Background: Intimate partners of patients with cancer often experience significant distress, but there is a lack of psychological interventions that specifically target this population. 'Resilient Caregivers' is a novel resilience-based intervention for distressed partner cancer caregivers. The intervention was developed according to a resilience framework focusing on meta-reflective skills, coping strategies and value clarification. Objectives: The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention in a randomised trial. Methods and analysis Eighty participants will be invited through the Oncology Department at Herlev Hospital, Denmark and randomised to either the intervention or usual care. Methods: Participants are eligible if they are partners (married or unmarried) of patients diagnosed with cancer and experience distress (>4 on the distress thermometer). 'Resilient Caregivers' consists of seven manualised group sessions (2.5 hours each), focusing on resilience in relation to being a partner caregiver of a patient with cancer. The primary outcome is symptoms of anxiety, while secondary outcomes include distress, depression, quality of life, sleep quality and resilience. Data will be collected at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months follow-up using validated scales, and analysed using mixed models for repeated measures. Ethics and dissemination: This study will follow the ethical principles in the Declaration of Helsinki and has been reviewed by the Ethics Committee of the Capital Region of Denmark (Journal no. 18055373). Written informed consent will be obtained from all participants. Results will be reported through scientific peer-reviewed journals and relevant conferences.
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.
Purpose: This study was aimed to examine the prevalence and factors associated with psychological distress among Saudi family caregivers. Design and Methods: This was a cross‐sectional, descriptive correlational study conducted on 163 participants. The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale‐6 was used to collect data. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were run in SPSS. Findings: Results indicated that psychological distress was significantly associated with employment status, education level, monthly money spent on caring, time spent on caregiving, and chronic disease type variables. Practice Implications: Implementing effective programs to raise family caregivers' understanding of psychological distress and improve their engagement in treatment is important.
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.
BACKGROUND: General Practitioners are considered to be well placed to monitor home-care settings and to respond specifically to family caregivers. To do this, they must be sensitive to the needs and expectations of caregivers. In order to determine the current status of GP care in terms of the support given to family caregivers, a series of studies were conducted to gather the perspectives of both caregivers and GPs. The results are used to derive starting points as to which measures would be sensible and useful to strengthen support offered to family caregivers in the primary care setting. METHODS: Between 2020 and 2021, three sub-studies were conducted: a) an online survey of 612 family caregivers; b) qualitative interviews with 37 family caregivers; c) an online survey of 3556 GPs. RESULTS: Family caregivers see GPs as a highly skilled and trustworthy central point of contact; there are many different reasons for consulting them on the subject of care. In the perception of caregivers, particular weaknesses in GP support are the absence of signposting to advisory and assistance services and, in many cases, the failure to involve family caregivers in good time. At the same time, GPs do not always have sufficient attention to the physical and psychological needs of family caregivers. The doctors interviewed consider the GP practice to be well suited to being a primary point of contact for caregivers, but recognise that various challenges exist. These relate, among other things, to the timely organisation of appropriate respite services, targeted referral to support services or the early identification of informal caregivers. CONCLUSIONS: GP practices can play a central role in supporting family caregivers. Caregivers should be approached by the practice team at an early stage and consistently signposted to help and support services. In order to support care settings successfully, it is important to consider the triadic constellation of needs, wishes and stresses of both the caregiver and the care recipient. More training and greater involvement of practice staff in the support and identification of caregivers seems advisable.
