Health practices in Europe towards families of older patients with cancer: a scoping review

Hanne Konradsen, Anne Brødsgaard, Birte Østergaard, Erla Svavarsdóttir, Karin B Dieperink, Lorenz Imhof, Marie Louise Luttik, Romy Mahrer-Imhof, Cristina García-Vivar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: In Europe, cancer is one of the predominant causes of mortality and morbidity among older people aged over 65. A diagnosis of cancer can imply a negative impact on the quality of life of the older patients and their families. Despite research examining the impact of cancer on the family, it is unclear what kind of information is available about the types of clinical practice towards older patients with cancer and their families. The aim is to determine the extent, range and variety of research in Europe describing health practices towards families of older patients with cancer and to identify any existing gaps in knowledge.

METHODS: Scoping review.

RESULTS: A total of 12 articles were included, showing that family interventions are generally based on end-of-life care. Most studies used a qualitative approach and involved different types of family member as participants. Most studies were conducted in the UK.

CONCLUSIONS: Review findings revealed limited knowledge about health practices in Europe towards families with an older patient with cancer. This review indicates a need to increase family-focused research that examines health practices that meet the needs of families of older patients with cancer. Seeing cancer as a chronic disease, there is an urgent need for the implementation of family-focused interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-389
Number of pages15
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Issue number2
Early online date14 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • elderly patients
  • cancer
  • families


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