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Assessment

The following resources examine the policies, processes and methods in assessment of carers' needs.

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Process Evaluation of Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Intervention for Informal Caregivers

Background: Informal caregivers are individuals who provide care for ill, frail, or otherwise dependent family members, siblings, or friends. Due to the caregiving demands, informal caregivers are known to experience negative mental health symptoms, such as stress or anxiety. Interventions based on Internet-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (ICBT) principles have been previously found to be effective for different populations and could also be considered as a plausible support option for informal caregivers. However, findings regarding effectiveness alone might not be sufficient for informing about the overall feasibility of the intervention. Objective: The aim of this process evaluation study was to evaluate the feasibility of a previously developed ICBT intervention for informal caregivers in Lithuania. More specifically, we evaluated the suitability of the intervention in relation to its content and delivery mode. Methods: Two studies were conducted. Study 1 consisted of participant evaluations of an 8-week, 8-module long therapist supported ICBT intervention. Evaluations for the Study 1 were retrieved from previously unused data, obtained from pilot testing of the intervention in which 63 informal caregivers took part. The evaluations contained of qualitative data (participant comments), as well as quantitative data (evaluations of each of the sessions). The Study 2 was an online stakeholder focus-group discussion conducted via Zoom. Eight stakeholders took part in the discussion, among whom there were social workers, medical professionals as well as individuals with caregiving experience themselves. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, thematic analysis, and data coding. Results: Results of the Study 1 showed that most of the pilot randomized controlled trial participants evaluated content and format of the intervention positively. These results were complemented by the findings in the Study 2, in which stakeholders evaluated the intervention as suitable and promising. In addition, stakeholders made certain suggestions for improving the intervention's usability for the informal caregivers. This included improving the instructions, providing with more guidance, and considering personalization options. Conclusion: The process evaluation helped to evaluate the feasibility of the ICBT intervention for informal caregivers in Lithuania from the two perspectives: users and stakeholders. Our findings suggest that the intervention is suitable for the target population. 

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Predictors of Caregiver Burden in Huntington's Disease

Objective: Huntington's disease (HD) is a genetic neurodegenerative condition that is characterized by cognitive, motor, and psychiatric dysfunction. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore which disease characteristics influence caregiver burden in HD. Methods: Fifty participants with HD and 50 of their caregivers participated in the study at the University of South Florida. Participants were administered a neuropsychological battery, the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) motor exam, and the Frontal Systems Behavior Scale (FrSBe) self-report. Caregivers completed the Caregiving Appraisal Scale and the FrSBe family-report. Results: There were significant correlations between caregiver burden and caregiver age and sex, UHDRS motor scores, cognitive functioning, and self and caregiver-reported FrSBe scores. The significant variables were entered into a regression model and explained 63.1% of the variance in caregiver burden scores. Caregiver age, cognitive functioning, and caregiverreported FrSBe scores continued to be significant predictors of caregiver burden, whereas the other variables were no longer significant. Conclusions: There were significant relationships between caregiver burden, cognitive functioning, and frontally mediated behaviors, but not motor scores. The results suggest that possible interventions for caregiversmay include education to caregivers on howto cope with apathy/executive dysfunction and cognitive decline. Caregiver agewas associated with burden, with younger age being associated with increased burden when controlling for symptom severity. This has implications for this population in that HD typically has a younger age of onset than other neurodegenerative diseases and therefore, these caregivers may be particularly at risk for caregiver burden.

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Impacts and Burden of Niemann pick Type-C: a patient and caregiver perspective

Background: Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is a debilitating condition that impacts patients’ and caregivers’ quality of life (QOL) and reduces the patient’s life expectancy. Objectives: Since there is little qualitative research from the perspective of patients and family caregivers, this study explored the impact of NPC on patients’ and caregivers’ daily lives to understand the burden of disease. Results: A survey of caregivers for patients with NPC and adult patients with NPC (n = 49; patient age: 13 months–65 years) assessed NPC severity, importance of NPC symptoms, and how symptoms impacted patients’ and caregivers’ activities of daily living (ADLs) and health-related QOL (HRQOL). Follow-up interviews with a subset of survey participants (n = 28) explored the ranking of NPC symptom importance and impact on ADLs and HRQOL. Findings indicated that the most important manifestations of NPC were ambulation, swallowing, speech, fine motor skills, and cognition, which were those that had the most significant impact on ADLs and HRQOL. A wide range of ADLs were affected by NPC, mainly eating/drinking and the ability to perform daily tasks, including self-care, communicating, participating in school or work, and moving indoors as well as outside the home. Along with these impacts, there was an increased risk of experiencing dangerous or life-threatening situations leading to loss of patient independence and additional caregiver burden, often requiring changes in lifestyle such as giving up work. All aspects of patients’ and caregivers’ HRQOL were affected. Participants reported feelings of social isolation, loss of enjoyment in activities (patients), and feelings of sadness or worry (caregivers). Conclusions: Ambulation, swallowing, speech, fine motor skills, and cognition are important manifestations of NPC. ADLs and HRQOL were impaired in the majority of patients as well as their caregivers. The findings were independent of current age, age of onset of symptoms, and level of NPC disease-related disability; however, the impact increased at higher levels of disease disability. Knowing the impact of NPC on patients and caregivers is important for understanding the lived experience of NPC and for identifying potential areas of support. 

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The impact of pediatric tracheostomy on the quality of life of caregivers

Objective: Pediatric tracheostomy is a challenge in otolaryngology practice and it is associated with greater morbidity and mortality than in adults; hence, constant vigilance by the designated family caregiver is critical. This study was designed to assess the impact of on quality of life of caregivers in a homecare setting as a result of the presence of child with a tracheostomy. Methods: This was a combined retrospective and prospective cohort study with caregivers of children younger than 16 years who had undergone a tracheostomy, had been discharged home with a tracheostomy tube and completed 6 months of domiciliary tracheostomy care. The consenting primary caregivers were assessed for their quality of life based on the PedsQL v 4.0 questionnaires across various domains. Results: We identified the primary caregivers of 85 children who had undergone a tracheostomy during the study period. The children's median age was 3.5 years (range, 9 months to 14 years). The mean caregiver health-related quality of life (HRQOL) score was 59.3, the mean family functioning score was 62.8, and the mean total family impact score was 54.7 with relative deficits seen in caregiver's social functioning (56.9) and emotional functioning (53.2). Good or average quality of physical and social function was seen among 74 % and 65 % of caregivers respectively while only 55 % were reported having good or average emotional function. Emotional disturbance, interfering with everyday family activities, and sleep disturbance were the major concerns among caregivers. Conclusion: The biopsychosocial consequences of caring for a child with a tracheostomy are profound for the family, affecting the quality of life of caregivers and adding to the emotional and social burden of the child's family. 

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The impact of patient delirium in the intensive care unit: patterns of anxiety symptoms in family caregivers

Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the association of patient delirium in the intensive care unit (ICU) with patterns of anxiety symptoms in family caregivers when delirium was determined by clinical assessment and family-administered delirium detection. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, consecutive adult patients anticipated to remain in the ICU for longer than 24 h were eligible for participation given at least one present family caregiver (e.g., spouse, friend) provided informed consent (to be enrolled as a dyad) and were eligible for delirium detection (i.e., Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale score ≥ − 3). Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) was used to assess self-reported symptoms of anxiety. Clinical assessment (Confusion Assessment Method for ICU, CAM-ICU) and family-administered delirium detection (Sour Seven) were completed once daily for up to five days. Results: We included 147 family caregivers; the mean age was 54.3 years (standard deviation [SD] 14.3 years) and 74% (n = 129) were female. Fifty (34% [95% confidence interval [CI] 26.4–42.2]) caregivers experienced clinically significant symptoms of anxiety (median GAD-7 score 16.0 [interquartile range 6]). The most prevalent symptoms of anxiety were “Feeling nervous, anxious or on edge” (96.0% [95%CI 85.2–99.0]); “Not being able to stop or control worrying” (88.0% [95%CI 75.6–94.5]; “Worrying too much about different things” and “Feeling afraid as if something awful might happen” (84.0% [95%CI 71.0–91.8], for both). Family caregivers of critically ill adults with delirium were significantly more likely to report “Worrying too much about different things” more than half of the time (CAM-ICU, Odds Ratio [OR] 2.27 [95%CI 1.04–4.91]; Sour Seven, OR 2.28 [95%CI 1.00–5.23]). Conclusions: Family caregivers of critically ill adults with delirium frequently experience clinically significant anxiety and are significantly more likely to report frequently worrying too much about different things. Future work is needed to develop mental health interventions for the diversity of anxiety symptoms experienced by family members of critically ill patients. Trial registration: This study is registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03379129). 

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Family caregivers' perceptions about patients' dying and death quality influence their grief intensity

Aims and objectives: To understand the influence of family caregivers' perceptions about patients' dying and death quality on their grief intensity. Background: Dying patients and their family caregivers face life-limiting illness together, and they work jointly to negotiate shared understandings and mutual adaptation to losses. Methods: Cross-sectional data were collected via an online survey. The manuscript followed the STROBE report guideline. Methods: Family caregivers of patients who had died within 8–365 days prior were recruited. The Quality of Dying and Death Questionnaire (QDDQ) (translated into Mandarin) and the Chinese Grief Reaction Assessment Form (GRAF) were used to measure the two key variables. Multivariate linear regression was performed to explore the links between the two variables while controlling for potential confounders. Results: Data were collected from 170 bereaved Chinese caregivers, and 150 cases were involved in the analysis. The four-factor structure of the QDDQ was appropriate for Chinese participants. After controlling whether end-of-life care was provided and families' satisfaction with physicians' and nurses' services, regressions revealed that more intense grief of the bereaved caregivers was associated with better symptom control for and worse transcendence of the deceased patient. Moreover, those who believed that the deceased had fulfilled his or her family duties before death experienced less intense grief, and the participant's relationship with the deceased also made a difference. Conclusion: Two aspects of patients' dying and death quality perceived by family caregivers, namely symptom control and transcendence, have opposite influences on caregivers' grief intensity. 

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Relationship between expression of gratitude by home-based care receivers and caregiver burden among family caregivers

Backgrounds: We focused on the frequency of “gratitude” expressed by home-based care receivers towards family caregivers before they were in the condition that needed care and investigated the relationship with caregiver burden. Methods: This cross-sectional online survey was completed by 700 family caregivers in Japan. Caregiver burden was assessed using the Zarit Burden Interview. Caregivers with a score of ≤ 19 were defined as having mild caregiver burden, those with a score of 20 to 38 as having moderate, and those with a score of > 38 as having severe. Additionally, caregivers were asked, “How often did you get a ‘thank you’ from your care receiver before they were in a condition that needed care?” Answers were scored using a 11-point Likert scale. Answers with scores 0-2 were defined as low frequency of gratitude, 3-6 as middle, and 7-10 as high. Results: Among all caregivers, 233 (33.3%), 229 (32.7%) and 238 (34.0%) accounted for having mild, moderate and severe caregiver burden, respectively. High frequencies of gratitude of 48.9%, 43.7%, and 39.1%, respectively, were concluded with a significantly higher rate in the mild than in the severe caregiver burden group (p = 0.03). The results of multinominal logistic regression analysis, even after adjusting for several factors, show that high frequency of gratitude was significantly associated with caregiver burden (p < 0.01, OR: 0.48, 95%CI: 0.28-0.81). Conclusions: We found the frequency of gratitude from the care receiver before they were in the condition that needed care was substantially associated with caregiver burden. 

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Testing a Model of Resilience in Family Members of Relatives with Traumatic Brain Injury vs Spinal Cord Injury: Multigroup Analysis

Objective: To test a model comprising explanatory (neurologic impairment, coping, personality) and mediating (resilience, self-efficacy, hope, social support) variables on psychological adjustment and burden among family caregivers of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) vs spinal cord injury (SCI). Methods: Structural equation modeling with multigroup analysis. Setting: Six rehabilitation centers across New South Wales and Queensland, Australia. Participants: A total of 181 family members (N=181; 131 TBI, 50 SCI). Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, Ways of Coping Questionnaire, General Self-Efficacy Scale, Herth Hope Scale, Medical Outcome Study Social Support Survey; and 4 measures of psychological adjustment including: Caregiver Burden Scale, Medical Outcomes Survey Short Form-36 (SF-36), General Health Questionnaire-28, and Positive and Negative Affect Scale. Results: The model for the aggregated sample demonstrated a very good model fit (χ2=47.42, df=39, ρ=0.167, normed fit index=.962, incremental fit index=.993, Tucker-Lewis index=.985, comparative fit index=.993, root-mean-squared error of approximation=.035). Multi-group analysis found significant commonalities in the pattern of relationships among variables across the 2 groups. In the only differences found, neuroticism was significantly more influential on burden in family members supporting individuals with TBI than family members of individuals with SCI. Furthermore, problem-focused coping was statistically more influential on positive affect in family members of individuals with TBI when compared with family members of individuals with SCI. Conclusions: The study found significant similarities in the patterns of resilience and psychological adjustment among family caregivers of individuals with TBI and SCI. 

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Examination of validity, reliability, and interpretability of a self-reported questionnaire on Occupational Balance in Informal Caregivers (OBI-Care) – A Rasch analysis

Objectives: Informal caregivers often experience a restriction in occupational balance. The self-reported questionnaire on Occupational Balance in Informal Caregivers (OBI-Care) is a measurement instrument to assess occupational balance in informal caregivers. Measurement properties of the German version of the OBI-Care had previously been assessed in parents of preterm infants exclusively. Objectives: Thus, the aim of this study was to examine the measurement properties of the questionnaire in a mixed population of informal caregivers. Methods: A psychometric study was conducted, applying a multicenter cross-sectional design. Measurement properties (construct validity, internal consistency, and interpretability) of each subscale of the German version of the OBI-Care were examined. Construct validity was explored by assessing dimensionality, item fit and overall fit to the Rasch model, and threshold ordering. Internal consistency was examined with inter-item correlations, item-total correlations, Cronbach’s alpha, and person separation index. Interpretability was assessed by inspecting floor and ceiling effects. Results: A total of 196 informal caregivers, 171 (87.2%) female and 25 (12.8%) male participated in this study. Mean age of participants was 52.27 (±12.6) years. Subscale 1 was multidimensional, subscale 2 and subscale 3 were unidimensional. All items demonstrated item fit and overall fit to the Rasch model and displayed ordered thresholds. Cronbach’s Alpha and person separation index values were excellent for each subscale. There was no evidence of ceiling or floor effects. Conclusions: We identified satisfying construct validity, internal consistency, and interpretability. Thus, the findings of this study support the application of the German version of the OBI-Care to assess occupational balance in informal caregivers.

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The burden of caring for adults with depression and suicidal ideation in five large European countries: analysis from the 2020 National Health and Wellness Survey

Background: Suicidal ideation (SI) affects approximately 30-40% of those with major depressive disorder (MDD). To date, studies have examined the substantial humanistic and economic burden to caregivers of persons with MDD, however little is known of the impact of caring for persons with MDD when SI is present. Objectives: This study examined the additional burden imposed on caregivers for persons with unipolar depression and SI in five major European countries. Methods: A retrospective, cross-sectional analysis was conducted in five European countries using 2020 Europe National Health Wellness Survey (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) to compare differences in health and economic outcomes between caregivers of adults with unipolar depression and SI (CAUD-SI) and caregivers of adults with unipolar depression without SI (CAUD-nSI). The outcomes assessed included health-related quality of life (HRQoL; Medical Outcomes Study Short Form [SF-12v2]), health status (Short-Form 6 Dimension [SF-6D], EuroQol 5-Dimension 5-Level [EQ-5D-5L]), Work productivity and activity impairment (WPAI) and healthcare resource utilization (HRU). Linear mixed models and generalized linear mixed models adjusted for covariates were used to compare the two groups on outcomes of interest. Results: Of 62,319 respondents, 0.89% (n = 554) were CAUD-SI and 1.34% (n = 837) were CAUD-nSI. In adjusted models, CAUD-SI reported greater humanistic burden than CAUD-nSI, with lower HRQoL (PCS: 42.7 vs. 45.0, p < 0.001 and MCS: 37.5 vs. 38.9, p = 0.007) and health status (SF-6D: 0.57 vs 0.60, p < 0.001 and EQ-5D-5L: 0.58 vs 0.66, p < 001). CAUD-SI respondents reported significantly higher economic burden than CAUD-nSI respondents for WPAI (percent activity impairment: 64.9% vs. 52.5%, p = 0.026) and HRU (provider visits: 10.0 vs. 7.9, p < 0.001, emergency room visits: 1.49 vs. 0.73, p < 0.001 and hospitalizations: 1.03 vs. 0.52, p < 0.001). Conclusion: In five European countries, caregivers of adults with depression and SI experience additional humanistic and economic burden than caregivers of adults with depression and no SI. Distinguishing caregiver groupings and their unique burden provide important insights for providing targeted support and interventions for both the patient and caregiver.

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Investigating the relationship between quality of life and hope in family caregivers of hemodialysis patients and related factors

Background: Family caregivers of hemodialysis patients are the first and most crucial source of care at home. They experience many problems in the care of hemodialysis patients, which can affect their quality of life and hope, affecting the quality of care provided to patients. Objectives: This study aimed to determine the relationship between quality of life and hope in family caregivers of hemodialysis patients. Methods: A cross-sectional (descriptive-analytical) study performed on 300 family caregivers in the east of Mazandaran province in Iran. Data were collected using the Family Caregiver Quality of Life (FQOL), SF8 and adult hope scale. Data analysis was performed in SPSS version 16, and a P-value of below 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The results showed that, there was a direct and significant relationship between hope and quality of life. However, the quality of life was significantly lower in suburban residents, the unemployed, spouses, people with lower education and income levels, caregivers who cannot leave their patients alone, those living with their patients in the same house, and those taking care of male patients, compared to other participants (P < 0.05). Suburban residents, the unemployed, people with an insufficient level of income, and those living with their patients in the same house had significantly lower hope, compared to other subjects. Conclusion: Since an increase of hope and quality of life of caregivers can cause improved quality of patient care, it is recommended that hope-based educational programs and interventions be implemented for caregivers. 

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Psychometric evaluation of “Family Inventory of Needs” in parents of cancer children

Background: Early childhood cancer creates various challenges in parents' lives and influences new needs, the identification of which requires a valid and reliable tool. Objective:The aim of this study was to translate and validate the Family Inventory of Needs (FIN) with the parents of children with cancer. Method: In this methodological research, 210 parents of children with cancer visiting pediatric oncology referral centers in Iran were selected through convenience sampling, based on the study inclusion criteria. The Farsi version of FIN was developed through translation and back-translation. Face validity as well as construct validity using the confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were performed. The correlation between the score of FIN and the score of Caring Ability of Family Caregivers of Patients with Cancer-mothers’ version (CAFCPC-mother's version) was also calculated in order to evaluate the convergent validity. Furthermore, the stability and internal consistency reliability were investigated using software packages LISREL and SPSS. Results: The results of CFA showed that the single-factor structure of the tool with 20 items has an appropriate fit with the data and is therefore approved. Pearson coefficient (r) of the correlation between the mean scores of the NFI and the CAFCPC-mothers’ version was calculated to be 0.17 (p < 0.01). The Cronbach's alpha of the tool was calculated as 0.90, and the test-retest correlation coefficient as ICC = 0.91. Conclusion: The Farsi version of the FIN has appropriate psychometric properties among the population of Iranian parents of children with cancer. It may therefore be a suitable tool for measuring the emotional, physical, and psychological support provided for the parents of children with cancer. 

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Estimating an exchange-rate between care-related and health-related quality of life outcomes for economic evaluation: An application of the wellbeing valuation method

Background: Quality of life outcomes for family carers and patients may be measured in different ways within the same economic evaluation. Methods: We used the wellbeing valuation method to calculate "exchange rates" between care-related outcomes (the Carer Experience Scale and CarerQoL-7D) and health-related (the EQ-5D-5L) outcomes. Data on quality of life outcomes were collected through a postal quality of life survey in the UK. A random effects model was used to estimate carers' wellbeing as a function of their EQ-5D-5L, Carer Experience Scale (or CarerQoL-7D) and a set of control variables. Results: When life satisfaction was used as the measure of wellbeing, a one-point gain in the Carer Experience Scale (0-100 scale) was equivalent (in wellbeing terms) to a 0.014 gain in EQ-5D-5L value; and a one point gain in the CarerQoL-7D (0-100 scale) was equivalent to a 0.033 gain in EQ-5D-5L. The exchange rate values were reduced when capability was used as the measure of wellbeing. Conclusions: The exchange rates estimated in this study offer a means to place carer and patient outcomes, measured via different quality of life instruments, on a common scale, although there are important issues to consider in operationalising the technique. 

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Effect of Employment Status on the Association Among Sleep, Care Burden, and Negative Affect in Family Caregivers

Objective: To examine the effect of employment status on sleep, care burden, and negative affect among family caregivers (FCs) at home. Methods: An intensive longitudinal design was applied in which 25 FCs underwent in-home assessments for up to 56 days. At baseline, demographic data and employment status were collected. FCs wore a wrist-worn device with an accelerometer to assess objective total sleep time (TST) for consecutive 24-hour periods. FCs answered the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) and Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) every night before sleep. Linear mixed model analysis was used to examine the effect of objective sleep status on ZBI and PANAS scores the following day. Results: Mean participant age was 66.3 ± 10.8 years (72.0% female), and mean survey period was 29.1 ± 9.6 days (866 observations). Mean TST of FCs was 5.7 ± 1.4 hours. In total, 32.0% of FCs were employed either full- or part-time. TST of employed FCs was significantly associated with care burden and negative affect (B = −0.4 and −1.3, respectively); however, positive affect was not associated with TST. FCs who were unemployed experienced less care burden and negative affect (rate of change: −7.7 and −8.0, respectively). Additionally, TST of unemployed FCs was associated with negative affect; thus, when they slept 1 hour longer than their mean TST, they experienced less negative affect the following day. Conclusion: A reduction in TST could lead to increased care burden and more severe negative affect the following day, which may be moderated by employment status. 

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Discordance between family report and clinical assessment of suicide attempts: a prospective study from the emergency department

Background: Developing accurate identification methods for individuals with suicide attempts and providing them with follow-up care and supports can be a vital component of all comprehensive suicide prevention strategies. However, because of the difficulties concerning one’s intentions behind injurious behaviour, identifying suicide attempts is a challenge for families and clinicians. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the differences between family report and clinical assessment for suicide attempts in the emergency department (ED). Methods: A total of 148 patients with suspected suicide attempts (SSAs) and 148 family caregivers in the ED were enrolled. The suicide risk module of the Chinese version of the MINI International Neuropsychiatric Interview and the self-report measure were used to assess those with SSA’s suicidal behaviours. The Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales and semi-structured interviews were used to investigate the characteristics of suicide risk and demographics of patients with SSA, as well as the rate and influencing factors of omitted suicide attempts reported by family caregivers. Results: The underreporting rate for family reported suicide attempts in the ED was 69.0%. The suicide attempts group indicated lower mean scores on perceptions of family resources, adaptability and cohesion. Patients' suicide risk rating (OR =−1.81, 95% CI: −3.87 to −0.33, p=0.036), family satisfaction (OR =−1.11, 95% CI: −2.29 to −0.06, p=0.048), and caregiver’s age (OR =−1.68, 95% CI: −3.10 to −0.48, p=0.010) might be associated with underreporting by families. If patients committed suicide attempts through a falling injury or medication overdose, their families may have misreported the suicide attempt. Conclusions: The discordance of suicide attempt records between family report and clinical assessment reveals the limitations of family self-reports when identifying suicide attempts. Interviews and observations, together with information from certain diagnoses, should be combined to accurately identify suicide attempters in the ED.

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Development of a short form of the Singapore Caregiver Quality of Life Scale – Dementia: SCQOLS-D-15

Background: The Singapore Caregiver Quality of Life Scale – Dementia (SCQOLS-D), developed based on the Singapore Caregiver Quality of Life Scale (SCQOLS), comprises 5 domains and 63 items. It has been shown to be a valid and reliable measurement scale. Objective: This study aimed to develop and evaluate a short form of the SCQOLS-D. Methods: Data were collected from 102 family caregivers of person with dementia in Singapore. Candidate items were shortlisted by factor analysis, correlation and best subset regression. Shortlisted items with the best measurement properties including correlations with the long form and other established measures, internal consistency and test-retest reliability were identified. Their properties were compared with the corresponding domain scores in the long form of SCQOLS-D and a short form of the SCQOLS. A total score based on the average of the domain scores was also evaluated. Results: A total of fifteen items, two to four items per domain, were selected. The total and domain scores generated from these items strongly correlated with the corresponding score of the long form (correlation coefficients: 0.83–0.97). The short and long forms had comparable correlation coefficients with Negative Personal Impact and Positive Personal Impact measures. The short form showed good internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha: 0.84–0.92) and test-retest reliability (intra-class correlation coefficient: 0.72–0.93). These 15 items form the SCQOLS-D-15, an abbreviated version of the SCQOLS-D. Conclusion: The SCQOLS-D-15 showed acceptable measurement properties. This serves as an alternative to the SCQOLS-D to provide rapid assessment of the overall and domain-specific quality of life of caregivers of persons with dementia.

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Development and Psychometric Testing of the Caregiver Self-Efficacy in Contributing to Patient Self-Care Scale

Objectives: Caregiver self-efficacy-a caregiver's belief in his/her ability to contribute to patient self-care-is associated with better patient and caregiver outcomes in single chronic conditions. It is, however, unknown if caregiver self-efficacy improves patient and caregiver outcomes in multiple chronic conditions (MCCs) because there is no instrument to measure this variable. We developed the 10-item Caregiver Self-Efficacy in Contributing to patient Self-Care (CSE-CSC) scale for that purpose, and we tested its psychometric characteristics in caregivers of patients with MCCs. Methods: In this cross-sectional multisite study, we tested the structural validity of the CSE-CSC scale with exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, and we tested construct validity by correlating CSE-CSC scores with those of the Caregiver Contributions to Self-Care of Chronic Illness Inventory. We also tested reliability, and precision of the CSE-CSC scale. Results: The 358 enrolled caregivers (mean age 54.6 years; 71.5% female) cared for patients with an average of 3.2 chronic conditions. Structural validity was good, and it showed 2 factors within the scale. Construct validity showed significant correlations between scores of the CSE-CSC scale and the Caregiver Contributions to Self-Care of Chronic Illness Inventory. Reliability coefficients were between 0.90 and 0.97. Measurement error yielded satisfactory results. Conclusions: The CSE-CSC scale is valid, reliable, and precise in measuring caregiver self-efficacy in contributing to patient self-care in MCCs. Because caregiver self-efficacy is a modifiable variable, the CSE-CSC scale can be used in clinical practice and research to improve patient and caregiver outcomes.

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Cross-sectional study evaluating burden and depressive symptoms in family carers of persons with age-related macular degeneration in Australia

Objectives: We aimed to analyse the degree of carer burden and depressive symptoms in family carers of persons with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and explore the factors independently associated with carer burden and depressive symptoms. Methods: Cross-sectional study using self-administered and interviewer-administered surveys, involving 96 family carer-care recipient pairs. Participants were identified from tertiary ophthalmology clinics in Sydney, Australia, as well as the Macular Disease Foundation of Australia database. Logistic regression, Pearson and Spearman correlation analyses were used to investigate associations of explanatory factors (family caregiving experience, carer fatigue, carer quality of life and care-recipient level of dependency) with study outcomes -carer burden and depressive symptoms. Results: Over one in two family carers reported experiencing mild or moderate-severe burden. More than one in five and more than one in three family carers experienced depressive symptoms and substantial fatigue, respectively. High level of care-recipient dependency was associated with greater odds of moderate-severe and mild carer burden, multivariable-adjusted OR 8.42 (95% CI 1.88 to 37.60) and OR 4.26 (95% CI 1.35 to 13.43), respectively. High levels of fatigue were associated with threefold greater odds of the carer experiencing depressive symptoms, multivariable-adjusted OR 3.47 (95% CI 1.00 to 12.05). Conclusions: A substantial degree of morbidity is observed in family carers during the caregiving experience for patients with AMD. Level of dependency on the family carer and fatigue were independently associated with family carer burden and depressive symptoms. Trial registration number: The trial registration number is ACTRN12616001461482. The results presented in this paper are Pre-results stage. 

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Development and psychometric evaluation of the perceived care tension questionnaire for caregivers of hemodialysis patients: A mixed method study

Background: The complex, multifaceted care environment and the threatening situation of caring for hemodialysis patients cause tension in their family caregivers. Due to the severe tension, family caregivers are likely to ignore their basic needs and only pay attention to the patient's needs and related issues. This study was conducted with the aim of designing and evaluating the Perceived Care tension Questionnaire for Caregivers of Hemodialysis Patients (PCTQHFC). Methods: The present study was a sequential exploratory mixed methods study of scale development variant conducted in two phases: qualitative and quantitative. This study was conducted in 2019 in Shahrekord. The qualitative phase included item development and scale development. In the quantitative phase (Item Analysis), the validation characteristics of the tool were examined using face, content and construct validity, and its reliability by internal consistency and stability. Findings were performed using software SPSS 18. Results: Principal components analysis with orthogonal rotation to generate factors, showed that five factors, namely emotional exhaustion, inadequate social support, care burden, confusion and ambiguity and lack of adaptability skills had an eigenvalue of higher than 1, so that they explained, respectively, 75.98%, 61.36%, 72.49%, 76.33%, and 70.31% of the total variance. The internal consistency was obtained 0.811 and the inter-class correlation coefficient for the whole instrument 0.832. Conclusion: PCTQHFC is a culturally appropriate measure with strong psychometric properties. The instrument designed in this study measures the care tension of hemodialysis patients. Therefore, researchers, health-care providers, and community health policymakers can plan and implement interventions to reduce the tension of caregivers of hemodialysis patients by analyzing and identifying the tensions of caregivers. 

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Caregiver Burden in Schizophrenia and Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Comparative Study

Background: There is no study comparing schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in terms of caregiver burden. Objectives: This study aims to compare the caregiver burden among family members of the patients with schizophrenia and ASD and investigate the predictive factors. Methods: A cross-sectional study with the family members living with and/or providing care to their patients was carried out. A sociodemographic form, the Beck Depression Inventory, the Self-Stigma Inventory for Families, and the Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale were utilized. Regression analyses were conducted to determine the predictive factors for higher burden. Results: Caregiver burden in ASD was significantly higher than in schizophrenia. Regression analysis showed that the predictors of high caregiver burden were the need for self-care (OR=3.6), self-destructive behaviors (OR=3.4), self-stigma (OR=1.1), depression (OR=1.1), and level of income (OR=1.0) for all family members. When the diagnosis was removed from the equation, the factors determining the high burden did not change. Conclusion: This study suggests that characteristics of the illness are stronger predictors than family members' characteristics in explaining high caregiver burden for both illnesses. Psychological, social, and economic supports should be provided for families to help alleviate their caregiving burden.

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Caregiver Burden in Caregivers of Acute Stroke Patients: From a Biopsychosocial Perspective in a Turkey Sample

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate caregiver burden among caregivers of acute stroke patients with a biopsychosocial perspective in a Turkey sample. Methods: 72 stroke patients and 72 their caregivers were included the study. The mean age of the stroke patients included in the study was 65 +/- 12.39. The mean age of caregivers was 44.5 +/- 14 and 66.7% of them were females. Modified Motor Assessment Scale (MMAS), Standardized Mini Mental State Examination (SMMSE) and The Barthel Index (BI) were used to assess the patients with stroke. The caregivers were evaluated by using the Bakas Caregiving Outcomes Scale, Family Sense of Coherence Scale-Short Form (FSOC-S), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), WHOQOL-Bref-Short Form and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS). Results: There were significant positive correlation between the BCOS score and the SMMSE (r=0.36; p=0.002) and BI (r=0.22; p=0.05) scores. A significant positive correlation was found between the BCOS score and MSPSS's family (r=0.31; p=0.007), friend (r=0.41; p<0.01) and special human (r=0.46; p<0.01) sub-parameters. In addition, there were significant positive correlations between BCOS score and the physical (r=0.35; p=0.02) and environmental (r=0.42; p<0.01) sub-dimensions of the WHOQOL-BREF, also HADS Depression sub-score (r=0.93; p=0.01). Correlations between BCOS score and patients' age, MMAS, FSOC-S, scores and HAD Anxiety sub-score were not statistically significant (p>0.05). Conclusion: The cognitive function and independence level of the patients is associated with care burden. Furthermore, psychosocial features such as poor social functioning, quality of life and emotional health of caregiver have adverse effects on caregiver burden.

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Care Associated With Satisfaction of Bereaved Family Members of Terminally Ill Cancer Patients With Dyspnea: A Cross-sectional Nationwide Survey

Background: Terminal dyspnea in dying cancer patients is frequent and distressing, and the impact extends to their families. Families are often involved in providing care for terminal dyspnea. Objectives: This study aimed to describe various care strategies for terminal dyspnea in cancer patients hospitalized in palliative care units (PCUs), evaluate families' satisfaction with care for terminal dyspnea, and explore determinants contributing to families' satisfaction. Methods: A nationwide, cross-sectional survey was conducted using a self-reported questionnaire among bereaved families of cancer patients who died in PCUs. The questionnaire consisted of questions on the perceptions of care offered to patients with terminal dyspnea and their families, satisfaction with care for terminal dyspnea, family-perceived intensity of terminal dyspnea, use of oxygen, and background data of patients and families. Results: In total, 533 participants (response rate = 54%) returned the completed questionnaires, and 231 reported that their loved one had experienced terminal dyspnea. Dedicated and compassionate care was perceived by 60%–89% of the participants as the strategy provided for patients. Care for family members was perceived by 58%–69% of the participants. Perception of dedicated and compassionate care for patients and that of care for family members were significantly associated with high satisfaction (odds ratio, 95% confidence interval: 8.64, 3.85–19.36 and 15.37, 5.00–47.25, respectively). Conclusion: Dedicated and compassionate care may be the essential part of the care for terminal dyspnea. Dedicated and compassionate care for patients and care for family members have a potential of improving the care satisfaction among family caregivers.

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New resilience instrument for family caregivers in cancer: a multidimensional item response theory analysis

Objective: Resilience instruments specific to family caregivers (FCs) in cancer are limited. This study was designed to validate the 10-item Resilience Scale Specific to Cancer (RS-SC-10) in FCs using multidimensional item response theory (MIRT) analysis. Methods: 382 FCs were enrolled from Be Resilient to Cancer Program (BRCP) and administered with RS-SC-10 and 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). MIRT was performed to evaluate item parameters while Generalized Additive Model (GAM) and Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) were performed to test the non-linear relationship between resilience (RS-SC-10) and Quality of Life (QoL, SF-36). Results: RS-SC-10 retained 10 items with high multidimensional discrimination, monotonous thresholds and its original two-factor structure (Generic and Shift-Persist). Four latent resilience subgroups were identified and a non-linear dose–response pattern between resilience and QoL was confirmed (per-SD increase OR = 1.62, 95% CI 1.16–2.13, p = 0.0019). Conclusion: RS-SC-10 is a brief and suitable resilience instrument for FCs in cancer. The resilience screening of patients and FCs can be performed simultaneously in clinical practice. 

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Total cost of care increases significantly from early to mild Alzheimer's disease: 5-year ALSOVA follow-up

Background: We studied the costs of formal and informal care in relation to Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression. Methods: 231 persons with AD with a family caregiver were followed up for 5 years. The Clinical Dementia Rating Scale-Sum of Boxes (CDR-SB) was used to measure AD progression. Health and social care unit costs were used for formal care costs. An opportunity cost method for lost leisure time was applied to analyse the cost of informal care. Results: Total cost of care in early stage AD (CDR-SB <= 4) was 16,448(sic) (95% CI 13,722-19,716) annually. In mild (CDR-SB 4.5-9), moderate (CDR-SB 9.5-15.5) and severe (CDR-SB >= 16) AD, the total costs were 2.3, 3.4 and 4.4 times higher, respectively. A one-unit increase in CDR-SB increased the total, formal and informal costs by 15, 11 and 18%, respectively. Conclusions: Compared to early AD, the costs of total, formal and informal care are remarkably higher already in mild AD. This finding emphasises early diagnosis, interventions and family support for persons with AD and their caregivers.

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Designing a need-based program for relieving psychological distress of family caregivers of leukemia patients: a randomized controlled trial

Background: The family of leukemia patients, due to their caring role, often feels psychological distress. A practical need-based program carefully considers the set of requirements of nursing service recipients. This paper illustrates the efficacy of a designed family-need-based program on relieving stress, anxiety, and depression of family caregivers of leukemia patients. Methods: In this controlled trial, sixty-four family caregivers of leukemia patients referring to a medical center in Iran were recruited by convenience sampling and randomly divided into study and control groups. The study group attended a designed need-based program. The control group did not receive the intervention. Stress, anxiety, and depression of both groups were simultaneously measured and compared in three time-points using the scale of stress, anxiety, and depression (DASS-42). Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: Before the program, the average scores of stress, anxiety, and depression were 31.16 ± 4.14, 21.37 ± 6.31, and 27.56 ± 4.24 for the study group and 31.09 ± 4.48, 20.34 ± 6.56, and 28.78 ± 4.72 for the control group. After the program, the average scores of stress, anxiety, and depression were 10.56 ± 3.37, 6.75 ± 2.99, and 7.37 ± 2.76 for the study group and 34.87 ± 2.51, 23.65 ± 4.96, and 32.56 ± 3.49 for the control group, respectively. Results of the independent t test indicated no considerable difference before the program (P > 0.05) and a significant difference after the program (P < 0.001) between the two groups. Conclusion: This family-need-based program can decrease the level of stress, anxiety, and depression of the family caregivers of leukemia patients and may potentially alleviate the psychological distress of family caregivers over their caring role. 

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Work ability of informal caregivers of patients treated by the public home care service of Brazil: A cross-sectional study

Background: Informal caregivers are subject to a heavy work burden, which can have negative repercussions on their work ability. Objectives: This cross-sectional study with 70 informal caregivers aims to evaluate the work ability of informal caregivers caring at home for patients followed by the Public Home Care Service in Bauru, Brazil, as well as to investigate its associated factors. Methods: The association between work ability and the variables under study was estimated using simple and multiple logistic regression models, including a hierarchical model. Work ability, care-related burden, sleep quality and quality of life were assessed through the Work Ability Index, the Zarit Burden Interview Scale, the Mini-sleep Questionnaire, and the 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey, respectively. Results: Almost 36% of the informal caregivers had an inadequate work ability. The variables that increased the probability of an adequate work ability were quality of life (OR: 0.94; CI: 0.92–0.97) and self-perceived physical fitness (OR: 0.32; CI: 0.17–0.60), while those that reduced the likelihood of adequate work ability were age (OR: 1.06; CI: 1.02–1.13), burden (OR: 1.05; CI: 1.01–1.10) and poor sleep quality (OR: 1.07; CI: 1.01–1.12). Conclusions: It is necessary to develop public health policies aimed at informal caregivers who, due to their informality, are not seen as workers. 

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Can a Dyadic Resiliency Program Improve Quality of Life in Cognitively Intact Dyads of Neuro-ICU Survivors and Informal Caregivers? Results from a Pilot RCT

Background: Neuro-ICU hospitalization for an acute neurological illness is often traumatic and associated with heightened emotional distress and reduced quality of life (QoL) for both survivors and their informal caregivers (i.e., family and friends providing unpaid care). In a pilot study, we previously showed that a dyadic (survivor and caregiver together) resiliency intervention (Recovering Together [RT]) was feasible and associated with sustained improvement in emotional distress when compared with an attention placebo educational control. Here we report on changes in secondary outcomes assessing QoL. Methods: Survivors (n = 58) and informal caregivers (n = 58) completed assessments at bedside and were randomly assigned to participate together as a dyad in the RT or control intervention (both 6 weeks, two in-person sessions at bedside and four sessions via live video post discharge). We measured QoL domain scores (physical health, psychological, social relations, and environmental), general QoL, and QoL satisfaction using the World Health Organization Quality of Life Abbreviated Instrument at baseline, post treatment, and 3 months’ follow-up. We conducted mixed model analyses of variance with linear contrasts to estimate (1) within-group changes in QoL from baseline to post treatment and from post treatment to 3 months’ follow-up and (2) between-group differences in changes in QoL from baseline to post treatment and from post treatment to 3 months’ follow-up. Results: We found significant within-group improvements from baseline to post treatment among RT survivors for physical health QoL (mean difference 1.73; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.39–3.06; p = 0.012), environmental QoL (mean difference 1.29; 95% CI 0.21–2.36; p = 0.020), general QoL (mean difference 0.55; 95% CI 0.13–0.973; p = 0.011), and QoL satisfaction (mean difference 0.87; 95% CI 0.36–1.37; p = 0.001), and those improvements sustained through the 3-month follow-up. We found no significant between-group improvements for survivors or caregivers from baseline to post treatment or from post treatment to 3 months’ follow-up for any QoL variables (i.e., domains, general QoL, and QoL satisfaction together). Conclusions: In this pilot study, we found improved QoL among survivors, but not in caregivers, who received RT and improvements sustained over time. These RT-related improvements were not significantly greater than those observed in the control. Results support a fully powered randomized controlled trial to allow for a definitive evaluation of RT-related effects among dyads of survivors of acute brain injury and their caregivers. 

