Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Patient-caregiver concordance in symptom assessment and improvement in outcomes for patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy.

Silveira MJ, Given CW, Given B, Rosland AM, Piette JD. Patient-caregiver concordance in symptom assessment and improvement in outcomes for patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy. Chronic Illness. 2010 Mar 1; 6(1):46-56.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVE: To measure the agreement between cancer patients'' and family caregivers'' perceptions of the patients'' symptom severity, and the association between changes in caregiver accuracy and changes in outcomes. METHODS: Secondary analysis of baseline and 10-week follow-up data from 142 cancer patient/caregiver dyads. Patient/caregiver agreement about symptom burden was measured for the 8 most prevalent symptoms and overall. Bivariate analyses examined the patient and caregiver characteristics associated with caregivers who were overestimators, underestimators or accurate at baseline. We tested the relationship between change in caregiver accuracy and both caregiver behaviour (e.g. use of information, hours spent caregiving) and patient outcomes (e.g. total symptom severity and frequency). RESULTS: At baseline, caregivers overestimated the severity of 17 out of 18 symptoms; 50% predicted mean symptom severity accurately. Accuracy worsened over time for 51%, stayed the same for 36%, and improved for 13%. While not statistically significant, caregivers whose accuracy improved over time had patients who reported greater declines in: symptom severity, number of symptoms, symptom interference, total symptom frequency and depression. In addition, these caregivers experienced greater reductions in their use of information and hours helping the patient. DISCUSSION: Caregivers typically over-estimate cancer patients'' symptom burden and accuracy does not improve over time. Improving caregiver accuracy may boost the positive effects of cognitive behavioural interventions designed to improve cancer patients'' quality of life.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.