BACKGROUND: Knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) is about moving knowledge into practice, involving stakeholders in an ongoing iterative process. The Alzheimer Society of Canada (ASC) approaches KTE by emphasizing ongoing collaborations with our primary audiences: people with lived experience of dementia, healthcare providers, and researchers. Knowing that people have diverse learning styles and preferences for accessing information, ASC is diversifying the range of educational resources that are currently provided through a traditional medium (i.e., printed information sheets) to a multimedia range of KTE tools that can better meet the needs of our audiences. Beginning with a pilot project that explored the practical application of KTE to a key education resource, ASC has developed an operational process with the involvement of stakeholders to help our audiences access and benefit from the information they need in a manner that accommodates them. METHOD: A resource for the KTE pilot project was chosen based on a data driven approach to assess need and impact (i.e., number of website views, downloads, printed resource orders and feedback from stakeholders). Using ASC's KTE framework and the results of an environmental scan that identified KTE approaches used by other organizations, the team operationalized the KTE framework through a focus on four dimensions: 1) audiences, 2) information channels, 3) feasibility and 4) accessibility of the resource. Key stakeholders, including Alzheimer Society support staff and family caregivers, collaborated with ASC on the development of the tools through focus groups. RESULT: An infographic and a small video series on practical communication tips for caregivers were created. These KTE tools will support caregivers in staying connected to the person living with dementia at all stages of the disease; as the information is broad and digestible, it can be used by other audiences, such as healthcare providers. CONCLUSION: The KTE pilot project is a stepping-stone to establish a more integrative KTE approach to ASC's educational resources. The process established through this project will ensure that those who turn to ASC for information can find reliable, up-to-date and evidence-based content through a variety of tools that are engaging, easy to understand and accessible.
Background: Physical activity (PA) has been positively associated with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among cancer patients and family caregivers. However, there has been no relevant research for patient-caregiver dyads. Methods: Path analysis, based on the actor–partner interdependence model (APIM), was used to examine the relationship between physical activity and health-related quality of life and explore the mediating role of emotional distress in 233 dyads. Results: In both patients and caregivers, physical activity had a direct positive effect on physical quality of life (QoL) but not on mental. There was a significant indirect effect of physical activity on health-related quality of life via emotional distress for both dyad members. Patients’ and caregivers’ confidence in fighting cancer was negatively associated with their own emotional distress. Caregivers’ confidence in fighting cancer was positively associated with their physical activity and also negatively associated with patients’ emotional distress. Conclusions: Physical activity may be considered as a possible behavioral and rehabilitation strategy for improving health-related quality of life in patient-caregiver dyads and reducing negative symptoms. Future research and intervention may consider cancer patient-family caregiver dyad as a unit of care.
Objectives: To explore care experiences in multidisciplinary primary healthcare centres from the patients, carers and healthcare professionals perspectives. Methods: This qualitative study used face-to-face, in-depth interviews and focus groups. Patients with multimorbidity monitored by a General Practitioner (GP) and another professional from the health centre were recruited through purposive sampling and included with their carer. They were interviewed together while professionals were interviewed separately. Verbatims were coded with subsequent blind analysis, using an inductive approach, to find aspects and features. The constant comparative method highlighted data consistencies and variations. Participants Twenty-six patients, 23 family carers and 57 healthcare professionals. Setting Five multidisciplinary primary healthcare centres, in France, between March 2017 and December 2018. Results: This unique study grouped perspectives into nine core quality of primary care aspects: having accessible, available, and varied care; feeling welcome and enjoying comfortable, well-equipped, and clean premises; having quality medicotechnical care (medical knowledge and technical skills); having a reliable GP; receiving appropriate care from healthcare professionals other than the GP; maintaining an efficient relationship with healthcare professionals; benefiting from organised and coordinated care; being an informed, supported and involved patient; having an informed, supported and involved carer. New areas of interest include the multidisciplinary nature of the centres, appreciation of other professionals within the centre, medicotechnical dimensions of care and the carer's role in maintaining patient autonomy. Conclusions: This is the first study to interview patients and carers alongside healthcare professionals. This enhanced knowledge improves understanding of these aspects and can guide implementation of evaluation tools that truly reflect patient and carer needs and enable an efficient experience in terms of quality. To address deficiencies in existing questionnaires, the new perspectives found will be added to former aspects to create a comprehensive quality of primary care evaluation tool. Trial registration number: NCT02934711.
