New Hamlish Publication

A study coauthored by University of Illinois Cancer Center member Tamara Hamlish, PhD, MA, and published in the Journal of Cancer Education examined skill-building interventions for informal caregivers (family, partners, friends or neighbors) of adults with cancer. Informal caregivers are asked to do everything from helping with daily tasks and providing emotional support to assisting in care decisions but they have little support in developing those skills.

The study, a systematic review of 11 articles from high-income countries, mostly the United States, suggests that skill-building interventions for informal caregivers may be effective but that more research is needed. Some of the skill-building interventions that Hamlish and her coauthors looked at were aimed at helping loved ones manage pain and symptoms, while others focused on improving caregiver communication skills.

An important part of future research is understanding what skill-building strategies might work in low- and middle-income countries, the study notes.

“With cancer incidence increasing worldwide and the need for ICs [informal caregivers] to assist their loved ones, providing support for ICs is crucial in helping to improve the health and wellness of ICs and the cancer patients for whom they care,” concluded the study published November 14. “Investing in effective skill-building interventions for ICs may be one way that healthcare organizations and governments can improve the quality of life for ICs and their loved ones faced with the challenging task of easing pain and suffering from cancer.”

The study, with

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