Li and Loke (2013)

To explore ideas of spousal carer and cancer patient dyads in terms of mutuality and identify directives for future research

Literature review

Good communication between couples facilitates congruence between the female carer and the patient, thereby strengthening their intimacy and improving the caring experience

They assessed the quality of data from a published journal while considering impact factors and systematic analysis of extracted data. A language bias occurred as articles in the review were written in English only. Publication bias also existed in that only published articles were considered

Kimberlin et al. (2004)

To find out the barriers and facilitators of patients and carers in relation to pain management

Qualitative study

Patient education and information exchange between patients and healthcare workers enable active participation of patients and female carers in the care process, and improve coordination of care and relationships among HCP

Convenience sampling of participants volunteering for the study meant that subjects were not representative of other populations of couples dealing with cancer. Racial differences among couples were not assessed

Sercekus et al. (2014)

To explore the needs, challenges and ways of coping of carers of cancer patients on chemotherapy treatment

Aualitative study

Female carers of cancer patients experience many problems and display many coping strategies, and HCP should be able to identify these

The study is of good quality. Data collection, interpretation and analysis were appropriately done

Stenberg et al. (2010)

To explore cancer patient family carers’ physical and psychosocial health problems

Literature review

The burden related to caring emerged due to many responsibilities that female carers had in addition to their role as carers

Authors did not assess the validity and reliability of instruments they used in their review to determine symptoms. Self-reported problems’ frequency was not quantified in the review

Kim and Carver (2007)

To evaluate qualities of attachment of spouses of cancer patients who are now survivors

Cohort study

Female carers’ orientation to their relationship to the husband plays a very important role in carers’ provision of care services or perception of care provision as being burdensome

It is not explicitly indicated how participants were followed up

Braun et al. (2007)

To evaluate the psychological distress of carers and their partners with cancer, while measuring the contribution of caring burden, marital satisfaction and attachment orientation to depression in carers

Cohort study

Advanced cancer patients have high prevalence of depression, which can be predicted by the use of the Subjective caring burden and relational variables which are the female carers’ attachment orientations and marital dissatisfaction

The study did not produce significance differences in terms of sex differences, age demographics and duration of the relationship between carers and their patients with cancer

Nijboer et al. (2000)

To describe patterns of experiences of carers of patients with cancer over a period of 6 months

Cohort study

The effect of female carers’ burden on their self-esteem and on interrupted diary roster decreased throughout the period of 6 month after discharge. On the other hand, the effect on no or Lack of Family Support, financial problems, and Loss of Physical Strength remained constant over 6 months

The follow up period of 6 months was inadequate to ascertain fully carers’ experiences