Charles S. Carver

Family Adaptation to Cancer [last edited 2-20-15]

I have recently begun to collaborate with Dr. Youngmee Kim on her research with cancer patients and their families. She studies the adaptation of the patient to cancer treatment and its aftermath, and also the adaptation of the patient’s family caregivers. She has found that caregivers in general suffer health and quality of life impairments as a result of the stresses of caregiving. She has also investigated individual differences that help determine who suffers greater impairments and who is more resilient to those stresses. An important consideration appears to be the extent to which caregivers feel a sense of autonomy in the caregiving activities: a sense of personal commitment to the activity, as opposed to feeling under pressure.

This project has thus far resulted in a number of articles showing links between caregiving stress and adverse outcomes for caregivers. It has also resulted in the development of a self-report measure of health problems (Kim, Carver, Cannady, & Shaffer, 2013, below). One goal of future studies will be to use the cancer diagnosis as an opportunity to offer the patients and their families to make health promoting lifestyle changes.

Kim, Y., Carver, C. S., Cannady, R. S, & Shaffer, K. M. (2013). Self-reported medical morbidity among informal caregivers of chronic illness: The case of cancer. Quality of Life Research, 22, 1265-1272.

For other articles from this project, please search my Publications page, or Dr. Kim's homepage.

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