1433P - Burden and distress of caregivers of patients (pts) on tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) for gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST): a cross-section...

Date 29 September 2014
Event ESMO 2014
Session Poster Display session
Topics Anticancer Agents
Psychosocial Aspects of Cancer
Biological Therapy
Presenter Simône Langenberg
Citation Annals of Oncology (2014) 25 (suppl_4): iv494-iv510. 10.1093/annonc/mdu354
Authors S.M.C.H. Langenberg1, A.N.M. Wymenga2, A. Reyners3, C. van Herpen4, J.B. Prins5, W.T.A. van der Graaf6
  • 1Medical Oncology, Radboud university medical center, 6525GA - Nijmegen/NL
  • 2Medical Oncology, Medisch Spectrum Twente (MST), NL-7500 KA - Enschede/NL
  • 3Department Of Medical Oncology, University Medical Center Groningen, NL-9713 GZ - Groningen/NL
  • 4Medical Oncology, Radboud umc, 6500 HB - Nijmegen/NL
  • 5Medical Psychology, Radboud university medical center, 6500 HB - Nijmegen/NL
  • 6Medical Oncology /452, Radboud umc, NL-6500 HB - Nijmegen/NL



Caregiver support is vital for pts facing cancer treatment. Overstraining and distress may occur as a consequence, and can have serious consequences for the caregivers' general health. Moreover, caregivers' distress may lead to problems in pts' adjustment to their illness. What effects pts' long-term TKI treatment for GIST has on the caregivers' life is unknown. Therefore, we aimed to explore caregivers' burden and distress during pts' long-term treatment.


For this cross-sectional study, pts and their caregivers were included when pts were treated with TKI for at least 6 months. Caregivers and pts completed a general questionnaire for demographics and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS) to measure distress. To measure burden, the caregivers completed the Self-Perceived Pressure from Informal Care questionnaire. The severity of distress and burden was determined using validated cut-off scores (distress: HADS total scores>12; burden: 0-3=normal, 4-6=moderate, 7-9=severe).


61 couples were included for analysis. Caregivers' and pts' mean age was 59 (SD 11) and 66 (SD 13) years, 66% and 43% were female, respectively. 78% of the caregivers were pts' partner. The mean score of the total sample for burden was normal (M 2.4, SD 2.3). The total sample mean for caregivers' distress (M 8.1, SD 5.7) was below the cut-off score for manifest distress. Scoring individual caseness, 16.4% of the caregivers experienced moderate and 9.8% severe burden, and 23% of the caregivers was distressed. Caregivers' burden was significantly correlated to their distress (r=.58, p=.0001). Additionally, caregivers' burden and distress were significantly correlated (r=.44, p=.0001; r=.38, p=.003) to pts' distress.


Mean caregivers' burden and distress were in the normal range. However, a quarter of all the caregivers suffered from long-term burden and distress. Timely recognition and support of those caregivers is of importance, especially given the fact that generally TKI treatment of GIST pts has a long duration.


C. van Herpen: C.M.L. van Herpen MD PhD, has received research funding from Novartis and Merck, and serves on a Merck advisory board; W.T.A. van der Graaf: W.T.A. van der Graaf MD PhD, has received research funding from Novartis. All other authors have declared no conflicts of interest.