Caregivers of long-term cancer survivors: The role leisure plays in improving psychological well-being
MetadataShow full item record
Cancer rates are on the rise and there is also an increase in the number of cancer survivors. This results in an increase of caregivers for those survivors. Many caregivers experience negative impacts of caregiving, including decreased mental health. The purpose of this study is to gain an understanding of how the fulfillment of leisure needs impacts caregivers’ mental health. Using data from The Cancer Support Person’s Unmet Needs Survey (Campbell et al., 2009), secondary data analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between unmet leisure needs and mental health, as well as examining the mediation of social and physical aspects of leisure. The sample consisted of 718 support persons (self-selected by the survivors, who were asked to give their caregivers the survey) from the Cancer Registry run by CancerCare Manitoba. Results revealed that fulfilling leisure needs decreased level of caregiver depression, anxiety, and stress. Fulfilling social needs showed a decrease in caregiver depression, and having higher levels of physical functioning had a positive impact on caregiver’s level of depression, anxiety, and stress. This study provided practical applications for practitioners and caregivers on how to improve caregiver mental health through the fulfillment of leisure needs.