Objectives: Informal caregivers are known to have poorer mental health. Risk factors for caregiver burden include low education, female gender, cohabitation with the care recipient and lack of resources. General practitioners (GPs) have an important role in supporting caregivers. Methods: Drawing on data from two surveys, associations between caregivers' socioeconomic status (SES), psychophysical health and GP contacts are analysed. Design Cross-sectional study. The study draws on data from two surveys (German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults, DEGS1 and General Practice Care-1, GPCare-1). Setting Germany. Participants DEGS1: German general population (18+ years) n=7987. GPCare-1: general practice patients (18+ years) n=813. Primary outcome Psychophysical health, GP contacts and communication. Methods Using representative DEGS1 data, the prevalence of informal caregivers, caregivers' burden, chronic stress, various health conditions and frequency of GP contacts were evaluated stratified by SES. Data from the GPCare-1 study addressed caregivers' experiences and communication preferences with GPs. Results: In the DEGS1, the prevalence of caregivers was 6.5%. Compared with non-caregivers, caregivers scored significantly higher for chronic stress (15.45 vs 11.90), self-reported poor health (37.6% vs 23.7%) and GP visits last year (3.95 vs 3.11), while lifestyle and chronic diseases were similar. Compared with caregivers with medium/high SES, those with low SES had a significantly lower prevalence of high/medium caregiver burden (47.9% vs 67.7%) but poorer self-reported health (56.9% vs 33.0%), while other characteristics did not differ. In the GPCare-1 study, the prevalence of caregivers was 12.6%. The majority of them felt that their GP takes their problems seriously (63.6%) without difference by SES. Conclusion: Caregivers with low SES constitute an especially high-risk group for psychological strain, requiring special GP attention to support their needs.
Background: Previous research on the needs of family cancer caregivers (FCCs) have not elucidated associations between specific caregiving needs. Methods: Network analysis, a statistical approach that allows the estimation of complex relationship patterns, helps facilitate the understanding of associations between needs and provides the opportunity to identify and direct interventions at relevant and specific targets. No studies to date, have applied network analysis to FCC populations. The aim of the study is to explore the network structure of FCC needs in a cohort of caregivers in Singapore. FCCs (N = 363) were recruited and completed a self-report questionnaire on socio-demographic data, medical data on their loved ones, and the Needs Assessment of Family Caregivers-Cancer scale. The network was estimated using state-of-the-art regularized partial correlation model. The most central needs were having to deal with lifestyle changes and managing care-recipients cancer-related symptoms. Results: The strongest associations were between (1) having enough insurance coverage and understanding/navigating insurance coverage, (2) managing cancer-related pain and managing cancer-related symptoms, (3) being satisfied with relationships and having intimate relationships, and (4) taking care of bills and paying off medical expenses. Lifestyle changes, living with cancer, and symptom management are central to FCCs in Singapore. These areas deserve special attention in the development of caregiver support systems. Conclusions: Our findings highlight the need to improve access to social and medical support to help FCCs in their transition into the caregiving role and handle cancer-related problems.
Background: Informal caregivers are a particularly vulnerable population at risk for adverse health outcomes. Likewise, there are many scales available assessing individual caregiver burden and stress. Recently, resilience in caregivers gained increasing interest and scales started to assess resilience factors as well. Drawing on a homeostatic model, we developed a scale assessing both caregivers' stress and resilience factors. We propose four scales, two covering stress and two covering resilience factors, in addition to a sociodemographic basic scale. Based on the stress:resilience ratio, the individual risk of adverse health outcomes and suggestions for interventions can be derived. Methods: A total of 291 informal caregivers filled in the ResQ-Care as part of a survey study conducted during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany. Exploratory factor analysis was performed. Validity analyses were examined by correlations with the Brief Resilience Scale (BRS), the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-4) and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15). Results: The data fitted our proposed four-factor solution well, explaining 43.3% of the variance. Reliability of each scale was at least acceptable with Cronbach's α ≥0.67 and MacDonald's ω ≥0.68 for all scales. The two strain scales weighed more than the resilience scales and explained 65.6% of the variance. Convergent and discriminant validity was confirmed for the BRS and PSS-4, whereas the GDS-15 correlation pattern was counterintuitive. Conclusion: The factor structure of the ResQ-Care scale was confirmed, with good indications of reliability and validity. Inconsistent correlations of the scales with the GDS-15 might be due to a reduced validity of GDS-15 assessment during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) imposes tremendous challenges for both patients and informal caregivers. Caregivers are key players in the management of COPD. Recently, COVID-19 further increased reliance on informal caregivers who urgently need specific support. Objectives: This systematic literature review aimed to systematically describe the content and explore the effects of interventions to support informal caregivers of people with COPD. Methods: A mixed-methods systematic review was conducted. PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and