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Family Caregivers, Their Needs, and Home-based Palliative Cancer Services

The focus of this four-stage, longitudinal, qualitative, and quantitative study was to explore, from the caregivers perspective, the impact of caring for a person with a diagnosis of terminal cancer, in order to improve the planning and coordination of home-based hospice services in Australia. Caregivers identified five primary-care needs relating to lack of information and ineffective communication with health professionals, inadequate emotional support, the need for assistance with physical care and household tasks, support for caregiver health and social wellbeing, and financial issues. The extent to which current service provision met each of these needs varied. The findings of this study suggest that if palliative care is to be shifted to the home environment, improvement in services concerned with providing support for family caregivers is essential if existing guidelines for palliative care provision are to be met.

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Journal of Family Studies

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