Objective: The present study aimed to identify the most important protective factors predicting caregivers' depressive symptoms among factors of caregivers' dispositional mindfulness, self-compassion, compassion from others, and patients' dispositional mindfulness and their moderator effects on the relationship between caregiving stress and depressive symptoms. Methods: A total of 72 lung cancer outpatients and their family caregivers participated in this study. Family caregivers completed the Kingston Caregiver Stress Scale, Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), Self-Compassion Scale, and Compassion from Others Scale. Patients completed the EORTC Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30), BDI-II, and FFMQ. Results: After controlling for patients' factors (treatment status, symptom distress, and depressive symptoms) and caregivers' health status, caregivers' stress and dispositional mindfulness, the domain of mindful awareness, and self-compassionate action were significantly associated with their depressive symptoms. Further analysis indicated that mindful awareness or self-compassionate action could buffer the effect of caregiving stress on depressive symptoms. When the two moderators, mindful awareness and self-compassionate action, were tested simultaneously, only self-compassionate action remained as a significant moderating effect. Conclusions: Caregivers' mindful awareness and self-compassionate action were protective factors, which mitigate the impact of caregiving stress on their depressive symptoms. Therefore, the future supportive program aims at training the competencies of self-compassionate action with mindful awareness, which may enhance caregivers' coping resources.
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