EBSCO were searched. Studies implementing interventions supporting informal caregivers of people with COPD were included. Data were extracted and analysed in outcome domains and categories using framework analysis. Results: Twenty (14 quantitative, 4 mixed-methods, and 2 qualitative) studies were included. Informal caregivers were mainly female (86%). Caregiving context was poorly/never described. Interventions included patient-caregiver dyads and never caregivers only. Informal caregivers were invited to participate if available. Interventions were delivered across all COPD phases (acute/stable/advanced) and settings (inpatient/outpatient/home), with a wide range of total length, frequency, and duration of sessions. All included education about the disease and its management. Discharge/action plans (n = 12); adherence to therapy and healthy lifestyles (n = 9); and family concerns and psychosocial issues (n = 7) were also commonly addressed. Only 9 (45%) studies reported caregiver-related outcomes, and overall positive effects were observed in 7/9 outcome domains, using a high variety of qualitative and qualitative methods. Often categories were addressed but not assessed. Conclusion: Interventions have a narrow scope (i.e., education) and have not been specifically designed to support informal caregivers. Current evidence showed positive effects, but high methodological heterogeneity exists. Future studies need to explore caregiver-tailored, taking into consideration gender differences; multicomponent; and flexibly administered interventions to effectively support COPD caregivers.
Background: The theme of young family caregivers of older relatives is still partially uncovered, although the phenomenon is increasing worldwide. This Systematic Literature Review discusses methodological and content issues of ten articles covering this topic, in order to contribute to increase the knowledge and provide suggestions for designing effective support services for adolescent young caregivers. To this purpose, the findings of this review are framed within the caregiving stress appraisal model (renamed CSA model) elaborated by Yates’ and collegues, in order to highlight differences between young caregivers and the older ones. Methods: Multiple databases including PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, ProQuest - Psychology Database, CINAHL Complete - EBSCOHost were used to carry out a systematic review of the literature. Additional references were retrieved from experts contacted and research knowledge. The selected articles underwent both methodological appraisal and contents analysis: for every article an appraisal score was calculated and themes and sub-themes were identified. Results: Out of the ten included studies three were mixed methods, six qualitative and one quantitative. Nine reached a high quality methodological score and one medium. Four main themes emerged from the content analysis: aspects of the caregiving relationship; effects of caregiving; coping strategies; recommendations for services, policy and research. Conclusions: Selected studies explored practical features of the relationship between young caregivers and older family members (tasks performed, motivations, coping strategies) and highlighted both positive and negative outcomes on young people’s everyday life condition and future development. Nevertheless, these evidences were often limited to small samples that did not allow to make generalizations. More studies are needed including large samples in order to deepen the different aspects of caregiving and design tailored support services.
Background: Informal carers have an important role in society through their care and support of their long-term ill relatives. Providing informal care is challenging and can lead to caregiver burden; moreover, many support needs of the carers are not met, leading to confusion, disappointment and frustration. We conducted an interview study to clarify the meaning of support given and received by informal carers to relatives with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or chronic heart failure. Methods: We purposively selected and recruited informants via participants in another study, thereby conducting interviews over the phone from June 2016 to May 2017. In total, we conducted 14 interviews with 12 informants. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and the content was analysed using a phenomenological hermeneutical approach. Result and conclusion: Our comprehensive understanding of the meaning of support for these carers is twofold: it is a self-evident struggle for the good life of their relatives and that they want to be carers in partnership. The healthcare system must recognize the efforts of carers and include them in the strategic planning and operational stages of care and treatment for people with long-term illness.
Background: Caregivers of cancer patients are at high risk of experiencing impairments in terms of anxiety, depression and quality of life. Objectives: This study examines the mediation capacity that perceived emotional support can have after diagnosis and six months later between depression and anxiety after diagnosis and quality of life in informal caregivers of cancer patients. Design: A sample of 67 informal caregivers of cancer patients was used. This study is longitudinal, ex post facto prospective, with convenience sampling. Methods: Participants completed the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form (SF-36), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Berlin Social Support Scale (BSSS) and a sociodemographic questionnaire. Data were collected between March 2017 and November 2018. Results: Spearman's correlation analysis showed that anxiety, depression and perceived emotional support were related to quality of life. Conclusions: The mediation analysis showed that the relationship between depression after diagnosis and quality of life six months later was mediated by perceived emotional support.