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Burden of informal care in stroke survivors and its determinants: a prospective observational study in an Asian setting

Background: Informal caregiving is an integral part of post-stroke recovery with strenuous caregiving demands often resulting in caregiving burden, threatening sustainability of caregiving and potentially impacting stroke survivor’s outcomes. Objectives: Our study aimed to examine and quantify objective and subjective informal care burden after stroke; and to explore the factors associated with informal care burden in Singapore. Methods: Stroke patients and their informal caregivers were recruited from all five tertiary hospitals in Singapore from December 2010 to September 2013. Informal care comprised of assistance provided by informal caregivers with any of the activities of daily living. Informal care burden was measured by patients’ likelihood of requiring informal care, hours of informal care required, and informal caregivers’ Zarit’s Burden Score. We examined informal care burden at 3-months and 12-months post-stroke. Generalized linear regressions were applied with control variables including patients’ and informal caregivers’ demographic characteristics, arrangement of informal care, and patients’ health status including stroke severity (measured using National Institute of Health Stroke Scale), functional status (measured using Modified Rankin Scale), self-reported depression, and common comorbidities. Results: Three hundred and five patients and 263 patients were examined at 3-months and 12-months. Around 35% were female and 60% were Chinese. Sixty three percent and 49% of the patients required informal care at 3-months and 12-months point, respectively. Among those who required informal care, average hours required per week were 64.3 h at 3-months and 76.6 h at 12-months point. Patients with higher functional dependency were more likely to require informal care at both time points, and required more hours of informal care at 3-months point. Female informal caregivers and those caring for patients with higher functional dependency reported higher Zarit’s Burden. While informal caregivers who worked full-time reported higher burden, those caring for married stroke patients reported lower burden at 3-months point. Informal caregivers who co-cared with foreign domestic workers, i.e.: stay-in migrant female waged domestic workers, reported lower burden. Conclusions: Informal care burden remains high up to 12-months post-stroke. Factors such as functional dependency, stroke severity, informal caregiver gender and co-caring with foreign domestic workers were associated with informal care burden.

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Association Between Caregiver Depression and Elder Mistreatment-Examining the Moderating Effect of Care Recipient Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Caregiver-Perceived Burden

Objectives: To examine the association between caregiver (CG) depression and increase in elder mistreatment and to investigate whether change in care recipient (CR) neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) and change in CG-perceived burden influence this association. Methods: Using 2-year longitudinal data, we analyzed a consecutive sample of 800 Chinese primary family CGs and their CRs with mild cognitive impairment or mild-to-moderate dementia recruited from the geriatric and neurological departments of 3 Grade-A hospitals in the People's Republic of China. Participatory dyads were assessed between September 2015 and February 2016 and followed for 2 years. Results: CG depression at baseline was associated with a sharper increase in psychological abuse and neglect. For CRs with increased NPS, having a depressed CG predicted a higher level of psychological abuse than for those CRs without NPS. For CGs with decreased burden, the level of depression was associated with a slower increase in neglect than for CGs who remained low burden. Discussion: This study showed the differential impact of CG depression on the increase in elder mistreatment depending on the change in CR NPS and CG-perceived burden. Conclusions: The present findings provide valuable insights into the design of a systematic and integrative intervention protocol for elder mistreatment that simultaneously focuses on treating CG depression and perceived burden and CR NPS.

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A psychometric evaluation of the Caregiver Contribution to Self-Care of Heart Failure Index in a Thai population

Background: Caregivers are major contributor to the self-care of patients with heart failure. The Caregiver Contribution to Self-Care of Heart Failure Index (CC-SCHFI) measures these contributions across three scales: self-care maintenance (symptom monitoring and treatment adherence); self-care management (dealing with symptoms); and confidence in contributing to the self-care (self-efficacy in managing self-care) of patients with heart failure. Informal caregivers play a vital role in supporting family members with heart failure in Thailand, yet no validated tool exists to measure their contribution. We examined the psychometric properties of the CC-SCHFI in a Thai population. Methods: The CC-SCHFI was translated into Thai using a standard forward and backward translation procedure. A cross-sectional design was used to examine the psychometric properties of the Thai version of the CC-SCHFI in 100 family caregivers of heart failure patients in Southern Thailand. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to assess construct validity, and factor score determinacy coefficients were computed to evaluate internal consistency reliability. Results: The Thai version of the CC-SCHFI demonstrated acceptable internal consistency (composite reliability of each scale ranged from 0.76 to 0.99). Reliability estimates were adequate for each scale (McDonald’s omega ranged from 0.75 to 0.96). Confirmatory factor analysis supported the original factor structure of the instrument, with good fit indices for all three scales (comparative fit index = 0.98–1.00; root-mean-square error of approximation = 0.00–0.07). Conclusions: The Thai version of the CC-SCHFI appears to be a valid and reliable instrument for measuring caregiver contributions to self-care maintenance and self-care management as well as contributing to caregiver confidence in the self-care of Thai heart failure patients. 

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A multicenter study on quality of life of the “greater patient” in congenital ichthyoses

Background: Autosomal recessive congenital ichthyoses (ARCI) are a genetically heterogeneous group of rare and chronic disorders characterized by generalized skin scaling and hyperkeratosis, erythroderma, and palmoplantar keratoderma. Additional features include ectropion, eclabium, ear deformities, foul-smell, joints contractures and walking problems, recurrent infections, as well as pruritus and pain. No curative therapy is available and disease care mainly relies on daily application of topical emollients and keratolytics to the whole-body surface. Altogether, disease signs and symptoms and treatment modalities have a major impact on quality of life of patients and their caregivers. However, very few studies have evaluated the family disease burden in ARCI. Methods: We have performed an Italian multicenter cross-sectional study to assess the secondary disease impact on family members of pediatric and adult patients with ARCI, using a validated dermatology-specific questionnaire, the family dermatology life quality index (FDLQI). Disease severity was assessed by the dermatologist in each center. Results: Seventy-eight out of 82 patients who were accompanied by at least one family member filled the FDLQI. Forty-eight (61.5%) patients were aged less than 18 years. The mean FDLQI score was 10.3 (median 10), and the most affected dimensions were (1) time needed for care, (2) extra-housework, and (3) household expenditure. Higher total FDLQI score significantly correlated with more severe disease score (P = 0.003). Features associated with greater family burden included recurrent infections (P = 0.004), foul-smell (P = 0.009), palmoplantar keratoderma (P = 0.041), but also presence of scales on the face (P = 0.039) and ear deformities (P = 0.016). Conclusions: Our findings highlight the major socio-economic and psychological burden imposed by ARCI on the QoL of family caregivers. In addition, they show that global evaluation of disease impact also on family members is an essential part of patient-reported outcomes. Finally, our data underline the need to develop specific measures for family support. 

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A Comparison of Caregiver Burden of Patients with Advanced Cancer in Different Palliative Cancer Care Settings

Background: Informal caregivers may experience a significant burden while caring for cancer patients. Little is known about how caregiver burden varies across different palliative cancer care settings and the factors influencing it. Objectives: We compared the severity of caregiver subjective stress burden (emotional impact) among caregivers of patients seen in the outpatient supportive care center (SCC) with those being cared for in the acute palliative care unit (PCU). Secondary aims were to compare other caregiver burden dimensions, quality of life, and any association of caregiver subjective stress burden to various patient and caregiver factors. Methods: Eligible patients and their informal caregivers in the SCC or PCU at a comprehensive cancer center in the USA were approached and enrolled. The Montgomery-Borgatta Caregiver Burden Scale and the Short-form 36 were used to measure burden and quality of life. Multivariate general linear regression was employed to evaluate the effect of covariates on subjective stress burden. Results: Ninety-eight dyads in the SCC and 74 dyads in the PCU were enrolled. PCU caregivers reported worse subjective stress burden (p = 0.0029) and mental health (p = 0.0299). Multivariate analysis showed correlations between subjective stress burden and caregivers' objective burden (p = 0.0136), subjective demand burden (p ≤ 0.0001), mental health (p = 0.0074), duration of caregiving (p = 0.0680), education (p = 0.0192) and with patients' anxiety (p = 0.0003) and current/recent cancer treatment (p = 0.0579). Conclusion: PCU caregivers demonstrated worse emotional burden and mental health than those in the SCC. More research is needed to tailor interventions for various caregiver burden dimensions. NCI Clinical Trial Registration Number ID: NCI-2019-01197 

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The moderating role of perceived social support on early maladaptive schemas and well-being for primary caregivers of dementia patients

Objective: This study aims to investigate the moderating role of perceived social support on early maladaptive schemas and well-being for primary caregivers of dementia patients. Method: Ninety-nine adult children as the primary caregivers of dementia patients participated in the study. They completed the measures of Young Schema Questionnaires-Short Form 3 (YSQ-SF3), Caregiver Well-Being Scale, and Multidimensional scale of perceived social support (MSPSS). Results: According to the results of the regression analyses, total perceived social support and perceived social support from significant others moderated the association of early maladaptive schemas and caregiver well-being-basic needs, unlike the perceived social support from family and perceived social support from friends. For the early maladaptive schemas and caregiver well-being-activities of living association, however, the moderator roles of total perceived social support and perceived social support from different sources were not confirmed. Conclusion: Since caregiving has negative effects on caregivers, it is important to identify the protective factors. The findings emphasize the buffering role of perceived social support from significant others, especially in terms of meeting basic needs, in the caregiving process.

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Validation of the German version of the Family Reported Outcome Measure (FROM-16) to assess the impact of disease on the partner or family member

Background: The Family Reported Outcome Measure (FROM-16) assesses the impact of a patient’s chronic illness on the quality of life (QoL) of the patient’s partner or family members. Objective: The aim of the study was to translate, explore the structure of and validate the FROM-16. Methods: The questionnaire was translated from English into German (forward, backward, four independent translators). Methods: Six interviews with family members were conducted to confirm the questionnaire for linguistic, conceptual, semantic and experiential equivalence and its practicability. The final German translation was tested for internal consistency, reproducibility and test validity. Criterion validity was tested by correlating the scores of the FROM-16 and the Global Health Scale (GHS). Principal component analysis, factor analysis, and confirmatory factor analysis was used to assess the questionnaire’s structure and its domains. Reliability and reproducibility were tested computing the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) using one sample t-test for testing the hypothesis that the difference between the scores was not different from zero. Results: Overall, 83 family members (61% female, median age: 61 years) completed the questionnaire at two different times (mean interval: 22 days). Internal consistency was good for the FROM-16 scores (Cronbach’s α for total score = 0.86). In those with stable GHS, the ICC for the total score was 0.87 and the difference was not different from zero (p = 0.262) indicating reproducible results. A bi-factor model with a general factor including all items, and two sub-factors comprising the items from the original 2-factor construct had the best fit. Conclusions: The German FROM-16 has good reliability, test validity and practicability. It can be considered as an appropriate and generic tool to measure QoL of a patient’s partner or family member. Due to the presence of several cross-loadings we do not recommend the reporting of the scores of the two domains proposed for the original version of FROM-16 when using the German version. Thus, in reporting the results emphasis should be put on the total score. Trial registration: Retrospectively registered: DRKS00021070. 

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A comparison of caregiver burden between long-term care and developmental disability family caregivers

Background: As the United States’ population ages and health concerns rise, the family caregiver occupation will continue to be an integral part of the health care system. Aims: It is important to examine the burden that family caregivers experience so they can seek out additional training and services to maintain their own well-being. The researchers examined caregiver burden from a perspective of developmentally disabled and long-term care. Methods: The researchers examined difference in Zarit scores, guilt, burden and personal strain for 72 caregivers of people with developmental disability (DD) or people with long-term care (LTC) needs. The researchers also examined differences in these based on whether the individual was caregiving for family or “others”. Results: For DD, there were significant differences in Zarit, role strain and personal strain; caring for others has significantly lower scores on these. Role strain was significantly higher than personal strain, which was significantly higher than guilt for both LTC and DD groups. Conclusions: Given these findings, it is important to support family caregivers first and foremost with role strain, especially for those caring for family members with DD. This support could be given through personal counselling, caregiver training, non-profit social service resources, and support groups for family caregivers. 

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Evaluation of care burden and caregiving preparedness in caregivers of patients with epilepsy: A sample in eastern Turkey

Aim: This study was conducted to evaluate the care burden and caregiving preparedness in caregivers of patients with epilepsy. Methods: This descriptive, cross-sectional study evaluated the caregivers of patients with epilepsy who were referred to the neurology outpatient clinic of a university hospital in Erzurum, eastern Turkey, between February 2020 and February 2021. The study was carried out with 147 volunteers among the patients with epilepsy who were referred to the neurology outpatient clinic between the specified dates. The data were collected with Caregiver Question Form, the Brief Disability Questionnaire (BDQ), the Burden Interview (BI), and the Preparedness for Caregiving Scale (PCS). Results: The mean BI score of the caregivers who participated in the study was 43.14 +/- 18.08, their mean PCS score was 14.12 +/- 7.76, and their mean BDQ score was 10.53 +/- 4.65. In the regression analysis conducted, it was found that being married, having little knowledge of patient care, undertaking all of the roles in caregiving and having caregiving duration of 24 months and longer had a negative effect on PCS total score, while having an undergraduate degree and higher had a positive significant effect. It was found that having an undergraduate degree and higher had a negative effect on BI total score, while all of the roles undertaken in caregiving had a positive significant effect on BI total score. It was found that PCS had a negative significant effect on BI total score (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Caregivers of patients with epilepsy had a moderate level of burden and caregiving preparedness, and the patients cared for had a moderate level of disability. Caregiver burden increased as disability of patients with epilepsy and the tasks undertaken in caregiving increased, whereas burden decreased as caregiver education and caregiving preparedness increased.

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Psychosocial Issues Among Primary Caregivers of Patients with Advanced Head and Neck Cancer-A Mixed-method Study

Objectives: This study aims to explore the psychosocial issues faced by the primary caregivers of advanced head and neck cancer patients with the primary objective to understand their experiences within social context. Materials and Methods: Burden and QOL of caregivers (n = 15) were quantified using Zarit Burden Interview schedule and caregiver quality of life index-cancer (CQOLC), respectively. Primary caregivers (n = 10) were interviewed using semi-structured interview schedule. Thematic analysis was employed to analyse the qualitative data. Descriptive statistics was used for quantitative data. Results: Four major themes emerged: (1) Impacts of caregiving, (2) coping with caregiving, (3) caregiver's appraisal of caregiving and (4) caregiver's perception of illness. Majority (73.3%) of the caregivers had QOL below 100. The mean CQOLC score was 73.07 (SD 24.17) and most (46.7%) of the caregivers reported mild-to-moderate burden, while 27% had little to no burden. The mean ZBI score was 32.4 (SD 18.20). Conclusion: Caregiving impacts the physical, emotional, financial and social aspects of caregiver's life. Caregivers adopt active coping strategies to overcome the impacts of caregiving. Family acts as a major source of strength to manage the emotional constraints faced by Indian caregivers. Cultural beliefs and values of caregivers influence their appraisal of caregiving situation. Majority of the caregivers experienced mild-to-moderate burden while most of the caregivers scored low on QOL.

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Correlation between burden and quality of life among family caregiver of patients undergoing hemodialysis

Background: In Indonesia, taking care of sick family member is an obligation for other family members. Family caregivers not only involve in patients’ physical health, but also psychological and financial aspect that sometimes also cause burden for them. However, most of them often ignore their health status and wellbeing. Objectives: Therefore, current study aimed to identify the correlation between burden and quality of life among family caregiver of patients having hemodialysis. This was a cross sectional study in 80 family caregivers. Methods: Data were collected using Zarit Burden Inventory and SF-36. Pearson Correlation test was performed. It is found that most of the caregiver of patient undergoing hemodialysis was the spouse (62.8%). As many as 53.8% family caregiver experienced no burden in taking care of patients. Overall, they showed a moderate score in 8 domain of quality of life. Burden was significantly correlated with general health (p = 0.001), bodily pain (p = 0.002), social functioning (p = 0.035), role-functioning physical (p = 0.043), and role-functioning emotional (p = 0.048). Conclusions: To sum up, most of family caregiver felt no burden in taking care of patients undergoing hemodialysis and it is correlated with their quality of life. Thus, in taking care patients undergoing hemodialysis, nurses should also pay attention to their family caregiver. 

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Assessing psychosocial interventions for informal caregivers of older people with early dementia: A systematic review of randomized controlled evidence

Background: Dementia affects not only the patients, but also the caregivers. Timely targeted supporting for informal caregivers of people with dementia can improve their health and life quality, as well as contribute to sustainable healthcare. However, which interventions could efficiently support them and why still remains unclear. Objectives: This systematic review aims to close this gap by critically assessing the current state of randomized controlled evidence concerning informal caregivers of older people with early dementia. Methods: We searched the electronic databases PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, Cochrane and Web of Science and assessed the methodological quality of the selected studies using the validated PEDro scale. A total of 2067 studies were identified in the initial searching, and 29 randomized controlled studies were finally selected based on the rigorous inclusion and exclusion criteria. Conclusions: Through completely assessing the methodological quality of studies, and the essentials and effectiveness of the 22 different types of interventions, we identified which interventions were effective and why. Timely targeted interventions for this caregiver group remains scarce. Furthermore, we highlight that there is a lack of systematic caregiver needs assessments prior to or when delivering the interventions. 

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A comprehensive assessment of informal caregivers of patients in a primary healthcare home-care program

Background: Studies of the characteristics of informal caregivers and associated factors have focused on care-receiver disease or caregiver social and psychological traits; however, an integral description may provide better understanding of informal caregivers’ problems. Methods: A multicenter cross-sectional study in primary healthcare centers was performed in Barcelona (Spain). Participants were a random sample of informal caregivers of patients in a home-care program. Findings: Primary outcomes were health-related quality of life and caregiver burden, and related factors were sociodemographic data, clinical and risk factors, social support and social characteristics, use of healthcare services, and care receivers’ status. In total, 104 informal caregivers were included (mean age 68.25 years); 81.73% were female, 54.81% were retired, 58.65% had high comorbidity, and 48.08% of care receivers had severe dependence. Adjusted multivariate regression models showed health-related quality of life and the caregivers’ burden were affected by comorbidity, age, time of care, and dependency of care receiver, while social support and depression also showed relative importance. Aging, chronic diseases, and comorbidity should be included when explaining informal caregivers’ health status and wellbeing. Conclusions: The effectiveness of interventions to support informal caregivers should comprehensively evaluate caregivers when designing programs, centering interventions on informal caregivers and not care receivers’ conditions. : 

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‘How to cope with stress?’ Determinants of coping strategies used by parents raising children with intellectual disabilities, other developmental disorders and typically developing children. A cross-sectional study from Poland

Introduction: Constructive coping strategies play an important role during childcare processes. We examined the determinants of coping strategies used by parents raising children with intellectual disabilities or other developmental disorders and by parents with typically developing children. Methods: The cross-sectional study was carried out in Cracow. The participants in the survey were 507 caregivers. The research used the Mini-COPE Inventory for Measurement-Coping with Stress and the General Self-Efficacy Scale. Results: Parents of disabled children and parents of children without disabilities used the strategy of active coping most often and the strategy of substance use the least. Sociodemographic variables such as age, place of residence, education, and sociodemographic situation determined the type of strategy for dealing with stress. The statistical analysis showed the relationship between parents' self-efficacy and type of coping strategy. Conclusion: There is a need to develop individualized family psychological support programs to stimulate caregivers' constructive coping strategies.

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When Financial Health Is Tied to Mental Health: Predictors of Hospice Cancer Caregivers' Psychological Well-Being (SCI949)

Objectives: Identify 2-4 factors sociodemographic, caregiving, or economic factors associated with cancer caregivers' mental health outcomes during hospice. Evaluate how financial well-being affects the mental health of cancer caregivers and discuss implications for policy and practice. Background: End-of-life caregiving is associated with poorer mental health which may impact bereavement. Research Objectives To examine the sociodemographic, caregiving, and economic characteristics of mental health among hospice family caregivers of cancer patients. Methods: Informal caregivers were purposively recruited from hospices from four states. Participants completed demographic, caregiving, and mental health survey items. The Medical Outcomes Social Support Survey (α=0.85), Zarit Caregiving Burden Inventory (α=0.89), PROMIS mental health subscale (α=0.80), Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (anxiety- α=0.88; depression α=0.80), and the Positive Affect and Well-being Scale (α=0.94) were administered. Hierarchical linear regression models (base models: sociodemographic factors, final models: sociodemographic and caregiving factors) were generated in SPSS version 24 with significance set at p<0.05. Results: Data from 102 informal caregivers were analyzed. Participants had a mean age of 58.93 years (SD=14.24). Majority of participants were female (72.55%), spouses (51.96%), and non-Hispanic White (80.00%). Over 60% cared for patients for less than 2 years, 51.96% had less than a college degree, and 46.53% were not employed. Most (77.78%) described their financial situation as comfortable or more than adequate. Controlling for sociodemographic and caregiving characteristics, higher financial satisfaction (B=1.47), social support (B=0.05), and lower caregiving burden (B=-0.11) were associated with more positive overall mental health (R2=0.56, ΔR2=0.27, p<0.001). Younger age (B=-0.11) and higher caregiving burden (B=0.17) were associated with increased anxiety (R2= 0.46, ΔR2=0.15, p<0.001) while financial satisfaction (B=-1.26), lower social support (B=-0.04), and higher caregiving burden (B=0.16) were associated with depression (R2=0.47, ΔR2= 0.26, p<0.001). Less proximal caregiving relationship (child vs. spouse; other relationship vs. child; B=2.14), financial satisfaction (B=2.03), social support (B=0.10), and lower caregiving burden (B=-0.26) were associated with greater well-being (R2=0.48, ΔR2=0.27, p<0.001). Conclusion: Financial satisfaction remains a major factor of caregivers' psychological well-being even after controlling for other variables. Implications for Research, Policy, or Practice This study identifies subgroups of caregivers who may benefit from additional hospice support services.

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Validity and reliability of the Spanish caregiver reaction assessment scale for caregivers of people with dementia

Aim: Of the few instruments available to measure the important, positive aspects of caring, the Caregiver Reaction Assessment is regarded as the most suitable, but there is no validated Spanish version. The aim of this study was to translate the Caregiver Reaction Assessment into Spanish and assess its psychometric properties. Methods: The Caregiver Reaction Assessment was translated into Spanish and then back translated. Validation included construct validity, criterion validity and reliability: 287 interviews were conducted with informal caregivers of patients with dementia between November 2010 and April 2012. Results: Principal component analysis confirmed the original instrument's five subscales. Criterion validity showed a moderate negative correlation between the impact on health and the EQ‐5D (r = −.43), that is, a greater impact on health correlated with lower health‐related quality of life. The Caregiver Reaction Assessment showed good internal consistency, with a Cronbach alpha of .804, and good temporal stability for the distinct subscales, with intraclass correlation coefficients varying from .683 to .729 (p < .001). Conclusion: The Caregiver Reaction Assessment is a reliable, valid instrument for the measurement of the reactions of informal caregivers of patients with dementia, with good psychometric properties.

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Validating the Chinese version of the Cancer Survivors' Partners Unmet Needs measure (C‐CaSPUN) and exploring unmet needs in Chinese cancer survivor–family caregiver dyads

Objectives: To evaluate the psychometric properties of the C‐CaSPUN in Chinese family caregivers (FCs) of cancer survivors (CaS) and to compare the unmet needs of CaS‐FC dyads. Methods: A questionnaire survey, consisting of five Chinese version measurement scales, was used to collect data from CaS‐FC dyads. Statistical methods used included exploratory factor analysis (EFA), confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), Cronbach's α, intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and Pearson's correlation. Results: Participants consisted of 610 survivor–caregiver dyads. EFA and CFA established the four‐factor construct C‐CaSPUN, comprising relationship impact and life perspective, information and health care, quality of life (QoL) and survivorship care. All of the C‐CaSPUN scales had good internal reliability (Cronbach's α ≥ 0.752). The ICC for test–retest ranged from 0.645 to 0.782 at the scale level, with an average ICC value of 0.653. The concurrent validity was evidenced by C‐CaSPUN being negatively associated with SF‐12 MCS and positively related to anxiety and/or depression. In addition, the correlation coefficient scores between C‐CaSPUN factors and the C‐CaSUN total scale ranged from moderate to good (r = 0.505–0.671). Conclusions: Study findings may support the reliability and validity of the C‐CaSPUN in measuring the unmet needs of FCs of Chinese CaS.

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Transcultural adaptation and psychometric properties of Family Quality of Life Survey for caregivers of people with neurodegenerative disease: a study of Spanish families who live in the rural Spain-Portugal cross-border

Background: Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are one of the main causes of disability and dependence that have a great impact both on the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families. A majority of people with NDs receive care and support from the family, but there is no tool in Spain with which to measure whole-family QOL. The aim of this study was the translation, cultural adaptation, and validation of the FQOLS-Dementia into Spanish to assess FQOL among family members of individuals with NDs who live in the Spain-Portugal cross-border area. Method: The Spanish version was translated and adapted following the international guidelines for cross-cultural adaptation tests. A sample of 300 family caregivers was interviewed, applying an adapted version of the Family Quality Survey (FQOLS-Dementia). Confirmatory factor analysis was performed to validate the factor structure, and convergent validity was examined with Pearson's correlation coefficients of the global FQOL with the domains. Internal consistency reliability was determined using Cronbach's alpha. Results: The domain structure of the FQOLS-ND showed a good fit. In the convergent validity, it was found that the total score and the subscale domain scores were associated with the global FQOL score, except for the Values domain. Internal consistency of nine domain subscales was strong (α = 0.80 to 0.91), and excellent for the total FQOL (α = 0.85) and the global FQOL (α = 0.87). Conclusion: The FQOLS-ND presented good validity and reliability in caregiver families with individuals with ND, so its application shows its usefulness in detecting areas of improvement and intervention strategies for FQOL in the Spain-Portugal cross-border area. 

 

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Trajectories of Informal Caregiving to the Oldest-old: A One-year Follow-up Study

Objectives: This study aimed to analyze caregivers and care recipients’ health characteristics and caregiving context changes during a one-year follow-up. Methods: A total of 204 informal caregivers and oldest-old care recipients ( ≥ 80 years) were assessed on two occasions, 12 months apart. Information was retrieved on the dyad’s sociodemographic profile, caregiver’s health/caregiving outcomes, care recipients’ dependency level, and caregiving context. Descriptive analysis was performed for all variables and comparisons between the two moments using paired t tests or McNemar tests. Results: Caregiving hours, caregiver burden, and negative aspects of caregiving got significantly worse over one year. The number of unmet needs, in-home services utilization, and self-perception of mental health improved. Care recipients declined in their functional and health status and on their cognitive performance. Conclusions: This study provides information about caregiving trajectory changes over one year and stresses a probable caregiver adaptation even when facing increasing caregiving demands.

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Supporting family caregivers to identify their own needs in end-of-life care: Qualitative findings from a stepped wedge cluster trial

Introduction: The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool encompasses the physical, psychological, social, practical, financial, and spiritual support needs that government policies in many countries emphasize should be assessed and addressed for family caregivers during end-of-life care. Aim: To describe the experience of family caregivers of terminally ill people of the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool intervention in home-based palliative care. Methods: This study was conducted during 2012-2014 in Silver Chain Hospice Care Service in Western Australia. This article reports on one part of a three-part evaluation of a stepped wedge cluster trial. All 233 family caregivers receiving the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool intervention provided feedback on their experiences via brief end-of-trial semi-structured telephone interviews. Data were subjected to a thematic analysis. Results: The overwhelming majority reported finding the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool assessment process straightforward and easy. Four key themes were identified: (1) the practicality and usefulness of the systematic assessment; (2) emotional responses to caregiver reflection; (3) validation, reassurance, and empowerment; and (4) accessing support and how this was experienced. Conclusion: Family caregivers appreciated the value of the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool intervention in engaging them in conversations about their needs, priorities, and solutions. The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool presented a simple, yet potentially effective intervention to help palliative care providers systematically assess and address family caregivers' needs. The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool provided a formal structure to facilitate discussions with family caregivers to enable needs to be addressed. Such discussions can also inform an evidence base for the ongoing development of services for family caregivers, ensuring that new or improved services are designed to meet the explicit needs of family caregivers. 

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Sociodemographic and clinical variables related to the overburden of the informal caregivers of patients hospitalized for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations

Objective: To increase our knowledge of the patient variables related to the overburden of the caregivers of patients with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPDs). Methodology: This was a cross-sectional study of patients with severe COPD who have informal caregivers. We performed a multivariate analysis of sociodemographic (economic situation, care, dependence, social risk, and use of social services) and clinical (degree of dyspnea, previous hospitalizations, disease impact, pulmonary function, and comorbidity) factors and related these to the burden of informal caregivers, as evaluated using the Zarit scale. Results: The study included 91 patients, age 72.6±8.7 years and 80 were male (89.7%); the mean modified Medical Research Council dyspnea scale (mMRC) score was 2.5±0.8; mean FEV1 was 39.5 ± 13.2%; and 70 patients (76.9%) were dependent for basic activities. Of the informal caregivers, 90 (90.9%) were women, 49 (49.4%) were partners or spouses, and 29 (29.6%) were daughters. The mean Zarit questionnaire score was 51.4±14.2, with 63 of carers (69.2%) perceiving some overburden, and 34 (37.4%) describing the overburden as mild–moderate. The variables related to informal caregiver overburden in the multivariate study were the previous use of social resources [OR = 8.1 (95% CI = 1.03–69.9); p = 0.04], degree of mMRC dyspnea 3–4 [OR =4.7 (95% CI = 1.7–13.2); p = 0.003], and two or more admissions for AEPOC in the previous year [OR = 4.5 (95% CI = 1.7–13.2); p = 0.003]. Of the informal caregivers of patients who had presented two or more of these variables, 92.3% perceived an overburden. Conclusion: The variables associated with overburden are easily accessible in patient medical records, or can be obtained by interviewing patients or their relatives. This informa-tion would allow to detect and assess the overburden of informal caregivers to provide an early warning of this problem. © 2021 Fernández-García et al.

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Social Interactions between Family and Community-Based Service Providers in Dementia Caregiving

Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the psychosocial experiences in community-based dementia caregiving by assessing the characteristics of social interactions between family caregivers and community-based service providers and associated psychological responses. Methods: Two independent groups of participants (family caregivers and community-based service providers) completed a one-time survey to report their social interactions and psychological states. A linear regression model was fit for each outcome (satisfaction, 10-item CES-D) while controlling for significant relevant covariates. Results: Higher perceived levels of collaboration were associated with higher job satisfaction and lower depression score among service providers, and higher satisfaction with providers among family caregivers. Higher perceived social support from the provider was associated with higher satisfaction among family caregivers. Conclusions: Participants reported varying levels of provider-family collaboration. The extent of collaborations and support exchange may have implications on the psychological well-being of those providing care to individuals with dementia including families and providers. Clinical implications: It may be beneficial to identify providers and families who perceive low levels of collaboration and implement intervention to facilitate positive social interactions. Developing organizational culture and payment systems that value high-quality social interactions may help enhance the psychological well-being of service providers and satisfaction among families who receive their services. 

 

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Short-term impacts of COVID-19 on family caregivers: Emotion regulation, coping, and mental health

Background: The negative mental health impact of coronavirus disease 2019-related stressors may be heightened for those caring for children, who bear responsibity for their welfare during disasters. Aim: Based on the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping, we inquired whether caregivers' emotion regulation and coping behavior were associated with posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Materials & Methods: Data were collected through a national online survey in April 2020, and again 60 days later. Results: Of the 801 longitudinal cases, 176 (63.6% female; mean age = 33.5) reported caring for minors in their homes during the pandemic. Over 20% of caregivers experienced clinically concerning PTSS, rates higher than their noncaregiving counterparts. Regression analysis indicates caregivers' baseline mental health symptoms and emotion regulation predicted PTSS 60 days later. Discussion: Implications for needed parenting supports among families experiencing traumatic stress are provided. Conclusion: Anxiety symptoms at baseline were the most significant and consistent contributor to all models and were significantly higher among those with clinically concerning levels of PTSS suggesting a clear intervention target.

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Self-Reported Physical and Mental Health of Informal Caregivers of Emergency Service Workers

Background: Emergency service workers (ESWs) are at increased risk of experiencing mental health symptoms. Little is known about the health impact of providing informal care to ESWs (e.g., their family and friends). Objectives: We aimed to examine the health of Australian ESWs and their informal caregivers compared to the general population, using baseline data from ESWs enrolled in an intervention study. Methods: Outcomes included psychological distress, sleep, quality of life and physical activity. Participants were n = 30 informal carers and n = 34 ESWs. Results: Results highlighted that the health of informal caregivers of ESWs is compromised compared to general Australian population data. Conclusions: Interventions should be expanded to include informal caregivers. 

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Self-reported burden of caregiver of adults with depression: a cross-sectional study in five Western European countries

Background: Caregiving in depression imposes a complex health and economic burden. Moreover, there is a paucity of studies examining the impact of caregiving for adult relatives with unipolar depression (CG-UD). This study assessed the burden among CG-UD in five western European (EUR5) countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) compared with caregivers of adults with other chronic comorbidities (CG-OD) and general non-caregiving (non-CG) population. Methods: A retrospective observational study was conducted using the 2016 National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS) in EUR5. Differences in humanistic burden (health status and health-related quality of life [HRQoL]) and economic burden (work productivity and activity impairments, health care resource utilization [HRU]) were assessed between CG-UD and CG-OD respondents. Caregiver-specific burden (caregiving responsibilities and caregiver reaction assessment [CRA]) was assessed between caregiver groups. Generalized linear models were used to compare between the groups on the outcomes after adjusting for potential confounders. Results: Of the 77,418 survey respondents examined, 1380 identified as CG-UD, 6470 as CG-OD and 69,334 as non-CG. Compared to CG-OD and non-CG, CG-UD, reported significantly lower health status (e.g., EuroQoL-5 Dimensions-5 Levels [EQ-5D-5L]: CG-UD = 0.63, CG-OD = 0.67, and non-CG = 0.73, p < 0.001) and HRQoL (e.g., mental component score: CG-UD = 35.0, CG-OD = 37.8, and non-CG = 40.7, p < 0.001). Although effect sizes were small (d < 0.2), minimal clinically important differences (MCID) were apparent for HRQoL and health status. Increased economic-related burden was observed for work and activity impairment (e.g., absenteeism: CG-UD = 32.6%, CG-OD = 26.5%, and non-CG = 14.8%, p < 0.001) and HRU (e.g., healthcare provider [HCP; mean, past 6 months]: CG-UD = 10.5, CG-OD = 8.6, and non-CG = 6.8, p < 0.001). Caregiving-specific burden was associated with experiencing a greater lack of family support (CG-UD: 2.9 vs CG-OD: 2.8, p < 0.01), impact on finances (CG-UD: 3.0 vs CG-OD: 2.9, p = 0.036), and on the caregiver’s schedule (CG-UD: 3.1 vs CG-OD: 3.0, p = 0.048). Conclusion: Caregivers of persons with chronic disease experience an excess humanistic and economic burden compared to the general population, with a greater burden confronting caregiver for adults with depression. These findings illustrate the far-reaching burden of depression on both the patient and the relatives who care for them.

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Self‐efficacy of family caregivers of older adults with cognitive impairment: A concept analysis

Background: Research demonstrates that increased self‐efficacy can help family caregivers of older adults with Alzheimer's and other types of cognitive impairment experience lower burden and depressive symptom severity. Aims: The purpose of this concept analysis is to address fundamental gaps in the understanding of self‐efficacy in family caregivers of older adults with cognitive impairment, including updating the 26‐year‐old concept analysis with a contemporary definition. Methods: This study utilizes Walker and Avant's (2019) concept analysis method, an eight‐step iterative process that helps to clarify ambiguous concepts. A literature review was conducted from July 1993 through March 2019 using PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, CINAHL, and Embase. Inclusion criteria encompassed peer‐reviewed research articles and review articles that included family caregivers of older adults with cognitive impairment. Results: Eight defining attributes of this concept are identified. The revised definition of self‐efficacy in this population is a family caregiver's confidence in their ability to: manage behaviors and other caregiving stresses, control upsetting thoughts, acquire medical information, manage medical issues, obtain self‐care, access community supports, assist with activities of daily living and other care, and maintain a good relationship with a relative, friend, or neighbor of an older adult with cognitive impairment. Conclusion: This paper utilizes over a quarter‐century of research to build on the original analysis by Mowat and Spence Laschinger (1994) and update the concept's definition. This analysis should provide researchers with a clearer understanding of this concept and a renewed emphasis on the importance of targeting interventions to improve self‐efficacy in this vulnerable caregiving population.

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Self-Care for Caregivers of Individuals Living With Multiple Sclerosis: Testing Mediation Models of Caregiver Stress, Health, and Self-Care

Background: Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) often receive home health care, yet little research investigates the health of informal caregivers of individuals with MS. Methods: We tested a mediation model in which associations between caregiver stress and caregiver self-care were explained by each of four a priori caregiver health factors—caregiver negative affect, pain, tiredness, and functional limitations. Participants (n = 60 informal caregivers) were recruited online or in-person from March—July 2018, and completed an online survey assessing demographics and their caregiving experience. Results: After controlling for demographics, only caregiver tiredness mediated the association between caregiver stress and caregiver self-care. Therefore, caregiver tiredness may be an important construct for assessment, intervention, and future research, among caregivers of individuals with MS, and among anyone providing home health care. Conclusions: These findings have research, clinical, and policy implications.

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Resilience, Emotional Intelligence, and Occupational Performance in Family Members Who Are the Caretakers of Patients with Dementia in Spain: A Cross-Sectional, Analytical, and Descriptive Study

Background: The concern in the scientific community for the study of people with dementia and their families is comprehensible, especially the importance of knowing the effects that caring for the patient has on their family dynamic, paying special attention to the main caregiver. The objective of this study was to analyze the relationship of resilience and emotional intelligence with functional performance in the main caregivers of people with dementia in Spain according to the phase of the disease. Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive, and analytical study was carried out. A total of 144 primary family caregivers of patients with dementia in Spain were included in the study. The following variables were measured: sociodemographic, psychosocial, and occupational, as well as resilience and emotional intelligence. Results: The caregivers obtained a low moderate resilience (mean = 64.01 ± 14.5), an emotional intelligence bordering between moderate and high (mean = 78.48 ± 14.82), and a 61.8% self-care categorized as somewhat and quite a bit. The presence of higher levels of resilience in family caregivers of people with dementia were positively related to the time spent on self-care (r = 0.227; p = 0.033) and leisure (r = 0.262; p = 0.014), especially in the moderate phase of the disease, while in the severe phase, this relationship appeared with productivity (r = 0.355; p = 0.034). The higher levels of emotional intelligence were positively related to a greater time dedicated to self-care (r = 0.233, p = 0.005), as well as the data observed in the moderate and severe phase (r = 0.214; p = 0.046 and r = 0.398; p = 0.016 respectively). Conclusions: The primary caregivers of relatives with dementia who have higher levels of resilience and emotional intelligence spend more time on self-care and leisure activities, especially in the moderate phase of the disease.

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Resilience of family caregivers of children and adolescents in treatment of neoplasms and associated factors

Objectives: analyze the level of resilience of family caregivers of children and adolescents hospitalized for cancer treatment and associated factors. Methods: cross-sectional study, carried out in 2018, with 62 family caregivers in a university hospital in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The instruments CDRisc-10-Br, SRQ20, PSS-14 and WHOQOL-Bref were used to measure resilience, minor psychological disorders, stress, and quality of life, respectively. Inferential statistics were used. Results: female caregivers, married, with one child and who practice some predominated religion. They were classified as having a moderate level of resilience (48.4%); with suspicion for minor psychological disorders (45%) and high level of stress (41%). In terms of quality of life, they were satisfied in the Physical, Psychological and Social Relations domains; and dissatisfied in the Environment domain. Conclusions: there were direct weak to moderate correlations between the level of resilience and quality of life and inversely with stress and minor psychological disorders.

 

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Relationship between social cohesion and the care burden of primary family caregivers in central Tokyo, Japan

Objectives: To clarify how the care burden of primary family caregivers is associated with social cohesion in an urban area of Tokyo, Japan.Study designCross‐sectional study. Methods: A questionnaire survey of primary family caregivers was conducted in Tokyo in 2015. Social cohesion was examined using the social capital indicators of Kondo et al, and the care burden of primary family caregivers was assessed by the Zarit Care Burden Interview Scale in Japanese short version (J‐ZBI_8). Data were analyzed by multiple regression models. Ethics approval was obtained to carry out this research. Results: Seventy‐nine caregivers responded to the questionnaires. After excluding 6 caregivers who did not respond appropriately to the questionnaire, 73 caregivers were included in the analyses. The average age of the primary family caregivers was 68.9 ± 12.7 years old, and that of the patients receiving care was 83.1 ± 10.0 years old. “Receipt of instrumental support” was significantly associated with reduced burden of care for family caregivers as assessed by the J‐ZBI_8 score (P = .027). Conclusion: This study suggested that social cohesion was significantly associated with reduced burden of care for primary family caregivers. Especially, the results suggested that “social support: receipt of instrumental support” was associated with a lower burden of care after adjustment for confounding factors. It is important to understand family structure and social community differences such as informal social support for future policy making.

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Relation among Caregivers’ Burden, Abuse and Behavioural Disorder in People with Dementia

Background: Dementia produces a loss of independence to carry out the activities of daily life. The great demand for care that these people need usually falls on the family through informal care. Objectives: This study aims to analyse the burden showed by the informal caregiver of a person with dementia. Methods: In addition, we analyse whether this burden present in informal caregivers could be related to abusive behaviour. We also study the relationship between the stage of the disease, the appearance of behavioural disorders and the level of burden in the caregiver using the Scales of Zarit, CASE and FAST. Results: The data showed that 45.50 per cent of caregivers have light burden or burden. After the research, it was identified that the presence of behavioural disorders in patients with dementia showed a correlation with the increase in both the main caregiver burden and abuse. An increase in the level of burden is followed by an increase in the level of abuse (r = 0.844; p = 0.000). Furthermore, we analysed several conditions that could have a correlation with this burden and abuse. It was found that burden in the caregiver could be linked with the presence of behavioural disorders, like aggression (r = 0.577; p = 0.008) and irritability (r = 0.600; p = 0.005) at the moderate stage of the disease. On the other hand, there is a positive correlation between the probability that people with dementia suffer abuse in the moderate stage of the disease and the presence of aggression (r = 0.732; p = 0.000), lack of inhibition (r = 0.571; p = 0.009) and irritability (r = 0.827; p = 0.000). Conclusions: Taking this data into account, burden and abuse seem to be linked to the presence of behavioural disorders in patients with dementia in the moderate stage.

