Caring for another person with chronic pain often involves many unfamiliar tasks, such as monitoring pain and other symptoms, administering medications, dealing with side effects, helping the patient change their physical position, and communicating with healthcare professionals.1In addition to meeting the physical and emotional demands involved in caring for someone, caregivers must adapt and cope with the alterations that occur in their own lives.1,2
The ability to cope with the demands of caring for someone with chronic pain varies from person to person, but it is known that being a caregiver has an impact on a person’s health and quality of life:1–5 a study about caregivers of people with chronic pain found that more than one in five caregivers believed their health had worsened quite a lot or a lot through caring for a person with chronic pain. In addition, 33% indicated their social life had been affected ‘a lot’ or ‘quite a lot’.1
In addition, being a caregiver of a patient with chronic pain carries the risk of becoming a patient with pain themselves,6 which is why self-care is important to preserve the quality of life of the caregiver and of the person who is being cared for.
1. Ojeda B, et al. Fam Syst Health. 2014;32:399–407.
2. Monteiro da Cruz DAL, et al. Int J Nurs Terminol Classif. 2004;15:5–14.
3. Rokach A, et al. Nurs Palliat Care. 2016;1:111–7.
4. Pinquart M & Sörensen S. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Sco Sci. 2007;62:126–37.
5. Ferrell BR, et al. J Palliat Med. 1999;2:185–95.
6. Darragh AR, et al. J Appl Gerontol. 2015;34:734–60.