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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Informal Cancer Caregivers 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Informal Cancer Caregivers
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Informal Cancer Caregivers
Cancer Caregivers

Jamie M. Jacobs

, Lara Traeger

, Emily A. Walsh

, and Joseph A. Greer


As cancer treatment shifts progressively to the outpatient setting, informal caregivers, including family and friends, play an increasingly central role in ensuring optimal ongoing care of these patients. Cancer caregivers may provide a range of emotional, instrumental, and informational support, including handling complex treatment schedules, managing side effects, juggling household chores and transportation, communicating with the healthcare team and friends and family, and coping with the uncertainty of their loved one’s prognosis. Cancer caregivers may become overwhelmed and burdened by these tasks, receiving minimal support and guidance related to managing distress and maintaining their own quality of life while caring for a loved one. Cognitive behavioral therapy is evidence- and skills-based therapy efficacious for patients with cancer in managing anxiety and depression and improving quality of life. This chapter reviews the application of and evidence for cognitive behavioral therapy for addressing psychosocial distress and burden in informal cancer caregivers.

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