Background: More direct inclusion of informal caregivers (i.e., family, friends) in patients’ care will make care more patient- and family-centered and has the potential to improve overall quality of care for patients. We need to understand what potentially comprises “inclusive care” so that we can define what “inclusive care” is and develop targets for care quality metrics. Methods: We conducted a critical literature review to identify key components of “caregiver inclusion.” Focusing on extant literature from 2005 to 2017, 35 papers met inclusion criteria. Directed content analysis with constant comparison was used to identify major themes related to a concept of “inclusive care.” Findings: Our analysis indicates that “inclusive care” entails five components: clear definition of caregiver role, system level policies for inclusion, explicit involvement of caregiver, provider assessment of caregiver capability, and mutuality in caregiver–provider communication. Conclusions: We discuss the evidence behind these five components using the Donabedian health care quality conceptual model.
Background: Ageing in place, supported by formal home and community services and informal caregivers, is the most used long-term care option for people with dementia (PwD). Informal caregivers are inundated by their caregiving responsibilities and resultantly suffer consequences. Despite the multitude of clinical effectiveness studies on interventions that support informal caregivers, there is a paucity of information regarding their implementation process. This scoping review aims to identify the implementation strategies, implementation outcomes, and barriers and facilitators that impede or support the dissemination and uptake of interventions that support informal caregivers of PwD at home. Methods and analysis :This protocol is guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) Protocols, and the scoping review will follow the systematic steps of the PRISMA-Extension for Scoping Reviews guideline. The search strategy will include publications produced from inception to 8 March 2021 and will be conducted in the search engines Embase, Medline (Ovid), Web of Science and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (Wiley), followed by a three-stage approach. First, title and abstracts will be screened by two independent reviewers. Second, full-text articles will also be screened by both reviewers and, in case of disagreement, by a third reviewer. The first two stages are based on a set of inclusion and exclusion criteria. Reference lists of the final included studies will also be checked for relevant articles. Data from the final included studies will be extracted and synthesised using the Expert Recommendations for Implementing Change compilation and Proctor’s implementation outcomes to ensure homogenous and standardised reporting of implementation information. Ethics and dissemination: The review findings will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and disseminated at geriatric and implementation conferences to inform researchers, health service planners and practice professionals with an overview of the existing literature to guide them in the effective implementation of caregiver-focused interventions in dementia support.
Background: Family caregivers are crucial in providing end-of-life care at home. Without their care, it would be difficult for many patients to die at home. In addition to providing care, family caregivers also need support for themselves. Nurses could play an important role in supporting family caregivers, but little is known about if and how they do so. The aim of this study is to explore how nurses currently approach and support family caregivers in end-of-life home care and which factors influence their support of family caregivers. Methods: Data were collected using semi-structured interviews with 14 nurses from nine home care organisations in the Netherlands, in 2018. Interviews were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic analysis approach. Results: We identified two underlying nursing perspectives on supporting family caregivers: an instrumental perspective (seeing family caregivers mostly as collaborative partners in care) and a relational perspective (seeing family caregivers as both providing and needing support). All the interviewed nurses stated that they pay attention to family caregivers’ needs. The activities mentioned most often were: identification of support needs, practical education, support in decision-making about the patient’s treatment, emotional support, and organising respite care, such as night care, to relieve the family caregiver. The provision of support is usually based on intuition and experience, rather than on a systematic approach. Besides, nurses reported different factors at the individual, organisational and societal levels that influenced their support of family caregivers, such as their knowledge and experience, the way in which care is organised, and laws and regulations. Conclusions: Nurses tend to address family caregivers’ needs, but such care was affected by various factors at different levels. There is a risk that nursing support does not meet family caregivers’ needs. A more reflective approach is needed and evidence-based needs assessment tools may help nurses to systematically assess family caregivers’ needs and to provide appropriate support.
