Caregiver Burden among Patients with Gynaecological Cancer at a Tertiary Hospital in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Alegbeleye, Justina Omoikhefe *

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Rivers State, Nigeria.

Amadi, Christian Emeka

Department of Surgery, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Rivers State, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Background: Caring for patients with gynaecological cancer is often prolonged and can significantly affect the psychological, emotional, functional, and even physical health of caregivers.

Objectives: To evaluate the level of caregiver burden and determine the factors associated with it among primary caregivers of gynaecological cancer patients.

Materials and Methods: This was a prospective cross-sectional study conducted at the gynaecologic oncology unit of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital between July 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023, on 51 primary caregivers of patients with gynaecological cancers by convenient sampling. A pretest using a semi-structured interview questionnaire, assessing demographic and caregiving factors, was conducted at the River State University Teaching Hospital, to ensure its validity and reliability. A score above 20 was considered a high level of burden. Data was analyzed using SPSS 28, and the level of significance was considered at p value ≤ 0.05.

Results: The mean age of caregivers was 40.4 ± 11.6 years. The mean score of the Zarit Burden Interview was 31.75 ± 19.14. About one-third 17 (33.3%) were frequently stressed between caring for relative and trying to meet other responsibilities, almost half (45.1%) reported that they sometimes do not have as much privacy as needed and 24 (47.1%) were quite frequently doing more for the patient, with 24 (47.1%) of the patients moderately dependent on caregivers. More than half 35 (68.6%) of the caregivers had a high burden of care. Missing job due to caregiving role (X2=9.495, P=0.002), the residence of the caregivers (X2=7.556, P=0.006) and menopausal status (x2=24.238, p<0.001) were significantly associated with the level of burden.

Conclusion: The caregivers of women with cancer carry a heavy burden. Hence, they need our support, our time, and our ears to listen, thereby improving the quality of lives of both patients and their caregivers.

Keywords: Gynaecological cancers, caregiver burden, Zarit burden interview, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

How to Cite

Omoikhefe, A. J., & Emeka , A. C. (2024). Caregiver Burden among Patients with Gynaecological Cancer at a Tertiary Hospital in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Asian Research Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, 7(1), 79–93. Retrieved from


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