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Reference values for the short forms of the Singapore Caregiver Quality of Life Scale

Purpose: The 15- and 10-item short forms of the Singapore Caregiver Quality of Life Scale (SCQOLS-15 and SCQOLS-10) were recently developed as a quick assessment of caregiver quality of life. Reference values describing the distribution of the total and domain scores are available for the full-length version, but they are not yet available for the short forms. This study aimed to estimate the reference values for the short forms. Methods: Data from a cross-sectional survey of 612 family caregivers of patients with advanced cancer in Singapore were fitted in quantile regression models. Percentiles were estimated by regressing the short forms’ scores on caregiver characteristics. Classification by the reference values for the short forms and the full-length version were compared and agreement was evaluated. Results: The caregiver’s role in caring for the patient and the patient’s performance status were associated with the percentiles of the total scores and most domain scores (each Bonferroni-adjusted p-value, PB, < 0.05). Higher-educated caregivers were categorized into higher percentiles according to the SCQOLS-15 and SCQOLS-10 total scores and the SCQOLS-15 Mental Well-being and Financial Well-being domain scores (each PB < 0.05). Ethnicity was associated with the SCQOLS-15 Physical Well-being and Experience & Meaning domains (each PB < 0.05). The percentiles for the short forms showed moderate to substantial agreement with those for the full-length version in terms of classifying caregivers into percentile intervals (quadratic-weighted Kappa = 0.72 to 0.92). Conclusion: Reference values for the SCQOLS-15 and SCQOLS-10 were estimated in relation to caregiver characteristics to facilitate interpretation of the short form scores.

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Questionnaire survey on transitional care for patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and families

Objectives: To understand the awareness of transitional care in patients with JIA and their families. Methods: A questionnaire survey on transitional care was conducted among patients with JIA during their transitional period who were attending the pediatric rheumatology of our university and the members of parents' association of JIA (the Asunaro-kai). Results: 57.1% of patients and 35.9% of their parents did not know the word 'transitional care'. Approximately half of them did not have the opportunity to discuss transition or transfer to adult rheumatology. 61.2% of patients and 78.6% of their parents were worried about transition or transfer to adult rheumatology, and their biggest concern was about building trust with a new doctor. Approximately half of them wished to transfer to adult rheumatology after establishing a period of consultation with both pediatric and adult rheumatology. With regard to the timing of transfer, the majority of them wanted to consult with their doctors regardless of their age. The information they wanted to know was the prognosis of the disease itself, the medical system after adulthood, and data on pregnancy and childbirth. Conclusions: The development of transitional care requires that pediatricians and adult rheumatologists work together to listen to the needs of patients and their families. 

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Quality of life of children with spinal muscular atrophy and their caregivers from the perspective of caregivers: a Chinese cross-sectional study

Background: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal-recessive motor neuron disease leading to dysfunction of multiple organs. SMA can impair the quality of life (QoL) of patients and family. We aimed to evaluate the QoL of children with SMA and their caregivers and to identify the factors associated with QoL in a cross-sectional study conducted in China. Methods: We recruited 101 children aged 0–17 years with SMA and their caregivers from a children’s hospital in China. Twenty-six children had type I SMA, 56 type II and 19 type III. Each child’s QoL was measured by the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 3.0 Neuromuscular Module (PedsQL NMM), which was completed by the child’s caregivers. The caregiver’s QoL was measured by the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Family Impact Module (PedsQL FIM). Information on sociodemographic characteristics, disease-specific characteristics, and treatments were collected using the proxy-reported questionnaire. Two-sample t tests and one-way ANOVA were used to compare differences in average scores of QoL across subgroups. Results: Children with type III SMA had a higher average Total score of PedsQL NMM and higher average scores in domains Neuromuscular disease and Family resources than children with type I or type II SMA (p < 0.001). Caregivers of children with type III SMA reported higher average scores in the domains of Physical, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive functioning of the PedsQL FIM than those of children with types I or II SMA (p < 0.05). In addition, disease-related characteristics (e.g. limited mobility, stable course of disease, skeleton deformity, and digestive system dysfunction) and respiratory support were associated with lower average scores of PedsQL NMM and PedsQL FIM (p < 0.05). Exercise training, multidisciplinary team management and use of the medication Nusinersen were each associated with higher average scores in both PedsQL NMM and FIM (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Our study has demonstrated factors that may impair or improve QoL of children patients with SMA and their parents. Particularly, QoL was relatively poor in children with type I and type II SMA as well as in their caregivers compared to those with type III SMA. We strongly recommend that standard of care in a multidisciplinary team be strengthened to improve the QoL of SMA patients. Our study called for increased attention from clinical physicians on measuring QoL in their clinical practices in order to enhance the understanding of impacts of SMA and to make better decisions regarding treatment.

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Quality of Life in Caregivers of Children and Adolescents with Autistic Spectrum Disorder: Development and Validation of the Questionnaire

Background: Studies have shown that children and adolescents with autism and their relatives present a high level of stress and more family problems, impacting parents’ and caregivers’ quality of life (QoL). Despite studies on this subject, there is no specific questionnaire to evaluate QoL in parents or caregivers of children and adolescents with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) in Brazil. Therefore, this study’s primary purpose was to develop and validate a specific questionnaire to evaluate QoL in these individuals. Methods: The study was performed using the following steps: development of the ASD Parent/caregiver QoL questionnaire (autistic spectrum disorder parent/caregiver quality of life—ASDPC-QoL), subjective evaluation, validation of the questionnaire by the Delphi method, assessment of internal consistency, responsiveness, and reliability of the ASLPC-QoL, and administration of the questionnaire to 881 Brazilian ASD caregivers or parents. ASDPC-QoL comprises 28 questions divided into four domains (social, concerns, physical and mental health) with good psychometric properties (reproducibility, reliability, internal consistency, responsiveness, and validity). Results: Our data showed that worries and physical health were the domains with the lowest scores in ASDPCA-QoL. ASDPCA-QoL did not differ among gender and age of child considering the total and all domains. Older participants (≥41 y/o) presented the best scores for social and worries domains but did not differ in other domains and the total. Parents or caregivers of ASD children diagnosed for more than three years have better mental and physical health domains than those recently diagnosed (up to 1 year) but did not differ in the total and other domains. Individuals with a partner and with the highest educational level present the best score for the social domain. Employed individuals showed better scores than unemployed ones for all domains and the total, except for worries, which did not differ. It also occurred comparing the individuals that do not use antidepressants and the ones that use them. Conclusions: Assessing and better understanding the QoL of caregivers is highly relevant. By understanding the social, worries, physical, and emotional health domains of caregivers, it is possible to track harmful aspects, prevent and treat pathologies, in addition to assisting in the implementation of effective public policies.

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Quality of life among caregivers of children with epilepsy: A cross‐sectional study at Eastern Nepal

Objective: To assess the quality of life among caregivers of children with epilepsy in a tertiary care center of eastern Nepal. Methods: A cross‐sectional study was conducted among primary caregivers of children with epilepsy, who accompanied their child in child neurology clinic. Consecutive sampling was done, and 106 respondents were interviewed. Data were collected using World Health Organization Quality of Life‐BREF (WHOQOL‐BREF) scale and analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Descriptive and Inferential statistics were applied. Results: Mean WHOQOL‐BREF score was 82.25 {standard deviation (SD) ±12. 11}. Transformed scores (0‐100) for each domain were 57.98 ± 14.55 in physical, 55.87 ± 13.16 in psychological, 53.12 ± 13.42 in social, and 52.52 ± 13.04 in environmental domain. Mean score for overall perception of quality of life (QOL) was 2.71 ± 0.79 and was 3.12 ± 0.75 for overall perception of health. Living below poverty line (P = .03) and poor seizure control status of children (P = .46) were significantly associated with lower total QOL score. Living below poverty line was significantly associated with low social relationship (P = .003) and environment domain (<0.001) scores. Conclusions: Epilepsy has a multifaceted impact on the lives of affected people. Caring children with epilepsy is associated with enormous psychosocial effects on parents and family members. Caregivers' QOL may affect the treatment and outcome of epilepsy in children. Given the consideration to scarcity of this kind of literature in Nepalese context, this study was conducted.

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Qigong mind-body program for caregivers of cancer patients: design of a pilot three-arm randomized clinical trial

Background: Informal caregivers, often family and friends, experience significant psychological and physical distress leading to reductions in health and quality of life (QOL). Mind-body interventions focused on caregivers are often limited and do not address multiple barriers, including caregivers’ economic, geographic, and time constraints. Translation of in-person, community-based interventions to Internet-based delivery may offer greater accessibility for caregivers, leading to increased adherence. Methods: Caring for Caregivers with Mind-Body implements a three-arm, pilot, randomized controlled trial to evaluate the feasibility of delivering a Qigong intervention (Eight Brocades) to cancer caregivers. A total of 54 cancer caregivers will be randomized into one of three 12-week programs: (1) community-based Qigong, (2) Internet-based Qigong, or (3) a self-care control group. Study-specific aims include (1) modify intervention content for online delivery, (2) evaluate the feasibility of recruiting and retaining cancer caregivers into a 12-week clinical trial, and (3) evaluate the feasibility of collecting and managing data, and the suitability of questionnaires for this population. Several outcomes will be assessed, including caregiver QOL, caregiver burden, caregiver distress, perceived social support, physical function, and cognitive function. A 6-month follow-up will also assess longer-term changes in QOL and psychosocial well-being. Discussion: Findings will be used to inform the design and conduct of a large-scale comparative effectiveness trial evaluating caregivers who received Qigong training delivered through community-based vs Internet-based programs. A finding that either or both programs are effective would inform care and options for caregivers. Trial registration NCT04019301; registered on July 15, 2019; clinicaltrials.gov

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Psychosocial Factors Predicting Resilience in Family Caregivers of Children with Cancer: A Cross-Sectional Study

Background: Chronic diseases in childhood can affect the physical and mental health of patients and their families. Objectives: The objective of this study was to identify the sociodemographic and psychosocial factors that predict resilience in family caregivers of children with cancer and to define whether there are differences in the levels of resilience derived from these sociodemographic variables. Methods: Three hundred and thirty family caregivers of children with cancer, with an average age of 32.6 years were interviewed. The caregivers responded to a battery of tests that included a questionnaire of sociodemographic variables, the Measuring Scale of Resilience, the Beck Depression Inventory, the Inventory of Quality of Life, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, an interview of caregiver burden and the World Health Organization Well-Being Index. Results: The main findings indicate that family caregivers of children with cancer reported high levels of resilience, which were associated positively with quality of life, psychological well-being and years of study and associated negatively with depression, anxiety and caregiver burden. The variables that predicted resilience in families of children with cancer were quality of life, psychological well-being, depression and number of children. Family caregivers who were married and Catholic showed higher resilience scores. We conclude that being a caregiver in a family with children with cancer is associated with symptoms of anxiety and with depressive episodes. Conclusions: These issues can be overcome through family strength, well-being, quality of life and positive adaptation processes and mobilization of family resources.

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Psychosocial and economic impact of rheumatic diseases on caregivers of Mexican children

Background: Pediatric rheumatic disease (PRD) patients and their caregivers face a number of challenges, including the consequences of the PRD in patients and the impact on multiple dimensions of the caregivers’ daily lives. The objective of this study is to measure the economic, psychological and social impact that PRD has on the caregivers of Mexican children. Methods: This is a multicenter, cross-sectional study including primary caregivers of children and adolescents with PRD (JIA, JDM and JSLE) during April and November, 2019. A trained interviewer conducted the CAREGIVERS questionnaire, a specific, 28-item multidimensional tool validated to measure the impact on different dimensions of the lives of caregivers. Sociodemographic, clinical, and healthcare system data were collected for further analysis. Results: Two hundred participants were recruited (women 169, 84.5%, aged 38 [IQR 33–44] years); 109 (54.5%) cared for patients with JIA, 28 (14%) JDM and 63 (31.5%) JSLE. The healthcare system was found to be determinant on the impact of the disease. The emotional impact was higher in all the participants, regardless of the specific diagnoses. The social dimension showed significant differences regarding PRD, healthcare system, time to reach the center, presence of disability, active disease, cutaneous and systemic manifestations, treatment and partner. Financial and work impacts were more frequent in those caring for JSLE and less so in those with a partner. Family relationships changed in 81 caregivers (25 [12.5%] worsened and 56 [28%] improved). No variables affecting spirituality were found. For caregivers without a partner, the social networks impact increased. Conclusion: The influence of sociodemographic factors can be devastating on families with children with a PRD. These data will help physicians to identify the areas with the greatest need for intervention to achieve comprehensive care for caregivers and their patients.

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Psychometric Testing of the Spanish Modified Version of the Mini-Suffering State Examination

Background: The mini-suffering state examination is a valid and reliable measure that have been used to assess suffering in patients with advanced cancer. The aim of this study was to carry out a psychometric analysis of the Spanish version of the mini-suffering state examination. Method: A validation study was conducted. Seventy-two informal caregivers of deceased patients in palliative care were included in this study. A psychometric testing of content validity, internal consistency, and convergent validity with the Spanish version of the quality of dying and death questionnaire was performed. Results: The original instrument was modified to be used by informal caregivers. The content validity was acceptable (0.96), and the internal consistency was moderate (α = 0.67). Convergent validity was demonstrated (r = −0.64). Conclusion: The Spanish modified version of the MSSE showed satisfactory measurement properties. The Spanish modified version of MSSE can be useful to facilitate screening, monitor progress, and guide treatment decisions in end-of-life cancer patients.

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Psychometric properties of the turkish version of the revised scale for caregiving self-efficacy

Background: The self-efficacy of caregivers is an important matter that merits investigation, and this requires that the concept of self-efficacy be measured with a valid, reliable instrument. Materials and Methods: This research examined the psychometric properties of the Turkish version of the Revised Scale for Caregiving Self-Efficacy. A sociodemographic form and the Revised Scale for Caregiving Self-Efficacy were employed to collect data from April through December 2019. A total of 250 family caregivers were included in the study, which assessed the content validity, construct validity and reliability of the Revised Scale for Caregiving Self-Efficacy. Results: All 18 items had significant item-to-total correlations (p <0.05). The Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was 0.82 for the total scale, 0.76 for the self-efficacy in obtaining respite subscale, 0.82 for the self-efficacy in responding to disruptive patient behaviours subscale and 0.96 for the self-efficacy in controlling upsetting thoughts about caregiving subscale. Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that the Revised Scale for Caregiving Self-Efficacy is a valid, reliable measurement tool and suitable to the Turkish culture. 

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Psychometric Properties of the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) Among Family Caregivers of People with Schizophrenia in China

Background: The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) is one of the most widely used scales for social support. Although previous studies have shown good reliability and concurrent validity, conflicting evidence exists on its factor structures. Aim: To validate the MSPSS among caregivers of people with schizophrenia in China and assess its factor structure. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted of 449 family caregivers in 12 communities for psychometric testing, eg, internal consistency reliability, test–retest reliability, construct validity, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Results: The MSPSS showed good internal consistency with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.95, good test–retest reliability with intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0.91, and kappa ranging from 0.62 to 0.71. Concurrent validity was supported by its negative correlations with perceived stress, and significant positive correlations with caregiving rewarding feelings, family functioning, and coping. EFA yielded a two-factor structure (family vs non-family), while CFA generally supported a three-factor structure (family, friends, and significant others). Conclusion: Our findings show good psychometric properties of the MSPSS among caregivers of people with schizophrenia in China. EFA yields two-factor structure and CFA yields three factors consistent with the theory underlying the measure’s development.

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A psychometric evaluation of the Caregiver Contribution to Self-Care of Heart Failure Index in a Thai population

Background: Caregivers are major contributor to the self-care of patients with heart failure. The Caregiver Contribution to Self-Care of Heart Failure Index (CC-SCHFI) measures these contributions across three scales: self-care maintenance (symptom monitoring and treatment adherence); self-care management (dealing with symptoms); and confidence in contributing to the self-care (self-efficacy in managing self-care) of patients with heart failure. Informal caregivers play a vital role in supporting family members with heart failure in Thailand, yet no validated tool exists to measure their contribution. We examined the psychometric properties of the CC-SCHFI in a Thai population. Methods: The CC-SCHFI was translated into Thai using a standard forward and backward translation procedure. A cross-sectional design was used to examine the psychometric properties of the Thai version of the CC-SCHFI in 100 family caregivers of heart failure patients in Southern Thailand. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to assess construct validity, and factor score determinacy coefficients were computed to evaluate internal consistency reliability. Results: The Thai version of the CC-SCHFI demonstrated acceptable internal consistency (composite reliability of each scale ranged from 0.76 to 0.99). Reliability estimates were adequate for each scale (McDonald’s omega ranged from 0.75 to 0.96). Confirmatory factor analysis supported the original factor structure of the instrument, with good fit indices for all three scales (comparative fit index = 0.98–1.00; root-mean-square error of approximation = 0.00–0.07). Conclusions: The Thai version of the CC-SCHFI appears to be a valid and reliable instrument for measuring caregiver contributions to self-care maintenance and self-care management as well as contributing to caregiver confidence in the self-care of Thai heart failure patients.

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Protocol for a patient-reported experience measures (PREMs) survey of patients discharged during the COVID-19 pandemic and their family caregivers

Introduction: In the Swiss canton of Valais, the first cases of SARS-CoV-2 were detected on 28 February 2020. Discharged patients’ and their family caregivers’ experiences in relation to safety, quality of care, trust and communication during the COVID-19 hospitalisation period remain unexplored. The study aims to collect the patient-reported experience measures (PREMs) survey of patients discharged during the COVID-19 pandemic and their family caregivers. Methods and analysis: Patients aged ≥18 years, hospitalised between 28 February and 11 May 2020 and then discharged home, plus their family caregivers will be invited to complete a self-administrated questionnaire made up of 14 closed questions and 1 open-ended question. The questionnaire will include items on the patient’s hospital trajectory and assess the interpersonal trust placed in nurses and physicians based on Krajewska-Kułak et al’s Trust in Nurse Scale and Anderson et al’s Trust in Physician Scale. Participants’ perceived stress will be assessed using Cohen et al’s Perceived Stress Scale. Feelings of safety will be examined based on Dryhurst et al’s questionnaire on Risk Perception During Pandemics. After ethical clearance, data will be collected using a postal paper questionnaire and via an online web link. Descriptive and inferential statistics will be computed, and the open question will undergo a qualitative thematic analysis. We will analyse perceptions of the different hospital trajectories experienced by patients undergoing surgery with and without a SARS-CoV-2 infection. Ethics and dissemination: The Human Research Ethics Committee of Vaud (2020-02025) authorised this study. Gathering experiences and learning about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the social determinants of health among discharged patients and families fit in well with the Triple Aim framework and the PREMs survey. The study will formulate recommendations to support interventions in the face of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic and their effects on patients’ and their family caregivers’ experiences.

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Profile and needs of primary informal caregivers of older patients in Belgian geriatric day hospitals: a multicentric cross-sectional study

Background: With the improvement of life expectancy, the world faces increasing demands for care of older persons. In this manuscript, we define the characteristics of primary informal caregivers (PIC) of patients aged 75 years and older admitted to geriatric day hospitals (GDH) in Belgium. A PIC is defined as the person who most often provides care and assistance to persons who need to be cared for. We describe PIC socio-demographic characteristics, satisfaction, burden and wishes about caring; the type of assistance provided and received, their self-rated health, socio-demographic and medical characteristics of proxies, in particular the presence of behavioural disorders. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study in 25 GDH. Participants Four hundred seventy-five PIC of patients ≥75 years and their proxies. PIC completed a questionnaire at the GDH assessing burden by Zarit Burden Index-12 (ZBI-12), self-rated health, social restriction due to caregiving and financial participation. We compared the characteristics of PIC with high and low burden, and the characteristics of spouses and adult children PIC. We also analyzed factors associated with a high burden in a multivariable logistic regression model. Results: PIC were mainly women (72%), adult children (53.8%) and spouses (30.6%). The mean age was 64 ± 14 years for PIC and 84 ± 5 years for care recipients. PIC helped for most of Activities in Daily Living (ADL) and Instrumental ADL (iADL). The median ZBI-12 score was 10 [IQR 5–18]. In multivariable regression analysis, a high burden was positively associated in the total group with living with the relative (p = 0.045), the difficulty to take leisure time or vacation (p < 0.001), behavioral and mood disorders (p < 0.001;p = 0.005), and was negatively associated with bathing the relative (p = 0.017) and a better subjective health status estimation (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Primary informal caregivers, who were predominantly women, were involved in care for ADL and iADL. A high burden was associated with living with the relative, the difficulty to take leisure time or vacation and the relative’s behavioral and mood disorders. Bathing the relative and a subjective health status estimated as good as or better than people the same age, were protective factors against a high burden.

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Predictors of the one-year-change in depressiveness in informal caregivers of community-dwelling people with dementia

Background: The care of people with dementia is usually carried out by their family members, which can cause objective und subjective burden and raise their risk of depressiveness. Thus, the aim of this study is to identify predictors of the change in depressiveness of informal caregivers over 1 year in order to be able to derive hypotheses for interventions that promise success. Methods: The Bavarian Dementia Survey (BayDem) is a multi-center, longitudinal study conducted at three different sites in Bavaria, Germany. Participants were people with dementia and their informal caregivers. Data was collected at baseline and after 12 months by standardized face-to-face interviews in cooperation with local players. The informal caregivers’ depressiveness was assessed with the WHO-5. Data was also collected on the people with dementia’s cognition (MMSE), behavioral symptoms (NPI) and comorbidities (Charlson Comorbidity Index) as well as caregivers’ social inclusion (LSNS), time spent on care and care contribution (RUD). For statistical analysis, a multiple regression model was used. Results: The data of 166 people with dementia and their informal caregivers was analyzed. Of the latter, 46% were categorized as “likely depressed”. The change in depressiveness over a year was significantly predicted by baseline depressiveness as well as an increase in the time informal caregivers spent supervising the person with dementia. Conclusions: Informal caregivers of people with dementia are at high risk of depression. The time spent supervising the person with dementia has a significant impact on increasing depressiveness. This highlights the importance of support services to provide the informal caregiver with relief and possibly reduce depressiveness.

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Predictors of health service use by family caregivers of persons with multimorbidity

Background: Informal caregivers of patients with multiple chronic conditions are socially good, promoting the sustainability of a large part of home care provision. However, this very demanding activity causes health problems that increase their own need for health services. This study analyses the use of health services by informal carers, comparing it with the use made by the general population with similar characteristics. Methodology: Cross-sectional analytical study carried out in the Malaga-Valle Guadalhorce Primary Health Care District (Spain). Healthcare demand and perceived health were measured in the family caregivers, compared to the general population. Strobe Statement for observational studies has been used to strength the report of the results. Results: Final sample consisted of 314 family caregivers together with a subsample of 2.290 non-caregivers taken from data of the National Health Survey. This subsample was paired by gender with our sample. Formal caregivers make fewer annual visits to the health services, with respect to the general population, regardless of the perceived level of health. The difference of the means between those who perceive their health as very poor was 0.11 (95% CI: 0.01 to 0.20) consultations with the family doctor, 0.21 (95% CI: 0.15 to 0.26) consultations with medical specialists and 1.70 (95% CI: 1.52 to 1.87) emergency room attention. Three independent factors were identified that predispose to the increased use of health services: background of greater education achievement (OR 8.13, 95% CI: 1.30 to 50.68), non-cohabitation with the care recipient (OR 3.57, 95% CI: 1.16 to 11.11) and a more positive physical quality of life component (OR 1.06; 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.09). Discussion and Implications: Intrinsic components of the caregiver reveal their independent relationship with the provision of informal care and the use of health services. A broader vision is needed for the factors that influence the health of these caregivers to develop multipurpose interventions and improve the consistency and effectiveness of the health services offered to the caregiver. 

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Predictors of Caregiver Burden in Delirium: Patient and Caregiver Factors

Background: The current study examined the association of patient factors, patient/caregiver relationships, and living arrangements with caregiver burden due to delirium. Methods: The sample included a subset (N = 207) of hospitalized medical and surgical patients (aged >70 years) enrolled in the Better Assessment of Illness Study and their care-givers. Results: The majority of caregivers were female (57%) and married (43%), and 47% reported living with the patient. Delirium occurred in 22% of the sample, and delirium severity, pre-existing cognitive impairment, and impairment of any activities of daily living (ADL) were associated with higher caregiver burden. However, only the ADL impairment of needing assistance with transfers was independently significantly associated with higher burden (p < 0.01). Child, child-in-law, and other relatives living with or apart from the patient reported significantly higher caregiver burden compared to spouse/partners (p < 0.01), indicating caregiver relationship and living arrangement are associated with burden. Conclusions: Future studies should examine additional factors contributing to delirium burden.

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Predictive model of psychological distress in family caregivers of patients with cancer: a cross-sectional study

Purpose: To examine a predictive theoretical model of psychological distress based on the following variables reflected on family caregivers of patients with cancer: the unmet supportive care needs, subjective caregiving burden, social support, and the positive aspects of caregiving. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted on a sample of 484 dyads of patients and their family caregivers. The caregivers completed structured questionnaires designed to measure psychological distress, unmet supportive care needs, subjective caregiving burden, positive aspects of caregiving, and social support. Patients' demographic variables and medical data were collected from a medical record review. We used a structural equation modeling to test the predictive theoretical model. Results: Path analysis results partially supported the proposed model with satisfactory fit indices. Specifically, family caregivers with an increasing number of unmet needs or a heavier caregiving burden were more likely to have more severe psychological distress. Bootstrapping results supported that the caregiving burden and social support were significant mediators. Greater unmet supportive care needs predicted higher psychological distress through increasing caregiving burden. Stronger social support predicted lower psychological distress through decreasing caregiving burden. Positive aspects of caregiving predicted lower caregiving burden through the increasing perceived social support, which in turn eliminated psychological distress. Conclusions: Unmet supportive care needs could cause psychological distress through increasing caregiving burden. The positive aspects of caregiving reduced caregiving burden through increasing social support, which subsequently alleviated psychological distress. Interventions that aim to satisfy supportive care needs, to reduce caregiving burden, and to strengthen social support ties may boost the mental health of family caregivers. 

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Prediction of caregiver quality of life in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using explainable machine learning

Background: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a rare neurodegenerative, fatal and currently incurable disease. People with ALS need support from informal caregivers due to the motor and cognitive decline caused by the disease. Objectives: This study aims to identify caregivers whose quality of life (QoL) may be impacted as a result of caring for a person with ALS. Methods: In this study, we worked towards the identification of the predictors of a caregiver’s QoL in addition to the development of a model for clinical use to alert clinicians when a caregiver is at risk of experiencing low QoL. The data were collected through the Irish ALS Registry and via interviews on several topics with 90 patient and caregiver pairs at three time-points. The McGill QoL questionnaire was used to assess caregiver QoL—the MQoL Single Item Score measures the overall QoL and was selected as the outcome of interest in this work. Findings: The caregiver’s existential QoL and burden, as well as the patient’s depression and employment before the onset of symptoms were the features that had the highest impact in predicting caregiver quality of life. A small subset of features that could be easy to collect was used to develop a second model to use it in a clinical setting. The most predictive features for that model were the weekly caregiving duties, age and health of the caregiver, as well as the patient’s physical functioning and age of onset.

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Predicting Quality of Life in Caregivers of Children with Cancer Within One Year Post-Diagnosis

Background: Pediatric cancer diagnosis and treatment can impact the psychological adjustment and quality of life (QOL) of caregivers. Objectives: We examined: (a) the relationship between caregiver QOL and family psychosocial risk, mental health symptoms and distress concurrently, shortly after diagnosis, and six months later; and (b) which of these factors at near diagnosis can predict caregiver QOL six months later, controlling for demographic and child clinical factors. Methods: Participants were 122 caregivers in two Canadian sites. Each completed the Caregiver Quality of Life Cancer Scale, the Psychosocial Assessment Tool (PAT), the Distress Thermometer (DT), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) near diagnosis (T1) and six months later (T2). Clinical and demographic information were also collected. Results: Clinical and demographic factors were not associated with QOL at either T1 or T2. Concurrent analyses (within T1 and T2) indicated the PAT, DT, and anxiety symptoms as significant factors contributing to caregiver QOL. Longitudinally, only T1PAT and depression symptoms significantly predicted caregiver QOL at T2. Family psychosocial risk and caregiver depression symptoms near diagnosis predict caregiver QOL six months later. These results have important implications for supporting caregivers of children with cancer. Highlights: Childhood cancer diagnosis and treatment can negatively impact on the quality of life (QOL) of caregivers of the affected child. High family psychosocial risk and elevated caregiver depression symptoms near the child's cancer diagnosis can predict poor caregiver QOL six months later. Conclusions: Early assessment of family psychosocial risk and caregiver mental health, particularly depression symptoms, can guide psychological support and prevent poor caregiver QOL. Considering the close relationship between the wellbeing of the child and caregiver, addressing caregiver mental health needs can positively impact on the QOL of the caregiver and the child with cancer.

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Person‐Centred Care for older people: Convergence and assessment of users' relatives' and staff's perspectives

Aim: Develop two psychometrically sound questionnaires to assess users' and relatives' opinions of Person‐Centred Care. Evaluate the convergence between the perspectives of the different agents involved in Person‐Centred Care in the older people: Users, relatives and staff. Examine the relationships between Person‐Centred Care and care quality and the users' perceived psychological well‐being. Design: We used the psychometric technology involved in the development and analysis of tests for the first objective. For the second and third objectives, we used a descriptive‐correlational design. Method: The sample comprised 636 clients of older people care residences, 742 relatives and 844 healthcare professionals. The mean age of the centre residents was 81.62 years old (SD = 9.51), the mean age of relatives was 56.7 (SD = 10.15) and the mean age of healthcare professionals was 39.94 (SD = 10.56). Data collection lasted 10 months, between May 2017 and March 2018. Two new Person‐Centred Care instruments were developed and the correlations between different agents were calculated. Results: The newly developed measurement instruments demonstrated a unidimensional structure and high internal consistency and stability over time (users: α =.96, ω =.96, r =.91; relatives: α =.97, ω =.97, r =.95). There was high convergence between the Person‐Centred Care evaluations from the staff, users and relatives, with correlations ranging between.62 and.76. Conclusion: The new measurement instruments were reliable and valid. The opinions of the staff, users and relatives about Person‐Centred Care in the residential centres were in good agreement. Furthermore, Person‐Centred Care was associated with care quality and residents' psychological well‐being. Impact: A gap in the literature is an examination of the extent to which assessments of Person‐Centred Care made by staff agree with those by users of the services and their relatives. In order to do that, two new measuring instruments were developed, which showed excellent psychometric properties, and are able to reliably, validly evaluate Person‐Centred Care.

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Patients and family caregivers report high treatment expectations during palliative chemotherapy: a longitudinal prospective study

Background: When discussing treatment options and future care, it is important to understand the expectations of patients and family caregivers related to palliative chemotherapy and to identify patterns in patients’ quality of life. The study aims were to evaluate differences in treatment expectations and quality of life between patients with thoracic cancer (non-small-cell lung cancer, small-cell lung cancer and mesothelioma) who were < 70 and ≥ 70 years of age and receiving palliative chemotherapy and to assess family caregivers’ treatment expectations. Methods: A prospective longitudinal study included patients with thoracic cancer receiving outpatient palliative chemotherapy at a university hospital in Denmark and their family caregivers. Patients’ treatment expectations and quality of life were assessed three times during treatment with a survey of treatment expectations and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy – General questionnaire. Family caregivers’ treatment expectations were assessed once. Results: A total of 48 patients and 36 family caregivers participated between 2018 and 2019. No statistically significant age-related differences in treatment expectations and quality of life were identified. 28% of patients aged < 70 years and 7% of those aged ≥70 years expected a cure. Among family caregivers, 36% expected a cure. Across both age groups, mean total quality of life scores significantly decreased from 73.2 at first palliative chemotherapy cycle to 70.5 at third cycle (p = 0.02). No meaningful changes were found in quality of life within either age group. A subgroup analysis found no significant between-group differences in quality of life. Mean physical well-being score for all patients decreased from 20.3 at first cycle to 18.4 at third cycle (p = 0.03) and mean emotional well-being score decreased from 15.4 at first cycle to 14.6 at third cycle (p = 0.04). Conclusion: This study emphasizes the importance of initiating conversations about treatment expectations and paying attention to expectations that may differ by the age of the patient and between patients and family caregivers. Addressing treatment expectations among patients and family caregivers and monitoring quality of life among patients is important in clinical practice.

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The Patterns of Caregiving Activities for Family Caregivers of Older Adults in Hong Kong: An Exploratory Latent Class Analysis

Objectives: This study identified the classes (i.e. patterns) of caregivers' activities, based on their engagements in caregiving activities, and explored the characteristics and the caregiver burden of these classes. Methods: This study was a secondary analysis of a cross-sectional survey on the profiles of family caregivers of older adults in Hong Kong. A latent class analysis approach was adopted to classify family caregivers (N = 932) according to their routine involvements in 17 daily caregiving activities: 6 activities of daily living (ADLs) and 8 instrumental activities of daily living activities (IADLs) in addition to emotional support, decision making, and financial support. Multinomial logistic regression and multiple linear regression illuminated the characteristics of the classes and compared their levels of caregiver burden. Results: The family caregivers fell into 5 classes: All-Round Care (High Demand, 19.5%), All-Round Care (Moderate Demand, 8.2%), Predominant IADLs Care (High Demand, 23.8%), Predominant IADLs Care (Moderate Demand, 32.5%), and Minimal ADLs and IADLs Care (Low Demand, 16.0%). These classes exhibited different characteristics in terms of care recipients' cognitive statuses and caregiver backgrounds. The levels of caregiver burden differed across classes; the All-Round Care (High Demand) class experienced the highest levels of caregiver burden. Discussion: This study contributes to existing scholarship by turning away from a predefined category of care tasks to explore the patterns of caregiving activities. By identifying caregiving activity patterns and understanding their associated characteristics and caregiver burden, prioritizing and targeting caregiver support interventions better is possible.

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A national survey of caregiver’s own experiences and perceptions of U.S. health care system when addressing their health and caring for an older adult

Background: Caregiving is a demanding role that can negatively impact a person’s health and well-being. As such, adequate access to health care is important for maintaining the family caregiver’s own personal health. Objectives: The aims of this study were to identify if family caregivers of older adults had more difficulty accessing health care services than non-caregivers and to identify if family caregivers felt access to additional services would be beneficial for maintaining their own personal health care. Methods: National survey of 3026 US adults aged 30 to 89 years old. Participants were grouped based on self-reported caregiving experience. Survey asked about access to care, importance of health care services and whether caregivers had support needed. Descriptive statistics were used to compare caregiver and non-caregiver’s responses. Multivariate logistic regression model assessed correlates of caregivers not having the support they needed. Results: Caregivers were older, female, lower educational attainment, lower income, had more multiple chronic health conditions and health condition or disability that impacts their daily life. Caregivers reported difficulty accessing mental health services, dental services, medications, and supportive services at home. Caregivers felt it was important to have care coordinator, long-term relationship with primary care provider and access to house calls, telemedicine, and medications delivered to the home. Age, ethnicity, chronic conditions and confidence in finances were factors influencing whether caregiver had support needed to provide assistance to older care recipient. Conclusion: Caregivers provide needed support and care to older adults while also needing support for themselves. Health care services delivered in the home were highly desirable to caregivers and could help them maintain their health and well-being.

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Multiple Caregivers, Many Minds: Family Discord and Caregiver Outcomes

Background and Objectives: Family caregivers often have other family members helping to provide care. The purpose of our study was to examine relationships between care coordination quality among family members and the following caregiver outcomes: caregiver mental health (depressive symptoms, anxiety), social activity restrictions, and caregiver burden. Research Design and Methods: Secondary analysis was conducted using data from the 2017 Pittsburgh Regional Caregivers' Survey. Six hundred and fifty-five caregivers who had other family members helping with care reported discordance in care coordination, depressive symptoms, anxiety, social activity restrictions, caregiving burden, and covariates such as demographics and known risk factors for negative caregiver outcomes. We used multiple logistic regression and negative binominal expansion models in the analysis. Results: Discordant care coordination was associated with higher levels of caregiver depressive symptoms (p <.001), anxiety (p <.01), social activity restriction (p <.001), and caregiver burden (p <.001) after controlling for known risk factors. Discussion and Implications: We found that lower quality of family care coordination was associated with negative caregiver outcomes. Future research should further investigate the dynamics of family care coordination and impacts on both caregivers and care recipients. The results suggest that caregiver interventions attempting to understand and decrease care coordination discord should be a priority.

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Moderator Role of Mutuality on the Association Between Depression and Quality of Life in Stroke Survivor-Caregiver Dyads

Background: Authors of previous research have not yet analyzed the role of potential moderators in the relationship between depressive symptoms and quality of life (QOL). Aims: The aim of this study was to examine the moderating effect of mutuality between depressive symptoms and QOL in stroke survivor and caregiver dyads. Methods: This study used a longitudinal design with 222 stroke survivor-caregiver dyads enrolled at survivor discharge from rehabilitation hospitals. Data collection was performed for 12 months. We examined survivor and caregiver QOL dimensions (physical, psychological, social, and environmental), depression, and mutuality at baseline and every 3 months. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to test 4 longitudinal dyadic moderation models (1 for each QOL domain). Results: Survivors (50% male) and caregivers (65% female) were 70.8 (SD, 11.9) and 52.5 (SD, 13.1) years old, respectively. We observed no significant moderating effects of mutuality for survivors across the 4 dimensions of QOL over time. However, higher survivor mutuality was significantly associated with higher survivor psychological and social QOL at baseline. Regarding caregivers, caregiver mutuality significantly moderated the association between caregiver depressive symptoms and caregiver physical (B = 0.63, P < .05), psychological (B = 0.63, P < .01), and social (B = 0.95, P < .001) QOL at baseline, but not in environmental QOL. Higher caregiver mutuality was significantly associated with less improvement in caregiver physical QOL over time. Conclusions: Mutuality is a positive variable on the association between depression and QOL for both members of the dyad at discharge but may lead to declines in physical health for caregivers over time. Further work is needed to understand the role of mutuality on long-term outcomes and associations with increased care strain.

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Measuring the Burden on Family Caregivers of People With Cancer: Cross-cultural Translation and Psychometric Testing of the Caregiver Reaction Assessment--Indonesian Version

Background: The Caregiver Reaction Assessment (CRA) is considered one of the well-developed instruments for measuring the multidimensional burden of family caregivers. To date, there is no available validated instrument to assist healthcare professionals in measuring the caregiver's burden in Indonesia. Objective: To translate the CRA from English into Indonesian and to conduct psychometric testing of this CRA--Indonesian version (CRA-ID) with family caregivers of patients with cancer. Methods: Cross-cultural translation and psychometric testing were conducted. Confirmatory factor analysis and exploratory factor analysis were performed to check, explore, and confirm the best model for the CRA-ID; internal consistency was also measured. Results: A total of 451 respondents participated, of whom 40 were involved in the feasibility testing. Confirmatory factor analysis with the original factors of the CRA revealed that the fit was not satisfactory, and adaptation was needed. Through exploratory factor analysis, the best model fit was developed, and confirmatory factor analysis was performed again. Five factors from the original instrument were confirmed with an explained variance of 54.89%.Almost all items in the CRA-ID appeared to have a similar structure as the original version. Cronbach's α's ranged between .64 and .81. Conclusions: The CRA-ID appeared to be feasible, valid, and reliable for measuring the burden of family caregivers of patients with cancer in Indonesia. Implications for Practice: Nurses can use the CRA-ID to measure family caregivers' burden. Its availability in the Indonesian language enhances the opportunity to conduct international comparisons of family caregiver burden using the same instrument.

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Measures of financial burden for families dealing with serious illness: A systematic review and analysis

Background: Many families coping with serious illness report experiencing financial burden, which negatively impacts coping and quality of life. Financial burden, however, is a complex construct that has been inconsistently operationalized in the literature. Aim: To review the available literature to identify, and describe the properties of, measurement tools or scales used to assess financial burden, including financial stress and strain, for families dealing with serious illness. Design: A systematic review. Data sources: Six databases were searched for articles published between 2006 and 2020. The review included studies in English, that reported empirical data, and used at least one measure of financial burden. To obtain a full copy of measures, an environmental scan was conducted. Results: A total of 31 measures were included. Only five of the total were designed for patient self-report, 23 of the total were designed for caregiver report. Whereas 11 measures relied on a single-item, 17 were multi-item. The remaining measures provided no information about target population and items. The most popular measures—based on Google Scholar citations—tended to only include one financial burden item. Given the complexity of financial burden, and its subjective and objective aspects, the utility of these single item measures remains questionable. Also, although patients may experience financial burden, there is a lack of patient-reported measures. Conclusion: To measure financial burden, we identified a need to develop and test multi-item measures, measures appropriate for patient populations and greater attention to the temporal aspects of self-report assessments.

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Longitudinal predictors of caregiver resilience outcomes at the end of childhood cancer treatment

Objective: Caregiver resilience in the context of childhood cancer treatment has been described using cross‐sectional and retrospective studies, but little is known about prospective predictors of resilience outcomes. We examined associations of demographics, cancer‐related variables, and intrapersonal and interpersonal factors at diagnosis (family psychosocial risk, perceived social support, and healthcare self‐efficacy) and psychosocial services provided during treatment with caregiver resilience outcomes at the end of treatment. Methods: For a study validating a family psychosocial risk screener, 314 primary caregivers completed the measures at diagnosis of their child (aged 0–17 years) and when cancer treatment ended. Resilience outcomes were ratings of distress, posttraumatic stress, and posttraumatic growth. Multiple regression analyses evaluated the relative contribution of hypothesized predictors. Results: Caregivers endorsed clinically significant distress, moderate posttraumatic growth, and low posttraumatic stress based on norms. Posttraumatic growth was not associated with posttraumatic stress or distress, which were significantly associated with each other. Over and above resilience at diagnosis, family psychosocial risk was associated with resilience at the end of treatment. Perceived social support, healthcare self‐efficacy, and psychosocial services provided demonstrated associations with resilience in univariate analyses, but demographics and cancer‐related variables did not. Conclusions: Resilience and family psychosocial risk at diagnosis were the strongest predictors of caregiver resilience outcomes at the end of the treatment. Intrapersonal and interpersonal predictors were weaker and varied by resilience measure. Consistent with psychosocial standards of care, broad evaluation of caregiver risks, resources, and resilience processes and outcomes is recommended at diagnosis and through the treatment trajectory including the end of treatment.