Background: Pharmacological interventions to address behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) can have undesirable side effects, therefore non-pharmacological approaches to managing symptoms may be preferable. Past studies show that music therapy can reduce BPSD, and other studies have explored how formal caregivers use music in their caring roles. However, no studies have examined the effects on BPSD of music interventions delivered by informal caregivers (CGs) in the home setting. Objectives: Our project addresses the need for improved informal care by training cohabiting family CGs to implement music interventions that target BPSD, and the quality of life (QoL) and well-being of people with dementia and CGs. Methods: An international three-arm parallel-group randomised controlled trial has so far randomised 130 of the target 495 dyads from Australia, Germany, UK, Poland and Norway. Dyads are randomised equally to standard care (SC), a home-based music programme plus SC, or a home-based reading programme plus SC for 12 weeks. Results: The primary outcome is BPSD of people with dementia (measured using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Questionnaire). Secondary outcomes examine relationship quality between CG and people with dementia, depression, resilience, competence, QoL for CG and QoL for people with dementia. Outcomes are collected at baseline, at the end of the 12-week intervention and at 6 months post randomisation. Resource Utilisation in Dementia captures economic data across the life of the intervention and at 6-month follow-up. Conclusions: Our presentation will briefly outline the study protocol and describe the caregiver training protocol and interventions in detail with video footage illustrating how the intervention looks in practice.
Background: Substantial and important benefits flow to all stakeholders, including the service user, when mental health services meaningfully engage with carers and family members. Government policies around the world clearly supports inclusiveness however health service engagement with family and carers remains sporadic, possibly because how best to engage is unclear. A synthesis of currently used surveys, relevant research and audit tools indicates seven core ways that families and carers might be engaged by health services. This study sought to confirm, from the perspective of family and carers, the importance of these seven health service engagement practices. Methods: In a mixed method online survey, 134 family members and carers were asked what they received and what they wanted from mental health services. Participants also quantified the importance of each of the seven core practices on a 0–100 point likert scale. Results: Almost 250 verbatim responses were deductively matched against the seven themes, with additional unaligned responses inductively categorised. The findings triangulate with multiple diverse literatures to confirm seven fundamental engagement practices that carers and family want from health services. Conceptually, the seven practices are represented by two broad overarching practice themes of (i) meeting the needs of the family member and (ii) addressing the needs of the service user. Conclusion: Policy, clinical practice, training and future research might encompass the seven core practices along with consideration of the intertwined relationship of family, carers and the service user suggested by the two broader concepts.
Objective: This study aimed to examine family carers’ willingness, perceived difficulties and confidence in providing home end-of-life care to family members in future and their needs for support for doing so. Specific focus was on whether significant differences were found between carers of low and high levels of psychological distress. Method: Family carers who had been providing care to family members living in the community were recruited via a local elderly agency in Hong Kong. A survey was conducted. Carers were asked to complete a questionnaire which included self-developed items, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Carers’ Support Need Assessment Tool. Results: Of the 89 participants, 63.8% reported willingness to provide end-of-life care in future (increased to 78.5% if support needs were met), but most perceived it as difficult, and over half were not confident about doing so. The three greatest needs for support in end-of-life care are understanding the relative's illness, knowing what to expect in future, and knowing who to contact if concerned. Participants of the high psychological distress group experienced a significantly greater need for support in “dealing with your feelings and worries” and “looking after your own health. Conclusions: Current family carers may not be ready for future provision of home end-of-life care. Meeting their support needs in providing end-of-life care is crucial to ensure the continuity of care provision. Psychologically distressed carers may often ignore self-care and may need helping professionals’ additional support.
Objectives: To explore how a sample of people with uncontrolled seizures describe their experiences of receiving informal supportive care. Methods: Using constructivist grounded theory, in-person, semi-structured interviews were conducted in 35 adults with drug-resistant epilepsy. These 20 (57%) women and 15 (43%) men were aged 18–68 years (mean= 35.6 years), with a range of verbal comprehension scores. The majority, 28 (80%) lived in nuclear family settings. Results: Unpredictable seizures disrupted personal autonomy and generated unique challenges for everyday life. While supportive care was deemed necessary to survival, subjective reflections around the implications of care-receiving and caregiving, were ultimately experienced as mutually burdensome. Four dynamic and interactive dimensions revealed a mirrored, interactive perspective of what it meant to be a care-recipient: assuming responsibility; protecting and supervising; acknowledging reliance and setting boundaries. Care-recipience was not one-sided, but included actively hiding personal struggles as a way to shield the caregiver from the emotional and physical demands of caregiving. Relationship dynamics between caregivers and care-recipients played a major role in treatment decision-making. A clinically useful Theory of Reciprocal Burden resulted from our study. Conclusions: This study adds an explanatory dimension to the concept of illness burden from the perspective of care-recipients. Relationship dynamics play a key role in patient-centered epilepsy care, with clinical implications for guiding supportive caregiving, fostering independence and promoting self-management strategies.
