Informal caregiving burden in advanced non-small cell lung cancer: The HABIT study

Cesare Gridelli, Carmine Ferrara, Ciro Guerriero, Salvatore Palazzo, Giuseppe Grasso, Ida Pavese, Francesco Satta, Emilio Bajetta, Diego Cortinovis, Fausto Barbieri, Vittorio Gebbia, Francesco Grossi, Silvia Novello, Editta Baldini, Giampietro Gasparini, Walter Latino, Emilia Durante, Lucio Giustini, Cristina Negrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: This study's aim was to assess economic data regarding the home assistance burden for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients in Italy. PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred four NSCLC patients in second-line chemotherapy (2LC) or in supportive therapy (ST) were enrolled in 18 Italian oncology departments and were observed for 3 months. The main caregiver's workload was assessed monthly by a task scale; other caregivers' activities were also registered. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status was assessed by physicians, and patients completed the Lung Cancer Symptoms (LCS) subscale. Formal caregiving time was valued according to market prices; informal caregiving hours were valued using the wage rate for an equivalent service. Covariance analysis was performed to check for influential factors in assistance costs. RESULTS: The mean age of the total sample was 65.5 years, and prevalence of males was over 80%. In over 70% of cases, the principal caregiver was patient's spouse, living with the patient and not working. Principal caregiver support was the main cost item: &OV0556;2.368 in 2LC and &OV0556;2.805 in ST, representing 74% of total trimonthly assistance costs. Regression analysis showed a positive correlation between the severity of symptoms and the costs of assistance.The caregiving burden was higher in patients with bone and/or cerebral metastases; other metastasis sites seemed to have no impact on assistance costs. CONCLUSION: Considering quality of life as the ultimate health outcome, clinicians are challenged to contribute to a research and policy agenda that holds burden of care in due consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-480
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thoracic Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • Assistance burden
  • Informal caregiving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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