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Supporting Families and Carers




  • Examines the impact of cancer on families, carers and relationships
  • Suggests ways of supporting families and carers
  • Lists and discuses the special needs of carers from Culturally And Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds
  • Examines ways of supporting children and adolescents and analyses the impact cancer has on them
  • Provides case examples to aid suggestions for support

This chapter examines the characteristics for optimal cancer care and the requirements of health professionals to provide a full range of psychosocial support services to partners, caregivers and other family members, in addition to the patients themselves. Guidelines and case examples are also provided to ensure advice given is as clear and comprehensive as possible.


Contents include

  • The impact of cancer on families, carers and relationships
    • The burden of caring
    • Common concerns
    • Risk factors for poor adjustment
  • Ways of supporting families and carers
    • Acknowledge the role of the carer
    • Assess individual needs
    • Facilitate access to information and services
    • Encourage the acceptance of support services
    • Reinforcement of existing coping strategies and networks
    • Addressing legal, financial and other needs
    • Referral for specialist psycho-oncology intervention
  • The needs of special populations - families and carers from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds
    • Communication and information giving
    • Using an interpreter
    • Beliefs about illness and death
  • Families in crisis: the duty of care
  • Supporting children and adolescents
    • The impact of cancer on children and adolescents
    • Strategies to facilitate adjustment
  • Putting it all together
  • Resources for health professionals and for families and carers
  • References
  • Resource sheet 10.1 Helping children adjust to a cancer diagnosis
  • Resource sheet 10.2 Looking after yourself
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Author / Editor Biographies

Kim Hobbs holds a master's degree in social work and has been the social worker with the Westmead Centre for Gynaecological Cancer in Sydney since its inception in 1994. The Centre has established an innovative model of multi-disciplinary care, in which psychosocial support services are an integral component of comprehensive cancer care for women with gynaecological cancer and their families. Since 2001, Kim has been actively involved in a number of multi-disciplinary research projects - such as investigating the effectiveness of cancer support groups, the needs of cancer caregivers, the train...

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