Burden of care as perceived by informal caregivers of the patients receiving chemotherapy in tertiary care hospital of Karachi, Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MScN)


School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Cancer is one of the major diseases affecting millions of people globally. Cancer chemotherapy is a treatment of choice, with devastating adverse effects, which deteriorate patients' general condition and makes them dependent upon the informal caregivers. The huge number of cancer patients renders a far greater number of informal caregivers who bear the burden of care in different forms and magnitude. Purpose: The main purpose of the study was to explore the types of burden perceived by the informal caregivers and the factors associated with the caregiving burden. Methodology: A quantitative descriptive cross- sectional study design was selected to answer the research questions, by recruiting 200 informal caregivers, who accompanied the patients visiting the oncology daycare unit for chemotherapy, at one of the tertiary hospitals of Karachi, Pakistan. The modified version of the Zarit Burden Interview Scale was used for data collection. The data was analyzed using Chisquare test to explore the associations between the demographic characteristics of informal caregivers and the perceived burden of care. Results: The findings of the study identified the employment status and the religion of the informal caregivers as significant, demographic variables, with a p-value of 0.020, 0.027, respectively. The functional level of care receivers was also found to be ignificant with the p-value of 0.002. The study also recognized four forms of burdens, with significant mean values, including financial (2.85), psychological (2.50), social (2.58), and physical (2.44). Most of the participants reported experiencing a moderate magnitude of burden, ranging from 40 — 60, on the scale of 0-80. Conclusion: The study highlighted four different forms of burdens, that is, financial, psychological, social, and physical, along with their associated demographic factors. The study has also set forth the future research and clinical implications, and suggested interventions that could reduce the burden of care.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library