Relationships and Emotional Wellbeing among African American and White Advanced Cancer Caregivers

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Patient Education and Counseling


Objective: Advanced cancer family caregivers who have good relationships with other family members and with patient’s health care providers (PHCPs) have less emotional distress than caregivers with poor relationships. Given a history of different experiences in medical settings among Whites and African Americans, we examined moderation effects by race. Methods: Baseline data from an ongoing study were collected via telephone interviews with 397 family caregivers of advanced cancer patients at two cancer clinics. Depressed mood and anxiety were measured with the 14-item Profile of Mood States. Results: Caregivers reporting good relationships with family (p < .001) and PHCPs (p < .001) had lower anxiety and less depressed mood (family, p < .01; PHCP, p < .001). Caregiver race moderated relationship quality: Whites with good PHCP relationships felt less depressed mood (p < .01) and anxiety (p < .01). African Americans with good family relationships showed less depressed mood (p < .05), but no association with anxiety. Conclusion: Good relationships are important for caregivers, but PHCPs may have more influence on the wellbeing of White than of African American caregivers. Practice implications: Developing relationships with caregivers of advanced cancer patients may improve wellbeing for caregivers. In addition, creating strategies to support family relationships may be a useful intervention, especially for African American advanced cancer caregivers.

Original Citation

Linda E. Francis, Karen F. Bowman, George Kypriotakis & Julia Hannum Rose. (2011). Relationships and Emotional Wellbeing among African American and White Advanced Cancer Caregivers. Patient Education and Counseling, 85, 446-453, doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2011.01.023.