study was to compare the status of lifestyle behavior and use of preventive services in spousal caregivers of cancer patients and controls.One hundred pairs of cancer patients and their spousal caregivers who visited the Cancer Daycare Center of Seoul National University Hospital were requested to fill out constructed self-administered questionnaires. Four age- and sex-matched controls were selected randomly for each caregiver from the Korea National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey III (KNHANES III) (n = 400) in order to compare adherence to recommended health behavior and use of preventive services.Compared to controls, caregivers were more likely to receive all types of cancer screening: gastric (adjusted proportion, 53.8% vs 37.1%, p = 0.011), colorectal (adjusted proportion, 54.3% vs 20.5%, p = 0.002), cervical (adjusted proportion, 66.4% vs 46.5%, p = 0.006), and breast cancer (adjusted proportion, 62.9% vs 40.6%, p = 0.003). However, no differences were observed for health risk behaviors (current smoking, high-risk drinking, and physical inactivity) and screening for chronic diseases (hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and hypercholesterolemia).Although spousal caregivers of cancer patients were more likely to use cancer screening services, their health behavior with regard to other aspects were not different from controls. There is a need to improve other types of health behaviors, especially lifestyle behavior, and balance these with cancer screenings in caregivers.

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