The present study aimed to identify and describe the protective factors and coping strategies developed by caregivers of cancer patients. Eighteen participants who were waiting in the waiting room of a general hospital in the interior of São Paulo were interviewed. To characterize the sample, a sociodemographic questionnaire developed by the authors was used. To assess mental health, the Depression Scale "CES-D" and "Caregiver Burden Scale" were used. The analysis of the questionnaire showed that the largest number of caregivers are women (84.2%) between the ages of 50 and 60 years. The scales pointed to an important index of depression indicators (20.2), low overload, except for the isolation and general tension dimensions, with the most present aspect of protection in this sample being religious confrontation. In view of the results, it was possible to observe that the preparation for care influences the reduction of burden and better adaptation of the caregiver to their tasks.
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