Objectives: To describe post-traumatic distress and identify associated factors in patients with head and neck cancer–related tracheostomy and their family caregivers.
Sample & Setting: This observational study assessed 22 patients with surgically managed head and neck cancer–related tracheostomy and 17 family caregivers at a comprehensive cancer center.
Methods & Variables: Instruments included the Impact of Event Scale–Revised, the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale, and the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Depression 6a Short Form scale.
Results: Post-traumatic distress related to tracheostomy and general depression in patients and family caregivers was highly prevalent. An increased level of physical symptoms was moderately correlated with higher levels of post-traumatic distress.
Implications for Nursing: Patients who experienced higher symptom burden may also suffer from post-traumatic distress related to tracheostomy. Oncology nurses can implement post-traumatic distress screening in patients and their family caregivers.