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Latent by-product of substance use: Burden of care

Introduction: Substance use affects it’s user and also risks the health of the caregivers. Objectives: Identify persons at risk of developing substance use disorder, assess the burden borne by the caregivers and development of psychiatric illness. Methods: Clinical assessment based on DSM-V criteria was performed for SUD diagnosis. Data was recorded using Substance use risk profile scale (SURPs) on the patient and the caregivers were evaluated using M.I.N.I. International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I) and caregiver’s strain index (CSI). Results: 81 participants-96% were male, mean age 32.4 years, 53.1% married, 72.8% employed and 52% lived in joint family system). The substance use ascertained were alcohol 24.7%, benzodiazepines 21%, cannabis 34.6%, opioid 30.9% and others 4.8%. 50% had substance use lasting 2-9 years. 50.6% reported starting as a recreation and the perpetuating factor for 49.4%. was emotional distress. 44% quit due to family pressure. On SURP, 85.2% demonstrated anxiety sensitivity, 96.3% were hopeful, 66% sensation seeking and 77% were impulsive. Caregiver mean age was 37.8 years, with two-third being parents and spouses. The burden reported was sleep disturbance 59.3%, inconvenience (61.7%) physical strain 46.9%, confining 50.6%, family adjustment 76.5%, plan changes 65.4%, emotional adjustment 88.9%, behavioral adjustment 74.1%, financial strain 80.2%, work adjustment 46.9%, 71.6% felt overwhelmed and 67.9% were upset about the changes from former self. Major depressive disorder was identified in 51.9% of the caregivers. Conclusions: SURP identified personality features linked with risk of developing substance use disorder. The study also provided evidence for significant burden on caregivers and an increased likelihood to develop a psychiatric disorder.

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Investigation of the effects of interventions made according to the Progressively Lowered Stress Threshold Model on the care outcomes of Alzheimer patients and their families: a randomized clinical trial

Background: One of the non‐pharmacological methods used to reduce behavioural problems of Alzheimer's patients and the negative emotions accordingly experienced by caregivers consists of interventions performed according to the Progressively Lowered Stress Threshold (PLST) model. Methods: This randomized controlled study aimed to determine the effect of interventions performed according to PLST on the care burden, care satisfaction, and life satisfaction of caregivers of middle and advanced stage Alzheimer's disease patients, and on the neuropsychiatric symptoms and agitation levels of these patients. The research was conducted with a total of 29 caregivers divided into intervention (15) and control (14) groups. Data were collected using an Introductory Information Form, plus the Standardised Mini‐Mental State Examination, Neuropsychiatric Inventory, Cohen‐Mansfield Agitation Inventory, Carer's Assessment of Satisfaction Index, and Life Satisfaction Scale. Three home visits were made to the caregivers by the researchers in the first, second, and twelfth weeks of the intervention. During the home visits, face‐to‐face training was given as necessary to the individual caring for problems identified in the nursing care plan according to PLST. Results: As a result of the PLST training, there was a decrease in the behavioural problems of Alzheimer's patients, along with a decrease in the care burden of the caregivers and an increase in their care satisfaction. When the scale total scores of the individuals in the intervention and control groups were compared, it was found that only caregivers' care satisfaction increased at a statistically significant level (P < 0.05). Conclusion: At the end of the training given according to PLST, it was found that behavioural problems of Alzheimer's patients and the care burden of caregivers had decreased, and the care satisfaction of caregivers increased. It is recommended that Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers be given training and interventions according to PLST.

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Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Informal Caregivers: Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial

Background: Caregiving for a family member can result in reduced well-being for the caregiver. Internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) may be one way to support this population. This is especially the case for caregivers in countries with limited resources, but high demand for psychological services. Objective: In this study we evaluated the effects of a therapist-guided 8-week-long ICBT intervention for informal caregivers. Methods: In total, 63 participants were recruited online and randomized either to the intervention or to the wait-list control group. The main study outcome was the Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI). Secondary outcomes included measures of caregiver depression, anxiety, stress, and quality of life. Results: Moderate between-group effect sizes were observed for the CBI measure, in favor of the intervention group, with a Cohen d=–0.70 for the intention-to-treat analysis. Analyses of the subscales of the CBI showed significant reductions on the subscales of Development and Physical Health. Moderate reductions were found for depression and anxiety scores as indicated by the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) scores. Large between-group effects were observed for reduction in stress and increase in quality of life as indicated by the Perceived Stress Scale-14 (PSS-14), The Brunnsviken Brief Quality of Life Scale (BBQ), and The World Health Organization-Five Well-Being Index (WHO-5). In addition, participants experienced little to no difficulty in using the program and were mostly satisfied with the intervention’s platform and the choice of content. Conclusions: This is the first internet intervention study for informal caregivers in Lithuania. The results suggest that therapist-guided ICBT can be effective in reducing caregiver burden, anxiety, depression, stress, and improving quality of life. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04052724; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04052724

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Informal carers' support needs when caring for a person with dementia – A scoping literature review

Background: Informal carers of people with dementia report having unmet needs for support and few supportive interventions have been shown to be effective. There is a need to develop needs assessment instruments and supportive interventions with a holistic and person‐centred approach to meet the various and complex needs of carers. Objectives: The aim of this study was to provide an overview of carers' support needs when caring for people with dementia with the objectives to map and synthesise knowledge on key concepts of carers' support needs. Methods: A scoping review methodology was used. A literature search was conducted in PsycINFO, CINAHL, PubMed and EMBASE between January 2007 and October 2019. Three authors independently selected articles meeting the inclusion criteria, and data were extracted using a matrix developed for that purpose. Inductive content analysis was used to synthesise key concepts of carers' support needs. Results: The search identified 2748 articles after removing duplicates, and 122 articles were included in the mapping of carers' support needs. Synthesising carers' support needs indicated that the full extent of support needs emerges in the interaction between the carer and the person cared for and that it is possible to categorise support needs into four key concepts related to: 1) the carer as a person, 2) managing being a carer, 3) providing care, and 4) knowledge of dementia. Conclusion: The findings of this study help to map a framework describing carers' support needs that may guide the development of future needs assessment instruments and supportive interventions.

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Informal carer's knowledge of traumatic brain injury questionnaire: Initial development and validation

Aim: To develop and psychometrically test the instrument for measuring the knowledge of traumatic brain injury of informal carers. Design Instrument development. Method: Focus group discussions were conducted among informal carers and healthcare specialists in March 2017. The content validity was determined by the mean of the item content validity index. A reliability test was performed by the Kuder‐Richardson 20 and Pearson's correlation coefficient among 40 informal carers of patients with a traumatic brain injury in the rehabilitation medicine department of a tertiary hospital from August–September 2017. Results: The final 34‐item questionnaire covers the nature of traumatic brain injury, the consequences of traumatic brain injury, the rehabilitation process, and the role of the caregiver. The item content means ranged from 0.8–1.00, and the difficulty of knowledge items ranged from 0.18–0.98. The internal consistency reliability and correlation coefficient were 0.70 and 0.84, respectively.

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Informal caregiving in schizophrenia: correlates and predictors of perceived rewards

Background: Schizophrenia is a debilitating mental illness that has repercussions for the afflicted individual as well as the immediate family. While family caregiving entails enormous burden, it is also acknowledged that the experience may be perceived as being rewarding. Objectives: This study seeks to understand key aspects of caregiving in terms of perceived rewards, the experience of hope, and the social support available to family caregivers. Methods: Standardized instruments to assess these variables were administered to primary caregivers of people with schizophrenia and a comparative group. Results: It was seen that both hope, and perceived social support significantly predicted reward perception in the caregivers.

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Informal Caregiving in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS): A High Caregiver Burden and Drastic Consequences on Caregivers’ Lives

Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive autonomy loss and need for care. This does not only affect patients themselves, but also the patients’ informal caregivers (CGs) in their health, personal and professional lives. Objectives: The big efforts of this multi-center study were not only to evaluate the caregivers’ burden and to identify its predictors, but it also should provide a specific understanding of the needs of ALS patients’ CGs and fill the gap of knowledge on their personal and work lives. Methods: Using standardized questionnaires, primary data from patients and their main informal CGs (n = 249) were collected. Patients’ functional status and disease severity were evaluated using the Barthel Index, the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) and the King’s Stages for ALS. The caregivers’ burden was recorded by the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI). Comorbid anxiety and depression of caregivers were assessed by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Additionally, the EuroQol Five Dimension Five Level Scale evaluated their health-related quality of life. Results: The caregivers’ burden was high (mean ZBI = 26/88, 0 = no burden, ≥24 = highly burdened) and correlated with patients’ functional status (rp = −0.555, p < 0.001, n = 242). It was influenced by the CGs’ own mental health issues due to caregiving (+11.36, 95% CI [6.84; 15.87], p < 0.001), patients’ wheelchair dependency (+9.30, 95% CI [5.94; 12.66], p < 0.001) and was interrelated with the CGs’ depression (rp = 0.627, p < 0.001, n = 234), anxiety (rp = 0.550, p < 0.001, n = 234), and poorer physical condition (rp = −0.362, p < 0.001, n = 237). Moreover, female CGs showed symptoms of anxiety more often, which also correlated with the patients’ impairment in daily routine (rs = −0.280, p < 0.001, n = 169). As increasing disease severity, along with decreasing autonomy, was the main predictor of caregiver burden and showed to create relevant (negative) implications on CGs’ lives, patient care and supportive therapies should address this issue. Moreover, in order to preserve the mental and physical health of the CGs, new concepts of care have to focus on both, on not only patients but also their CGs and gender-associated specific issues. Conclusions: As caregiving in ALS also significantly influences the socioeconomic status by restrictions in CGs’ work lives and income, and the main reported needs being lack of psychological support and a high bureaucracy, the situation of CGs needs more attention. Apart from their own multi-disciplinary medical and psychological care, more support in care and patient management issues is required.

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Identifying the Unmet Supportive Care Needs, with Concomitant Influencing Factors, in Family Caregivers of Cancer Patients in China

Objective: The objective of the study is to assess the unmet needs of cancer caregivers and to identify the possible predictors of their supportive care needs in China. Methods: This multicenter, cross-sectional study enrolled 449 cancer patients' family caregivers' dyads. Patients provided general information and Karnofsky performance status (KPS); caregivers provided general information and completed a survey of Chinese version of the Supportive Care Needs Survey-Partners and Caregivers Scale. The independent samples t-test, one-way analysis of variance, and multiple stepwise regression were used to analyze the factors that influence the needs of caregivers. Results: A proportion of caregivers who had no needs were 5.6%. A proportion of caregivers with ≥ 5 moderate or high unmet needs and with ≥ 10 moderate or high unmet needs were 77.7% and 63.2%, respectively. Healthcare services and information needs and communication and relationship needs were the most prominent areas of caregivers' unmet needs. The item "Finding out about financial support and government benefits for you and/or the person with cancer" was the highest level of unmet needs at 78.6%. The level of unmet needs was related to the patient's physical function (KPS score), caregiver's educational levels, financial burden of healthcare, as well as the level of burden related to caregiving (working status, caring for others, caregiving experience, and total caregiving time). Conclusions: The level of unmet needs of family caregivers of cancer patients in China was higher. In clinical practice, more attention should be paid to family caregivers who take care of the patient with poor physical function, those who are highly educated, faced with higher financial burden of healthcare, and are currently working, as well as those who need to take care of others, spend more time caregiving, and have no caregiving experience.

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"I Wish I Could Die So I Would Not Be in Pain": A Qualitative Study of Palliative Care Needs Among People With Cancer or HIV/AIDS in Vietnam and Their Caregivers

Background: Although cancer and HIV/AIDS are common causes of death in Vietnam, limited data exist on their palliative care needs. As palliative care becomes part of Universal Health Coverage, evidence is needed to scale up appropriate care. Objectives: To elicit from people with cancer or HIV/AIDS in Vietnam, and their caregivers, the specific multidimensional symptoms and concerns that cause serious health-related suffering. Methods: Semistructured, qualitative, in-depth interviews were conducted with stage III or IV cancer patients, people with HIV/AIDS, and their caregivers at three cancer treatment centers and two HIV/AIDS treatment centers in northern, central, and southern Vietnam. Interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Sixty people were interviewed (21 cancer patients, 20 people with HIV/AIDS, 19 caregivers). Pain and other physical symptoms severely impacted their daily lives. Psychological distress-including sadness, depression, worry, and a feeling of having no future-was mentioned frequently, and it was exacerbated by disease progression and by social problems such as financial difficulties and, among people with HIV/AIDS, stigma. Caregivers also suffered physically and psychosocially. Spirituality emerged as a source of strength for patients. Findings: highlighted patients' and family caregivers' desire for more information about diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment, a shift toward individual decision-making. Conclusion: The findings demonstrate common, multidimensional, and severe suffering among people living with cancer or HIV/AIDS and their caregivers in Vietnam. These qualitative data should guide development of optimum clinical assessment tools and palliative care services for these populations.

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How Do Claims‐Based Measures of End‐of‐Life Care Compare to Family Ratings of Care Quality?

OBJECTIVES: Assess whether frequently‐used claims‐based end‐of‐life (EOL) measures are associated with higher ratings of care quality. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Deceased fee‐for‐service Medicare beneficiaries with cancer who underwent chemotherapy during July 2016 to January 2017 and died within 12 months and their caregiver respondents to an after‐death survey (n = 2,559). MEASUREMENTS: We examined claims‐based measures of EOL care: chemotherapy 14 days or more before death; inpatient admissions, intensive care unit (ICU) use, and emergency department (ED) visits 30 days or more before death; hospice election and the timing of election before death. Primary outcomes are family ratings of "excellent" care in the last month of life and reports that hospice care began "at the right time." Associations were assessed with logistic regression, adjusted by patient characteristics. RESULTS: Family rated EOL care as excellent less often, if within 30 days before death the cancer patient had inpatient admissions (1 hospitalization = 41.5% vs 51.5% none, adjusted difference −10.1 percentage points), ICU use (38.6% for any ICU use vs 47.4% none; adjusted difference −8.8 percentage points), ED visits (41.0% 1 visit vs 51.6% no visits; adjusted difference −10.6 percentage points), or elected hospice within 7 days before death. Among hospice enrollees, family more often reported that hospice began at the right time if it started at least 7 days before death (hospice 1–2 days before death 60.2% vs hospice 7–13 days 74.9%; adjusted difference +14.7 percentage points). CONCLUSIONS: Claims‐based measures of EOL care for cancer patients that reflect avoidance of hospital‐based care and earlier hospice enrollment are associated with higher ratings of care quality by bereaved family members.

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Heart Failure Caregiver Self-Care: A Latent Class Analysis

Background: Little is known about heart failure (HF) caregiver self-care. Methods: This article reports a secondary analysis of data from a cross-sectional, descriptive study involving 530 HF caregivers. A three-step latent class mixture model identified HF caregiver classes at risk for poor self-care and examined the relationship between the identified self-care classes and caregiver burden and depression. Caregivers completed online surveys on self-care, caregiver burden, depression, problem-solving, social support, and family function. Results: Caregivers were 41.39 (±10.38) years old, 78.3% Caucasian, and 50.9% men. Three classes of HF caregivers (24% Low-Risk, 24.9% Moderate-Risk, 51.1% High-Risk) were identified. High-Risk caregivers had the worst self-care and the lowest levels of social support, problem-solving, and family function. Moderate-Risk caregivers were the most experienced and had the best self-care yet had the most comorbidities. High-Risk caregivers reported more caregiver burden and depression. Conclusions: "At-risk" caregivers may benefit from self-care and support programs, but more research is needed.

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Health-Related Quality of Life and Family Functioning of Primary Caregivers of Children with Cerebral Palsy in Malaysia

Background: Caregiving for children with cerebral palsy (CP) has proved to negatively impact on the physical and psychological well-being of their primary caregivers. Objective: The aim of the current study was to examine the overall impact of caregiving for children with CP on the primary caregivers’ health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and family functioning, and to identify potential factors associated with primary caregivers’ HRQOL and family functioning. Methods: The cross-sectional study involved a total of 159 primary caregivers of children with CP with a mean age of 42.8 ± 8.4 years. Demographic data and information on the physical and leisure activities of the primary caregivers were collected, and their quality of life (QOL) was measured based on the self-reported Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Family Impact Module (PedsQL FIM). Results: Primary caregivers in the current study have shown good HRQOL and family functioning, with scores of 82.4 and 85.3 out of 100, respectively. Through multiple linear regression analyses, the mother’s level of education, family monthly income, sleeping problems in children with CP, and the existence of children with other types of disability have been identified as factors contributing to HRQOL and family functioning. Conclusions: The findings help set out the course for stakeholders to establish action to enhance the QOL of primary caregivers.

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Health Promotion Behavior among Older Korean Family Caregivers of People with Dementia

Background: People adopt health promotion behaviors to promote their health as they interact within the environment. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine factors influencing health promotion behaviors among older adults caring for family members with dementia. Methods: For this cross-sectional study, data from 135 older adults who were the main caregivers were collected at an outpatient clinic at a university hospital in the capital city of South Korea between September and October in 2020. Sociodemographic characteristics, caregiver-related characteristics, dementia knowledge, fear of dementia, and health promotion behaviors were measured. Results: Univariate analysis revealed that the level of health promotion behaviors differed by age, sex, educational level, monthly income, relationship with the family member with dementia, and cohabitation with family members with dementia. In the multivariate analysis, a hierarchical multiple regression model explained 33.9% of the variance. Sex, duration of caregiving, use of long-term care service, and fear of dementia predicted health promotion behavior. Conclusion: A strategic tailored care plan for target population is needed to improve the health promotion behavior of older adults caring for family members with dementia.

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Gender differences in grandparent caregiving and life satisfaction of older jamaicans

Purpose: Grandparents are common providers of childcare within the Caribbean region. Yet research on the implications of grandparent caregiving for older adults’ well-being is limited. This study examined gender differences in the relationship between grandparent caregiving and the life satisfaction of older adults in Jamaica. Methods: Using a sample of 1,622 grandparents 60 years and older drawn from the 2012 study “The Health and Social Status of Older Jamaicans,” we estimated binary logistic regression models to examine the association between the frequency of grandparent caregiving and the life satisfaction of grandparents. Findings: Grandmothers were more likely than grandfathers to provide care. We did not find a statistically significant gender difference in the life satisfaction of caregiving grandparents. Yet, gender differences in the patterns of association between grandparent caregiving and life satisfaction were evident. Among grandmothers, both occasional and regular caregiving was associated with higher life satisfaction relative to non-caregivers. Among grandfathers, however, only regular caregiving was positively associated with life satisfaction. Originality: This is the first population-based study within the Caribbean to examine gendered patterns of grandparent caregiving and the association with grandparents’ well-being. The findings of this study suggest that grandparent caregiving is beneficial to the well-being of older Jamaican men and women. This study challenges assumptions of gender norms that typically do not position men to be involved in caregiving roles, and to derive satisfaction from such roles, within Caribbean households. The authors suggest more attention should be given to interventions to encourage men to be actively involved in family caregiving.

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From Burden to Depressive Symptoms in Informal Caregivers during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Path Analysis

Background: The objective of this study was to assess the complex relationship between the multiple determinants of the caregiving process, the caregiver burden, and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic in Serbia. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on a nationally representative sample (n = 798) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Serbia from March to September 2020. A nine-section questionnaire designed for this study included the characteristics of caregivers, characteristics of care and care recipients, COVID-19 related questions, and the following standardized instruments: 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey, Fatigue Severity Scale, Activities of Daily Living Scale and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale, Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale, and Beck Depression Inventory. Path analysis was used for the simultaneous assessment of the direct and indirect relationships of all determinants. Results: More than two thirds (71.9%) of informal caregivers experienced a burden, and more than one quarter (27.1%) had depression symptomatology. Self-rated physical health, need for psychosocial support, and caregiver burden were the main direct predictors of depression. Multiple determinants of the caregiving process had indirect effects on depressive symptomatology via the caregiver burden as a mediating factor. Conclusions: The subjective burden presented a significant risk factor for depressive symptoms in caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The provision of psychosocial support was identified as an important opportunity to reduce depressive risk in informal caregivers.

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The fog of support: an inquiry into the provision of respite care and carers assessments for people affected by dementia

This report reviews the support available to informal carers of people with dementia, with specific attention being given to carers’ assessments (or “check ins”) and the provision of short breaks for carers. Evidence for this research was collected from a range of sources, including via desk-based research, a survey of directors of adult social care, a request to local authorities for data, interviews with senior leaders and commissioners in adult social care, a survey of professionals, a survey of carers, and workshops held in England and Wales with people living with dementia and carers. The findings show that there is a reported lack of available services that enable carers of people living with dementia to take a break from caring. Positive support is reported by some (such as that provided by local charities, and the use of community resources); however, both professionals and carers report difficulty in finding care provision which suits the needs of people living with dementia, and this in turn prevents carers from arranging breaks for themselves. The experience of carer assessments reported by carers is mixed; however, this research confirms findings in the wider literature that only a minority of carers have received an assessment of their needs. Furthermore, these assessments were not always experienced positively. The nature of providing short breaks for carers is challenging from a legislative perspective and at a practice level, particularly where support may be delivered to a person living with dementia but is intended primarily for the benefit of the person caring for them. Some evidence highlighted situations where this was the case, as well as situations where the person with dementia may have different wishes to the person caring for them in terms of replacement care.

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FOCUS Program: Treating patients with cancer and family caregivers as a unit of care

Background: Studies indicate that patients' and caregivers' responses to illness are interdependent; each person affects the other. Existing evidence reinforces the need to recognize family caregivers as equal recipients of care and support. Objectives: This evidence-based pilot study evaluated the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of the nurse-guided, psychoeducational, familybased FOCUS program intervention at a local oncology outpatient clinic. Methods: 30 patient-caregiver dyads were recruited from a local oncology clinic. Intervention delivery occurred using home visits and telephone calls. Self-administered questionnaires were used to assess participants' self-efficacy, quality of life (QOL), and coping pre- and postintervention, and intervention satisfaction postintervention. Three tailored psychosocial education sessions were held during a 6- to 9-week period. Findings: Significant changes in outcomes were found, including increased self-efficacy in both patients and caregivers, higher QOL in caregivers, and decreased use of substances for coping in patients. There was a trend for patients' emotional well-being to improve over time; other aspects of QOL showed little change. There were no significant changes in caregivers' coping.

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Finding a balance in family caregiving for people with dementia: A correlational longitudinal study

Aims: The “Finding a Balance Point” framework was used to explore the caregiving process over time for family caregivers of people with dementia in Taiwan. This study aimed to: (a) identify Taiwanese caregivers’ different balance trajectories; (b) explore predictors of trajectory group membership; and (c) examine associations of different balance trajectories with caregiving outcomes. Design: A correlational longitudinal design was used. Methods: Data were collected from 200 family caregivers’ self‐completed questionnaires and they were followed over 2 years (June 2015–May 2017). Discrete balance trajectories were identified by group‐based trajectory modelling. Predictors of trajectory group membership were identified from potential predictors of caregiving characteristics and caregiving factors using multivariate logistic regression. Associations of trajectory groups with caregiving outcomes (depressive symptoms and health‐related quality of life) were explored using the generalized estimating equation. Results: Balance trajectories best fit a two‐group trajectory model (poor and good). Caregivers with a poor sense of balance between competing needs were more likely to have more depressive symptoms (b = 11.71, 95% CI [9.04, 14.38], p < .001), worse physical health (b = −6.22, 95% CI [−8.71, −3.74], p < .001), and worse mental health (b = −11.1, 95% CI [−13.58, −8.63], p < .001) than caregivers with a good sense of balance. Caregivers experiencing lower role strain (b = −1.45, SE = 0.48, p = .003) or higher predictability (b = 2.83, SE = 0.76, p < .001) were more likely to belong to the good‐balance group. Conclusions: Caregivers with poor balance between competing needs are more likely to have worse caregiving outcomes. Role strain and predictability significantly predicted balance trajectory groups. Family caregivers with lower caregiving task difficulty and/or better knowledge of the care receiver were more likely to be in the good balance trajectory group. Impact: Our findings support the framework, “Finding a Balance Point,” and clarify the family caregiving process for people with dementia. This framework could be used to tailor interventions for home care nurses to improve family caregivers’ caregiving outcomes.

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Family rules, routines, and caregiver distress during the first year of pediatric cancer treatment

Objective: A new diagnosis of pediatric cancer may disrupt family functioning. The current study aimed to describe changes in family rules and routines during the first year of pediatric cancer treatment, and to explore associations with demographics, illness factors, and caregiver distress. Methods: This exploratory mixed‐methods, cross‐sectional study examined 44 primary caregivers of youth in treatment for a new cancer diagnosis in 2019 and 2020, before the onset of the COVID‐19 pandemic. Caregivers completed validated questionnaires assessing demographic and child illness characteristics, psychosocial distress, and cancer‐related stressors, and participated in a semi‐structured interview about family rules and routines. Results: Caregivers reported changes in bedtime, mealtime, and school routines, relaxed behavioral expectations and rules around screen time, and new rules and routines around treatment, medications, and infection control. Caregivers with elevated levels of psychosocial distress reported more changed routines than caregivers with low levels of psychosocial distress. Caregivers who endorsed more cancer‐related stressors reported more new rules and routines than those who reported fewer cancer‐related stressors. Demographic and illness factors were not significantly associated with the number of changed, new, or stable family rules and routines. Conclusions: Families may relax rules and routines during the first several months of diagnosis, and this may be related to side effects of treatment and limited caregiver capacity. The long‐term impact of changes in family rules and routines during cancer treatment warrants further study given that accommodating parenting strategies have been associated with adverse short‐ and long‐term child health and behavior outcomes.

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Family functionality and burden of family caregivers of users with mental disorders

Objective: to verify the difference of mean or median in the scores of family functionality and burden of family caregivers of people with mental disorders. Methods: cross-sectional study carried out in a Psychosocial Care Center with 61 family caregivers. Instruments were used for sociodemographic characterization, care process, Family Apgar Index and Family Burden Interview Schedule. Mean/median difference tests were adopted. Results: women with mental disorders and the presence of children in the home decreased the median of the family Apgar score. Difficulty in the relationship between caregiver/user, nervousness/ tension, physical aggression and agitation of patients increased the global average of subjective burden. Conclusions: nursing interventions to reduce burden and promote family functionality should prioritize caregivers of women with mental disorders, assist them in managing troublesome behaviors and raising awareness of family nucleus to co-responsibility for caring for sick people, especially in families with children who demand daily care.

 

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Family Focused Therapy for Family Members of Patients with Bipolar Disorder: Case Reports of Its Impact on Expressed Emotions

Background: Caregivers of patients with bipolar disorder (BD) undergo a considerable amount of burden. In India, family caregivers are the primary source of support and care for their ill relatives. The burden faced by family members of patients with BD often results in physical and mental health consequences. This may lead to negative interaction patterns such as hostility, criticality, and overinvolvement, termed as expressed emotions (EE). Methods: Here, we report how we addressed the EE in family members, using a single-subject design that involved the family caregivers (n = 2) of two adults who presented with a diagnosis of BD with a current episode of mania. Results: An assessment of family caregivers, using the family questionnaire, revealed high EE. Family focused therapy (FFT) of 12 sessions was delivered over 3–4 weeks on an inpatient basis, with positive outcomes of reductions in EE and family stress and improved psychosocial functioning in patient that were sustained over 9–10 months. Conclusions: FFT can be an important add on psychosocial therapy to reduce EE and stress and to facilitate functioning and communication. 

 

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Family accommodation in eating disorders: a preliminary examination of correlates with familial burden and cognitive-behavioral treatment outcome

Background: Previous research suggests caregivers of individuals with eating disorders (EDs) may attempt to reduce family strain by engaging in accommodation and enabling behaviors to avoid conflict or alleviate stress of the affected individual. Moreover, families often reorganize life around the ED, reinforcing ED behaviors and exacerbating family dysfunction and caregiver distress. However, limited research has examined how accommodation relates to caregivers' distress, family functioning, and treatment outcomes. The current study provides an initial evaluation of these associations among treatment-seeking individuals with EDs and their family members. Method: Forty family members of individuals receiving cognitive behavioral therapy for EDs in a residential treatment soetting completed the Accommodation and Enabling Scale for Eating Disorders (AESED) and measures of anxiety (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System anxiety scale) and family functioning (Family Assessment Device; FAD) at the time of their family member's treatment admission. Results: Eighteen patients completed the Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire (EDE-Q) at admission and discharge. AESED scores were positively associated with family member anxiety, FAD roles, FAD behavioral control, and higher patient EDE-Q global scores at discharge. Conclusions: Findings provide preliminary evidence that greater family accommodation not only relates to poorer family functioning, but uniquely relates to worse ED treatment outcome.

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Exploring opportunities for holistic family care of parental caregivers of children with life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses

Background: Life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses in children have profound implications for all family members, many of whom experience unmet health and support needs. Methods: Guided by literature on family-centered care and an Interpretive Description methodology, qualitative focus group interviews were conducted with 18 parental caregivers and health care and support providers to explore family experiences and identify care and support needs across the illness trajectory. Findings: Data analysis resulted in three themes related to parental participation in children's medical care, parental and familial psychological well-being, and social support needs. These inter-related themes reflect the complex nature of family life with childhood illness, highlighting families' holistic needs and how children's physical and psychological care is intertwined with the psychological and social well-being of the family system. Additionally, the findings revealed the significance of communication to parental caregivers' hope, coping, and well-being. Conclusions: The findings add depth to existing literature, and identify opportunities for addressing families' unmet needs, with specific attention to the role that social workers can play in facilitating family-centred care to promote effective support of parental caregivers. As such, the findings emphasize the important contributions that social workers can make within health care teams and in educational settings to optimize parents' ability to care for ill children while maintaining family functioning and well-being, and as advocates for social and policy change. 

 

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Evaluating the effectiveness of the Family Connections program for caregivers of youth with mental health challenges, part I: A quantitative analysis

Introduction: Caregivers of youth with mental health (MH) challenges are often faced with complex problems in relation to caring for their youth. Family Connections™ (FC) is a 12‐week skills training program for families of individuals with MH challenges, developed originally for Borderline Personality Disorder. Research is needed to examine the effectiveness of FC for caregivers of youth with diverse MH challenges. Objective: To examine the effectiveness of FC for caregivers of youth with MH challenges. Methods: A total of 94 caregivers of youth with MH challenges participated in FC, across three sites in Ontario, Canada. Assessments occurred at baseline, 6 weeks, 12 weeks and follow‐up. Primary outcomes include the Burden Assessment Scale and The Stress Index for Parents of Adolescents. Secondary outcomes included the caregiver's report of child behaviour, affect, mastery, coping and grief. Linear mixed model analyses were conducted, where time and the time × site interaction were defined as the fixed effects. Results: Statistically significant improvements over time were observed across outcome measures, including caregiver burden, grief, coping, and other measures. The time × site interaction was only significant for burden (P = .005). Conclusion: This study demonstrates the effectiveness of FC for caregivers of youth with MH challenges. Future research should focus on differences across geographical sites and facilitation models. Patient or public contribution: Caregivers were involved in the facilitation of FC. A person with lived experience was involved in analysing the data, reporting the results, and drafting the manuscript.

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The Effects of Patients’ and Caregivers’ Characteristics on the Burden of Families Caring for Stroke Survivors

Background: Vascular strokes are the leading cause of long-term disability for adults. They impose high levels of burden on the patient, the family, and national healthcare systems worldwide. This study aimed to assess the effects of patients’ and caregivers’ characteristics on the perceptions of burden in families caring for a loved one living with stroke in Greece. Methods: Using purposive sampling, 109 dyads of patients and their respective caregivers were recruited from the Attica region. Patients completed a questionnaire that included personal characteristics and the Barthel Index, while caregivers completed a set of questionnaires—personal characteristics, revised Bakas Caregiving Outcomes Scale (BCOS), Personal Resource Questionnaire (PRQ 2000), and Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D). Results: Caregiving burden was linked to both patients’ and caregivers’ characteristics. A patient’s educational level, the number of family members living in the same house, the existence of equipment and facilities in the house, and the duration of provided care were associated with perception of greater burden. Regarding caregivers’ characteristics, those in good health had a significantly lower perception of burden. Higher PRQ 2000 scores were significantly associated with higher BCOS scores (less burden), and higher CES-D scores were significantly associated with lower BCOS scores (more burden). Conclusion: Caring for a loved one affected by stroke places a considerable burden on the caregiver. Systematic assessment and intervention strategies can help to identify caregivers at risk so that suitably targeted assistance may be provided.

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The effects of caregiver's burden on dynamic structure in disorder of consciousness families: An observational study

Introduction: Disorder of consciousness is a clinical condition due to severe brain damage. The impact of consciousness disorder on the family is characterized by a combination of biopsychosocial factors. The burden and suffering perceived by caregivers can cause psychological distress characterized by anxiety, depression, and physical illness. The aim of the study was to investigate the interaction between family dynamics and caregiver burden. Methods: We enlisted 35 caregivers of subjects in a minimally conscious state. Two skilled psychologists administered the Olson's Adaptability and Family Cohesion Assessment Scale and the Novak's Burden Inventory Caregiver Scale to assess family function and family burden, respectively. Results: We found that the caregiver burden correlates with the family adaptability and cohesion, as well as with enmeshment, rigidity, and disengagement. Conclusion: Findings suggest that the traumatic event does not affect the family structure. Families are able to maintain a balanced functioning and control distress.

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Effects of Caregiver Status, Coping Styles, and Social Support on the Physical Health of Korean American Caregivers

Purpose: This study investigated direct and indirect effects of caregiver status on the physical health of Korean American caregivers in terms of caregiver coping styles and the quantity and the quality of informal social support. Design and Methods: Using a sample of 87 caregivers and 87 matched noncaregivers, we analyzed a path model, employing both subjective (self-reported general health) and objective (blood pressure and cortisol levels) health indicators. For the intervening variables the path model employed coping styles and two aspects of social support (the quantity of informal social support and the quality of informal social support). Results: Our findings supported the association of caregiver status with poor health outcomes among Korean American caregivers. Of interest, the adverse effects of caregiver status on the physical health of caregivers were reported only with objective health markers (blood pressure and cortisol levels), not with subjective health indicators. The proposed indirect effects of caregiver status were supported only for cortisol levels, through the quality of informal social support. Implications: The demonstration of the physical health effects of caregiving in one of the nation's fastest growing ethnic groups, and the finding that these physiological effects occur without self-reported poor health, call attention to a potentially serious health problem in an understudied group providing family care to frail older family members. 

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Effects of an attachment-based parent intervention on mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder: preliminary findings from a non-randomized controlled trial

Background: Caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often experience difficulties in responding appropriately to the needs of those children, who typically express attachment in distinct and nonconventional ways. This highlights the need for an attachment-based approach targeted at caregivers of children with ASD. Circle of Security Parenting (COSP), an attachment-based parenting program, is designed to increase caregivers’ sensitivity to children’s attachment needs. The aim of this study was to provide verification of the effectiveness of COSP in mothers of children with ASD. Methods: This study was a non-randomized controlled trial. Sixty mothers of children with ASD aged 4–12 were recruited. Twenty mothers received the COSP intervention, while 40 did not. The characteristics of children in the control group were matched with those of the intervention group. To evaluate the outcomes of the intervention, changes in parental self-efficacy and mental health were assessed using the Tool to Measure Parenting Self-Efficacy (TOPSE) and the General Health Questionnaire-30 (GHQ-30). The children’s improvement in emotional and behavioral problems was assessed from the mothers’ perspective using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Both groups completed the assessments in parallel. Evaluations were compared between baseline (T1) and 6-month follow-up (T2). Results: Scores for self-efficacy and mental health of mothers and behavior of children were significantly improved from T1 to T2 in the intervention group, but not in the control group. Participants’ mental health was markedly worsened in the control group. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the COSP program for mothers of children with ASD improved their parental self-efficacy and mental health, and reduced their subjective sense of difficulties related to their children’s behaviors. Our findings support the effectiveness of the attachment-based program for mothers of children with ASD, providing the groundwork for further studies of the attachment-based intervention for children with ASD and their families. Future studies with larger samples and randomization are also needed for direct evaluation of the improvement of children's attachment security, and for exploration of the synergistic relationship between various family support strategies and COSP. Trial Registration: This trial was registered with the University Hospital Medical Information Network Clinical Trial Registry (No. UMIN000039574)

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Effect of handholding on heart rate variability in both patients with cancer and their family caregivers: a randomized crossover study

Background: Many family caregivers of patients with cancer feel guilty about self-care. A meaningful relationship with patients reduces such negative feelings and functions as self-care for family caregivers. Moreover, handholding improves autonomic functions in non-cancer patients. However, the effects of handholding on both patients with cancer and family caregivers remain unknown. Methods: We evaluated the effects of handholding on heart rate variability (HRV) in patients with cancer and their family caregivers. This randomized crossover study divided patients with cancer and their family caregivers into two trial groups: Handholding trial (the family caregiver holds the patient’s hand for five minutes) and Beside trial (the family caregiver stays beside the patient without holding their hand). The study included 37 pairs of patients with cancer who received treatment in the cancer department of a university hospital in Japan and their family caregivers (n = 74). The primary end-point was the change in HRV before and during the intervention. Results: The median performance status of the patients was 3. An interaction was observed between trials in the standard deviation of the normal-to-normal interval (SDNN) of HRV for family caregivers (F = 7.669; p = 0.006), and a significant difference in time course was observed between the trials (before p = 0.351; during p = 0.003). No interaction was observed between trials in the SDNN for patients (F = 0.331; p = 0.566). Only a main effect in time course (F = 6.254; p = 0.014) was observed. SDNN increased significantly during the intervention in both trials (Handholding trial: p = 0.002, Beside trial: p = 0.049). Conclusions: Handholding improves autonomic functions of family caregivers and may function as self-care for family caregivers. Trial registration: UMIN000020557. Registered on January 15, 2016. 

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Dyadic effects of family-functioning and resilience on quality of life in advanced lung cancer patients and caregivers: An actor-partner interdependence mediation model

Background: Lung cancer as a stressful event profoundly impacts the entire family, especially patients and their family caregivers. Methods: This study uses a dyadic analysis approach to explore the dyadic effects of family functioning on the quality of life (QoL), and whether resilience acts as a mediator in advanced lung cancer patient-caregiver dyads. This was a cross-sectional study, and 287 dyads of advanced lung cancer patients and their caregivers were enrolled. Family-functioning, resilience, and QoL were assessed by the General Functioning subscale of the Family Assessment Device (FAD), the 10-item Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, and the Short Form-8 (SF-8) Health Survey, respectively. Data were analyzed using the actor-partner interdependence mediation model. Results: This study found that, for patients and caregivers, resilience mediates the actor effects of family-functioning on QoL. That is, family-functioning was positively related to their resilience, which improved QoL. Another important finding is that caregivers' family-functioning had significant indirect effects on patients' QoL through their resilience. Positive family functioning perceived by patients and caregivers can improve their QoL by developing their own resilience. Furthermore, family-functioning perceived by caregivers can also improve patients' QoL through their resilience. Medical staff should identify vulnerable patients and caregivers with poorer family-functioning and resilience, and make focused intervention to improve the QoL of both lung cancer patients and their family caregivers. Conclusions:  Positive family functioning perceived by patient-caregiver dyads can improve their QoL by developing their resilience.  Family-functioning perceived by caregivers can also improve patients' QoL through their resilience.

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Dyadic effects of family resilience on post-traumatic stress symptoms among breast cancer patients and their primary family caregivers: A cross-sectional study

Objectives: The aims of this study were to verify actor and partner effects, by examining the effects of family resilience on post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) among Chinese breast cancer patients and their primary family caregivers. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 104 breast cancer patients (age range 20–75, Mean = 47, Standard Deviation = 10), and their principal caregivers (n = 104), were recruited from a comprehensive cancer center of a public hospital in China. The patients and their caregivers self-reported sociodemographic, family resilience, and PTSS factors. The actor-partner interdependence model were adopted to examine whether the patients and caregivers' perceived family resilience could contribute to their own ("actor effect") and each other's ("partner effect") PTSS. Results: There were significant correlations between patients' and caregivers' shortened Chinese version of Family Resilience Assessment Scale scores (r = 0.58, p < 0.01) and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Civilian Version scores (r = 0.69, p < 0.01). Caregivers' perceived family resilience was negatively related to their PTSS (actor effect), and the patients' PTSS (partner effect). However, the patients' perceived family resilience was not significantly related to their or the caregivers' PTSS. The primary caregivers' perceived family resilience had both actor and partner effects on patient/caregiver PTSS within the first year of breast cancer diagnosis. Conclusions: Family-based interventions should be designed to enhance family resilience to decrease PTSS within families dealing with cancer patients. Supportive care should focus on the primary family caregivers within the first year of breast cancer diagnosis. 

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Domains of quality of life in Alzheimer’s disease vary according to caregiver kinship

Introduction: Compared to other types of caregiver, spouse-caregivers tend to be closer to people with Alzheimer’s disease (PwAD) because of their different position in the relationship. We designed this study to compare the differences in caregivers’ quality of life (QoL) and domains of QoL according to the kinship relationship between the members of caregiving dyads. Methods: We assessed QoL of 98 PwAD and their family caregivers (spouse-caregivers, n = 49; adult children, n = 43; and others, n = 6). The PwAD and their caregivers completed questionnaires about their QoL, awareness of disease, cognition, severity of dementia, depression, and burden of caring. Results: The comparison between caregiver types showed that spouse-caregivers were older, with higher levels of burden and lower scores for cognition. Caregivers’ total QoL scores were not significantly different according to type of kinship. However, there were significant differences in the domains physical health (p = 0.04, Cohen’s d [d] = -0.42), marriage (p = 0.01, d = 1.31), and friends (p = 0.04, d = -0.41), and life as a whole showed a trend to difference (p = 0.08, d = -0.33). When QoL domains were analyzed within dyads, there were significant differences between members of spouse dyads in the domains energy (p = 0.01, d = -0.49), ability to do things for fun (p = 0.01, d = -0.48), and memory (p = 0.000, d = -1.07). For non-spouse dyads, there were significant differences between caregivers and PwAD for the QoL domains memory (p = 0.004, d = -0.63), marriage (p = 0.001, d = -0.72), friends (p = 0.001, d = -0.65), and ability to do chores (p = 0.000, d = -0.76). Conclusions: Differences were only detected between spouse/non-spouse-caregivers when QoL was analyzed by domains. We speculate that spouse and non-spouse caregivers have distinct assessments and perceptions of what is important to their QoL.

