INTRODUCTION: To measure the perceived stress level of family caregivers who had taken care of their patients in palliative care unit, and to reveal the socio-cultural and health-related characteristics that might affect their perceived stress.
METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study. The population of the study was the family members had taken care of their patients who were hospitalized in palliative care unit between March 1, 2018 and June 1, 2018. The convenience sample method was used, and the number of participants was 75. A socio-demographic questionnaire and Perceived Stress Scale -14 (PSS-14) was applied face to face to all participants. Additionally, The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2) was applied to all participants. The t-test and variance analyzes were used to test the significance between the means of PSS-14 scores of the groups examined in the variables included in the socio-demographic questionaire.
RESULTS: Most of the caregivers (n: 26) were patients children. The 75% of family caregivers (n: 57) struggled with problems during care process. Fifteen (19.5%) participants gave positive response to the both questions of PHQ-2. The number of family caregivers who had chronic diseases was 49 (64.5%). The mean score of PSS-14 was 46.9 (SD: 5.7) which means high perception of stress in family caregivers.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Difficulties in the management of care process 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 professions may help to reduce perceived stress.