Purpose: To explore the effect that treatment-related commuting has on carers of patients with head and neck cancer.
Method: Semi-structured interviews, thematically analysed, with 31 carers.
Results: Treatment-related commuting had a considerable impact on carers of patients with head and neck cancer, both in practical terms (economic costs, disruption) and also in psychological terms. Many carers of patients with head and neck cancer described becoming distressed by their commute. Some carers from large urban cities appeared to have hidden commuting burdens. Some carers respond to commuting stress by 'zoning out' or becoming 'like zombies'.
Conclusions: Treatment-related travel for head and neck cancer can have significant practical and psychological impacts. Health professionals should be aware of the impacts that commuting can have on head and neck caregivers. Health services may be able to take practical steps, such as providing subsidized parking, to address head and neck carergivers' difficulties. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.