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Do Informal Caregivers Expect to Die Earlier? A Longitudinal Study with a Population-Based Sample on Subjective Life Expectancy of Informal Caregivers

Introduction: Subjective life expectancy is a good predictor of health and could therefore be a relevant factor in the informal caregiving context. However, no research has been conducted on the perception of life expectancy by informal caregivers. This is the first study that examines the association between transitioning into, and out of, informal caregiving, and subjective life expectancy, and the relevance of employment status and gender for these associations. Methods: A longitudinal study was conducted with data from the German Ageing Survey (waves 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2017). Up to 20,774 observations pooled over all waves were included in the main models. In total, 1,219 transitions into and 1,198 transitions out of informal caregiving were observed. Fixed effects (FE) regression analysis was used. Moderator and stratified analyses were conducted with gender and employment status used as moderator variables and to stratify the sample. Sociodemographic information, health, and lifestyle factors were controlled for. Results: Results of adjusted FE regression analyses indicated a significant reduction of subjective life expectancy when transitioning into informal caregiving. No significant change was found when transitioning out of informal caregiving. Subjective life expectancy was significantly decreased when employed individuals transitioned into informal caregiving and significantly increased when they transitioned out of caregiving. Findings for women transitioning into informal caregiving indicated a significant decrease in subjective life expectancy, while no significant change was found among men. Conclusion: The study's findings indicate that informal caregivers, female and employed caregivers in particular, perceive informal care provision as dangerous for their longevity and expect to die earlier when transitioning into informal caregiving. Thus, supportive interventions for informal caregivers, particularly employed and female informal caregivers, are recommended. 

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Diseases Costs and Impact of the Caring Role on Informal Carers of Children with Neuromuscular Disease

Objectives: This study aims to evaluate the costs of informal care for children with neuromuscular disease and evaluate how physical and psychological health is associated with socio-demographic variables. Methods: A cross sectional design was used with a convenience sample of 110 carers that participated in this study. Participants were recruited from Spanish hospitals and rare diseases organizations. Economic costs and sociodemographic aspects were assessed using the economic costs questionnaire and the sociodemographic questionnaire. Physical and psychological health was evaluated using the CarerQol-7D, PHQ-15, Barthel Index, Zarit Overload Scale and Satisfaction with Life Scale. Results: Carers of children with neuromuscular disease spent a large percentage of their annual income in physical therapy, psychological care and speech therapy. Informal costs differed according to the degree of dependency of the child. These were higher in those caregivers whose child under their care presented low functional independence. The loss of work productivity was related to marital status, use of professional services and the child’s dependency. Finally, carers who were female, single or separated and without a job showed worse physical and psychological health. Conclusions: The results highlighted that carers have to face a number of high costs because of the non-existence of social protection and due to the child’s diagnosis. 

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Development of the Readiness for Home-Based Palliative Care Scale (RHBPCS) for Primary Family Caregivers

Background: In Chinese or Eastern society, most end-of-life (EOL) patients still choose to die at home. However, primary family caregivers usually do not prepare themselves to face the death of patients. Therefore, a measurement of the readiness for home-based palliative care for primary family caregivers is needed. Methods: In this study, the readiness for home-based palliative care scale (RHBPCS) for primary family caregivers was developed to assess the readiness of primary family caregivers. This study recruited 103 participants from five branches of one municipal hospital system. The reliability and validity of the RHBPCS was evaluated using expert validity examination, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and item analysis. Results: The results showed that the RHBPCS had strong goodness-of-fit and good reliability and validity. Conclusions: In summary, the RHBPCS is suggested for assessing the readiness for home-based palliative care of primary family caregivers.

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Development of a family resiliency model to care of patients with schizophrenia

Background: Families who care for schizophrenia suffer stress and lose the ability to treat. Family stress can be mediated by resilience. Objective: This study aimed to develop a family resilience model based on family‐centred nursing for persons with schizophrenia. Methods: This study used a mixed‐method cross‐sectional approach. The population was a family of caregivers for persons with schizophrenia at Mental Hospital in Surabaya, Indonesia. The respondents were 137 families recruited by simple random sampling. Variables include family factors, risk factors, protective factors, patient factors, family stress, family resilience and family ability to care for persons with schizophrenia. The data were collected using questionnaires and then analysed with partial least squares. The statistical results afforded material for focus group discussions with six families and 10 health workers (psychiatrists, psychologists and nurses) in order to improve the model. Results: The result showed family stress was influenced by family factors (path coefficient = −0.145; t = 2.26), risk factors (path coefficient = 0.753; t = 16.7) and patient factors (path coefficient = 0.159; t = 3.23). Family resilience is influenced by risk factors (path coefficient = 0.316; t = 2.60), protective factors (path coefficient = 0.176; t = 2.22) and family stress (path coefficient = 0.298; t = 2.54). Family resilience affects the family ability to treat persons with schizophrenia (path coefficient = 0.366; t = 5.36). The family resilience model increases family capability by 13.4%. Conclusions: The model helps families through stress management by controlling the burden and stigma so that families are able to survive, rise, growing stronger and be better at caring for persons with schizophrenia. 

 

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Development and Validation of the Family Quality of Life in Dementia Scale

Background and Objectives: People with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) exhibit losses in daily function, as well as behavioral and psychological symptoms, that place a great deal of burden on family caregivers and exert a major influence on the quality of life of these individuals and their families. Despite years of intervention research in the field, there are few studies related to the impact of providing care for a person with ADRD on the family as the unit of analysis. While numerous findings have reported the effects of the chronic stress of caregiving for an individual, analysis of family quality of life is a concept that has been generally overlooked in the ADRD field. The purpose of the present study was to develop and test the Family Quality of Life in Dementia (FQOL-D) scale. Research Design and Methods: Face validity was obtained via a Delphi survey of a multidisciplinary team of dementia providers and researchers; initial psychometric evaluation of the instrument was obtained via family respondents (N = 244). Results: Internal consistency and reliability were established for the instrument. The FQOL-D scale exhibited excellent factorability and concurrent validity with existing scales assessing family psychosocial measures. Discussion and Implications: The initial psychometric testing of the FQOL-D instrument is favorable. Additional use of the FQOL-D instrument in health care settings is warranted to evaluate further the clinical utility of the instrument.

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Development and validation of a caregiving needs inventory for family members before their older relative's knee joint-replacement surgery

Objectives: This study had two purposes: to develop an instrument for assessing family members' caregiving needs before their older relative's knee joint-replacement surgery and to determine instrument psychometrics. Methods: In phase 1 of this validation study, we generated 34 items based on previous interviews with 138 family caregivers of patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA), an intensive literature review, and the authors' clinical experiences. In phase 2, we examined the content and face validities of the 34-item Family Members' Caring Needs Inventory (inventory) to develop a 32-item inventory. In phase 3, 150 family members of outpatients with knee OA were recruited from three hospitals in northern Taiwan and surveyed with the inventory to determine its internal consistency reliability and test–retest reliability. Results: The final 30-item inventory had excellent content and face validities. Its factor analysis yielded a five-factor solution, accounting for 82.9% of the variance. The inventory had Cronbach's α = 0.97 and intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.93, indicating very high internal consistency reliability and test–retest reliability. The inventory was perceived as easy to complete and yielded highly acceptable validity and reliability levels. After cross-cultural adaptation, this tool may be used to assess family members' caregiving needs before their relative's knee-replacement surgery. The role of family members and spouses in supporting patients with osteoarthritis (OA) is crucial. After cross-cultural adaptation, the Family Members' Caring Needs Inventory may be used by health care providers to assess and provide relevant information to meet the needs of family members caring for an older relative with knee OA. Conclusions: This assessment and specific caregiving information for family members of older knee OA patients may promote patients' quality of life and decrease their OA-related burden.

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Development and psychometric validation of the family-centered multidimensional outcome measure for pediatric palliative care targeted to children with severe neurological impairments—A multicenter prospective study

Background: Comprehensive outcome measurement in pediatric palliative care focusing on the entire unit of care, that is, the affected child and its family, is crucial to depict treatment effects. Despite its increasing relevance, no appropriate multidimensional outcome measures exist for the largest patient group in this field, namely children with severe neurological impairments. Aim: The aim of this study was to develop and validate a family-centered multidimensional outcome measure for pediatric palliative care patients with severe neurological impairment that encompasses the entire unit of care. Design: Based on results of a qualitative study, the questionnaire was developed by consensus-based generation of questions. It was validated in a multicenter prospective study employing exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses as well as reliability and item analyses. Setting: A total of 11 pediatric palliative care teams across Germany aided in the recruitment of study participants. Questionnaires were answered by 149 parents of children with severe neurological impairment and 157 professional caregivers. Results: The exploratory factor analysis of parent data revealed a 6-factor structure of the questionnaire representing: symptoms, the child's social participation, normalcy, social support, coping with the disease and caregiver's competencies. This structure was verified by a confirmatory factor analysis of professional caregiver data. Five separate items regarding siblings, partners, and further symptoms not applicable for all patients were added to ensure full multidimensionality. Conclusion: A validated outcome tool for severely neurologically impaired pediatric palliative care patients, the FACETS-OF-PPC, now exists. Due to its concise length and appropriate psychometric properties, it is well suited for clinical application.

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Development and psychometric testing of the Spanish version of the Caregiver Preparedness Scale

Aim: To psychometrically test the Spanish version of the Caregiver Preparedness Scale (CPS) and document the preparedness level of caregivers. Design: A descriptive and validation study.MethodPurposive sampling method was used to select 171 family caregivers Spain. The scale was cross‐culturally adapted through a process that included translation, comparison with versions in other languages and back‐translation, review, pre‐testing and validity, and reliability tests. Results: The Spanish family caregivers are mainly female (79%) and married (75%). The Spanish version of the CPS presents changes with respect to the original. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the single‐factor model. Analysis of internal consistency yielded a Cronbach's α of 0.89. Significant correlations (p < .01) with other scales supported convergent validity. A descriptive analysis of the validated scale showed average levels of preparation (2.16 out of 4). Caregivers felt better prepared to attend to the patient's physical needs than emotional or spiritual needs.

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Development and psychometric testing of a family concordance competency scale for families with children having chronic illnesses

Aim: This study aimed to develop a Family Concordance Competency Scale for Family System Units (FCCS-Fa) for families with children having chronic disease, and to evaluate its reliability and validity. Methods: FCCS-Fa was developed by taking the following steps: (a) drafting based on the elements comprising concordance between healthcare professionals and families with patients suffering from chronic illness; (b) evaluation of face and content validity by an expert panel; and (c) re-examination of face and content validity by semi-structured interviews with 16 families. Criterionrelated validity was evaluated using the existing scale and construct validity was evaluated using exploratory factor analysis. Analysis of each FCCS-Fa evaluation item, internal consistency, and the 2-week test-retest reliability was also conducted. An anonymous self-reported questionnaire survey was conducted, targeting families with chronically ill children who were outpatients at three hospitals. Results: A total of 196 subjects were analyzed. As results of FCCS-Fa item analysis and exploratory factor analysis, a scale structure comprised of 17 evaluation items and three factors were adopted. In addition, a significant correlation with several existing scales was identified and the criterionrelated validity was also confirmed. The Cronbach's α coefficient for the overall scale was .927, the intraclass correlation coefficient applying the retest method was .905, and internal consistency and test-retest reliability were both confirmed. Conclusions: We developed FCCS-Fa with reliability and validity. Assessing family concordance competency using this scale and supporting families to achieve family concordance can lead to self-management by families.

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Development and psychometric properties of surveys to assess patient and family caregiver experience with care transitions

Background: The purpose of this study was to develop and administer surveys that assess patient and family caregiver experiences with care transitions and examine the psychometric properties of the surveys. The surveys were designed to ask about 1) the transitional care services that matter most to patients and their caregivers and 2) care outcomes, including the overall quality of transitional care they received, patient self-reported health, and caregiver effort/stress. Methods: Survey items were developed based on a review of the literature, existing surveys, focus groups, site visits, stakeholder and expert input, and patient and caregiver cognitive interviews. We administered mail surveys with telephone follow up to patients recently discharged from 43 U.S. hospitals. Patients identified the caregivers who helped them during their hospital stay (Time 1 caregiver) and when they were home (Time 2 caregiver). Time 1 and Time 2 caregivers were surveyed by telephone only. The psychometric properties of the survey items and outcome composite measures were examined for each of the three surveys. Items that performed poorly across multiple analyses, including those with low variability and/or a high missing data, were dropped except when they were conceptually important. Results: The analysis datasets included responses from 9282 patients, 1245 Time 1 caregivers and 1749 Time 2 caregivers. The construct validity of the three proposed outcome composite measures—Overall Quality of Transitional Care (patient and caregiver surveys), Patient Overall Health (patient survey) and Caregiver Effort/Stress (caregiver surveys) —was supported by acceptable exploratory factor analysis results and acceptable internal consistency reliability. Site-level reliability was acceptable for the two patient outcome composite measures, but was low for Caregiver Effort/Stress (< 0.70). In all surveys, the Overall Quality of Transitional Care outcome composite measure was significantly correlated with other outcome composite measures and most of the single-item measures. Conclusions: Overall, the final patient and caregiver surveys are psychometrically sound and can be used by health systems, hospitals, and researchers to assess the quality of care transitions and related outcomes. Results from these surveys can be used to improve care transitions, focusing on what matters most to patients and their family caregivers.

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Development and initial validation of the diabetes family conflict scale (revised)‐short form in a racially and income diverse sample

Objective: The purpose of the study was to develop a short form of the revised diabetes family conflict scale (DFCS) in a racially and income diverse sample while retaining strong psychometric properties. Methods: One seventy nine youth with type 1 diabetes (ages 12–18 years) and caregivers completed the DFCS‐Revised as well as assessments of adherence, psychosocial functioning, and diabetes‐related stress. Hemoglobin A1c was also obtained. The sample was split at random into a development sample and validation sample. Results: Confirmatory factor analyses in the validation sample supported the use of a six‐item short form (DFCS‐SF) either as a total score (6‐items) or a direct (3‐item) and indirect (3‐item) score. Variations of the DFCS‐SF (three items of the 6‐item short form) also had acceptable model fit. The short‐form questionnaires had acceptable internal consistency and convergent validity (6‐item: Cronbach's a = 0.865, full scale DFCS r = 0.954; 3‐item: Cronbach's a = 0.757, full scale DFCS r = 0.912). The DFCS‐SF showed measurement invariance across both youth and caregiver respondents. Greater report of the DFCS‐SF by both youth and caregivers was significantly associated with higher HbA1c, more diabetes‐related stress, and more psychosocial concerns. Conclusions: The DFCS‐SF developed in the present study shows psychometric integrity in a diverse population of youth and can be utilized by providers to rapidly assess and potentially implement interventions to reduce diabetes family conflict, a psychosocial concern which is associated with elevated HbA1c, non‐optimal adherence, diabetes‐related stress, and psychological distress.

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Development and evaluation of an intervention on suPpoRting infOrmal cAregivers of older people with early CogniTIVe declinE (PROACTIVE): a study protocol based on the Medical Research Council framework

Introduction: Caring for people with cognitive problems can have an impact on informal caregivers’ health and well-being, and especially increases pressure on healthcare systems due to an increasing ageing society. In response to a higher demand of informal care, evidence suggests that timely support for informal caregivers is essential. The New York University Caregiver Intervention (NYUCI) has proven consistent effectiveness and high adaptability over 30 years. This study has three main objectives: to develop and evaluate the Flemish adaptation of the NYUCI in the context of caregiving for older people with early cognitive decline; to explore the causal mechanism of changes in caregivers’ health and well-being and to evaluate the validity and feasibility of the interRAI Family Carer Needs Assessment in Flanders. Methods and analysis: Guided by Medical Research Council framework, this study covers the development and evaluation phases of the adapted NYUCI, named PROACTIVE—suPpoRting infOrmal cAregivers of older people with early CogniTIVe declinE. In the development phase, we will identify the evidence base and prominent theory, and develop the PROACTIVE intervention in the Flemish context. In the evaluation phase, we will evaluate the PROACTIVE intervention with a pretest and posttest design in 1 year. Quantitative data will be collected with the BelRAI Screener, the BelRAI Social Supplement and the interRAI Family Carer Needs Assessment at baseline and follow-up points (at 4, 8 and 12 months). Qualitative data will be collected using counselling logs, evaluation forms and focus groups. Quantitative data and qualitative data will be analysed with SAS 9.4 software and NVivo software, respectively. Efficacy and process evaluation of the intervention will be performed. Ethics and dissemination: This study has been approved by the Ethics Committee of KU Leuven with a dossier number G-2020-1771-R2(MAR). Findings will be disseminated through community information sessions, peer-reviewed publications and national and international conference presentations.

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The fog of support: an inquiry into the provision of respite care and carers assessments for people affected by dementia

This report reviews the support available to informal carers of people with dementia, with specific attention being given to carers’ assessments (or “check ins”) and the provision of short breaks for carers. Evidence for this research was collected from a range of sources, including via desk-based research, a survey of directors of adult social care, a request to local authorities for data, interviews with senior leaders and commissioners in adult social care, a survey of professionals, a survey of carers, and workshops held in England and Wales with people living with dementia and carers. The findings show that there is a reported lack of available services that enable carers of people living with dementia to take a break from caring. Positive support is reported by some (such as that provided by local charities, and the use of community resources); however, both professionals and carers report difficulty in finding care provision which suits the needs of people living with dementia, and this in turn prevents carers from arranging breaks for themselves. The experience of carer assessments reported by carers is mixed; however, this research confirms findings in the wider literature that only a minority of carers have received an assessment of their needs. Furthermore, these assessments were not always experienced positively. The nature of providing short breaks for carers is challenging from a legislative perspective and at a practice level, particularly where support may be delivered to a person living with dementia but is intended primarily for the benefit of the person caring for them. Some evidence highlighted situations where this was the case, as well as situations where the person with dementia may have different wishes to the person caring for them in terms of replacement care. (Edited publisher abstract)

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Dealing With the Unthinkable: Bladder and Colorectal Cancer Patients’ and Informal Caregivers’ Unmet Needs and Challenges in Life After Ostomies

Objectives: We examined patient and informal caregiver unmet needs to identify areas for targeted supportive care interventions and programs to enhance both patient and informal caregiver experience. Data Sources: A total of 30 patients who underwent ostomy surgeries for bladder or colorectal cancers and 13 informal caregivers participated in the study. Patients were enrolled at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai between 2017 and 2018. Qualitative data were collected by individual interviews, audiotaped, and transcribed verbatim. Transcribed data were iteratively analyzed using Atlas.ti to explore patient and caregiver unmet needs. Results: Patients and informal caregivers reported having insufficient psychological preparation for ostomy surgeries, and very limited hands-on training on stoma care and utility of stomal appliances. Unmet psychological needs related to depression, anxiety, and distress caused by changes in body image and sexual, urinary, and bowel function were reported. Patients and caregivers also reported significant patient medical needs in the acute postoperative period including pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, inflammation, and complications resulting in hospital readmissions. Colorectal cancer patients specifically experienced significant challenges with changes in diet and nutrition that contributed to ostomy care burden. Both patients and caregivers recommended seeking psychological and social support to enhance both patient and caregiver emotional adjustment to life after ostomies. Conclusion: Meeting patient and informal caregiver unmet informational and supportive care needs is imperative to improve their quality of life and adjustment. Implications for Nursing Practice: An effective supportive care plan should be designed and utilized in clinical care to improve ostomy patients’ and caregivers’ outcomes. 

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The Cultural Diversity of Dementia Patients and Caregivers in Primary Care Case Management: a Pilot Mixed Methods Study

Background: The Canadian reality of dementia care may be complicated by the cultural diversity of patients and their informal caregivers. Objectives: To what extent do needs differ between Canadian- and foreign-born patients and caregivers? What are their experiences with the illness in primary care case management? Methods: Mixed methods, sequential explanatory design (a cross-sectional study, followed by a qualitative descriptive study), involving 15 pairs of patients and caregivers. Results: Foreign-born patients had more needs compared to their Canadian-born counterparts. Foreign-born caregivers reported more stress, more problems, and increased need for services. However, the reported experiences of Canadian- vs. foreign-born individuals were similar. Conclusion: The results remain hypothesis-generating. The present pilot illustrated the suitability of mixed methods to this area of study, which deserves further investigation to better serve all members of a population already vulnerable by age and disease.

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A cross-european study of informal carers’ needs in the context of caring for older people, and their experiences with professionals working in integrated care settings

Introduction: Informal carers are increasingly relied on for support by older people and the health and social care systems that serve them. It is therefore important that health and social care professionals are knowledgeable about and responsive to informal carers’ needs. This study explores informal carers’ own needs within the context of caregiving; and examines, from the informal carers’ perspective, the extent to which professionals assess, understand and are responsive to informal carers’ needs. Methods: We interviewed (2016–2018) 47 informal carers of older people being served by 12 integrated care initiatives across seven countries in Europe. The interviews were thematically coded inductively and analysed. Results: Informal carers reported that professionals treated them with respect and made efforts to assess and respond to their needs. However, even though professionals encouraged informal carers to look after themselves, informal carers’ needs (e.g., for respite, healthcare) were insufficiently addressed, and informal carers tended to prioritize older people’s needs over their own. Discussion and conclusion: Informal carers need better support in caring for their own health. Health professionals should have regular contact with informal carers and proactively engage them in ongoing needs assessment, setting action plans for addressing their needs, and identifying/accessing appropriate support services. This will be important if informal carers are to continue their caregiving role without adverse effects to themselves.

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Caring ahead: Mixed methods development of a questionnaire to measure caregiver preparedness for end-of-life with dementia

Background: Family caregivers of persons with dementia often feel unprepared for end-of-life and preparedness predicts caregiver outcomes in bereavement. Existing questionnaires assessing preparedness have limitations. A multi-dimensional questionnaire assessing family caregiver preparedness for the end-of-life of persons with dementia is needed to identify caregivers at risk for negative outcomes in bereavement and evaluate the quality of strategies within a palliative approach. Aim: To develop a multi-dimensional questionnaire titled 'Caring Ahead' to assess feelings of preparedness for end-of-life in family caregivers of persons with dementia. Design: A mixed methods, sequential design employed semi-structured interviews, a Delphi-survey and pilot-testing of the questionnaire, June 2018 to July 2019. Setting/population: Participants included five current and 16 bereaved family caregivers of persons with symptoms advanced dementia from long-term care homes in Ontario, Canada; and 12 professional experts from clinical and academic settings in Canada, Europe, United States. Results: Interviews generated three core concepts and 114 indicators of preparedness sampling cognitive, affective and behavioural traits in four domains (i.e., medical, psychosocial, spiritual, practical). Indicators were translated and reduced to a pool of 73 potential questionnaire items. 30-items were selected to create the 'Caring Ahead' preparedness questionnaire through a Delphi-survey. Items were revised through a pilot-test with cognitive interviewing. Conclusions: Family caregivers' feelings of preparedness for end-of-life need to be assessed and the quality of strategies within a palliative approach evaluated. Future psychometric testing of the Caring Ahead questionnaire will evaluate evidence for validity and reliability.

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Caregiver Burden among Informal Caregivers in the Kerala Palliative Care Program: Development and Validation of the Achutha Menon Centre-Caregiver Burden Inventory

Background: Family caregivers of bedridden or homebound patients are at risk of adverse physical and psychological outcomes. There is a need for a culturally adapted and valid instrument for measuring caregiver burden in palliative care programs. Objective: To develop a reliable and valid instrument to measure the self-perceived burden of informal caregivers of patients with serious health-related suffering. Design/Setting: "Caregiver burden" was conceptualized based on literature review and in-depth interviews. Content validity assessment, cognitive interviews, and a cross-sectional survey were used to develop and validate the instrument. The study was set within the primary palliative care program in Kerala, India. Subjects: Ten palliative care professionals and 10 caregivers were engaged for the content validity assessment and cognitive interviews, respectively. The cross-sectional survey was conducted among 221 (males = 21) family caregivers in Kollam district, Kerala. The Institutional Ethics Committee of the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum reviewed and cleared the study. Measurements: Underlying factors were identified by using principal axis factoring. The corresponding sub-scales and a composite scale were tested for internal consistency, construct validity, reproducibility, floor and ceiling effects, and interpretability. Results: Two factors that explained 29.5% of the variance were extracted. Two sub-scales-consequences of caregiving and lack of financial security-were derived. The final nine-item Likert-Type Achutha Menon Centre-Caregiver Burden Inventory (AMC-CBI) had a content validity index of 0.77, Cronbach's alpha of 0.82, and high test-retest reliability (ρ = 0.87, p < 0.001). Conclusion: The AMC-CBI is a valid and reliable instrument for burden assessment of caregivers of patients served by the home-based palliative care program in Kerala, India. 

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Calculation and Analysis of Family Care Burden Coefficient

The family care burden can be identified by measuring the family support burden coefficient, the support burden coefficient and the family special disability, the patient population care coefficient three quantifiable numerical indicators to identify the most urgent housing needs.

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Burdens and Educational Needs of Informal Caregivers of Older Adults With Urinary Incontinence: An Internet-Based Study

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the burden and educational needs of informal caregivers of care-dependent older adults with urinary incontinence (UI). Design: A cross-sectional, descriptive survey of informal caregivers recruited through Google Ads was performed. Methods: An online survey, including the Overactive Bladder-Family Impact Measure, was used to assess five areas of the experience of the informal caregiver that may be affected by caring for a person with UI and their educational needs. Findings: Respondents (n = 77) reported a substantial impact of their care recipients' UI on their lives, with concern, travel, and social subscales most affected. However, 42% never sought treatment on behalf of their care recipient. Educational needs included UI treatment strategies and guidance to select appropriate supplies. Conclusions: Caregivers underreported their care recipient's UI and need substantially more support from healthcare providers to manage the condition. Clinical Relevance: Nurses should assess for UI among care-dependent older adults and, if present, provide information and strategies to lessen the impact on caregiver lives.

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Association between Living with Patients with Dementia and Family Caregivers’ Depressive Symptoms—Living with Dementia Patients and Family Caregivers’ Depressive Symptoms

Background: Depression among family caregivers is becoming an increasingly important issue due to a growing elderly population. This study aimed to examine the association of living with a patient with dementia and family caregivers’ depressive symptoms, among Korean adults. Methods: This study used the data of 371,287 participants after excluding those who indicated having dementia themselves from the Korea Community Health Survey of 2018–2019. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9. Data were analyzed using multiple logistic regression. Results: The rates of spouse caregivers having depressive symptoms were 9.4% and 10.8% among men and women, respectively. The odds ratio for risk of depressive symptoms among male and female spouse caregivers in comparison to non-caregivers was 2.65 and 2.28, respectively. In the subgroup analysis, the highest income group was associated with risk of depressive symptoms, with an odds ratio of 4.28 for men, and 3.02 for women. Conclusion: Having a patient with dementia in the family was significantly associated with family caregivers’ depressive symptoms. In particular, when the patient with dementia was a spouse, both women and men were likely to have depressive symptoms. To reduce the burden of caregivers, we need management policies and interventions for family caregivers.

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Assessment of the Psychological Burden among Family Caregivers of People Living with Alzheimer's Disease Using the Zarit Burden Interview

Background: In China, family caregivers play a major role in caring for people living with Alzheimer's disease (PLWAD), but little is known about the burden this creates. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the burden among family caregivers of PLWAD and the factors influenced it. Methods: Family caregivers of PLWAD were recruited from a hospital in China from January 2018 to July 2018. All data were collected online using the Chinese version of the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI), and the participants' sociodemographic and caregiving details were obtained. T-tests and Kruskal-Wallis H (K) tests were used to compare ZBI scores between groups. Factors related to the caregiver psychological burden were analyzed using multiple linear regression analysis. Results: A total of 300 participants were assessed, of which 213 (71.00%) were female. More than half of the caregivers were the patient's daughter (51.0%, n = 153). The average ZBI score of the caregivers was 43.05 (13.42). The level of burden was influenced by age, the relationship of the caregiver to the patient, the severity of AD, the caregiver's retirement status, the income level of the caregiver, and the caring time. Regression analysis showed that retired caregivers were more likely to have higher levels of burden and that burden increased with AD severity. Conclusion: Most family caregivers of PLWAD have a considerable caregiver psychological burden. The findings increase the understanding of factors that influence family caregiver burden, and pave the way for potential interventions, such as social support and caregiver empowerment, to reduce their burden. 

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Assessment of the perceived stress and burden of family caregivers of the head-and-neck cancer patients at a tertiary care cancer center: A cross-sectional study

Introduction: Cancer is a major life-threatening disease and has an impact on both patients and their family members. Caring for cancer patients may lead to several levels of stress which may affect their own health as well as their quality of life. Aim: To assess the perceived stress and burden of family caregivers of head and neck cancer patients (HNC) attending cancer care centre at a tertiary care centre, Tamil Nadu. Objectives: To assess the perceived stress and the burden among caregivers of patients with head and neck cancer using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and Caregiver Strain Index (CSI) respectively. Materials and Method: A Cross-sectional study was carried out for a period of three months among the caregivers of head and neck cancer patients at a cancer care centre, Madurai. A total of 200 caregivers were selected by Convenience sampling method. Data was collected using a pretested, self-structured, closed-ended questionnaire by face to face interview method. Results: The study population consisted of Caregivers aged 21-60 years, mostly females (80%), spouses (54%), employed (57%) and uneducated (66%). Most of the caregivers were from lower socioeconomic status (66%) and those who are providing care for 1 to 6 months were more in number. In this study, 82% of caregivers reported high caregiver burden (CSI ≥7) and 67% of caregivers reported high stress (PSS ≥ 26 - 40). Conclusion: Caregivers are experiencing significant burden, particularly with respect to their physical and psychological well-being, economic circumstances, social and personal relationships.

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Assessment of the burden among family caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease

Introduction: The objective of this study was to examine the caregiving burden and identify the predictors of burden among family caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Materials and Method: The sample consisted of 154 family caregivers of community-dwelling Alzheimer patients. Zarit Burden Inventory was used to measure caregiver burden. Depending on the total score, the level of burden is classified as absent to little burden (0 to ≤20), mild to moderate burden (21 to 40), moderate to severe burden (41 to 60), and very severe burden (≥61). The cutoff point for the clinical depression was taken as 24. Results: The caregivers were mainly women (78.6%), the patient’s daughters (56.5%), living with the patient (79.1%), and they were not receiving any support from other family members for patient care (54.5%). The average time spent on caregiving tasks was 4.8 hours a day. The mean Zarit Burden Inventory score was 22.4. The burden scores of 39.6% of the caregivers were significant for clinical depression. The most pronounced predictors of higher burden were the absence of someone supporting the care, social isolation, the length of time spent daily for caregiving, and the patient’s age, comorbidities, and functional impairment in daily activities. Receiving psychological counselling was a protective factor against the development of burden. Conclusion: The results suggest that burden is high among the caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Strategies should be developed to support family members in countries such as Turkey, where the care is undertaken by informal caregivers. 

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Assessment of Family Caregivers' Needs: What Employers Need to Know

It remains to be seen whether employers' increased awareness of and support for their employees' caregiving roles during the COVID-19 pandemic will result in permanent changes that better align benefits with employees' needs. Family Caregiver Assessment Assessment of family caregivers' needs and well-being separately from those of the care recipient has long been recommended as an essential component of caregiver support by organizations such as Family Caregiver Alliance and AARP. The better that employers understand what family caregiving entails, based on evidence-based individual caregiver assessment practices, the more likely they can thoughtfully approach an organization-level assessment of their employees' caregiving roles and needs. 

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Actor and partner effects of self-rated health on life satisfaction among family caregiver couples

Objectives: This study examined the dyadic effects of self-rated health on the life satisfaction of family caregivers. The effects of the use of long-term care services were also explored to investigate whether support through care services is associated with the life satisfaction of family caregivers. Methods: The data were drawn from the sixth wave (2016) of the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging. Caregivers who used long-term care services for older family members, and spouses of the caregivers, were identified. A total of 81 married caregiver couples were analyzed using the actor-partner interdependence model. Results: The study showed that better self-rated health of caregivers was associated with higher levels of life satisfaction (B = 8.87, p < 0.001). Better self-rated health of the caregivers was also associated with higher life satisfaction of their spouses (B = 6.01, p < 0.05). In addition, the results suggested that the use of long-term care services for patients was associated with the life satisfaction of both caregivers (B = 14.57, p < 0.01) and their spouses (B = 12.51, p < 0.05). Discussion: Our findings suggested mutual influences among family caregivers on their life satisfaction. In addition, long-term care services for patients may improve the life satisfaction of other family members. More support through long-term care services for people with care needs is required to increase the life satisfaction of family caregivers. The diverse relationships among family caregivers should be taken into consideration when developing policies and interventions.

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Perceptions, knowledge and attitudes towards the concept and approach of palliative care amongst caregivers: a cross-sectional survey in Karachi, Pakistan

Background Limited comprehension of the concept of palliative care and misconceptions about it are barriers to meaningful utilisation of palliative care programs. As caregivers play an integral role for patients with terminal illness, it is necessary to assess their perceptions and attitudes towards the palliative care approach. Method A cross-sectional survey was conducted. Data was collected from the Aga Khan Hospital in-patient and out-patient departments and home-based palliative care services. All adult caregivers who met the inclusion criteria and consented, completed a questionnaire till the sample size was reached. Univariate and multivariate multivariable analysis was done and results were reported as crude prevalence's, crude and adjusted prevalence ratios with 95% confidence intervals using Cox-proportional hazard algorithm. Mean difference of knowledge and attitude scores by caregiver variables were assessed using one-way ANOVA. SPSS version 18 was used and a p-value of less than 5% was treated as significant. Results Out of 250 caregivers more than 60% were 40 years or less, majority were males and at least graduates. Approximately 70% of the respondents agreed with the statement that the person suffering from cancer should be informed about the diagnosis and disease progression. About 45% (95% C.I.: 39.03, 51.37%) of the study respondents had enhanced understanding about palliative care. Individuals under 40 years old, those with an education level of at least grade 10, children or relatives were found to have significantly more enhanced knowledge about palliative care. The majority believed that the patient should be informed about the diagnosis and should be facilitated to carry out routine activities and fulfill their wishes. Conclusion Nearly half of the caregivers had enhanced understanding of the palliative care approach. They showed consistent understanding of two foundational aspects indicating correct knowledge across age groups, gender, education level, and relationship with the patient. Firstly, that palliative care should be offered to everyone suffering from a terminal illness and, secondly, that this approach encompasses not just physical, but also psychological and social needs of the patient and the family. These findings will help inform the establishment of a palliative care program that fills the gaps in comprehension and knowledge of caregivers.

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Elder Abuse Assessment Tools and Interventions for use in the Home Environment: a Scoping Review

Background and Aim: Caregivers in the home environment have an important role in timely detecting and responding to abuse. The aim of this review was to provide insight into both the existing tools for the assessment of and interventions for elder abuse by formal and informal caregivers in the home environment, and to categorize them according to a public health perspective, into primary, secondary, tertiary or quaternary prevention. Methods: We selected the assessment tools and interventions that can be used by caregivers in the home environment included in previous reviews by Gallione et al (2017) and Fearing et al (2017). To identify published studies after these reviews, a search was performed using PubMed, Cochrane Database, CINAHL and Web of Science. Results: In total, fifteen assessment tools and twelve interventions were included. The number of assessment tools for elder abuse for use in the home environment is increasing; however, tools must be validated over different cultures and risk groups. In addition, the tools lack attention for the needs of vulnerable older persons such as persons with dementia. Existing interventions for caregivers in the home environment lack evidence for addressing elder abuse and do not address potential adverse effects (quaternary prevention). Conclusion: Assessment tools for elder abuse need further testing for validity and reliability for use by caregivers in the home environment. For interventions, meaningful outcome measures are needed. Important to note is that quaternary prevention requires more attention. This argues for taking into account perspectives of (abused) older persons and caregivers in the development of assessment tools and interventions protocols.

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Development of a Daily Use Caregiver Sleep Survey (DUCSS) A Mixed-Method Design

Dementia caregiving is associated with depression, stress, and sleep disturbance. A daily use caregiver sleep survey (DUCSS) was developed to evaluate caregiver sleep. The tool was distributed to 24 informal caregivers and validated using the Rasch model, which indicated that the 17-item survey produced sleep quality measures of sufficient reliability for both group-level and individual-level comparisons (reliability = .87). The sample size was sufficient to provide precise measures of the item's position along the scale (item difficulty) (reliability = .85), so outcomes associated with sleep quality levels could be evaluated. We observed that the structure of the instrument is unidimensional, meaning the wording does not contain systematic biases peripheral to sleep quality. DUCSS is a useful tool for caregiver assessment and monitoring.

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Assessing Grief in Family Caregivers of Individuals With Alcohol Use Disorder or Substance Use Disorder using the Marwit-Meuser Caregiver Grief Inventory Short Form (MM-CGI-SF)

This study assessed grief in caregivers of family members with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and substance use disorder (SUD) using the Marwit-Meuser Caregiver Grief Inventory Short Form (MM-CGI-SF). We used snowball sampling to recruit participants who had family members with AUD and SUD. The sample was comprised of 100 caregivers of family members with AUD and 75 caregivers of family members with SUD. The original MM-CFI-SF was modified by changing the wording to reflect those with AUD and SUD. The 18-item instrument consisted of 3 factors: personal sacrifice burden, sadness and longing, and worry and felt isolation. The professional care of caregivers with family members with AUD and SUD should be addressed by health professionals in the same manner as dementia caregivers. AUD and SUD caregivers may also downplay the distress, require social support, or have a common reaction to the stress and grief encountered. The correlations were moderate to strong and significant between each of the factors for both AUD and SUD caregiver scale.

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Assessing and Addressing Family Caregivers' Needs and Risks in Primary Care

Objectives: To characterize current practices, barriers, and facilitators to assessing and addressing family caregivers' needs and risks in primary care.; Design: Cross-sectional, national mail-based survey.; Setting: American Medical Association Masterfile database.; Participants: U.S. primary care physicians (N = 106), including general internists (n = 44) and geriatricians (n = 62).; Measurements: Approaches to assessing and addressing family caregivers' needs and risks; barriers and facilitators to conducting caregiver assessments.; Results: Few respondents reported conducting a formal caregiver assessment using a standardized instrument in the past year (10.5%). Informal, unstructured discussions about caregivers' needs and risks were common and encompassed a range of issues, most frequently caregivers' management of patients' safety (41.0%), ability to provide assistance (40.0%), and need for support (40.0%). To address caregiver needs, most respondents endorsed referring patients to services (e.g., adult day care, home care) (69.8%), assessing the appropriateness of the patient's living situation (67.9%), and referring caregivers to community agencies (63.2%). Lack of time was the most frequently cited barrier to assessing caregivers' needs (81.1%). The most commonly endorsed facilitators were access to better referral options (67.0%) and easier referral mechanisms (65.1%). Practice patterns, barriers, and facilitators to caregiver assessment did not differ by physician type.; Conclusions: Primary care physicians use informal, unstructured discussions rather than standardized instruments to assess caregivers' needs and risks. There is heterogeneity in the topics discussed and types of referrals made. Findings indicate the lack of translation of caregiver assessment tools from research to practice. 

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The Family Needs Questionnaire-Revised: a Rasch analysis of measurement properties in the chronic phase after traumatic brain injury

The main aim was to evaluate the measurement properties of the Family Needs Questionnaire-Revised (FNQ-R) in family members of individuals living with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). A total of 309 family members of individuals with severe TBI from Colombia, Denmark, Mexico, Norway and Spain participated. Rasch analysis of the FNQ-R and its 6 subscales was conducted. The Rasch analysis indicated a lack of fit of the 37-item FNQ-R to one single underlying construct of needs, and less than half of the items were invariant across the countries. Misfit of single items was revealed in the Need for Health Information, Need for Emotional Support, Need for Instrumental Support, Need for Professional Support and Need for Community Support Network subscales. Fit to the Rasch model was obtained after removal of misfitting items. The Involvement in Care subscale had too few items to be adequately assessed by the Rasch approach. The FNQ-R is a well-targeted instrument for assessing the unmet needs of caregivers regarding the need for health information, emotional support, professional support and a community support network after some scoring adjustment and the removal of misfitting items. Caution should be taken when comparing responses across countries. 

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What Are the Factors Identifying Caregivers Who Need Help in Managing Medications for Palliative Care Patients at Home? A Population Survey

Background: For most people, the last 12 months of life are spent living in the community, with the support of family and friends for a number of caregiving functions. Previous research has found that managing medicines is challenging for caregivers. Currently there is little information describing which caregivers may struggle with tasks associated with managing a loved one's medicines. Aim: The aim of this study was to identify factors that flag caregivers who are likely to experience problems when managing someone else's medications. Setting/Participants: The annual South Australian Health Omnibus Survey provides a face-to-face, cross-sectional, whole-of-population view of health care. Structured interviews, including questions covering palliative care and end-of-life care, were conducted with 14,625 residents in their own homes. Results: Of the 1068 respondents who had provided care for someone who died of a terminal illness in the last five years, 7.4% identified that additional support with medicine management would have been beneficial. In addition, three factors were predictive of the need for additional support in managing medicines: aged <65 years; lower household income; and living in a metropolitan region. Conclusion: The findings of this study provide insights to inform the development of palliative care service models to support informal caregivers in the management of medications for people with a life-limiting illness. 

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Role of the Infusion Nurse: Caring for the Family/Lay Caregiver of Older Adults

Approximately 43 500 000 family caregivers provide unpaid care to an adult or child. Most caregivers provide care to older adults, most often parents. Caregivers are often ill-prepared to assist their loved ones, creating or increasing caregiving burden and/or risk of compassion fatigue, potentially leading to critical "caregiving tipping points." Identifying families who are experiencing increased burden or risk of compassion fatigue is a skill that nurses, including infusion nurses, who have unique entree into the caregiving situation, should develop. The purpose of this article is to describe "impending" tipping points before they occur and to offer solutions for how nurses can help caregiving families identify them and access additional supportive services.

