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Future provision of home end-of-life care: Family carers’ willingness for caregiving and needs for support

Objective: This study aimed to examine family carers’ willingness, perceived difficulties and confidence in providing home end-of-life care to family members in future and their needs for support for doing so. Specific focus was on whether significant differences were found between carers of low and high levels of psychological distress. Method: Family carers who had been providing care to family members living in the community were recruited via a local elderly agency in Hong Kong. A survey was conducted. Carers were asked to complete a questionnaire which included self-developed items, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Carers’ Support Need Assessment Tool. Results: Of the 89 participants, 63.8% reported willingness to provide end-of-life care in future (increased to 78.5% if support needs were met), but most perceived it as difficult, and over half were not confident about doing so. The three greatest needs for support in end-of-life care are understanding the relative's illness, knowing what to expect in future, and knowing who to contact if concerned. Participants of the high psychological distress group experienced a significantly greater need for support in “dealing with your feelings and worries” and “looking after your own health. Conclusions: Current family carers may not be ready for future provision of home end-of-life care. Meeting their support needs in providing end-of-life care is crucial to ensure the continuity of care provision. Psychologically distressed carers may often ignore self-care and may need helping professionals’ additional support.

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Key Information

Type of Reference
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Journal article
Cambridge University Press
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Journal Titles
Palliative & Supportive Care
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