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Cancer Caregivers Experience a Range of Impairments, Especially with Mental Quality of Life and Related Comorbidities

Oct 4, 2012

New Results from the European National Health and Wellness Survey Show Caring for a Person with Cancer Causes Significant Impairments Compared with Non-Caregivers

NEW YORK, October 4, 2012—Caring for a person with cancer can lead to worse physical and mental health, higher work productivity loss, significant activity impairment and higher healthcare resource utilization compared with non-caregivers, according to new findings from the National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS), conducted by Kantar Health and presented this week at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2012 Congress.               

Cancer caregivers in the 5EU showed significantly lower levels of physical (47.6 vs. 48.9) and mental (43.7 vs. 46.9) quality of life compared with non-caregivers, as measured by the Short Form-12 (SF-12v2). Caregiving also affects their work productivity and activity levels, with caregivers showing work productivity loss of 26.4% versus 18.1% in non-caregivers and activity impairment of 28.7% versus 21.8%.

In addition, European caregivers are hospitalized twice as often as non-caregivers (0.22 times in the past six months compared with 0.11 for non-caregivers), and they have visited their healthcare providers 6.18 times in the past six months versus 4.64 times for non-caregivers. Cancer caregivers also are significantly more likely to have comorbidities such as anxiety, insomnia, depression and migraines than non-caregivers.

“Caregiving for cancer patients in the 5EU is associated with a variety of significant impairments compared with non-caregivers, and cost assessments should examine the societal burden of caregiving for patients with cancer in EU,” said Amir Goren, Ph.D., Manager, Health Economics and Outcomes Research, at Kantar Health. “These findings highlight the significant burden on caregivers when caring for patients with cancer in the 5EU and identify a need to support these caregivers that is currently not addressed by the healthcare system.”

About the National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS)

The study’s results were drawn from the 2010 and 2011 EU NHWS, a nationally representative, self-administered survey conducted annually via the Internet. Topics covered include the health status, attitudes, behaviors and outcomes among adults 18 or older.

Kantar Health conducts NHWS annually in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America. The survey is the largest self-reported database in the healthcare industry.

About Kantar Health (

Kantar Health is a global, evidence-based decision support partner to the world’s leading pharmaceutical, biotech, device and diagnostic companies. Our 700+ staff act as catalysts, working closely with customers to drive distinctive decision-making that helps them prioritize product development and portfolios, differentiate their brands and ensure product profitability after launch. We are unique in that we bring together clinical, medical and methodological expertise, commercial/marketing know-how and proprietary data. It is this rare combination, together with our unparalleled stakeholder reach, that enables us to mobilize incisive, imaginative and timely ROI-driven solutions, empowering clients to deliver better healthcare options to their customers.

With staff in over 40 countries, we excel at solving technically or logistically challenging projects around the world and across the product lifecycle, combining on-the-ground know-how and global and national proprietary data to quickly identify value drivers. As part of WPP, we can also incorporate highly innovative thinking from outside the industry into our solutions.

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For more information on Kantar Health, please contact Stacy Sevcik, Marketing Manager, at or +1-314-529-3062.