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Quality improvement study on early recognition and intervention of caregiver burden in a tertiary hospital

Background: Caregivers play a crucial role in taking over the important task of looking after patients post-hospitalisation. Caregivers who are unfamiliar with patients' post-discharge care often experience caregiver stress, while patients may see deterioration in their condition. As caregivers are our core partners in healthcare, it is therefore necessary for patient navigators to recognise, assess and address caregivers' needs or burden as early as on admission to hospital. Patient navigators are trained registered nurses whose main role is to provide patients and caregivers with personalised guidance through the complex healthcare system.; Objectives: This quality improvement study examined the efficacy of using the Zarit Burden Interview as a tool in helping patient navigators recognise caregiver burden early and the effectiveness of targeted interventions on caregiver burden.; Methods: Various quality improvement tools were used. Eighty-six patient-caregiver dyads who met the inclusion criteria were enrolled. Informal caregivers were assessed for caregiver burden using the Zarit Burden Interview during hospital admission (T0) and again at 30 days postdischarge (T1), post-intervention.; Results: There was significant improvement in the Zarit Burden mean scores from T0 to T1 reported for the 80 dyads who completed the study, even after adjusting for covariates (T0 mean=11.08, SD=7.64; T1 mean=2.48, SD=3.36, positive ranks, p<0.001). Highest burden identified by most caregivers were the personal strain; trying to meet other responsibilities and uncertain about what to do in caring for their loved one. By recognising the different aspects of caregiver burden early, patient navigators were able to focus their interventions.; Conclusion: Early recognition of caregiver burden and targeted interventions were found to be effective at reducing caregiver burden in a tertiary hospital. 

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Psychosocial Distress in Women With Breast Cancer and Their Partners and Its Impact on Supportive Care Needs in Partners

Objectives: While both patients and informal caregivers report high levels of cancer-related distress, supportive care needs of relatives are often not taken into account and little is known about mutual perception of distress within couples. Therefore, we aimed to investigate distress in female patients with breast cancer and their male partners as well as supportive care needs in partners.; Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we recruited women with breast cancer during primary cancer care and their male partners, obtained information on mental distress and supportive care needs through visual analog scales for four mood domains and the Short Form of Supportive Care Needs Survey (SCNS-SF34).; Results: Among 250 eligible patients with breast cancer, 102 patients (40.8%) and their male partners participated. Partners reported higher levels of distress ( p = 0.02), whereas patients (self-assessment) indicated stronger needs for help ( p < 0.001). Men with higher levels of distress were younger ( p < 0.001), and reported a shorter relationship duration ( p = 0.001) compared to partners with lower distress. Partners overestimated distress, anxiety, depression, and need for help in the patient. Patients overestimated partners need for help. The majority of partners (78%) reported at least one unmet need, most frequently related to the health system and information domain.; Conclusion: A systematic distress and needs assessment for women with breast cancer and their male partners is mandatory. The provision of optimal supportive care depends on protocols that include not only psychosocial care for patients but also procedures for managing distress and needs for partners including individual and couple-based interventions. 

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The Perceived Needs Questionnaire for Dementia Informal Caregivers (PNQ‐DIC): development and initial validation

The article discusses research which described the process used to develop and evaluate the psychometric properties of Perceived Needs Questionnaire for Dementia Informal Caregivers (PNQ-IDC) designed to measure the needs of informal dementia caregivers. Topics covered include the identification of needs for which health-care professionals could provide support, the assessment of subjective caregiver burden, and the validity and reliability of the PNQ-IDC.

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Needs, Aggravation, and Degree of Burnout in Informal Caregivers of Patients with Chronic Cardiovascular Disease

This study aimed to answer three main questions with respect to home caregivers for people with cardiovascular disease: (1) Are the needs of home caregivers being met (and at what level)?; (2) what is the level of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment of home caregivers?; (3) what sociodemographic variables of home caregivers are related to unmet needs and level of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment? The study used the Camberwell Modified Needs Assessment questionnaire and the Maslach Burnout Inventory questionnaire. This study reports on 161 informal home caregivers of patients with cardiovascular disease. We found that younger caregivers were less likely to report unmet needs ( p = 0.011), and showed lower rates of burnout on depersonalization and emotional exhaustion. In addition, caregivers who worked more often reported higher levels of met needs ( p = 0.022), and showed lower rates of burnout on depersonalization ( p = 0.005) and emotional exhaustion ( p = 0.018). Subjects residing in urban areas were more likely to report unmet needs ( p = 0.007), and showed higher rates of burnout on emotional exhaustion ( p = 0.006). Older caregivers who are unemployed and reside in cities should be offered programs to determine their unmet needs and to receive support.

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Informal carers

This House of Commons Library briefing paper provides information about the number of informal carers in the UK and the issues they face. It also explains the rights, benefits and support available to informal carers as well as current and previous Government policy on caring.

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Impact of Dementia-Related Psychosis on Patients and Caregivers: The Treatment Imperative

​​​​​​​ Behavioral and psychological symptoms are common in patients with dementia. Especially troublesome are the delusions and hallucinations of dementia-related psychosis (DRP) due to their negative impact on both patients and their carers and family members. This report reviews the impact of DRP on patients and carers, assessment tools, and coping strategies and techniques to help care partners manage DRP. 

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Suitability and acceptability of the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) for the assessment of carers of people with MND: a qualitative study

Objectives Motor neurone disease (MND) is a progressive, life-limiting illness. Caregiving impacts greatly on family carers with few supportive interventions for carers. We report Stages 1 and 2 of a study to: (1) explore experiences of MND caregiving and use carer-identified support needs to determine suitability and acceptability of the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT), (2) adapt the CSNAT as necessary for comprehensive assessment and support of MND carers, prior to (Stage 3) feasibility testing. Design Qualitative: focus groups, interviews and carer workshops.Setting Three UK MND specialist centres serving a wide range of areas. Participants Stage 1: 33 carers, 11 from each site: 19 current carers, 14 bereaved. Stage 2: 19 carer advisors: 10 bereaved, 9 current carers. Majority were spouses/partners ranging in age from under 45 years to over 75 years. Duration of caring: 4 months to 12.5 years. Results Carers described challenges of a disease that was terminal from the outset, of ‘chasing’ progressive deterioration, trying to balance normality and patient independence against growing dependence, and intensive involvement in caregiving. Carers had extensive support needs which could be mapped to existing CSNAT domains: both ‘enabling’ domains which identify carers’ needs as co-workers as well as carers’ ‘direct’ needs as clients in relation to their own health and well-being. Only one aspect of their caregiving experience went beyond existing domains: a new domain on support needs with relationship changes was identified to tailor the CSNAT better to MND carers. Conclusions Carers of people with MND found the adapted CSNAT to be an appropriate and relevant tool for assessment of their support needs. The revised version has potential for assessment of carers in other longer-term caring contexts. A further paper will report the Stage 3 study on feasibility of using the adapted CSNAT in routine practice.

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Fear of older adult falling questionnaire for caregivers (FOAFQ‐CG): Evidence from content validity and item‐response theory graded‐response modelling

Aims: (1) Determine the content validity of the Fear of Older Adult Falling Questionnaire‐Caregivers using a panel of gerontological experts and a target sample of family caregivers (Stage 1) and (2) Examine the response patterns of the Fear of Older Adult Falling Questionnaire‐Caregivers and compare it with older adult version of Fear of Falling Questionnaire Revised using graded‐response modelling (Stage 2). Design: Cross‐sectional mixed‐method design. Methods: Five content experts and 10 family caregivers were involved in the Stage 1 study and 53 family caregiver–older adult dyads (N = 106) were included in the Stage 2 study. The content‐validity index and graded‐response modelling were used to analyse data. Results: Among experts, the Fear of Older Adult Falling Questionnaire‐Caregivers content‐validity index for relevancy, importance, and clarity of individual items and total scale ranged from 0.60–1.00 and from 0.77–0.87, respectively. Among family caregivers, the ratings of the item and scale level content‐validity index for relevancy, importance, and clarity ranged from 0.90–1.00 and from 0.95–0.97, respectively. Combining feedback from both groups, we revised one item. Subsequently, the graded‐response modelling revealed that a 1‐factor, 3‐item version of the Fear of Older Adult Falling Questionnaire‐Caregivers had acceptable psychometric properties. Conclusions: The brief 3‐item version of the Fear of Older Adult Falling Questionnaire‐Caregivers is promising for assessing caregivers' fear of their older adult care recipient falling. Impact: A significant concern for family caregivers is fearing that older adult care recipients will fall, but a lack of validated measures limits the study of this phenomena. A 3‐item version of the Fear of Older Adult Falling Questionnaire‐Caregivers has the potential to identify family caregivers with high fear of older adult falling so that fall risk can be appropriately assessed and addressed.

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Effect of the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool intervention (CSNAT-I) in the Danish specialised palliative care setting: a stepped-wedge cluster randomised controlled trial

Background: The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool intervention (CSNAT-I) has been shown to improve end-of-life care support for informal caregivers. This study investigated the impact of the CSNAT-I on caregivers of patients recently enrolled in specialised palliative care (SPC) at home in Denmark.; Methods: A stepped-wedge cluster randomised controlled trial with nine clusters (ie, SPC teams). Outcome measures were collected using caregiver questionnaires at baseline (T0) and 2-week (T1) and 4-week (T2) follow-up.; Results: A total of 437 caregivers were enrolled (control group, n=255; intervention group, n=182). No intervention effect was found on the primary outcome, caregiver strain at T1 (p=0.1865). However, positive effects were found at T1 and T2 on attention to caregivers' well-being (p<0.0001), quality of information and communication (p<0.0001), amount of information (T1: p=0.0002; T2: p<0.0001), involvement (T1: p=0.0045; T2: p<0.0001), talking about greatest burdens (p<0.0001) and assistance in managing greatest burdens (p<0.0001). The effect sizes of these differences were medium or large and seemed to increase from T1 to T2. At T1, positive effects were found on distress (p=0.0178) and home care responsibility (p=0.0024). No effect was found on the remaining outcomes.; Conclusion: Although no effect was found on caregiver strain, the CSNAT-I showed positive effects on caregiver distress, home care responsibility and key outcomes regarding caregivers' experience of the interaction with healthcare professionals.; Trial Registration Number: NCT03466580. 

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A drive for structure: A longitudinal qualitative study of the implementation of the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) intervention during hospital discharge at end of life

Background: Informal carers are essential in enabling discharge home from hospital at end of life and supporting palliative patients at home, but are often ill-prepared for the role. Carers' support needs are rarely considered at discharge. If carers are less able to cope with home care, patient care may suffer and readmission may become more likely. Aim: To investigate the implementation of an evidence-based Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) intervention to support carers during hospital discharge at end of life. Design: Longitudinal qualitative study with thematic analysis. Setting/participants: One National Health Service Trust in England: 12 hospital practitioners, one hospital administrator and four community practitioners. We provided training in CSNAT intervention use and implementation. Practitioners delivered the intervention for 6 months. Data collection was conducted in three phases: (1) pre-implementation interviews exploring understandings, anticipated benefits and challenges of the intervention; (2) observations of team meetings and review of intervention procedures and (3) follow-up interviews exploring experiences of working with the intervention. Results: Despite efforts from practitioners, implementation was challenging. Three main themes captured facilitators and barriers to implementation: (1) structure and focus within carer support; (2) the 'right' people to implement the intervention and (3) practical implementation challenges. Conclusions: Structure and focus may facilitate implementation, but the dominance of outcomes measurement and performance metrics in health systems may powerfully frame perceptions of the intervention and implementation decisions. There is uncertainty over who is best-placed or responsible for supporting carers around hospital discharge, and challenges in connecting with carers prior to discharge.

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Does the carer support needs assessment tool cover the established support needs of carers of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease? A systematic literature search and narrative review

Background: Informal carers play a key supportive role for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, caring can have a considerable impact on health and wellbeing. Carers may have unidentified support needs that could be a target for intervention. Literature on the support needs of informal carers has not been fully synthesised, and our knowledge of the comprehensiveness of the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool for these individuals is limited. Aim: To explore whether the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool covers the support needs of carers of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease identified in published literature. Design: English language studies were identified against predetermined inclusion/exclusion criteria through database searching. Further studies were identified through searching reference lists and citations of included papers. Papers were critically appraised and data extracted and synthesised by two reviewers. Identified needs were mapped to Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool questions. Data sources: MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, CDSR, ASSIA, PsycINFO and Scopus databases (Jan 1997–Dec 2017). Results: Twenty-four studies were included. Results suggest that carers have support needs in a range of domains including physical, social, psychological and spiritual. Many of these needs are unmet. Particular areas of concern relate to prolonged social isolation, accessing services, emotional support and information needs. Findings also suggest amendment of the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool may be required relating to difficulties within relationship management. Conclusion: Evidence suggests that carers of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease would benefit from identification and response to their support needs by healthcare professionals but to enable this, the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool requires an additional question. Future planned work will explore this with carers of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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Caregiver Needs Assessment in Primary Care: Views of Clinicians, Staff, Patients, and Caregivers

OBJECTIVES To understand current practices, challenges, and opportunities for a systematic assessment of family caregiversʼ needs and risks in primary care. DESIGN Qualitative study consisting of in‐depth semi‐structured interviews. SETTING Four primary care practices located in urban and rural settings. PARTICIPANTS Primary care clinicians, staff, and administrators (N = 30), as well as older adult patients and family caregivers (N = 40), recruited using purposive and maximum variation sampling. MEASUREMENTS Current experiences, challenges, and opportunities for integrating standardized caregiver assessment into primary care delivery. Interviews were audio‐recorded and transcribed; transcripts were analyzed using the constant comparative method of data analysis. RESULTS: Participating clinicians had been in practice for an average of 12.8 years (range = 1‐36 y). Patients had a mean age of 84.0 years (standard deviation [SD] = 9.7); caregivers had a mean age of 67.0 years (SD = 9.3). There was wide variability in current practices for identifying caregiversʼ needs and risks, encompassing direct and indirect approaches, when such issues are considered. Participants posited that integrating standardized caregiver assessment into primary care delivery could help improve patient care, enhance clinician‐caregiver communication, and validate caregiversʼ efforts. Barriers to assessment included insufficient time and reimbursement, liability concerns, lack of awareness of community resources, and concerns about patient autonomy. To facilitate future uptake of caregiver assessment, participants recommended brief self‐administered assessment tools and post‐screen discussions with practice staff. CONCLUSION: Identification of caregiversʼ needs and risks in primary care is highly variable. Integration of standardized caregiver assessment into practice requires coordinated changes to policy, revision of practice workflows, and an interdisciplinary approach to the development of appropriate assessment tools

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Assessments for Caregivers of Hospitalized Older Adults

A systematic review was conducted to characterize assessments for caregivers of hospitalized older adults. Electronic literature searches of Medline, PsycINFO, and CINAHL of articles on caregiver assessments published in English between 2006 and present were completed. Thirty-three articles underwent full-text review; four included assessments designed to capture caregiver needs in hospital settings. Original articles on the development of these assessments were reviewed for quality appraisal. Four findings emerged from our review. Existing assessments (a) focus on caregivers of specific conditions of older adults, (b) contain a singular caregiving domain, (c) measure caregiver outcomes or simply describe caregiving experiences, and (d) neglect psychometric properties. Health care providers are limited in their selection of assessments with caregivers of hospitalized older adults. This barrier is problematic if we are to equip caregivers to be successful at providing care to older adults. Future research should develop a hospital assessment for caregivers. 

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Development of the empowerment scale for family caregivers of community-dwelling people with dementia in Japan

Aim: This study aimed to develop the empowerment scale for family caregivers of community-dwelling people with dementia (PWD) in Japan (EFCD) and to validate the scale. Methods: The questionnaires were mailed to 820 family caregivers of PWD. The first version of the EFCD based on interviews with family caregivers and elderly care specialists and content validity results was tested. Participants also completed the Revised Scale for Caregiving Self-Efficacy and the General Health Questionnaire. For the EFCD development procedure, construct validity was evaluated by item analysis and exploratory factor analysis. Criterion validity was tested using Spearman's correlations between scores of the three scales. Reliability was evaluated using Cronbach's alpha, intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), and Bland and Altman analysis. The final model was verified by confirmatory factor analysis. Results: Data from 304 family caregivers were analyzed. Exploratory factor analysis identified a 16-item, four-factor structure for the final version of the EFCD, as follows: (a) Excellent Practice in Dementia Care; (b) Understanding the Essence of Dementia Care; (c) Caring for Oneself as well as for the Person with Dementia; and (d) Having Peers with Shared Support Activities. Reliability and validity of the scale was established using the methods described. Conclusions: The developed EFCD is a reliable and valid measure that provides a simple assessment of empowerment among family caregivers of PWD. 

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Coping Assessment Tools in the Family Caregivers of Patients with Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review

Background: Breast cancer is a problem that affects not only the individual's health and quality of life, but also the functionality of the family system. Caregivers experience stress when their patients cannot cope with the symptoms of their disease. The stress experienced by caregivers gives rise to psychological and physical symptoms in them. This study seeks to present a complete set of tools for assessing coping in the spouses or caregivers of women with breast cancer and evaluate the various instruments developed within these lines of inquiry. Methods: A search was carried out in PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Medline, ProQuest, Scopus and Google Scholar and also in the reference lists of the key articles retrieved for any coping assessment instrument targeting family caregivers' needs that had acceptable psychometric properties and was published until September 2019. The instruments used to assess coping in the spouses and caregivers of women with breast cancer were thus identified and their properties were described. Results: Overall, 88 adaptation assessment tools related to family caregivers of patients with breast cancer were identified in 28 related articles. The tools examine different dimensions of adaptation such as satisfaction, stress, burden and needs of spouses and caregivers of patients with breast cancer. Conclusion: Assessing family caregivers' coping is essential for providing them with the appropriate sources of support. Although several instruments have been used to assess coping in the spouses and caregivers of women with breast cancer, the properties of these instruments have to be examined before they can be more widely implemented.

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Development of a German version of the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT): The process of translation and cultural adaptation

Objective The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) was developed in the UK and has been shown to be effective to assess and address support needs of family carers of terminally ill patients at home. In German language, there is a lack of an evidence-based comprehensive assessment tool for family carers in palliative home care. The objectives of this study were to translate and develop a culturally adapted version of the CSNAT for a German-speaking context including the assessment of feasibility, face, and content validity. Method A translation and validation study was conducted in three steps: (1) translation of CSNAT following International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research criteria; (2) cognitive testing in five German-speaking regions in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland with 15 family carers; and (3) pilot testing in palliative home care services. Evaluation was by telephone interviews with those involved in the assessments (family carers, health care professionals) and a focus group discussion with the health care professionals. Data were analyzed using content analysis. Results The regional idiomatic variety raised challenges in the process of translation. Cognitive testing revealed semantic, conceptual, syntactic, and idiomatic issues. During the pilot, 25 assessment conversations were held. Carers reported that the German version called KOMMA was brief, easy to understand and to complete, and helpful. They appreciated that the items adequately addressed their support needs and reminded them of their own strengths and resources. Health care professionals observed good acceptance by carers, the expression of unexpected patterns of needs, and extensive assessment conversations, but some raised concerns that the assessment process might shift attention to carers' needs at the cost of the patients. Significance of results A multi-step process of translation, cognitive testing, and pilot testing led to a culturally well-acceptable German tool (KOMMA). Comprehensibility, acceptance, face, and content validity, as well as feasibility were demonstrated.

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The Quality of Life as a Predictor of Social Support for Multiple Sclerosis Patients and Caregivers

BACKGROUND: Coping with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) is challenging. MS is one of the most common causes of nontraumatic disability in young adults, and patients may need assistance with daily life activities. This article explores the relation between quality of life (QOL) and the perceived available social support among patients with MS and their families. METHODS: The study included 120 subjects (60 patient-caregiver dyads). The average age of the patients was 53.95 ± 10.19 years, and for caregivers, it was 50.8 ± 13.3 years. The study used 2 subscales of the Berlin Social Support Scale (perceived availability of social support and need for social support) and the World Health Organization Quality of Life questionnaire for the assessment of QOL. RESULTS: QOL in MS is lower compared with that of their caregivers in all dimensions except the social domain (P < .001, r = 0.54-0.64). A higher need for social support was experienced by caregivers. The need for support in this group is affected by 3 predictors: QOL in the environmental domain and in the physical domain as well as their subjective health. An improvement in QOL in all the domains is related to an increase of perceived available support, in both the group of patients and that of their caregivers (P < .05, ρ = 0.28-0.59). CONCLUSIONS: Perceived available support is of great importance for both patients and their caregivers to enable them to function better in the physical, mental, social, and environmental domains of their QOL, where social relationships play a predictive role.

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Adaptation and Validation of the Capacity Scale for Informal Caregivers of Elderly Stroke Patients to be Used in Brazil

Background and Purpose: The Portuguese instrument for informal caregivers' skills providing care of aged people after a stroke (ECPICID-AVC) evaluates the capacities that informal caregivers must have for supporting aged stroke survivors. The purpose was to adapt and validate the ECPICID-AVC to be used in Brazil. Methods: A methodological study was conducted. Results: The terms with the lowest degree of comprehension were adapted. The factor analysis suggested the exclusion of three items and that the remaining be grouped into six domains. The factor loadings varied from 0.525 to 0.924. The internal intra-assessor consistency was satisfactory (ICC = 0.94, CI 95%). Total reliability was considered excellent (Cronbach's alpha = 0.914). Conclusions: The ECPICID-AVC is considered appropriate for using in Brazil.

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Integrating family caregiver support into a gynecologic oncology practice: An ASCO quality training program project

PURPOSE A needs assessment of family caregivers (CGs) in our gynecologic oncology clinic found that 50% of CGs report nine or more distressing unmet needs, but only 19% of patients had a documented CG. We conducted an ASCO Quality Training Program project with the following aims: (1) to identify and document primary CGs for 85% of patients within two clinic visits of a gynecologic cancer diagnosis, and (2) assess the needs of and provide interventions to 75% of identified family CGs. METHODS Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) methodology and tools endorsed by the ASCO Quality Training Program were used. An interprofessional team reviewed baseline data (ie, any mention of a family CG in the electronic health record visit note; CG distress survey), defined the problem and project aims, created process maps, and identified root causes of poor CG identification and documentation. Eight successive PDSA cycles were implemented between October 2018 and March 2019 to address identified root causes. RESULTS For aim 1, CG identification increased from 19% at baseline to 57% postimplementation, whereas for aim 2, assessment improved from 28% at baseline to 60% postimplementation. Results fell somewhat short of initial goals, but they represent an important initial improvement in care. The core team has begun additional PDSA cycles to improve CG identification rates and extend the momentum of the project. CONCLUSION This project demonstrated that a CG assessment protocol can be implemented in a large, academic, gynecologic oncology clinic. Additional efforts to integrate CG identification, assessment, and intervention more fully within the clinic and electronic health record are under way.

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The readiness of family in treating post-stroke patients at home: A literature review

Objective: The aims of this systematic review are to review studies on the patient's family readiness in caring for stroke patients at home, the instruments used to assess family readiness and the factors that influence family readiness. Methods: The method used is an electronic database that has been published through PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Wiley online library. The keywords used for article searching is based on the study question. Results: The review of six research articles stated that family readiness in stroke patients is essential to note that the instrument most often used in family preparedness assessments is the Preparedness Caregiver Scale (PCS) instrument. Factors that influence family readiness include Pre-stroke caregiver experience, the strength of caregiver relationships with patients, family understanding and involvement in care, caregiver roles and responsibilities. Conclusion: Family preparedness assessment is critical to note especially for health workers, and the selection of the right instruments will significantly affect the caregiver's family readiness in treating stroke patients at home.

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Berlin Inventory of Caregiver Stress-Dementia (BICS-D)

Background and Objectives: Dementia is becoming increasingly prevalent and family caregivers have been providing most of the care for persons with dementia. This caregiving is a mentally and physically demanding task. "The Berlin Inventory of Caregiver Stress-Dementia" (BICS-D) is a theory driven, multidimensional assessment which was developed as part of the Longitudinal Dementia Caregiver Stress Study (LEANDER).; Research Design and Methods: The inventory consists of 25 subscales with a total of 121 items. Analyses of the psychometric properties of the inventory were based on responses from 594 caregivers.; Results: Factor analyses confirm the multidimensionality of the inventory. The reliabilities of the subscales (Cronbach's α) are between .72 and .95. Validity and sensitivity of the inventory were also confirmed. Differing patterns of burden could be demonstrated for different relatives (partners, children, and daughters-in-law) as well as for different degrees of severity of dementia.; Discussion and Implications: The scores derived for the instrument have support for reliability and validity, and sensitivity to change. It is suitable for the differential measurement of burden experienced by different subgroups of caregivers as well as for the evaluation of interventions. The different subscales of the battery can also be used separately, depending on the study's objectives.

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Development of a family caregiver needs-assessment scale for end-of-life care for senility at home (FADE)

Aim: This study aimed to develop a “family caregiver needs-assessment scale for end-of-life care for senility at home” (FADE) and examine its reliability and validity. Method: A draft item pool was developed based on a literature review, and simplified to 30 items in four domains. Next, the item pool was reviewed by four visiting nurses and four researchers and refined to 15 items. A cross-sectional study was then conducted using a self-reported questionnaire. Questionnaires were sent to 2703 visiting nurses. The survey questions included participants’ basic demographic information, the importance of each item according to a modified scale, basic demographics for cases of death by senility at home, satisfaction with each item of the modified scale in an example case, and assessment of the case using the Japanese version of the Support Team Assessment Schedule (STAS-J). Internal consistency was assessed using Cronbach’s alpha. Construct validity was confirmed using confirmatory factor analysis, and correlation between the new scale and the STAS-J was used to assess criterion-related validity. Results: In total, 461 visiting nurses provided valid responses. The exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses identified 12 items from two factors: “Needs for adaptation to senility bereavement” and “Needs for essential skills in supporting a dignified death by senility.” The final model showed appropriate index values: standardized root mean residual = 0.057, Tucker–Lewis index = 0.920, Akaike information criterion = 191.6, and Bayesian information criterion = 298.2. Cronbach’s alpha for the entire scale was 0.908, and was above 0.840 for each factor. The correlation coefficient between STAS-J and the entire scale was 0.259–0.427 (p<0.001). Conclusions: The FADE scale showed acceptable internal consistency and concurrent validity. The scale can help clarify issues and desires that present themselves at home related to adaptation to senility bereavement and essential skills in supporting a dignified death by senility. Addressing these issues and desires is expected to reduce caregivers’ anxiety and burden, and means the older adults under their care may be respected and enabled to live with dignity and peace. 

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Cartography of Factors Influencing Caregivers' Experiences of Loss: A Promising Tool to Help Social Workers Support Caregivers

This article introduces a cartography tool to help social workers work with and support family caregivers. This tool aims to determine (1) which caregivers are likely to need additional support during bereavement and (2) what resources the caregiver has that care teams can rely on for decision-making and planning. The purpose of this article is to present a preliminary assessment of the cartography based on the feedback collected from potential users regarding the tool’s content and usage.

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Bereaved Family Cancer Caregivers' Unmet Needs: Measure Development and Validation

Purpose/background: Accumulating evidence shows that bereaved family caregivers report elevated distress for an extended period, which compromises their quality of life. A first step in the development of programs to enhance bereaved caregivers' quality of life should be determining the needs they experience to manage the loss, and the needs that are not being satisfied. Thus, this study aimed to develop a new measure to assess unmet needs among bereaved family caregivers.; Method: The 20-item Needs Assessment of Family Caregivers-Bereaved to Cancer measure was developed and validated with bereaved cancer caregivers 5 (n = 159) and 8 (n = 194) years after the initial cancer diagnosis of the index patient, when stress in providing care to the patient was assessed.; Results: Exploratory factor analysis yielded two primary factors: unmet needs for reintegration and unmet needs for managing the loss. Bereaved caregivers who were younger and ethnic minority, and who had greater earlier perceived stress of caregiving, reported their needs were more poorly met (t > 2.33, p < .05). The extent to which bereaved caregivers' needs to manage the loss were not perceived as being met was a consistent and strong predictor of poor adjustment to bereavement at both 5- and 8-year marks (t > 1.96, p < .05), beyond the effects of a host of demographic and earlier caregiving characteristics.; Conclusion: Findings support the validity of the Needs Assessment of Family Caregivers-Bereaved to Cancer and suggest that interventions to help bereaved caregivers manage the loss by assisting their transition to re-engagement in daily and social activities will benefit caregivers by mitigating bereavement-related distress years after the loss.

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Cutoff of the Zarit Burden Interview in predicting depression and anxiety

Background: The purpose of the present study was to determine a statistically valid cutoff score for the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) in order to identify family caregivers at risk for depression and anxiety to guide for further assessment and future intervention. Methods: The ZBI, the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ), and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD) were administered to a representative community sample of 327 family caregivers of schizophrenia individuals. A ZBI cutoff score was determined using three different statistical methods: tree-based modeling, K-means clustering technique and linear regression, followed by contingency analysis and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve to compare between depression and anxiety scale scores with the ZBI cutoff. Results: Findings suggest that a cutoff score of 48 in ZBI has significant predictive validity for identifying caregivers at risk for both depression and anxiety. A ZBI cutoff of 48 showed sensitivity of 73% for PHQ and 70% for GAD, specificity of 80% for PHQ and 79% for GAD, PPV (positive predictive value) of 75% for PHQ and 73% for GAD, NPV (negative predictive value) of 78% for PHQ and 76% for GAD. Conclusions: This cutoff score would enable health care providers to assess family caregivers at risk and provide necessary interventions to improve their quality of life in this important role. 

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Bereavement risk assessment of family caregivers of patients with cancer: Japanese version of the Bereavement Risk Assessment Tool

Objectives The Bereavement Risk Assessment Tool (BRAT) seems to be useful in identifying those who are likely to suffer from the more severe consequences of bereavement. To date, however, only a few studies have examined bereavement risk using the BRAT. This study investigated bereavement risk in family caregivers of patients with cancer using the Japanese version of the Bereavement Risk Assessment Tool (BRAT-J). We also investigated the relationship of bereavement risk with psychological distress and resilience among caregivers to determine the validity of the BRAT-J. Methods We conducted family psychoeducation in the palliative care unit of Tohoku University Hospital with participants who were recruited in this study. Among the participants, 50 family caregivers provided their written informed consent and were included in this study. Participants were assessed using the BRAT-J and completed the Japanese version of the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6) and the Tachikawa Resilience Scale (TRS). Results According to the BRAT-J, five individuals (10%) were in the high category of bereavement risk (level 4 or 5). We also found that family caregivers of patients experienced many different pressures, such as facing the unknown; their own work; and insufficient financial, practical, or physical resources. These issues are associated with various mental problems. Additionally, the level of bereavement risk was significantly correlated with K6 scores (ρ = 0.30, p = 0.032), and the TRS score (ρ = –0.44, p = 0.001). These correlations confirmed previous findings and that the BRAT-J can be an efficient screening tool for the bereavement risk of family caregivers of patients with cancer. Significance of results It appears that the BRAT-J is useful in predicting the likelihood of difficulties or complications in bereavement for family caregivers and could help to provide support with these issues when needed.

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Progress and Policy Opportunities in Family Caregiver Assessment: Results From a National Survey

Family caregivers play an essential role in long-term services and supports (LTSS). Despite numerous calls for robust caregiver assessment policies to determine needs and treat them as partners in care planning, there has been limited information about whether or how states assess caregiver needs and strengths, or use caregiver information. Using cross-sectional survey data from the 2015 Process Evaluation of the Older Americans Act National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), this study analyzes caregiver assessment policies and practices in 54 State Units on Aging, 619 Area Agencies on Aging, and 642 local service providers. It examines whether and for what purposes caregiver assessments are used, what domains are included, and how well current policies conform to recommended practice. It also recommends that policy makers who influence NFCSP and other LTSS programs develop caregiver assessment practices using a multidimensional framework including more caregiver-focused domains and utilizing assessment data to measure program outcomes. 

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Needs-focused interventions for family caregivers of older adults with cancer: a descriptive interpretive study

Purpose: Although family caregivers (FCs) of older adults with cancer (OACs) provide invaluable assistance by fulfilling multiple tasks along the cancer trajectory, evidence suggests that their needs are poorly assessed, and there is a scarcity of supportive interventions that influence their well-being. Viewing these issues as opportunities for improvement, we conducted this qualitative study to understand FCs’ needs and identify promising needs-focused interventions. Methods: This descriptive interpretive qualitative study was conducted in Quebec, Canada, in a French Canadian Oncology Clinic. Participants were FCs who were spouses or adult children (n = 25) of OACs aged 70 years or older. Data were collected via focus groups and were analyzed using an ongoing analytic process following each interview. Results: Three types of needs were of particular importance: information, relationships between FC and others, and care for oneself. The need for information was described in terms of the content, timeliness, and modalities in which information should be verbalized and delivered. The need for relationships specifically targeted health care providers (HCPs), family members, and OACs. The need to care for oneself was recognized as important throughout the cancer trajectory but also represented a challenge. Participants proposed innovative ideas for interventions, resources, and strategies for each type of need. Conclusions: According to our results, HCPs should systematically include FCs into OACs’ care plan through the use of concrete actions such as the “family systems approach” suggested by Duhamel, and integrate a systematic FC’s needs assessment.

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Exploring the usefulness of indicators for referring people with dementia and their informal caregivers to activating interventions: A qualitative analysis of needs assessments

Background: People with dementia (PWDs) and their informal caregivers frequently report difficulties in maintaining their usual activities. We had previously developed a set of indicators to estimate whether dyadic, activating interventions can meet these needs for activity. This study investigates how PWDs and informal caregivers talk about the indicators in interviews for needs assessments, and how professionals identify activity needs and preferences. Our research goal was to explore the usefulness of the indicators for assessing the activity needs of community-dwelling dyads. Such assessments are needed for appropriate referral to activating interventions. Methods: A dementia case manager assessed the needs of community-dwelling PWDs and their informal caregivers; we carried out secondary analyses on the dataset resulting from the audio-tapes and transcripts. We applied qualitative, deductive content analysis because we wanted to identify both explicit and implicit needs and preferences. We used the indicators that we had developed in previous research as codes. Results: Both PWDs and informal caregivers do explicitly mention needs, preferences, and characteristics related to the indicators in the needs assessments. Possible implicit needs and preferences were frequently identified in their stories. Conclusions: Needs-driven care requires high-quality needs assessments. Both PWDs and their informal caregivers need encouragement to express their latent needs and preferences. In addition, latent needs and preferences have to be further explored in needs assessments to find out the real meaning. The outcomes of this study highlight the significance of structured needs assessments for mapping the activity needs of PWDs and their informal caregivers. Many PWDs and informal caregivers reported activity needs, which suggests that activating interventions may be appropriate. The indicators can help professionals identify activity needs so that they can discuss matching activating interventions with the dyad. 

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Assessing Programs, Methods, and Policies to Engage and Empower Family Caregivers

This issue of Journal of Applied Gerontology includes an impressive collection of articles that highlight interventions, assess moderators, explore methodological approaches and emphasize the value of caregiver assessments, all within the context of supporting and empowering family caregivers. Recognition is growing of the sheer magnitude of caregivers (AARP Public Policy Institute estimates over 45 million) and the impact, both beneficial and challenging, of fulfilling this role. Several of these articles demonstrate that interventions designed to address caregivers’ varying needs, while remaining adaptable in their approaches, are likely to yield more positive participant outcomes. Each of these articles focuses on the caregivers’ needs while validating their caregiving experiences.

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The psychosocial needs and quality of life of family caregivers of patients with organ transplant

Background: Families of patients with organ transplants experience many problems, both with the onset of illness and during the hospitalisation of their relative for an organ transplant. The healthcare providers try their best to give high-quality care to patients. However, they neglect quality of life and psychosocial needs of family caregivers. Aims: This study aimed to assess the psychosocial needs and quality of life of the family caregivers of post-transplant patients and the relationship between these two variables. Methods: This descriptive correlational study was conducted on liver, kidney and bone marrow transplant wards in the largest transplant centre affiliated with a university of medical science in south-eastern Iran. The sample included 230 family caregivers of post-transplant patients, who were selected using quota sampling. Data were collected using the 45-item questionnaire of psychosocial needs (the Critical Care Family Needs Inventory) with five dimensions (assurance, comfort, information, proximity and support), and the Short Form-36 Quality of Life questionnaire with eight scales (physical functioning, physical problems, emotional problems, social functioning, pain, vitality, mental health and perception of health). In the Critical Care Family Needs Inventory, 1 indicates not important and 4 very important. In the Short Form-36 Quality of Life questionaire, 0 indicates the worst health and 100 the best health. Results: The participants rated the mean of their psychosocial needs as important (3.18 ± 0.27). Also, the mean of quality of life of participants was at an undesirable level (45.17 ± 92.66). The psychosocial needs of the caregivers showed a poor, inverse significant relationship with their quality of life (r = −0.16, p = 0.01). Conclusion: The results showed that with increasing psychosocial needs of family caregivers of post-transplant patients, their quality of life declines. Healthcare providers should implement developed plans and appropriate strategies to fulfil psychosocial needs and improve the quality of life of family caregivers of these patients.

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Utilizing evidence-based assessment instruments to detect well-being and distress in English- and Spanish-speaking caregivers of individuals affected by dementia

Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the most effective and available English and Spanish language caregiver assessments for providers and caregivers. Methods: Assessments were included if they screened for caregiving-related concerns, including stress, depression, and caregiving burden and could be administered directly to caregivers in person or online. Results: Eighteen assessments are designed to assess caregiver burden, distress, depression, and grief. Six did not have psychometric data to support efficacy but are widely used in clinical and research settings. Six were validated in Spanish, and one other is available in Spanish but not validated. Conclusion: As many as 80% of care recipients are cared for in the home by family members who act as informal caregivers. Caregivers of persons with dementia may experience depression symptoms, high caregiver burden, and feelings of being constrained. Due to the lack of psychometric evidence available, the validity of some assessments is questionable. 

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Caregiver emotional distress: external open-behaviour signs

Objectives: To determine whether specific external signs of emotional distress (ESED) can be an indirect measure of emotional distress in caregivers.; Methods: A cross-sectional multicentre design was used. 148 primary caregivers of advanced cancer patients attended in four Spanish palliative care units participated in this study. The emotional distress of caregivers was measured using both the Emotional Distress of Caregivers Scale and a psychological interview. Health professionals collected data using a standard clinical interview process after a brief training period.; Results: More than half the caregivers (60%) presented with emotional distress. A positive correlation (r=0.566) was found between the intensity of ESED and emotional distress per se. Caregivers who presented emotional distress showed more ESED than those that did not (p<0.01). The study found significant differences for the categories 'visible signs of sadness, fear, crying, feeling overwhelmed' (p<0.001), 'difficulty in separating from the patient: family refuses to let the patient make decisions and insists on care' (p<0.001) and 'visible signs of anger, irritability or frequent disagreement with therapeutic measures' (p<0.001). No significant differences were found with respect to gender. The set of items to measure these external signs presented an adequate reliability assessed using Cronbach's alpha (α=0.773).; Conclusions: The assessment of ESED in caregivers could serve as a useful method to assess their emotional distress. Incorporating the systematic assessment of these external signs as part of the assessment of the emotional distress of primary caregivers could improve the overall assessment and treatment provided to these caregivers.

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Barriers and facilitators to implementing the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool in a community palliative care setting

Family carers play a central role in community-based palliative care. However, caring for a terminally ill person puts the carer at increased risk of physical and mental morbidity. The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) enables comprehensive assessment of carer support needs. The present study aimed to identify barriers and facilitators to implementing the CSNAT in a community specialist palliative care service. Semi-structured interviews with 12 palliative care nurse specialists from two community nursing teams in Lothian, Scotland, June 2017. Data was audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed. Palliative care nurse specialists acknowledge the importance of carers in palliative care and encourage carer support practices. Nurses perceived the CSNAT as useful, but used it as an 'add-on' to current practice, rather than as a new approach to carer-led assessment. Further training is recommended to ensure community palliative care nurses are familiar with the broader CSNAT approach.

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State of Caring 2019: A snapshot of unpaid care in the UK

Carers UK carried out an online survey between March and May 2019. A total of 8,069 carers and former carers responded to the survey – we have only included responses from the 7,525 people who are currently providing care in this report. Compared to the carer population as a whole, respondents to this survey were more likely to be female and caring for a high number of hours every week. Of respondents to the survey:

  • 73% live in England, 10% live in Scotland, 9% live in Northern Ireland, and 8% live in Wales.
  • 81% identify as female and 18% identify as male.
  • 24% consider themselves to have a disability.
  • 1% are aged 0–24, 4% are aged 25–34, 13% are aged 35–44, 30% are aged 45–54, 32% are aged 55– 64, 14% are aged 65–74, and 5% are aged 75 and over. 
  • 3% identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual.
  • 5% described their ethnicity as black or minority ethnic.
  • 20% also have childcare responsibilities for a non-disabled child under 18. 
  • 39% are in paid work. Of those, 47% work full-time and 53% part-time. 
  • 31% have been caring for 15 years or more, 15% for between 10–14 years, 24% for 5–9 years, 26% for 1–4 years, and just 4% have been caring for less than one year. 
  • 46% care for 90 or more hours every week, while 17% care for 50–89 hours, 23% care for 20–49 hours, and 13% care for 1–19 hours a week. 
  • Most (74%) care for one person, 20% care for two people, 5% for three people, and 2% care for four or more people. 

As not all respondents completed every questions in the survey, a number of the figures given in this report, including those presented in this Appendix, are based upon responses from fewer than 7,525 carers. This, together with the sample sizes of different groups, should be taken into consideration when reading the results.

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Needs assessment of informal primary caregivers of patients with borderline personality disorder: Psychometrics, characterization, and intervention proposal

Introduction. Informal Primary Caregivers (IPC) of people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) experience a significant burden, making it important to determine their specific needs. Objectives. Cross-sectional study aimed at adapting and establishing the reliability of the Questionnaire on the Needs of Family Members of People with Severe Mental Disorders to identify felt and unfelt needs that may or may not have been met in IPCs of patients with BPD and suggest intervention strategies to effectively address them. Method. The adapted version of the instrument was completed by 80 IPCs of patients with confirmed BPD diagnosis. Results. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for different groups of needs evaluated through the instrument were: Knowledge/information = .77, Instrumental support = . 78, Participation = .63, and Personal support = .74; and for the total score = .86. The most important unmet felt needs were: 1. having information on interventions for patients and caregivers, legal and administrative aspects, and available support services; 2. having coping skills to deal with crises and manage patients’ risk behaviors; 3. receiving professional care to reduce stress; and 4. being listened by health professionals, express their personal opinions, and need for rest. Conclusions. The adapted instrument showed satisfactory internal consistency in IPCs of patients with BPD. The results highlight the urgent need for interventions for this population, focusing on psychoeducation, assertiveness training, stress management, and problem solving.