Background: There is a knowledge gap for implementing tele-rehabilitation (telerehab) after hip fracture. We recently conducted a clinical trial (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02968589) to test a novel online family caregiver-supported rehabilitation program for older adults with hip fracture, called @ctivehip. Objectives: In this qualitative substudy, our objective was to use semi-structured interviews to explore family caregivers experience with the telerehab program. Methods: Twenty-one family caregivers were interviewed between three and six months after the older adults completed @ctivehip. One occupational therapist with research and clinical experience, but not involved in the main trial, conducted and transcribed the interviews. We conducted a multi-step content analysis, and two authors completed one coding cycle and two recoding cycles. Results: Family caregivers who enrolled in @ctivehip were satisfied with the program, stated it was manageable to use, and perceived benefits for older adults’ functional recovery after hip fracture. They also suggested im-provements for the program content, such as more variety with exercises, and increased monitoring by health professionals. Conclusions: This work extends existing literature and generates research hypotheses for future studies to test telerehab content and program implementation.
Background: The worldwide increase in community-dwelling people with dementia underscores the need for innovative eHealth technologies that aim to provide support to both patients and their informal caregivers in the home setting. However, sustainable implementation of eHealth technologies within this target group can be difficult. Objective: The goal of this study was to gain a thorough understanding of why it is often difficult to implement eHealth technologies in practice, even though numerous technologies are designed to support people with dementia and their informal caregivers at home. In particular, our study aimed to (1) provide an overview of technologies that have been used and studied in the context of informal dementia care and (2) explore factors influencing the implementation of these technologies. Methods: Following an umbrella review design, five different databases were searched (PubMed, PsycINFO, Medline, Scopus, and Cochrane) for (systematic) reviews. Among 2205 reviews retrieved, 21 were included in our analysis based on our screening and selection procedure. A combination of deductive and inductive thematic analyses was performed, using the Nonadoption, Abandonment, Scale-Up, Spread, and Sustainability (NASSS) framework for organizing the findings. Results: We identified technologies designed to be used “by informal caregivers,” “by people with dementia,” and “with people with dementia.” Within those groups, most of the represented technologies included, respectively: (i) devices for in-home monitoring of lifestyle, health, and safety; (ii) technologies for supporting memory, orientation, and day structure; and (iii) technologies to facilitate communication between the informal caregiver and person with dementia. Most of the identified factors influencing implementation related to the condition of dementia, characteristics of the technology, expected/perceived value of users, and characteristics of the informal caregiver. Considerably less information has been reported on factors related to the implementing organization and technology supplier, wider institutional and sociocultural context of policy and regulations, and continued adaptation of technology over time. Conclusions: Our study offers a comprehensive overview of eHealth technologies in the context of informal dementia care and contributes to gaining a better understanding of a broad range of factors influencing their implementation. Our results uncovered a knowledge gap regarding success factors for implementation related to the organizational and broader context and continuous adaptation over the long term. Although future research is needed, the current findings can help researchers and stakeholders in improving the development and implementation of eHealth technologies to support informal dementia care.
