The experiences of family caregivers living with breast cancer patients in low-and middle-income countries: A systematic review

Grace KUSI, Adwoa Bemah BOAMAH MENSAH*, Kofi BOAMAH MENSAH, Veronica Millicent DZOMEKU, Felix APIRIBU, Precious Adade DUODU, Bakinam ADAMU, Pascal AGBADI, Kwadwo Osei BONSU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Caregivers of women with breast cancer in low-and-middle-income countries experience significant physical and economic burdens. The review aimed to map the evidence of studies that had reported on the experiences of family caregivers of women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in CINAHL, PubMed, PsycINFO, Scopus, and Web of Science databases using a combination of key search terms and medical subject heading terms such as "family caregiver", "breast cancer", "home care", "low-and-middle-income countries", "experience", "effect", and "coping mechanism." A total of 1781 articles were retrieved and screened. Nineteen studies addressing caregiving experiences were included in the final review based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Results: The systematic review yielded 19 studies that focused on caregivers' motivation, needs of caregivers, intervention for caregivers, and consequences of caregiving. The most significant correlates of the quality of life among caregivers were disease severity, functional status of patients, and family income. The challenges encountered by caregivers were mostly psychosocial.

Conclusions: Caregivers play a crucial role in the management of women with breast cancer. However, they are faced with increasing challenges in their caregiving roles. Understanding the nature and extent of the burden experienced by family caregivers in developing countries will facilitate the development of appropriate interventions that can help improve caregivers' quality of life. Gaps in recent studies were identified, and suggestions for future research were also addressed in this review.

Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42019118391

Original languageEnglish
Article number165
Number of pages18
JournalSystematic Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s).


  • Breast cancer
  • Experiences
  • Family caregiver
  • Low- and middle-income countries


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