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Development and validation of the caregiver roles and responsibilities scale in cancer caregivers

Purpose: The caregiver roles and responsibilities scale (CRRS) was developed to facilitate formal assessment of broad life impacts for informal (i.e. unpaid) caregivers to people with cancer. Here we report the development and initial validation.; Methods: The CRRS was developed from the thematic analysis of two interview studies with cancer patients (stage III-IV breast, gynaecological, lung or melanoma) and caregivers. In the evaluation studies, participants completed the CRRS alongside the Caregiver Quality of Life-Cancer, the main criterion measure for concurrent validity, and the WHOQOL-BREF for additional convergent validity data. Questionnaires were completed at baseline, 7-days and 2-months. Demographic data and patient characteristics were collected at baseline.; Results: Two-hundred and forty-five caregivers to people with stage I-IV breast, colorectal, gynaecological, head and neck, lung or renal cancer or melanoma completed the CRRS at least once. The final 41 core items selected comprised five subscales: Support and Impact, Lifestyle, Emotional Health and Wellbeing, Self-care and Financial Wellbeing as well as three standalone items. Missing data rate was low (0.6%); there were no ceiling or floor effects for total scores. Cronbach's alpha was 0.92 for the CRRS-41; 0.75-0.87 for the subscales. CRRS showed good test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.91), sensitivity to change and the predicted pattern of correlation with validation measures r = 0.75-0.89. The standalone 7-item jobs and careers subscale requires further validation.; Conclusions: Initial evaluation shows the CRRS has good validity and reliability and is a promising tool for the assessment of the effects of cancer and cancer treatment on the lives and wellbeing of informal caregivers.

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Feasibility and Acceptability of Distress Screening for Family Caregivers at a Cancer Surgery Center

OBJECTIVES: To determine the feasibility and acceptability of a validated electronic distress screening program for cancer caregivers. SAMPLE & SETTING: 17 informal caregivers presenting with a patient with cancer to an ambulatory cancer surgery center. METHODS & VARIABLES: Caregivers completed the CancerSupportSource®--Caregiver screening and a brief semistructured interview concerning the screening. RESULTS: Caregivers described the screening as straightforward and comprehensive. They endorsed concerns about their self-care needs but were most likely to request information or a referral for patient-focused concerns. Referrals generated from the program are likely viably addressed with existing supportive care resources. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: Brief, caregiverfocused distress screening is perceived positively by caregivers. Caregivers indicated that they felt it validated the importance of their role and highlighted the hospital's efforts to continually improve care. This screening program may be particularly beneficial in ambulatory surgical centers to efficiently identify caregivers with concerns and provide a point of entry to remediate these concerns. 

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Organising Support for Carers of Stroke Survivors (OSCARSS): study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial, including health economic analysis

Background: Stroke often results in chronic disability, with partners and family members taking on the role of informal caregiver. There is considerable uncertainty regarding how best to identify and address carers' needs. The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) is a carer-led approach to individualised assessment and support for caregiving that may be beneficial in palliative care contexts. CSNAT includes an implementation toolkit. Through collaboration, including with service users, we adapted CSNAT for stroke and for use in a UK stroke specialist organisation providing long-term support. The main aims of OSCARSS are to investigate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of CSNAT-Stroke relative to current practice. This paper focuses on the trial protocol, with the embedded process evaluation reported separately. Methods: Longitudinal, multi-site, pragmatic, cluster randomised controlled trial with a health economic analysis. Clusters are UK services randomised to CSNAT-Stroke intervention or usual care, stratified by size of service. Eligible carer participants are: adults aged > 18 years; able to communicate in English; referred to participating clusters; and seen face-to-face at least once by the provider, for support. The 'date seen' for initial support denotes the start of intervention (or control) and carers are referred to the research team after this for study recruitment. Primary outcome is caregiver strain (FACQ - Strain) at three months after 'date seen'. Secondary outcomes include: caregiver distress; positive caregiving appraisals (both FACQ subscales); Pound Carer Satisfaction with Services; mood (HADs); and health (EQ-5D5L) at three months. All outcomes are followed up at six months. Health economic analyses will use additional data on caregiver health service utilisation and informal care provision.Discussion: OSCARSS is open to recruitment at the time of article submission. Study findings will allow us to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the CSNAT-Stroke intervention, directed at improving outcomes for informal carers of stroke survivors. Trial findings will be interpreted in the context of our embedded process evaluation including qualitative interviews with those who received and provided services as well as data on treatment fidelity. OSCARSS will contribute to knowledge of the unmet needs of informal stroke caregivers and inform future stroke service development.Trial Registration: ISRCTN Registry, ISRCTN58414120 . Registered on 26 July 2016.

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Development of an Item Pool for a Needs-Based Measure of Quality of Life of Carers of a Family Member with Dementia

Background and Objectives: This paper describes the development of an item pool for a needs-based self-report outcome measure of the impact of caring for a relative, friend or neighbour with dementia on carer quality of life. The aims are to give a detailed account of the steps involved and describe the resulting item pool.; Methods: Seven steps were followed: generation of an initial item set drawing on 42 needs-led interviews with carers; a content and face validity check; assessment of psychometric potential; testing of response formats; pre-testing through cognitive interviews with 22 carers; administration rehearsal with two carers; and final review.; Results: An initial set of 99 items was refined to a pool of 70 to be answered using a binary response format. Items were excluded due to overlap with others, ceiling effects, ambiguity, dependency on function of the person with dementia or two-part phrasing. Items retained covered a breadth of areas of impact of caring and were understandable and acceptable to respondents.; Conclusions: The resulting dementia carer-specific item pool reflects the accounts of a diverse sample of those who provide care for a person with dementia, allowing them to define the nature of the impact on their lives and resulting in a valid, acceptable set of items.

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Exploring therapeutic interventions to reduce the experience of guilt in carers of people living with dementia

Family carers of people with dementia often describe feelings of guilt, grief and low mood, and are also at increased risk of clinical depression. Through a skilled assessment of a carer’s feelings of guilt, an Admiral Nurse identified specific psychological approaches helpful in relieving this potentially damaging and paralysing phenomenon. Person- and family-centred approaches throughout the assessment process, and addressing the needs of individual family members in expressing their individual emotions and experience to the changes in needs of the person with dementia as they become more complex, are essential to family wellbeing. Identifying and differentiating between guilt, anticipatory grief and depression are essential when planning interventions to support family carers.

[The same article is also published in British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing Vol 14, no. 6  https://doi.org/10.12968/bjnn.2018.14.6.286 ]

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Development and evaluation of a quality of life measurement scale in English and Chinese for family caregivers of patients with advanced cancers

Background: The quality of life of family caregivers of patients with advanced cancers is an important concern in oncology care. Yet, there are few suitable measurement scales available for use in Asia. This study aims to develop and evaluate a locally derived measurement scale in English and Chinese to assess the quality of life of family caregivers of patients with advanced cancers in Singapore.; Methods: Scale contents were generated from qualitative research that solicited inputs from family caregivers. Six hundred and twelve family caregivers of patients with advanced cancers were recruited, of whom 304 and 308 chose to complete the English and Chinese versions of the quality of life scale, respectively. A follow-up survey was conducted for test-retest reliability assessment. Analyses began with pooling all observations, followed by analyses stratified by language samples and ethnic groups (among English-speaking participants).; Results: Factor analysis identified 5 domains of quality of life. The Root Mean Square Error of Approximation was 0.041 and Comparative Fit Index was 0.948. Convergent and divergent validity of the total and domain scores were demonstrated in terms of correlation with the Brief Assessment Scale for Caregiver and its sub-scales and a measure of financial concern; known-group validity was demonstrated in terms of differences between groups defined by patient's performance status. Internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) of the total and domain scores ranged from 0.86 to 0.93. Test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient) ranged from 0.74 to 0.89. Separate analyses of the English- and Chinese-speaking samples and ethnic groups gave similar results.; Conclusion: A new, validated, multi-domain quality of life measurement scale for caregivers of patients with advanced cancers that is developed with inputs from family caregivers is now available in two languages. We call this the Singapore Caregiver Quality Of Life Scale (SCQOLS).

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Identification of Sexual Disinhibition in Dementia by Family Caregivers

Purpose: Sexual disinhibition in dementia is understudied and discrepant frequency rates are reported. Measures designed to capture general disinhibition may under-identify sexual disinhibition, and lack of assessment uniformity may contribute to inconsistent endorsement. The current study aimed to determine: (1) whether an item from a commonly used measure tapping into general disinhibition would detect sexual disinhibition, (2) whether differently worded items specifically addressing sexual disinhibition would elicit inconsistent endorsement, and (3) whether different caregiver types would yield discrepant endorsement.; Methods: Data for this cross-sectional, observational study were collected online using items from the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory, and novel items developed to assess sexual disinhibition.; Patients: In total, 779 family dementia caregivers were recruited from social media caregiver groups.; Results: In total, 26.2% of caregivers who explicitly endorsed sexual disinhibition did not endorse general disinhibition. Frequency of endorsement for sexual disinhibition differed depending upon item wording and nature of the caregiver relationship, including higher endorsement by spouses overall.; Discussion: Inquiring generally about disinhibition may under-identify presence of sexual disinhibition. Lack of standardization may contribute to inconsistent frequency rates and characterization of this problem. More work is needed to better understand and identify sexual disinhibition in dementia.

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Needs Assessment for Turkish Family Caregivers of Older Persons with Cancer: First-Phase Results of Adapting an Early Palliative Care Model

Background: Although palliative care is expanding globally for patients with serious illness, Turkey has not had widespread integration of early concurrent oncology palliative care. Hence, adapting and testing models of concurrent oncology palliative care for Turkish patients is imperative. Furthermore, it is critical that these care models also address the needs of family caregivers.; Objective: To assess needs and elicit suggestions that would inform the adaptation of the ENABLE (Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends) evidence-based early palliative care model for Turkish family caregivers of older persons with cancer.; Methods: Formative evaluation study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 primary family caregivers of older individuals with cancer. Thematic analyses yielded themes in four domains: meaning of caregiving, effect of caregiving, education and consulting needs, and preferences about the delivery of the ENABLE model of palliative care support.; Results: Caregivers described the impact of the cancer on their daily lives and responsibilities in the areas of physical, psychological, work, social, and family life. Caregivers emphasized their needs for information about symptoms, physical care, cancer pathology, and prognosis. Regarding the ENABLE model of early concurrent palliative care, participants wanted encounters to be in-person with educational material support that was simple and focused on disease information (prognosis, medication, handling emergency situations), psychological support, caring, nutrition, and acquiring community services.; Conclusion: Themes from this study will be used to modify the ENABLE intervention protocol for future pilot and efficacy testing in Turkish caregivers.

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Development of an mHealth application for family carers of people with dementia: A study protocol

Background: The progressive and complex nature of dementia demands carers have specific knowledge and training. However, often carers do not have adequate knowledge and skills, particularly for functional disability care. Aim: This study aims to develop and test the feasibility of an educational and supportive mHealth/smartphone application that addresses the needs of family carers of people with dementia related to functional disability of care recipients. Methods: This mixed method study consists of three phases. In phase one, an online survey and individual interviews with carers will be conducted to assess their needs related to management of functional disability and the development of an mHealth application. Additionally, experts will be consulted to identify their opinions on application development. In phase two, using information from phase one, an mHealth application will be designed and developed. In phase three, a feasibility study will be conducted with carers to identify usability, user adherence, acceptance and experiences with the application. Discussion: This study will generate new knowledge about the needs of carers related to the management of functional disability of people with dementia and the use of smartphones for health-seeking behaviours, and will develop an mHealth application for carers to address the needs related to functional disability care. Conclusion: A mixed method study was designed to develop a user-centred educational and supportive mHealth app for family carers to address needs related to the functional disability of people with dementia consisting of three phases: needs assessment, the designing of the app and a feasibility study.

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Monitoring the sleep patterns of people with dementia and their family carers in the community

Objectives: Gold-standard overnight polysomnography does not reliably capture highly variable sleep patterns across the 24-hour day that are common with dementia and often problematic for carers. We evaluated the reliability of automatically scored actigraphy data as an alternative. Methods: Actigraphy recordings were analysed from 15 community-dwelling people with dementia (135 days total) and 14 of their family carers (124 days total). Manual scoring used participant sleep diaries to identify sleep periods. Automated scoring used the manufacturer's algorithm to score entire records. Results: For people with dementia, automated scoring identified more sleep fragmentation at night and increased sleep during the day, with comparable sensitivity but lower specificity than for carers. Conclusions: Automated scoring offers reasonable agreement with manual scoring and may better describe the fragmented nature of dementia-related sleep, which can be challenging to record accurately in a sleep diary. Automated scoring reduces participant burden and could improve research and treatment protocols. 

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Family assessment of elderly patients with liver disease

Objective: to analyze the structure, development and operation of families of elderly patients with liver disease. Method: this is a qualitative-field study, which used the Calgary Family Assessment Model. The study had as its backdrop of research a philanthropic hospital. The study population consisted of five families of elderly hospitalized patients with liver disease. Results: from the five females families evaluated, two were characterized as extensive, one rebuilt, one was composed of brothers without ties of consanguinity and only one as the nuclear family. It was also possible to verify that the relatives presented themselves as the main caregiver, and that all families presented the monthly average of two minimum wages. Conclusion: taking into consideration that the family participation in the process of illness presents itself as a determinant factor for the satisfactory prognosis of patients, the role of nursing before the evaluation and intervention in the family context will contribute significantly to improved health status and wellbeing of patients and their families.

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Neuropsychological consequences of chronic stress: the case of informal caregivers

Introduction: Caring for a family member with a long-term illness is a significant source of chronic stress that might significantly accelerate the cognitive ageing of informal caregivers. Nevertheless, the absence of a defined theoretical body of literature on the neuropsychology of this population makes it difficult to understand what the characteristic neuropsychological deficits of these caregivers are.; Aims: The main aim of this study is to carry out a systematic review of studies of cognitive deficits present in informal caregivers of people with several chronic pathologies, and analyse the effects of cognitive-behavioural interventions on caregivers' cognition.; Methods: The scientific literature was reviewed following the PRISMA quality criteria for reviews using the following digital databases: PubMEd, PsycINFO, and Dialnet.; Results: Identification of 2046 abstracts and retrieval of 211 full texts led to the inclusion of 38 papers. The studies showed heterogeneous results, but most of the cross-sectional studies reviewed that employed neuropsychological assessments concluded that informal caregivers reported a generalized cognitive deterioration, especially memory dysfunctions (i.e. learning verbal, visuospatial, and digit information). Moreover, they also presented low selective attention and capacity for inhibition, along with slow processing speed. Longitudinal studies confirmed that caregivers whose care situation was more prolonged showed a marked deterioration in their overall cognitive state, memory, processing speed, and vocabulary richness. However, although the patient's death does not seem to reverse the neuropsychological alterations in caregivers, cognitive-behavioural interventions that employ techniques to reduce stress levels, cognitive biases, and inadequate adaptation schemas seem to improve some of the aforementioned cognitive abilities.; Conclusions: Results from this synthesis and critical analysis of neuropsychological deficits in informal caregivers offer guidelines for diagnosing caregivers' cognitive status by including a test battery covering all the domains considered relevant. Finally, given the ability of cognitive behavioural interventions to improve cognition in caregivers, further studies on their long-term effects on caregivers are warranted. Chronic stress entails an acceleration of the cognitive ageing Cross-sectional studies concluded that informal caregivers reported a generalized cognitive deterioration Cognitive-behavioural interventions seem to improve cognitive abilities of caregivers.

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Risky wandering behaviors of persons with dementia predict family caregivers' health outcomes

Objectives: To examine the relationships between dementia persons' risky wandering behaviors and family caregivers' physical and mental health. Methods: A secondary analysis was conducted using the original cross-sectional data from180 dyads. The Risky Wandering and Adverse Outcome model assessed behaviors of eloping and getting lost outside the house for dementia persons. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson's correlation coefficient and hierarchical regressions. Results: The mean age of caregivers was 56.01 years (SD = 13.8); 65% were female. Younger caregivers experienced greater physical fatigue and sleep disturbance. Presence of foreign helpers predicted a reduction in mental and physical fatigue of caregiver (β = −0.186, p <.05; β = 0.198, p <.05, respectively). Getting lost outside of the house influenced caregivers' mental fatigue (β = 0-0.215, p <.05); eloping behavior influenced caregivers' sleep disturbance (β = 0.231, p <.05). Care-receivers' activities of daily living affected caregivers' depressive symptoms (β = −0.179, p <.05). Conclusions: Dementia family caregiver physical and mental health problems have distinct predictors. Employing the Risky Wandering and Adverse Outcome model could inform policy makers regarding long-term care resources to improve dementia care.

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Family caregivers of people who have intellectual/developmental disabilities and asthma: Caregiver knowledge of asthma self‐management concepts—A pilot study

Accessible Summary: Asthma is a problem for many people. Some people need help with their medicines for asthma. People who help with medicines should know how medicines work and how they are used. This study found that many helpers need more education about asthma medicines. Abstract: Background: People who have an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) and asthma are at greater risk of poor health outcomes. They often require assistance from caregivers when managing their medicines. The objective of this pilot study was to assess the level of understanding of asthma self‐management concepts of family caregivers who provide assistance to people who IDD and asthma. Results will inform future needs assessment and intervention studies. Materials and Methods: Nineteen caregivers of people who have asthma and IDD completed a mailed survey. The survey included scales to measure asthma self‐management concepts, inhaler technique knowledge, medication adherence and control of asthma. The caregivers were instructed to complete most of the scales with reference to the person with IDD. Results: Most caregivers had acceptable health literacy, but had low scores on the asthma self‐management and inhaler technique tests. The most frequently cited barriers to controlling asthma were inadequate caregiver and patient education about the illness as well as knowing and avoiding asthma triggers. The most frequently cited barriers to medication management were knowing inhaler technique, knowledge of medication and forgetting to use medication. Asthma was controlled in 63.2% of patients, while almost 75% of patients were considered nonadherent to controller therapy. Conclusions: Most caregivers had inadequate understanding of asthma self‐management as well as inhaler technique despite having high health literacy. Improving caregiver and patient knowledge and skills may lead to better asthma control.

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Acceptability to patients, carers and clinicians of an mHealth platform for the management of Parkinson's disease (PD_Manager): study protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial

Background: Parkinson's disease is a degenerative neurological condition causing multiple motor and non-motor symptoms that have a serious adverse effect on quality of life. Management is problematic due to the variable and fluctuating nature of symptoms, often hourly and daily. The PD_Manager mHealth platform aims to provide a continuous feed of data on symptoms to improve clinical understanding of the status of any individual patient and inform care planning. The objectives of this trial are to (1) assess patient (and family carer) perspectives of PD_Manager regarding comfort, acceptability and ease of use; (2) assess clinician views about the utility of the data generated by PD_Manager for clinical decision making and the acceptability of the system in clinical practice.; Methods/design: This trial is an unblinded, parallel, two-group, randomised controlled pilot study. A total of 200 persons with Parkinson's disease (Hoehn and Yahr stage 3, experiencing motor fluctuations at least 2 h per day), with primary family carers, in three countries (110 Rome, 50 Venice, Italy; 20 each in Ioannina, Greece and Surrey, England) will be recruited. Following informed consent, baseline information will be gathered, including the following: age, gender, education, attitudes to technology (patient and carer); time since Parkinson's diagnosis, symptom status and comorbidities (patient only). Randomisation will assign participants (1:1 in each country), to PD_Manager vs control, stratifying by age (1 ≤ 70 : 1 > 70) and gender (60% M: 40% F). The PD_Manager system captures continuous data on motor symptoms, sleep, activity, speech quality and emotional state using wearable devices (wristband, insoles) and a smartphone (with apps) for storing and transmitting the information. Control group participants will be asked to keep a symptom diary covering the same elements as PD_Manager records. After a minimum of two weeks, each participant will attend a consultation with a specialist doctor for review of the data gathered (by either means), and changes to management will be initiated as indicated. Patients, carers and clinicians will be asked for feedback on the acceptability and utility of the data collection methods. The PD_Manager intervention, compared to a symptom diary, will be evaluated in a cost-consequences framework.; Discussion: Information gathered will inform further development of the PD_Manager system and a larger effectiveness trial.; Trial Registration: ISRCTN Registry, ISRCTN17396879 . Registered on 15 March 2017.;

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Validation of the caregiving knowledge questionnaire-my: Measuring knowledge regarding positioning and feeding among Malaysian informal caregivers of stroke patients

Aim: The majority of caregivers for stroke patients in Malaysia are informal caregivers, although there are no valid tools to measure their knowledge regarding caregiving. Therefore, this study validated the Caregiving Knowledge Questionnaire (CKQ-My) as an assessment of Malaysian stroke caregivers' knowledge regarding patient positioning and feeding. Methods: Back-to-back translation was used to produce a bilingual version of the questionnaire. Hand drawings were used to replace photographs from the original questionnaire. Face validity and content validity were assessed, and construct validity was determined by comparing responses from informal caregivers, medical students, and primary care doctors. Finally, the internal consistencies of the subscales were determined. Results: Pretesting showed that the translated version was sufficiently easy to understand. Internal consistency for the positioning subscale (28 items, Cronbach's α = 0.70) and feeding subscale (15 items, Cronbach's α = 0.70) was good. Mean scores for the positioning subscale for caregivers (mean: 17.1 ± 3.9), medical students (mean: 18.9 ± 3.1), and doctors (mean 21.5 ± 2.2) were significantly different (F = 5.28, P ' = 0.011). Mean scores for the feeding subscale for caregivers (mean 13.1 ± 2.5), medical students (mean 16.1 ± 1.9), and doctors (mean 16.1 ± 2.4) also differed significantly (F = 6.217, P = 0.006). Conclusions: CKQ-My has good internal consistency and construct validity for the subscales measuring stroke caregivers' knowledge about positioning and feeding of stroke patients. It has potential as an assessment of effectiveness of caregiver training and for future studies on long-term stroke outcomes in Malaysia.

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Personalisation, personal budgets and family carers. Whose assessment? Whose budget?

Summary: The policy of personalisation in English adult social care prioritises choice and control by service users over the support they receive. Carers also have rights to assessments and support, but these rights have developed separately, so interdependencies between carers and service users may be overlooked. Moreover, it may be difficult to reconcile these divergent policies in routine practice. This article reports findings from a study examining the roles played by carers in England in the processes of assessment, support planning and management of personal budgets for disabled and older people. The study was conducted between January 2011 and February 2013. It involved a survey of 16 adult social care departments across 2 English regions, and interviews with personalisation and carers lead officers in three local authorities. The Framework approach was used to manage the data, and analysis was done thematically. Findings: Practice was fragmented and inconsistent. Carers were reported to be involved in service users' assessments, and also asked about their willingness and ability to continue caring, but not necessarily about their own needs. Separate carers' assessments were reported to be usually offered, but take-up was low and lead officers' opinions about their value varied. Any help given by carers reduced the level of service users' personal budgets, but there was no evidence that carers' own needs (as identified in carers' assessments) were taken into account. Applications: Greater clarity and consistency is needed, especially the linking of service users' and carers' assessments and finding appropriate ways to meet both. These changes will become increasingly urgent with the implementation of the 2014 Care Act. 

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Family caregivers as needed partners: recognizing their role in medicaid managed long‐term services and supports

Adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) in the United States are supported by both formal Medicaid‐funded long‐term services and supports and family caregivers. Lack of alternative housing options and wait lists for long‐term services and supports means the role of the family caregiver is and will continue be critical. Rising long‐term services and supports costs combined with goals to improve care coordination and access to services are driving more states to change the design of their long‐term services and supports systems to a Medicaid‐Managed Long‐Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) approach. Best practices for implementing MLTSS for individuals with IDD include acknowledging the family caregiver role. The current study's aim is to understand how family caregivers and their roles are recognized in MLTSS for adults with IDD in Kansas. Kansas was selected given their unique approach to MLTSS for adults with IDD, referred to as KanCare. In‐depth semi‐structured telephone interviews were completed with 31 stakeholders in Kansas, including statewide/regional representatives (N = 13), service coordination providers (N = 7), and family caregivers (N = 11). Additional family support services were available in KanCare, but families had difficulty accessing them. No formal processes were reported for assessing the needs of family caregivers in KanCare and families found communications with managed care entities challenging. Families reported difficulties with taking on responsibility of managing in‐home supports and there were concerns about being paid to provide care as a guardian. Family caregivers play a critical role in MLTSS, including assisting with care coordination and access to services. However, their role was not formally acknowledged in KanCare. Future research, practice, and policy efforts should focus on promoting family caregiver assessments and identifying best practices for supporting family caregivers in MLTSS.

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Assessment of informal caregiver's needs by self-administered instruments: A literature review

Background Clinicians, researchers and politicians are seeking to better assess caregiver's needs. Challenges exist in broadly implementing this so as to provide appropriate support. The aim of this review was to compile self-administered instruments for assessment of caregiver's needs that are deemed to be scientifically robust. Methods The Medline database was searched for publications reporting self-administered instruments assessing caregiver's needs with acceptable psychometric properties. These instruments were analyzed in terms of the development context, target population, concept, purpose, structure, content and psychometric properties. The dimensions of the needs were listed and categorized. Results A total of nine self-administered instruments were analyzed. They averaged 32 items, they were specifically developed for a targeted subpopulation of caregivers and dedicated to epidemiological research. Response devices were based on Likert scales. The main dimensions of the needs identified were 'Health and Care', 'Psychological - Emotional Support', 'Information - Knowledge', 'Social Life - Work - Finance'. None was specifically geared toward caregivers for the elderly, children or teenagers. In the absence of transcultural validation, no instrument was directly usable in Europe. Conclusions Assessing caregivers' needs is a key part in providing caregivers with appropriate support. The development of self-administered instruments constitutes a complex field that is still underexplored at the international level; strict specifications with psychometric validation are essential. To be efficient, the instrument should be integrated in a larger process including: upstream, recognition, identification and assessment of the overall situation of the caregiver; and downstream, guidance, establishment and follow-up of a suitable action plan. 

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Dealing with daily challenges in dementia (deal-id study): an experience sampling study to assess caregiver functioning in the flow of daily life

Objective: Accurate assessment of caregiver functioning is of great importance to gain better insight into daily caregiver functioning and to prevent high levels of burden. The experience sampling methodology (ESM) is an innovative approach to assess subjective experiences and behaviour within daily life. In this study, the feasibility of the ESM in spousal caregivers of people with dementia was examined, and the usability of ESM data for clinical and scientific practice was demonstrated. Methods: Thirty-one caregivers collected ESM data for six consecutive days using an electronic ESM device that generated ten random alerts per day. After each alert, short reports of the caregiver's current mood state and context were collected. Feasibility was assessed by examining compliance and subjective experiences with the ESM. Usability was described using group and individual ESM data. Results: Participants on average completed 78.8% of the reports. One participant completed less than 33% of the reports and was excluded from data analyses. Participants considered the ESM device to be a user-friendly device in which they could accurately describe their feelings and experiences. The ESM was not experienced as too burdensome. Zooming in on the ESM data, personalised patterns of mood and contextual factors were revealed. Conclusions: The ESM is a feasible method to assess caregiver functioning. In addition to standard retrospective measurements, it offers new opportunities to gain more insight into the daily lives of people with dementia and their caregivers. It also provides new possibilities to tailor caregiver support interventions to the specific needs of the caregiver.

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Revising social inclusion to take account of care

Social inclusion is a contested concept that identifies the basis for social membership and valued activities in any society. Within social inclusion assessments, care is often overlooked or perceived to be a risk factor for exclusion and a barrier to inclusion. Drawing on ideas from care theories, the authors argue that social inclusion needs revising to take account of care. While the idea of social inclusion can underscore the structures, mechanisms and practices that underpin socially generated care inequalities, revisions are necessary to incorporate insights from care theories and to provide an adequate assessment of carers' social inclusion.

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A discrete choice experiment to explore carer preferences

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe a case study to test the applicability of the discrete choice experiment (DCE) method to assess the preferences of carers of people with dementia. The focus of enquiry was home care provision. Design/methodology/approach: A multi-method approach was adopted for this pilot study. A literature review identified key characteristics of home care for dementia. This informed consultations with lay representatives. Key attributes of home care for the DCE were identified and formed the basis for the schedule. In all, 28 carers were recruited by two voluntary organisations to complete the DCE. A multinomial logistic regression model was used to analyse the data. Findings: Seven attributes of home care for people with dementia were identified from the consultation. The use of the DCE approach permitted the identification of those most important to carers. Despite the modest sample, statistically significant findings were reported in relation to five of the attributes indicating their relevance. A lay involvement in the identification of attributes contributed to the ease of administration of the schedule and relevance of the findings. Originality/value: This study demonstrated the utility of a DCE to capture the preferences of carers of people with dementia and thereby gather information from carers to inform policy, practice and service development. Their involvement in the design of the schedule was critical to this process.

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Feasibility Testing and Refinement of a Supportive Educational Intervention for Carers of Patients with High-Grade Glioma a Pilot Study

The aim of this pilot study was to test the feasibility and acceptability of a family carer intervention for carers of patients with high-grade glioma (HGG). The intervention consisted of: (1) an initial telephone assessment of carer needs; (2) a personalised tabbed resource file; (3) nurse-led home visit; and (4) ongoing telephone support. Two consumer representatives reviewed the intervention resources. The intervention was then piloted with participants who were the primary carer for patients undergoing treatment for HGG in Western Australia. Two consumers provided feedback on the resource, and 10 carers participated in the pilot. Positive feedback was received about the resource manual and intervention. Suggestions were also made for changes which were implemented into the trial. The surveys were shortened based on feedback. Participants identified a large range of issues during nursing assessments which would not otherwise be identified or addressed for carers receiving routine care. As a result of providing the intervention, the nurse was able to make referrals to address needs that were identified. This pilot study enabled us to refine and test the Care-IS intervention and test the feasibility and acceptability of proposed survey instruments. We were also able to estimate recruitment and retention and the overall study timeline required for the randomised controlled trial we are now conducting. It has also demonstrated the role of the nurse who delivered the intervention and allowed us to refine communication and referral pathways.

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Resilience for family carers of advanced cancer patients—how can health care providers contribute? A qualitative interview study with carers

Background: Caring for advanced cancer patients affects carers’ psychological and physical health. Resilience has been defined as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of threat.” Aim: The aim of this study was to explore factors promoting carer resilience, based on carers’ experiences with and preferences for health care provider support. Design: Qualitative, semi-structured, individual interviews with family carers of advanced cancer patients were performed until data saturation. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using systematic text condensation. Setting/participants: Carers (n = 14) of advanced cancer patients, not receiving curative treatment, admitted to an integrated curative and palliative care cancer outpatient clinic or to a university hospital cancer clinic, were included. Results: 14 carers of advanced cancer patients were included 7 men, 7 women, and mean age of 59 years 3 were bereaved 12 were partners 5 had young and teenage children. Four main resilience factors were identified: (1) being seen and known by health care providers—a personal relation (2) availability of palliative care (3) information and communication about illness, prognosis, and death and (4) facilitating a good carer–patient relation. Conclusion: Health care providers may enhance carers’ resilience by a series of simple interventions. Education should address carers’ support needs and resilience. Systematic assessment of carers’ support needs is recommended. Further investigation is needed into how health care providers can help carers and patients communicate about death.

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A person-centred approach in nursing: Validity and reliability of the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool

Purpose: The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) was developed for use among family caregivers in palliative care for assessment of their support needs. The purpose of this study was to translate and evaluate the validity and reliability of the CSNAT in a sample of Swedish family caregivers and nurses in a palliative care context. Methods: Data for this validation study was collected during 2016 in the context of palliative home care in two larger Swedish cities. The study was conducted in three stages to reach conceptual, semantic, operational and measurement equivalence between the original UK version and the Swedish version. Stage I consisted of translation to Swedish. In Stage II, cognitive interviews were performed with 8 family caregivers and 10 nurses. Data were analyzed based on relevance, clarity and sensitivity. In Stage III, the CSNAT and related self-rating measures (caregiver burden, preparedness for caregiving and quality of life) were completed by 118 family caregivers. Data quality, construct validity and test-retest reliability were evaluated. Results: The CSNAT items were considered relevant and useful to identify areas of support needs. The Swedish CSNAT showed sound psychometric properties with satisfactory data quality and few problems with missing data across items (1.8%-6.1%). All items except one correlated as expected (rho>0.3) with caregiver burden, supporting construct validity. All items had satisfactory test-retest reliability (κw=0.45-0.75). Conclusions: This study further adds to the validity of the CSNAT and shows in addition that it is reliable and stable for use among family caregivers in palliative care.

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Behind the smile: qualitative study of caregivers' anguish and management responses while caring for someone living with heart failure

Background Caregivers support self-management in heart failure but often experience stress, anxiety and ill health as a result of providing care. Aims 1. To identify the factors that contribute to the experience of anguish. 2. To understand how caregivers learn to live with what is frequently a challenging and demanding role. Methods Individual interviews with caregivers who had been caring for someone with heart failure for a minimum of 6 months. We used thematic analysis to inductively analyse transcripts. Results Twenty-two caregivers, from three centres in the United Kingdom, took part in individual interviews. The caregivers were aged between 39 and 84 years, and six were men. Twenty were in spousal or partner relationships. We found that caregivers often hide the extent of their emotional stress or anguish. We identified four main themes with explanatory subthemes—emotional impact (fear for the future and sense of hopelessness), role definition (changing sense of who I am, reduced resilience, learning care skills, role conflict and changing role), exclusion (exclusion by the cared-for person and by health professionals and feeling alone) and ignoring one’s own health—that were associated with anguish. From these findings, we produced a caregiver needs assessment model in the context of caring for a person with heart failure. Conclusions and implications for practice Caregivers have many unmet and hidden needs. Primary care health professionals are well placed to meet the needs of caregivers. The model may be used by health and social care professionals to identify needs and to provide caregivers with targeted practical and emotional support; and for researchers developing interventions to enhance self-management in heart failure.

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Helping lay carers of people with advanced cancer and their GPs to talk: an exploration of Australian users' views of a simple carer health checklist

The lay caregiving role is integral to advanced cancer care but places carers' health at risk. A supportive General Practitioner (GP) can help primary lay carers manage their health, if they disclose their concerns. A Needs Assessment Tool for Caregivers (NAT-C) was developed for carers to self-complete and use as the basis of a GP consultation, then tested in a randomised controlled trial. This paper reports a qualitative research study to determine the usefulness and acceptability of the NAT-C in the Australian primary care setting. Convenience samples of 11 carers and 5 GPs were interviewed between September 2010 and December 2011 regarding their experiences with and perceptions of the NAT-C. Open-ended questions were used, and the transcripts were analysed qualitatively to identify themes and patterns. Three major themes were identified: (a) Acceptability of the intervention (b) Impact of the intervention on the GP-patient relationship and (c) Place of the intervention in advanced cancer care. This simple checklist was acceptable to carers, although some were uncertain about the legitimacy of discussing their own needs with their GP. Carer-patients could not be certain whether a GP would be willing or equipped to conduct a NAT-C-based consultation. Such consultations were acceptable to most GPs, although some already used a holistic approach while others preferred brief symptom-based consultations. Although the NAT-C was acceptable to most carers and GPs, supportive consultations take time. This raises organisational issues to be addressed so carers can seek and benefit from their GP's support.

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Identifying and addressing the support needs of family caregivers of people with motor neurone disease using the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool

Objective: Family caregivers of people with motor neurone disease (MND) experience adverse health outcomes as a result of their caregiving experience. This may be alleviated if their support needs are identified and addressed in a systematic and timely manner. The objective of the present study was to assess the feasibility and relevance of the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) in home-based care during the period of caregiving from the perspectives of the family caregivers of people with MND and their service providers. Method: The study was conducted during 2014 in Western Australia. Some 30 family caregivers and 4 care advisors participated in trialing the CSNAT intervention, which involved two visits from care advisors (6–8 weeks apart) to identify and address support needs. The feedback from family caregivers was obtained via telephone interviews and that of care advisors via a self-administered questionnaire. Results: A total of 24 caregivers completed the study (80% completion rate) and identified the highest support priorities as “knowing what to expect in the future,” “knowing who to contact if concerned,” and “equipment to help care.” The majority found that this assessment process adequately addressed their needs and gave them a sense of validation, reassurance, and empowerment. Care advisors advocated the CSNAT approach as an improvement over standard practice, allowing them to more clearly assess needs, to offer a more structured follow-up, and to focus on the caregiver and family. Significance of Results: The CSNAT approach for identifying and addressing family caregivers' support needs was found to be relevant and feasible by MND family caregivers and care advisors. The tool provided a formal structure to facilitate discussions with family caregivers and thus enable needs to be addressed. Such discussions can also inform an evidence base for the ongoing development of services, ensuring that new and improved services are designed to meet the explicit needs of the family caregivers of people with a motor neurone disease.

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The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT)

The CSNAT is an evidence-based tool that facilitates tailored support for family members and friends (carers) of adults with long term life-limiting conditions. The research underpinning this tool was informed by carers and practitioners.

It comprises 14 domains (broad areas of need) in which carers commonly say they require support. Carers may use this tool to indicate further support they need both to enable them to care for their family member or friend and to preserve their own health and well-being within their caregiving role.

It is short and simple to use for both carers and practitioners. Online training is also available

The online training can be accessed free of charge and allows health and social care practitioners to access Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accredited training in how to implement The CSNAT Approach, in order to best meet the needs of carers of patients with life-limiting illness. The training also addresses key organisational issues to be considered in planning, piloting and sustaining implementation in the longer term.

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Oncology Nurses' Knowledge, Confidence, and Practice in Addressing Caregiver Strain and Burden

Objectives: To describe nurses' practices, confidence, and knowledge of evidence-based interventions for cancer caregiver strain and burden and to identify factors that contribute to these aspects. ; Sample & Setting: 2,055 Oncology Nursing Society members completed an emailed survey.; Methods & Variables: Pooled analysis of survey results. Variables included the baseline nursing assessment, intervention, confidence, knowledge, strategies used, and barriers encountered. ; Results: Nurses tend to overestimate the strength of evidence for interventions not shown to be effective and have moderate confidence in assessing and intervening with caregivers. Having been an informal caregiver and having received care from an informal caregiver were associated with higher reported practice and confidence. Major strategies used were referral to social workers and others. Barriers reported were financial, caregiver emotional responses, and distance. ; Implications For Nursing: An opportunity exists to increase nurses' knowledge and confidence in assessment and intervention with caregivers. Greater use of technology may help nurses overcome some barriers to working with caregivers. Findings can be used to plan continuing education, develop clinical processes, and identify resources nurses need to address strain and burden among informal caregivers.

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Who cares for the carers at hospital discharge at the end of life? A qualitative study of current practice in discharge planning and the potential value of using The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) Approach

Background: Carer factors prevent patients achieving timely and appropriate hospital discharge. There is a lack of research into interventions to support carers at hospital discharge. Aim: To explore whether and how family carers are currently supported during patient discharge at end of life; to assess perceived benefits, acceptability and feasibility of using The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) Approach in the hospital setting to support carers. Design: Qualitative. Setting/participants: Three National Health Service Trusts in England: focus groups with 40 hospital and community-based practitioners and 22 carer interviews about experiences of carer support during hospital discharge and views of The CSNAT Approach. Two workshops brought together 14 practitioners and five carers to discuss implementation issues. Framework analysis was conducted. Results: Current barriers to supporting carers at hospital discharge were an organisational focus on patients' needs, what practitioners perceived as carers' often 'unrealistic expectations' of end-of-life caregiving at home and lack of awareness of patients' end-of-life situation. The CSNAT Approach was viewed as enabling carer support and addressing difficulties of discussing the realities of supporting someone at home towards end of life. Implementation in hospital required organisational considerations of practitioner workload and training. To enhance carer support, a two-stage process of assessment and support (hospital with community follow-up) was suggested using the CSNAT as a carer-held record to manage the transition. Conclusion: This study identifies a novel intervention, which expands the focus of discharge planning to include assessment of carers' support needs at transition, potentially preventing breakdown of care at home and patient readmissions to hospital. 

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State of Caring 2018

A total of 7,397 carers and former carers responded to Carers UK’s annual State of Caring survey between March and May 2018. 

Only responses from the 6,828 people currently providing care who completed the survey are included in this report as it is designed to provide a snapshot of caring in 2018. However, Carers UK will be using the responses of former carers in other pieces of work throughout the year. 

Compared to the carer population as a whole, respondents to this survey were more likely to be female and caring for a high number of hours every week. 

Of respondents to the State of Caring Survey 2018 who are currently caring:

  • 75% live in England, 8% live in Northern Ireland, 9% live in Scotland, and 8% live in Wales.
  • 78% identify as female and 20% identify as male.
  • 24% consider themselves to have a disability.
  • 1% are aged 0-24, 4% are aged 25-34, 12% are aged 35-44, 30% are aged 45-54, 33% are aged 55-64, 15% are aged 65-74 and 5% are aged 75 and over. As fewer 1% of carers currently providing care who are under 18 took part in the survey, we have not explored results specifically for this group in the report. 
  • 3% are lesbian, gay or bisexual.
  • 12% also have childcare responsibilities for a non-disabled child under 18.
  • 38% are in paid work (49% full-time and 51% part-time).
  • 33% have been caring 15 years or more, 15% for between 10-14 years, 24% for 5-9 years, 25% for 1-4 years and just 3% have been caring for less than one year. 
  • 47% care for 90 or more hours every week, while 16% care for 50-89 hours, 24% for 20-49 hours and 5% care for 1-19 hours a week.
  • Most (75%) care for one person, 19% care for two people, 4% for three people and 2% care for four or more people.
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Experts' perspectives on SwissDRG: Second class care for vulnerable patient groups?

