Effective integration of caregivers and families as part of the care team for people with cancer

Publication Name

Australian journal of general practice


BACKGROUND: Informal caregivers (family or friends of people with cancer) are a group of highly important people who support those diagnosed with cancer to remain at home and out of hospital, but this comes at a significant personal cost. Understanding strategies to support cancer caregivers is critical. OBJECTIVE: This article will present an overview of cancer caregiving and how the caregivers involved can be assisted by general practitioners (GPs). Two key approaches to general practice teams supporting caregivers will be explored: acknowledging and integrating caregivers as part of the care team and providing referrals into services and supports. DISCUSSION: The general practice team is ideally positioned to assist in the support of cancer caregivers. GPs can assist caregivers by acknowledging them as valid and important members of the care team and referring them into existing support programs. These strategies are central to supporting this important, but often forgotten, group of people affected by cancer.

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