Which informal carers are most satisfied with services for dying cancer patients?
Fakhoury WKH., Mccarthy M., Addington-Hall JM.
This paper examines the relationship between the satisfaction of informal carers with the care delivered to dying people in the last year of life and patient and carer characteristics. A secondary analysis was conducted on a subsample from the Regional Study of Care for the Dying (RSCD) in which bereaved relatives or friends of a random sample of deaths in 1990 in 20 health districts across England were interviewed some 10 months after the death. There were 1,858 informal carers who were close relatives or friends/neighbours of people who died from cancer in this analysis. Results show that highly satisfied carers were those who perceived caring as rewarding (OR=2.31, 95% Cl: 1.04-5.11), those who reported having had no unmet needs while caring for the deceased at home (OR=2.50, 95% Cl: 1.87-3.34), and those who rated their post-bereavement health as excellent (OR=2.61, 95% Cl: 1.70-3.90). Reporting for the deceased who were owner-occupiers was also associated with a high odds ratio for satisfaction (OR=2.52, 95% Cl: 1.37-4.61). Factors such as the patient's duration of functional limitation, the duration of confusion and psychological symptoms, and the carer's strength of religious faith were also found to predict satisfaction but to a lesser extent. Health planners and managers should be aware that informal carers' overall satisfaction with health and social services is predicted by carer and patient attributes.