Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Sharon Patten

Second Advisor

Dr. Maria Dinis

Third Advisor

Dr. Curt Paulsen


This needs assessment was undertaken to determine if Aberdeen, South Dakota is in need of an informational/support group for informal caregivers of terminal cancer patients. A 112 professionals (doctors, nurses, social workers and pastoral care workers) from The Cancer Care Center, Avera St. Lukes Hospital, and it's affiliate, North Plains Hospice were surveyed using both quantitative and qualitative questions. Only 19 of the 112 responded to the survey. The survey focused on the professionals' experience and knowledge of working with terminal cancer patients and informal caregivers as well as resources available to their clients. The findings of this study indicated that 36% perceived a need for informational/support groups of informal caregivers of terminal cancer patients in Aberdeen, South Dakota while 95% perceived a need for additional services, according to professionals who work with informal caregivers and terminal cancer patients on a daily basis. There is a need for more research of informal caregivers of terminal cancer patients. Research found was on caregiving mainly with the elderly but nothing specifically for terminal cancer.


SC 11.MSW.2001.Bolduan.K

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