Family caregiver constructs and outcome measures in neuro-oncology: A systematic review

Florien Boele*, Caroline Hertler, Linda Dirven, Karin Piil, Paula Sherwood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Background: As a first step to reach consensus on the key constructs and outcomes in neuro-oncology caregiver research, we performed a systematic review to evaluate the constructs that are being evaluated in research studies and how these have been assessed. Methods: All peer-reviewed publications with primary data reporting on outcomes of family caregivers of adult primary brain tumor patients were eligible. Electronic databases PubMed/Medline, Embase, Web of Science, Emcare, Cochrane Library, and PsycINFO were searched up to September 2021. Using Covidence, title and abstract screening, full-text review, and data extraction were done by two researchers independently, with a third guiding consensus. Constructs as reported in each study, and how these were assessed were the primary result. Results: Searches yielded 1090 unique records, with 213 remaining after title/abstract screening. Of these, 157 publications met inclusion criteria, comprising 120 unique studies. These originated from 18 countries and were published between 1996 and 2022. Most were observational (75%) cross-sectional (61%) studies, reporting on quantitative methods (62%). Twenty-seven different constructs were assessed and mapped along the Caregiver Health Model (CGHM) categories, namely, caregiver health, needs, tasks, beliefs and attitudes, and environment. Seventeen questionnaires were used >2 times to measure the same construct, with the vast majority of questionnaires only used across one or two studies. Conclusions: Neuro-oncology caregiving research is a field gaining traction, but lags behind in clear definition of key constructs, and consistency in assessment of these constructs. Developing consensus or guidance will improve comparability of studies, meta-analyses, and advance the science more quickly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-474
JournalNeuro-Oncology Practice
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

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