  • Swiss hospital experts are aware of particularly vulnerable patient groups.
  • Vulnerable patient groups are insufficiently represented in the new SwissDRG tariff structure.
  • Swiss hospitals are confronted with the challenges that vulnerable patients pose.
  • Experts report macro, meso, and micro level measures to protect vulnerable patients.
  • Legislative measures to protect vulnerable patients do not show the desired effect.

On the 1st of January 2012, Switzerland introduced the diagnosis-related group hospital tariff structure (SwissDRG). It was recognised that healthcare provided to the most vulnerable patient groups would be a challenge for the new SwissDRG. Coincident with the implementation of SwissDRG, we explored hospital experts' perceptions of which patient groups are vulnerable under the SwissDRG system, what has changed for this group, as well as solutions to ensure adequate access to health care for them.

We interviewed 43 experts from 40 Swiss hospitals. Participating experts named several vulnerable patient groups who share some common characteristics. These hospital experts were concerned about the patient groups that are not financially profitable and questioned the practicability of the current regulation. At the same time, they highlighted the complexity associated with caring for this group under the new SwissDRG and reported measures at the macro, meso, and micro levels to protect vulnerable patient groups from negative effects.

To curb negative outcomes for vulnerable patient groups after the introduction of the SwissDRG, the Swiss legislation has introduced various instruments including the acute and transitional care (ATC) measures. We conclude that ATC measures do not produce the expected effect the legislators had hoped for. More health data is needed to identify situations where vulnerable patient groups are more susceptible to inadequate health care access in Switzerland.

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“You don't look for it”—A study of Swiss professionals’ awareness of young carers and their support needs

While political and public interest in providing support for family carers is growing, so called young carers and young adult carers—young persons under the ages of 18 and 25 respectively—mostly remain unrecognised. Yet, this vulnerable group is in need of special attention and support from professionals in order to get along with the situation of an ill family member and the caring duties they perform. This paper presents the results from a focus group study on the level of awareness among professionals from healthcare, education and social services concerning the topic of caring children, adolescents and young adults; and on the practice tools they consider necessary and helpful in order to support young carers and young adult carers. Twenty‐seven professionals from the German‐ and French‐speaking parts of Switzerland participated in five focus groups. The focus groups were recorded and transcribed verbatim, and the transcripts were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Our findings show that the professionals have a low level of awareness of the issue of young carers and young adult carers and also highlight the professionals’ willingness to engage with the subject. The results also show that professionals consider that practice tools (such as standardised questionnaires and check lists) could be important devices in providing support for young carers and young adult carers. These tools could be helpful in identifying this group, enabling them to identify themselves as such, and would ensure that they received appropriate support. 

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Using the COPE assessment tool with informal carers of people with dementia in New Zealand

AIMS: To evaluate the validity of the COPE index (CI) carer assessment tool within a study exploring perceptions of carer support, health, and wellbeing. To assess the utility and acceptability of the CI with health practitioners and informal carers of people with dementia, following the European COPE protocol.

METHODS: Research interviews (one pre- and two post-CI assessment) recorded demographic characteristics of carer (n = 45) and care recipient, formal (service) and informal support use and satisfaction, self-reported health, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-30), Burden Interview, Caregiver Competence, and Personal Gain. COPE Index assessment was undertaken by referring health practitioners (n = 12).

RESULTS: Construct validity of the CI compared positively with findings reported in the literature. Psychological morbidity in carers (33%) was often undiagnosed; 19% of carers presented a more positive perception of their health to the health practitioner than to the researcher; diagnosis of care recipients was not always clear to carers (25%). COPE Index assessment improved both communication and understanding of carers' needs and was evaluated positively by most carers and health practitioners.

CONCLUSIONS: The COPE Index is an easily administered and generally acceptable tool that may be useful for initiating more comprehensive assessment of dementia carers' needs.

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Involving carers in the teaching, learning and assessment of masters students

Involving patients and carers in teaching, learning and assessment focuses the students on person-centred care by providing the opportunity to listen to, and reflect on, the perspective of patient and/or carer and also allows the students the opportunity to work in partnership with them to effect meaningful change. This paper presents an example at Teesside University where two informal carers have been involved as partners in the programme team of The Master of Arts in Advancing Practice over the past four years. In year two of the programme, the student is required to work within their organisation and governance policies to identify, implement and evaluate a practice development change project. Involving carers at critical points throughout the year has enriched, supported and challenged the students' learning. Evaluation has highlighted the role that carers can play in bringing a new dimension to the students' learning experience. The authors believe that direct involvement of this kind has much potential for other programmes in improving health and social care education which, in turn, will improve health and social care services.

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Specialist clinical assessment of vulnerable older people: outcomes for carers from a randomised controlled trial

‘Caring for carers’ is high on the United Kingdom policy agenda for community care. Although recent policy advocates the provision of services directly to the carer, research suggests that an alternative way of helping carers is through targeting enhanced services towards the cared-for person. This paper reports a randomised controlled trial of the effects on carer distress of an additional specialist clinical assessment for vulnerable older people at risk of residential or nursing home placement. The sample was composed of 142 informal carers of older people, randomly assigned to receive either the additional specialist assessment or the usual social services assessment. Carers were assessed using the modified Social Behaviour Assessment Schedule (SBAS), and data were also collected on older peoples' service use throughout the study period. Regression analyses indicated that changes in older peoples' behaviour, as opposed to carer or service-related factors, predicted changes in carer distress, and that the carers of the older people who experienced depressive symptoms received the greatest benefit from the specialist assessment. The study suggests that an effective means of improving outcomes for carers may be to target services towards the distressing behaviours of the person for whom they care, with symptoms of depression being particularly important.

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Carers' assessment and information guidance

It is clear that carers reduce the amount of input that social services and other agencies need to make. It is estimated that there are 185,000 carers in Northern Ireland and that 11 per cent of households here contain a carer. The Act places a requirement on Trusts to inform carers of their right to carer’s assessment and gives Trusts the power to supply services directly to carers to help the carer in their caring role. This change includes a statutory right to a carer’s assessment which allows for an assessment to be carried out even where the person cared for has refused an assessment or the provision of personal social services. The Act also allows Trusts to make Direct Payments.

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Service user and carer assessment of social work students

Whilst the involvement of service users and carers in social work student assessments has significantly changed the education of social work students in the United Kingdom (UK), it is a practice that has not been adopted internationally. The chapter makes the case for service user and carer involvement in students’ assessments at international level. It discusses the policy and the legal context for service user and carer involvement in students’ assessments, and what service users and carers look for when assessing students. It offers some practical suggestions on how institutions could set up service user and carer involvement in students’ assessments.

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Impacts on practitioners of using research-based carer assessment tools: experiences from the UK, Canada and Sweden, with insights from Australia

Researchers and practitioners in several Western countries have recently developed tools for assessing the situation of the carers of adults who are ill, elderly or have disabilities. The present article describes the impact of three such assessment tools, from Canada, the UK and Sweden, on the professional practice of assessors. All tools were tested in agency-based studies. Focus groups, workshops and interviews with assessors were employed to understand the impact on professionals and their practice. An Australian researcher and case manager comments on these experiences from her unique perspective. The results reveal that the use of carer assessments can lead to changes in the appropriateness of intervention by informing practitioners of issues which are given little attention, but which impact on the adequacy of interventions to the service user. Across the projects, most workers found that the tools facilitated a more comprehensive, in-depth and carer-focused assessment. Experience across all the projects suggests that, used sensitively, such tools and approaches can play a key role in transforming the relationship between carers, and the health and social care system. Giving carers a legitimate voice, acknowledging their perspective and expertise, and making them central to assessment processes accords them status both as active partners, and as individuals with their own needs and aspirations, rather than seeing them primarily as resources. As a result of their experiences, many workers and administrators concluded that home-care programmes must change their mandate to include carers among their clients, raising the issue of available monetary and human resources to meet the needs of this group. In addition, as our Australian colleague points out, time, efficiency, relevance, benefit and minimal intrusiveness are important factors for practitioners which influence their use of assessment tools.

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Lung cancer health care needs assessment: patients' and informal carers' responses to a national mail questionnaire survey

The objective of this study was to describe patients' and informal carers' perceptions of care received and services offered following a diagnosis of primary lung cancer. We prepared a prospective, national, mail questionnaire survey of 466 patients with a diagnosis of primary lung cancer and a lay carer of their choice. The setting was 24 randomly chosen hospitals throughout the UK, from a range of urban (n = 11) and rural settings (n = 13). The majority (76%/159) of responders were recipients of care from cancer units. Two hundred and nine patients (45%) with primary lung cancer and 70 (15%) lay carers completed questionnaires. The main results that we found were that key areas of unmet need were most apparent during periods away from acute service sectors, with as few as 40% of patients reporting having received as much help as they needed from community services. The greatest onus of care for patients fell to lay carers, but only 29% of patients identified their lay carers as having needs in relation to their illness. Where patients received all their diagnostic tests in one hospital they were significantly more likely to wait less time between first seeing their general practitioner (GP) and being told their diagnosis (P = 0.0001) than patients who had to attend more than one hospital during their diagnostic work-up period. Fifty per cent of patients reported experiencing some degree of breathlessness even at rest, but only 15% reported having received any advice on living with it. Less than a quarter (23%) of hospital consultants identified anxiety as a key problem for patients with lung cancer, but 66% of patients identified it as such. Hospital staff largely overlook the needs of informal carers, who derive support from a small, mainly community oriented group of professionals, but accessing help is problematic and is dependent on local resources and a need to be proactive.

Our conclusions are that developments in service provision for patients with lung cancer and their informal carers need to focus on six key areas: development of strategies to encourage patients to present earlier to their GP; ongoing evaluation of rapid diagnostic clinics; development and evaluation of a lung cancer care coordinator role; evaluation of innovations in delivery of nursing care in the community; development of local guidelines to facilitate equitable access to palliative care and social services; and evaluation of supportive strategies targeted at lay carers.

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National minimum information standards for all adults in Scotland for assessment, shared care and support plan, review and carers assessment and support: consultation on the compendium of standards

Comments are invited on the National Minimum Standards for Assessment. This compendium sets out the national minimum information standards for all adults, covering Assessment, Shared Care and Support Plans and Review. It also includes national minimum information standards for the identification of needs and support for Carers (‘Carers Assessment’). It builds on and supersedes the National Minimum Information Standards for Single Shared Assessment issued in August 2006 (CCD3/2006). There are two distinct types of standards used throughout the document: information standards which describe the subject matter that must be included without specifying exactly how it should be done or recorded, and data standards which specify the content at a more prescriptive level and include details on format and codes to be used for each of these standards.

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Comprehensive geriatric assessment on an acute medical unit: A qualitative study of older people's and informal carer's perspectives of the care and treatment received

Objective: This qualitative study was imbedded in a randomized controlled trial evaluating the addition of geriatricians to usual care to enable the comprehensive geriatric assessment process with older patients on acute medical units. The qualitative study explored the perspectives of intervention participants on their care and treatment.

Design: A constructivist study incorporating semi-structured interviews that were conducted in patients’ homes within six weeks of discharge from the acute medical unit. These interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analysed using thematic analysis.

Setting: An acute medical unit in the United Kingdom.

Participants: Older patients (n = 18) and their informal carers (n = 6) discharged directly home from an acute medical unit, who had been in the intervention group of the randomized controlled trial

Results: Three core themes were constructed: (1) perceived lack of treatment on the acute medical unit; (2) nebulous grasp of the role of the geriatrician; and (3) on-going health and activities of daily living needs postdischarge. These needs impacted upon the informal carers, who either took over, or helped the patients to complete their activities of daily living. Despite the help received with activities of daily living, a lot of the patients voiced a desire to complete these activities themselves.

Conclusions: The participants perceived they were just monitored and observed on the acute medical unit, rather than receiving active treatment, and spoke of on-going unresolved health and activity of daily living needs following discharge, despite receiving the additional intervention of a geriatrician.

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Development of a Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) for end-of-life care practice at home: A qualitative study

Background: Current end-of-life care policy and guidance recognises the important contribution of family carers, recommending that their needs should be assessed to support them in their caring role. How regular carer assessment is to be achieved is unclear, particularly because there is no evidence-based tool for directly assessing carers’ support needs that is suitable for use in end-of-life home care practice.

Aims: To obtain carers’ perspectives of key aspects of support needed during provision of end-of-life care at home and to develop a carer support needs assessment tool suitable for use in everyday practice.

Design: Qualitative using focus groups and telephone interviews. Thematic analysis uses a framework approach.

Setting/participants: 75 adult bereaved carers who were family members/friends of patients referred to five Hospice at Home services in the UK.

Results: Carers’ needs fell into two distinct groupings of key support areas or ‘domains’: support to enable them to provide care for their relative and more direct personal support for themselves. Many aspects of supportive input were common across domains, for example, anticipatory information, explanations or being included in the care process. Therefore, the tool was designed as a screening measure, to identify support needs requiring further detailed assessment.

Conclusions: The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) is an evidence-based direct measure of carers’ support needs in 14 domains. It is short but comprehensive in approach and thus suitable for both end-of-life care research and practice. Further work has been undertaken to test its psychometric properties.

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The needs of informal carers: a proposed assessment tool for use by public health nurses

AIM: To develop an assessment tool for the collection of information on carers' needs and to pilot test same. BACKGROUND: No formal assessment of the needs of carers is undertaken by Public Health Nurses (PHNs) in the West of Ireland. METHOD: An assessment tool which took the form of a questionnaire was designed based on an earlier needs analysis, a literature review and qualitative data obtained with carers at two focus groups. Sixty carers were involved in the pilot study of the tool. FINDINGS: Carers found this model made them feel valued, created awareness about the effects of caring and provided them with information. They recommended its introduction. CONCLUSION: The carers and PHNs found the assessment tool to be useful and comprehensive in its approach. However, it requires modification, with specific attention being paid to the validity and reliability of the tool. 

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An outcomes focus in carer assessment and review: value and challenge

A focus on outcomes and a desire to improve assessment and support to carers are central to government policy, crystallized in the 2000 Carers and Disabled Children Act. This paper explores the benefits and challenges of implementing an outcomes approach to carer assessment and review, highlighted by a research and development project, undertaken in partnership with one local authority. The project developed and tested research‐based practice tools which aimed to promote carer‐centred practice, together with clarity in communication and recording of outcomes intended and achieved. Findings indicated that practice could be enhanced with the help of a clear conceptual framework and tools, flexibly and sensitively used to assist discussion and decision‐making with carers about outcomes. Information about outcomes, aggregated from individual records, was perceived as potentially useful for informing service development. Some significant obstacles and challenges also emerged; not least, the subtle but significant culture shift required, and the additional time needed to effectively identify and address outcomes with carers. A number of factors were highlighted as important in introducing such an approach: collaboration with, and between, all stakeholders; training and support for practitioners to include practice in recording outcomes, and opportunities for continuing discussion and reflection during implementation.

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Supporting carers during assessment and treatment unit admissions

Purpose – Currently there is no research that explores professionals’ perspectives in supporting carers of a person with an intellectual disability during their relatives admission to a specialist in-patient setting. The purpose of this paper is to report the findings from the second stage of a study that explored the experiences of family carers whose relative was admitted to a specialist National Health Service assessment and treatment unit (ATU) in Wales, UK (James, 2016).

Design/methodology/approach – Aim: to obtain the views of professionals in relation to what they consider are the barriers and facilitators to addressing some of the experiences discussed by carers. Methods: nine professionals working in intellectual disability-specific services participated in four semi-structured interviews and one focus group (n=5) and the data were analysed using a descriptive thematic analysis process.

Findings – Three major themes were developed to represent what professionals identified as a number of individual, organisational and practical facilitators and barriers to the provision of support to carers at this time. Professionals recognised the important role they have in developing relationships with carers during the admission. Key to this relationship is effective communication, collaboration, involvement and the need to be consistently open and honest.

Research limitations/implications – The small sample size could be said to be a weakness and unrepresentative and practice of other professionals. However, what professionals reported had similarities to the findings from other related research. Importantly, the findings have a practical significance in that they can be used to raise awareness and be used to inform the development of future research and practice. The sample could also be criticised for not having representation from a wider range of professionals from across the multi-disciplinary team. However, a strength of the sample is that it did have representation from three different professional disciplines with different roles and responsibilities.

Practical implications – Currently there is very limited research exploring the experiences of professionals in respect of supporting carers during the admission of a relative to a specialist in-patient setting. Professionals demonstrated an understanding of the impact that the additional needs and admission of their relative to an ATU could have on carers. Accordingly, they were able to recognise the important role that they, and other professionals, play in developing relationships as part of providing support to them during this time. Key to these relationships was effective communication and in particular the need to be consistently open and honest.

Social implications – The findings from this study illustrate a gap between the rhetoric of policy, legislation and carer strategies, and practice of valuing and respecting the role that carers. Of particular concern is that some of the relationships that carers have had with professionals have threatened rather than positively endorsed and augmented their role and identity. These engagements with professionals therefore have had a profound effect on the way in which they have understood their value as a carer and their own sense of self. Significantly, the actions and behaviours of professionals play a key role in shaping carers views of themselves and their identity.

Originality/value – Currently there is no research that has explored the views of professionals in respect of support and relationships with carers at this time. The synthesis of findings from stage one of this study with professionals’ perspectives of resulted in the identification of similarities and differences in experiences as well as facilitators and barriers to support provision. In so doing, it has given clear application of the studies findings to practice. This study therefore provides an original contribution to the understanding of this area of carer experience, from the perspectives of professionals and adds to the wider literature exploring the family carer experience.

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Only connect: client, carers and professional perspectives on community care assessment process

Differences in perspective between clients, carers and practitioners are familiar from the literature. Findings from two research projects are reported here, which identify mismatched perspectives and appear to question the foundations on which community care policy and practice rest. The article discusses features of the policy and practice context that contribute to the likelihood of divergent views about need and appropriate or effective service provision within community care. In concluding with a review of the modernising agenda and the legal mandate, it questions whether a closer alignment between client, carer and professional perspectives can be achieved.

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Carers' assessment, skills and information sharing (CASIS) trial: A qualitative study of the experiential perspective of caregivers and patients

Background: Families express a need for guidance in helping their loved ones with anorexia nervosa (AN). Guided self-help interventions can offer support to caregivers.

Methods: One hundred seventy-eight adult AN patients and their caregivers were recruited from 15 UK treatment centres. Families were randomized to carers' assessment, skills and information sharing (C) intervention + treatment as usual (TAU) or TAU alone. Feedback forms were sent at 6 months post-discharge and, if not returned, at 12 months. One hundred two (57%) patient forms (n = 50TAU; n = 52C) and 115 (65%) caregiver forms (n = 60TAU; n = 55C) were returned. Two researchers coded data blind, using thematic analysis.

Results: (i) Caregivers and patients express a need for post-discharge support. (ii) Patients identify helpful and unhelpful support strategies, useful for developing future interventions. (iii) Patients could identify positive caregiver behaviour changes targeted in intervention. (iv) Guided self-help may benefit caregiver and sufferer, post-discharge.

Conclusion: Caregiver interventions can be a useful tool that will improve the cost effectiveness of inpatient treatment by enhancing the well-being of caregivers and patients. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

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Carers' and users' expectations of services - carer version (CUES-C): a new instrument to support the assessment of carers of people with a severe mental illness

Background : Carers of people with a severe mental illness often experience health and social problems themselves. In the UK, carers now have a statutory right to an assessment of their needs. Aim : to develop a brief instrument to identify and measure the experience of those caring for people with a severe mental illness across the range of domains that the carers themselves consider important. Method : potential domains were identified from published and 'grey' literature and refined through consultation with carers. Pilots and field trials of the resulting draft instrument involved a total of 412 carers. Results : a self-rated, 13-item questionnaire. Principal components analysis yielded factors relating to impact of caring and the quality of support provided for carers. Test-retest reliabilities for all items were moderately good or better. The great majority of 75 carers, who gave structured feedback, found they could follow the instructions for the instrument and 90% thought the length was 'about right'. Conclusions : CUES-C could be used as part of the carers' assessment. The instrument does cover the domains that carers value, is acceptable to carers and has reasonable test-retest reliability.

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The COPE index -- a first stage assessment of negative impact, positive value and quality of support of caregiving in informal carers of older people

Data was collected in five countries from informal carers of older people ( n = 577) via a common protocol. Carers completed: (1) a 17-item version of the Carers of Older People in Europe (COPE) Index, an assessment of carers' perceptions of their role : (2) a questionnaire on demographic and caregiving circumstances : and (3) three instruments included for the criterion validation of the COPE Index (the General Health Questionnaire, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF). Principal Component Analysis of the COPE Index was followed by internal consistency analysis of emergent components. Scales derived by summing items loading on the components were analyzed for their association with the criterion measures. Two components, negative impact and positive value, emerged consistently across countries. A third component, quality of support was less consistent across countries. Scales derived from the negative impact and positive value components were internally consistent and significantly associated with the criterion validity measures. These two scales and four items drawn from the quality of support component were retained in the final COPE Index. While further testing is required, the COPE Index has current utility in increasing understanding of the role perceptions of carers of older people.

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Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act: assessment and support for carers

Leaflet outlining local authorities’ duties and functions in relation to the assessment and support of carers under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act. The Act consolidates the law relating to carers and gives them equivalent rights to those of the people that they care for. The leaflet briefly covers the provision of Information, Advice and Assistance services; proportionate assessment; supporting carers through community based preventative services; carer support plans; and what happens if the carer and the person cared for move from one authority area in Wales to another.

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Young carers: assessment and services; literature review of identification, needs assessment and service provision for young carers and their families

The aim of this study was to examine the ways in which young carers come to the attention of voluntary and statutory agencies and to identify the ways young carers needs are assessed. The report sought to identify the approaches that are successful in meeting the social, economic, educational and health needs of young carers and to assess the results of evaluations of the way the services are delivered.

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Carer assessment : continuing tensions and dilemmas for social care practice

Since the early 1990s, UK social care policy has committed to supporting carers. Legislation (England and Wales) over this time period has recognised the importance of separate carer assessments that take into account an individual's ability and willingness to care. This paper considers carer assessment from the perspective of social care practitioners. It reports on qualitative data from a carer research programme that spans over 20 years (1993 to present) and includes 383 in-depth interviews with social care practitioners across England and Wales. Offering unique longitudinal insights, we identify some persistent tensions associated with the translation of UK carer assessment policy into social care practice. We explore practitioners' long-standing ambivalence towards carer assessment and their reluctance to evidence carer need via a separate assessment process. Deficits relating to the conduct of carer assessment are identified. For example, the reliance on structured, problem-focused assessment protocols that restrict discussions to the personal care aspects of caring and fail to capture the complex, diverse lives that carers lead. Carer assessments do not reflect the reciprocal nature of many caring relationships, as a one-way direction of care is assumed. They do not take into account the broader support network of individuals who may be involved in helping someone with complex care needs. Carer willingness to care continues to be taken for granted and planning for the future is a significant gap in carer assessment practice. The proposed changes to the social care systems across England and Wales provide a timely opportunity to review the process and conduct of carer assessment. Policy guidance needs to clarify the links between service user and carer assessments and the way these align within broader assessment and care management frameworks. Assessment tools that encourage a narrative approach to carer assessment and capture the affective aspects of care-giving could benefit future practice.

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Assessing needs from patient, carer and professional perspectives: the Camberwell Assessment of Need for Elderly people in primary care

Background: despite evidence that needs assessment of older people can improve survival and function when linked to effective long‐term management, there is no structured needs assessment tool in widespread use. The Camberwell Assessment of Need for the Elderly is a new tool not previously evaluated in primary care. It includes the views of patients, carers and health professionals, enabling a direct comparison of their perspectives.

Aim: to conduct a feasibility study of Camberwell Assessment of Need for the Elderly in primary care and to compare the needs identified by patients, carers and health professionals.

Methods: we selected a random sample of 1:20 of all people aged 75 and over from four general practices in inner‐city and suburban north‐west London. We interviewed the patients, their informal carers and lead health professionals using the Camberwell Assessment of Need for the Elderly schedule.

Results: 55 (65.5%) of 84 patients, 15 (88.2%) of 17 carers and all of 55 health professionals completed interviews. The patients' three most frequently identified unmet needs were with ‘eyesight/hearing’, ‘psychological distress’ and ‘incontinence’. The carers' three most frequently identified unmet needs were with ‘mobility’, ‘eyesight/hearing’ and ‘accommodation’ and the health professionals' were with ‘daytime activities’, ‘accommodation’ and ‘mobility’. κ tests comparing patient and health professional assessments showed poor or fair agreement with 18 of the 24 variables and moderate or good agreement with six. None showed very good agreement.

Conclusion: the Camberwell Assessment of Need for the Elderly schedule is feasible to use in primary care and can identify perceived needs not previously known about by health professionals. A shorter version of Camberwell Assessment of Need for the Elderly focusing on areas of poor agreement and high levels of need might be useful in the assessment of needs in older people in primary care.

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The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) for Use in Palliative and End-of-life Care at Home: A Validation Study

Context. Family carers need to be supported in their central role of caring for patients at the end of life, but brief practical tools to assess their support needs have been missing. To address this gap, we developed a brief evidence-based Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) suitable for everyday practice. Objectives. To assess face, content, and criterion validity of the CSNAT and measure sensitivity to change over time. Methods. Participants were 225 adult carers of patients from six U. K. Hospice Home Care services. Carers were surveyed at baseline and at four-week follow-up using self-completed questionnaires, including CSNAT, standard measures (distress, strain, positive appraisals, preparedness, and global health), help provided with activities of daily living, and patients' symptom levels. Qualitative feedback on CSNAT was sought through 10 pilot carer interviews and professional and carer advisory group input. Results. The CSNAT has good face, content, and criterion validity. CSNAT domains comprehensively covered carer support needs. CSNAT scores showed clear and consistent positive correlations with strain and distress and negative correlations with preparedness for caregiving and global health. There also were clear correlations with help with activities of daily living and some relationships with positive appraisals and symptom burden. The CSNAT's sensitivity to change in relevant domains was similar to other measures. Conclusion. The CSNAT is a valid tool for the direct measurement of carers' support needs. It combines comprehensiveness of content with feasibility of administration and has utility both as a research tool and a tool for everyday palliative care practice.

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Literature review of identification, needs assessment and service provision for young carers and their families

The Scottish Executive commissioned this literature review. The overall aim was to provide a comprehensive summary of existing knowledge of how young carers are identified and how their needs are assessed and met. Therefore the review largely concentrated on the interaction between young carers and their families on the one hand and service agencies on the other. Understanding the needs of young carers was an important context for the review, but was not the primary focus. The specific objectives were to: • examine the ways in which young carers come to the attention of voluntary and statutory agencies, and factors inhibiting identification • identify the ways in which young carers’ needs are assessed • examine approaches to service provision by both statutory and voluntary agencies • identify approaches that are successful in meeting the social, educational and health needs of young carers • assess the results of any evaluations of the ways in which services are delivered.

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Carers Assessment of Difficulties Index (CADI): Psychometric properties for use with carers of people with dementia

Burden is a commonly recognised phenomenon in family caring. The Carers Assessment of Difficulties Index (CADI) was developed as a clinical tool for assessing the multiple dimensions of carer burden. It has been used with a number of caring cohorts, but its psychometric properties have not been explored specifically with carers of people with dementia. The 30-item CADI was administered to 232 carers of people with dementia with the aim of assessing the suitability of the frequency scale for clinical and research use with this population. The psychometric properties were examined, including descriptive data, a principal components analysis (PCA), and a reliability analysis on the resultant components. All items were experienced by some participants, but no item was experienced by all. An 8- factor solution from the PCA explained 59% of the variance. Eight subscales were established with good internal consistency. It is concluded that the CADI is suitable for both clinical and research use with carers of people with dementia.

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Carers' Needs and The Carers Act: An evaluation of the process and outcomes of assessment

This report documents the findings of a two year study looking at the impact of the Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995 in four local authority social services departments in northern England. The work was funded by the Department of Health under the Outcomes for Social Care initiative. We began the study in November 1997, two years after the full implementation of the Carers Act. The specific research questions the study addressed were: 1. what are the results of national policy in terms of local policy and practice in selected authorities? 2. what are the results of local policy and practice from the carer=s point of view in terms of assessment under the Carers Act, services and outcomes? The study=s findings will help establish the significance of the Carers Act for adult carers, as well as yielding recommendations and good practice points for those staff in local authorities who are responsible for implementation. At the same time, the results are of wider interest, for instance the research can make a contribution in particular to the implementation of the Carers and Disabled Children Bill (currently making its way through parliament), the National Strategy for Carers (DH, 1999a), and any future policy developments on carers= issues. 

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Family carers' experience of the need for admission of their relative with an intellectual disability to an Assessment and Treatment Unit

Background: There is limited research that explores the experiences of family carers of individuals with an intellectual disability requiring admission to a specialist National Health Service Assessment and Treatment Unit. Accordingly, this study aimed to explore family carers’ experience in respect of this phenomenon and their relationships with professionals at this time.

Methods: Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used. Six family carers (three mothers and three fathers) participated and were interviewed via the use of semi-structured interviews.

Findings: Five major themes were developed to represent how carers made sense and gave meaning to their experience. They illustrate how this experience had a significant influence on their sense of value and self-identity. It resulted in higher levels of anxiety, stress and uncertainty about the future of their relative and their identity as a carer. Significantly, professionals are identified as having a pivotal role in influencing how carers come to view their sense of self, identity, value and importance.

Conclusion: The admission of their relative was a time of increased vulnerability for carers in respect of maintaining a sense of self-identity. Engaging with services and professionals had a major influence on situating them within the social structure that makes up the formal system of support. This had a pivotal role in influencing and determining how participants identified with their sense of self.

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Dimensions of choice in the assessment and care management process: The views of older people, carers and care managers

The aim of promoting the maximum possible choice for service users and carers is – together with the goal of greater independence – central to recent community care policies. This paper sets out a typology of those key choices which users and carers are expected to be able to make within each stage of the assessment and care management process: choices about what services, when to receive them (i.e. at what times and for what duration) and from whom (i.e. which provider organization and which individual care worker). Drawing on interviews with 28 older service users, 20 informal carers and 22 care managers across four local authority areas in England, the paper goes on to describe the extent to which such choices – both at the strategic/macro and operation/micro level – have increased or decreased in practice. The evidence confirms that of other recent studies that the gap between the ‘ideal’ of user and carer involvement and the ‘reality’ of everyday practice is still considerable.

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In their own right: translating the policy of carer assessment into practice

Successive legislation has underscored the importance of assessments that are sensitive to the needs of carers and take into account their ability and willingness to continue caring. This paper synthesizes qualitative and quantitative findings from a continuing programme of carer-related research that began in 1993 and has continued in parallel with legislative changes. It considers the process and characteristics of carer assessment from the perspectives of carers for individuals with a range of health and social care needs, and practitioners. This paper explores the assessment of carer need over time and highlights the considerable and enduring gap between policy and practice. It considers practitioners’ reluctance to offer separate carer assessments, identifies confusion relating to the interpretation of eligibility criteria and documents the limited contribution of health service staff. The need for an evidence-based framework for good practice, that distinguishes between carer needs, service provision and carer outcomes, is highlighted. The paper concludes by identifying key changes that are necessary to promote future good practice, such as staff training and information strategies and the need for practitioners to engage with carers as partners in the care process.

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‘Not another form!’ Lessons for implementing carer assessment in health and social service agencies

This article addresses some of the issues that need to be considered in implementing carer assessment in health and social service agencies. It is based on findings from three studies involving the use of the CARE (Caregivers’ Aspirations Realities and Expectations) Assessment Tool in Canada, a comprehensive psychosocial instrument. The first study, carried out between 1999 and 2001, was aimed at developing the CARE Tool, and had as one of its objectives to evaluate the feasibility of its implementation into ongoing practice. The second study, conducted between 2000 and 2003, was designed to evaluate the impact of using the CARE Tool, and also had an objective concerning implementation. A third study was undertaken in 2005–2006, in part, to gain more understanding of the barriers and outcomes of implementing carer assessment. All three studies used focus groups and individual interviews as the main data collection method. In all, this article is based on 13 focus groups and five individual interviews with home care professionals and 19 individual interviews with home care managers or supervisory staff, all having experience with carer assessment. Similar themes emerged from the thematic analyses of the data from all three projects. All studies point to the following as preconditions to successful implementation: clarification of carer status within policy and practice; making explicit agency philosophy with regard to the role and responsibilities of families in care and conceptions of carer assessment; and agency buy-in at all levels. Four themes emerged as issues for implementation: integration of the carer assessment tool with existing tools; ensuring training and ongoing supervision; work organisation and resources required for carer assessment; and logistical questions. It would appear essential that a clear rationale for moving towards carer assessment and its place in a global approach to long-term care and carers are essential to its implementation.

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Young carers’ health helped by tailored assessment plan

A PIONEERING NURSE is at the forefront of a programme to help improve the physical and mental health of young carers. The article focuses on Laura Ulyatt, a young carers' health nurse in Oxfordshire, England.

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Assessment of caring and its effects in young people: development of the Multidimensional Assessment of Caring Activities Checklist (MACA-YC18) and the Positive and Negative Outcomes of Caring Questionnaire (PANOC-YC20) for young carers

Background  Many children, adolescents and young people are involved in caring for parents, siblings, or other relatives who have an illness, disability, mental health problem or other need for care or supervision. The aim was to develop two new instruments for use in research with young carers to assess caring activities and their psychological effects.

Method  Two studies are reported. In study 1, 410 young carers were recruited via The Princess Royal Trust for Carers database of UK projects and asked to complete an initial item pool of 42 and 75 questionnaire items to assess caring activities and caring outcomes respectively. In study 2 a further 124 young carers were recruited.

Results  Following exploratory principal components analysis in study 1, 18 items were chosen to compose the Multidimensional Assessment of Caring Activities Checklist (MACA-YC18), and 20 items chosen to compose the Positive and Negative Outcomes of Caring Scales (PANOC-YC20). In study 2, normative and convergent validity data on the two instruments are reported.

Conclusion  The MACA-YC18 is an 18-item self-report measure that can be used to provide an index of the total amount of caring activity undertaken by the young person, as well as six sub-scale scores for domestic tasks, household management, personal care, emotional care, sibling care and financial/practical care. The PANOC-YC20 is a 20-item self-report measure that can be used to provide an index of positive and negative outcomes of caring.

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Carers support and assessments

The article focuses on the important role played by carers in the society in Great Britain. Carers allow the people that they look after to stay in the community making it vital for them to be supported continuously. The Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act of 2004 was introduced to ensure that carers are determined, educated about their rights and informed that public agencies support their initiatives. It stresses the need to develop carers' lack of self-confidence and self-esteem to avoid disadvantages in other endeavors.

Getting it right: assessments for black and minority ethnic carers and service users

The aim of this multimedia learning resource is to provide a broad introduction to the issues affecting minority ethnic carers and service users with an emphasis on achieving cultural competence within individual practice.

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Mental health care co-ordinators' perspectives on carers' assessments

In the UK, there are around 1.5 million carers of people with mental health problems providing substantial amounts of free care. Despite having a legal right to a ‘carer's assessment’, only a minority of mental health carers have had such an assessment. To try and understand why the uptake is so low, we undertook a small (n = 8) qualitative study exploring what mental health staff acting as ‘care co‐ordinators’ thought the barriers to, and facilitators of, carers' assessments might be, and how subsequent practice might be improved.We found that there was some confusion over the definition of ‘carer’ and over who should take responsibility for carer assessments. The main barriers to carers' assessments were the documentation used, the attitudes of staff (especially managers) and the fact that the needs of mental health carers often differed from those caring for people with a physical disability. Practice could be improved through: clarifying the definition of ‘carer’; education and training; redesigning the documentation; dovetailing service user and carer needs assessments; and through offering a wider choice of evidence‐based services as assessment outcomes. Improvements are unlikely to be successful, however, without the active support, expertise and engagement of carers.

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Cuts and lack of assessments leave carers 'at breaking point'

Mencap finds no let up in stress for carers of people with learning disabilities as councils fail to assess their needs and make inadequate provision of short breaks. [Journal abstract]

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Understanding why carers' assessments do not always take place

Recent pronouncements from both government and carers' organisations have expressed disappointment at the low numbers of carers' assessments being undertaken by social care practitioners. The reasons offered for this are varied. They commonly tend to emphasise issues of bureaucratic incompetence, for example the failure by Social Services Departments to provide information to carers about their rights, or else highlighting practitioner attitudes that are out of step with current thinking, for example wanting to retain decision-making power and not involving carers. Scarcity of resources is a theme that permeates most explanations. While these explanations certainly have some validity, this paper argues that for many practitioners, the very nature of the relationship with carers is a problematic one, containing several interrelated areas of confusion, ambiguity and tension that often go unacknowledged—particularly by policy makers, politicians and senior managers whose ideas about carers are often based on idealisations of what a carer is. Carers have become reified. This paper discusses some of the major concerns and argues that the tensions, ambiguities and confusion experienced help explain the less than full engagement by some practitioners with the carers' agenda as promoted by carers' organisations and government policy.

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Carers of older people with dementia: assessment and the Carers Act

The Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995 came into force on 1 April 1996. It entitles carers who are providing substantial amounts of care on a regular basis to an assessment of their needs and ability to care. Local authorities are required to take the results of this assessment into account when making decisions about services. This paper reports the key findings of a two-year study, conducted in Wales, that evaluated the process and outcomes of assessments carried out under the auspices of the Carers Act. The findings offer insights to policy makers and practitioners and profile how care managers assess carers’ needs. In addition, the paper describes carers’ qualitative experiences of the assessment process and the difficulties care managers encounter in translating into practice the policy emphasis on supporting carers. It is suggested that separate carer assessments are not an established feature of care management practice and that care managers lack an explicit framework to direct the assessment of carers’ needs.

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A practitioner's guide to carers' assessments under the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000

A carers' assessment under the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000 is carried out at the request of the carer in order: to determine whether the carer is eligible for support; to determine the support needs of the carer (ie what will help the carer in their caring role; and help them to maintain their own health and well -being). To see if those needs can be met by social or other services Carers have a right to an assessment of their needs even where the person cared for has refused an assessment for, or the provision of community care services, provided the person cared for would be eligible for community care services.

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Assessment and support for South Asian carers

This small study, funded by the Sir Halley Stewart Trust, was designed to test out the effectiveness with Asian carers and value of newly translated versions (Gujarati and Urdu) of instruments previously used mainly with white English carers: Carers’ Assessment of Difficulties Index (CADI) and Carers’ Assessment of Satisfactions Index (CASI). It also aimed to use these measures to gain an improved understanding of how Asian carers perceived the difficulties and satisfactions of caring. The key findings were:

  • The majority of the 26 carers interviewed found CADI/CASI to be intelligible and relevant. They did not identify any major areas not covered by original versions. First language versions were generally acceptable, although most chose also to refer to the English form. Most carers described the process of completing CADI/CASI as helpful in terms of improved understanding and affirmation of their caring role.
  • Carers identified the main sources of stress of caring as relating to taking a break, time for family and friends, and the degree of personal care they needed to provide.
  • Carers highlighted sources of satisfaction of caring that mainly related to their sense of family duty and religious faith, personal growth and development, the person cared for reaching their full potential, and being brought closer together by caring.
  • Carers valued and tended to prefer support from the familiar, for example Asian workers and support groups. Yet it was also important to be able to respect and rely on a worker who was supportive and available regardless of ethnicity.
  • Only three of the carers were certain they had received a formal assessment of their carer needs, although ten others were confident they had been subject to some form of wider care assessment. Most of this group of carers were aware that a right to assessment existed.
  • Six of these households had not received any formal care support beyond contact with social workers. The carers who had received help were positive about the support, with some saying they would have liked more help. A few complained about not receiving support even when their circumstances were known to services.
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Carers and confidentiality in mental health care: considering the role of the carer's assessment: a study of service users', carers' and practitioners' views

Relatives or carers of people with mental health problems have criticised professionals for their failures to share information with them. This article reports on a multiple method study comprising a policy search, a survey of service users, carers and professionals, and stakeholder interviews and group events. The study found new policies that addressed the principles underpinning information sharing with carers. However, examples of good practice in professional involvement of carers that took account of carer rights and responsibilities emerged from the research. This suggests the relevance of the carer's assessment, a carer's right to an assessment of his or her circumstances and wishes in assisting understanding of the care context and enhancing appropriate information sharing between professionals and carers. 

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Asian carers' perceptions of care assessment and support in the community

Within a study of the use of carer assessment forms, Asian carers were given the opportunity to describe and comment on their perceptions and experiences of community care assessment and support. Although their confidence in community care workers was not exclusively related to ethnicity, they relied a great deal on semi-informal contacts with minority ethnic workers through their own local communities. The concept of ‘friendship’ with professionals was important to many Asian carers. In common with the findings of other carer studies, many Asian carers were uncertain about their experience of formal assessment and unclear about their entitlements and availability of community care support. ‘Outreach’ contact and ‘befriending’ support was greatly appreciated. Day-care and sitting support were seen as a priority for formal services. Apart from contact with general practitioners, there was limited awareness or experience of community health-care support. Most of these Asian carers were involved with carer support groups. They spoke of the benefits in terms of social interaction and mutual support, counteracting feelings of isolation, and access to information and formal support.

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Who cares wins? Carers' experiences of assessment since the introduction of the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004

This paper examines the views of carers who have received a carer’s assessment following the introduction of the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004. The Act ensured for the first time that a carer’s desire to take part in paid work, education or training, and leisure opportunities was considered. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with carers to illuminate their lived experiences. Six themes emerged from data analysis: finding out about entitlement to an assessment; gaining recognition as a carer; partnership working with service professionals; carers’ awareness of support availability; desired outcomes; carers’ unmet needs in relation to education, work and leisure. Some carers were knowledgeable about the support that was available to them and others were quite unaware. This affected their ability to access help in order to cope with their roles. Carers welcomed the opportunity to discuss their individual needs and wanted to be treated in a holistic way by practitioners. The complexities around partnership working with care organisations permeated several of these themes and thus carers’ experiences may be defined as a ‘wicked issue’ requiring creative responses to the issues that concerned them. Solutions offered should be tailor-made and not delivered from a menu of ‘what is available’. 

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