INTRODUCTION: This study aims to measure the perceived stress level of family caregivers of patients in palliative care units, and to reveal the socio-cultural and health-related characteristics that might affect their perceived stress.
METHODS: The population of this cross-sectional study consisted of family members who had taken care of their patients who were hospitalized in palliative care units between March 1, 2018, and June 1, 2018. A sociodemographic questionnaire and Perceived Stress Scale-14 (PSS-14) was applied face-to-face to all participants. Moreover, the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2) was applied to all participants.
RESULTS: Seventy-five family caregivers attended to the study. Twenty-two (34.7%) of family caregivers were patients children. Fifty-seven (75.0%) of family caregivers struggled with problems during care processes. Fifteen (19.5%) participants gave positive responses to both questions of the PHQ-2. The number of family caregivers who had chronic diseases was 49 (64.5%). The mean score of PSS-14 was 46.9±5.7.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Difficulties in the management of care processes may have increased perceived stress levels and may adversely affect the caregivers' health and social life. Providing early psychological support to family caregivers by health professionals may help to reduce perceived stress.