Objectives: Often people with spinal cord injury (SCI) require help from their caregivers to carry out activities of daily living. Such assistance may affect caregiver quality of life (QoL). This study investigates the QoL and its associated risk factors among caregivers of people with SCI to find possible ways to increase their QoL. Material and Method: A convenience sample of 135 Iranian caregivers of people with SCI participated in a cross-sectional study from the Brain and Spinal Injury Repair Research Center of Tehran (BASIR), Iran, from June 2018 to October 2019. The World Health Organization's Quality of Life Questionnaire (WHOQoL-BREF), the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), the Caregiver Burden Scale (CBS), and a demographic questionnaire were administered. Hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis was then applied to identify risk factors associated with caregiver QoL. Results: Moderate to highly significant negative correlations were observed between all domains of the WHOQoL scale and subscales of the CBS and the BDI-II. After controlling for demographic and clinical variables, depression, burden, and level of injury were found to predict caregiver QoL significantly. Furthermore, QoL was lower in caregivers of people with quadriplegia than paraplegia (p<0.05). Conclusions: The level of injury, self-perceived caregiver burden, and depression are associated with QoL for the caregivers of people with SCI. A holistic approach incorporating caregiver training, psychological interventions, and adequate support may enable better QoL for these caregivers.
Objectives: The main objective was to analyze the variables Sense of Coherence, Resilience and Emotional Regulation as predictors of satisfaction with care in caregivers of older adults people with dementia. Methods: An ex post facto cross-sectional study design with a single group. The data were collected between June and October 2020.63 caregivers of older adults people with severe dementia participated, by responding to questionnaires concerning the study variables during a telephone interview. Information was also collected regarding the characteristics of the care provided (years of evolution, degree of dementia, index of independence) and regarding the caregiver (age and years of caregiving) which will be analyzed as control variables. The data were analyzed using correlation analysis and multiple linear regression analysis. Results: The participants presented average levels for Sense of Coherence, Resilience, Emotional Regulation (M = 16.93) and a high degree of Satisfaction with care. Sense of Coherence was the main predictor of Satisfaction with care, explaining up to 67% of the variance, through its Significance and Comprehensibility dimensions. Although the Resilience variable presented a significant association with Satisfaction, its role in the predictive model was displaced by Sense of Coherence. Conclusions: Sense of Coherence and Resilience are relevant psychological variables because of their positive relationship with satisfaction with care among caregivers of older adults people with dementia. The caregivers' perception of the significance and comprehensibility of the situation are important positive predictors of their satisfaction with the care of older people with dementia. These results are suggestive to guide the follow-up and psychological support of caregivers.
Background: Families face many challenges in caring for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) throughout their lives. Objectives: This study aimed to identify the needs of families of children with ASD from specialists and parents’ perspectives. Methods: Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with ASD specialists (n = 19) and parents of children with ASD (n = 23). Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Qualitative analysis was conducted using a content analysis approach. Results: The needs of families were divided into nine themes and 11 sub-themes from the perspective of experts and four themes and 17 sub-themes from the point of view of parents. Major themes identified from the perspective of ASD specialists as the main needs of families included knowledge, skills, attitude, social needs, financial needs, educational needs, mental health services, ability to handle other family issues, and ability to deal with the specific child’s problems. Also, information, service, support, and financial needs were the four main categories of needs expressed by the parents. Conclusions: In general, understanding the needs of families is among the experts and the families somewhat similar but differs from each other in many ways. Achieving a shared understanding of family needs among professionals, parents, and policymakers can better address those needs.
Background: Currently, the care for elderly people is provided mainly on an informal basis by relatives. This is often associated with psychological and physical stress. Caregiving relatives usually take over the role unprepared and they lack both knowledge and skills to fulfil the tasks. Therefore, arrangements must be made to provide respite for family carers. Simulation training is a validated experiential learning tool traditionally incorporated in health professional education but has not been commonly used in the hands-on training of informal caregivers. Objectives: This study tried to measure whether participation in a special simulation training affects the trust in one's own ability to care, the quality of life and the stress perception of caring relatives. Methods: 98 caring relatives participated in the prospective, controlled (non-randomized) intervention study. The intervention involved an eight-month educational program in a simulation-training center in Graz (Austria). The program is either Manikin-based or Standardized Patient simulation trainings and take place in a show apartment. The impact on the caregiving competence, the quality of life and the burden-of-care was measured at the beginning (T1), after four months (T2) and after eight months (T3) using validated questionnaires (Self-Efficacy Scale, EQ-5D-5L and HPS). Results: The results show a significant influence of the education program on self-efficacy (p 0.0018) and the increase in knowledge (p 0.04) of the participants. With regard to the subjective quality of life and the perception of stress no significant effects were shown. Conclusions: The results show that the participation of family carers at the education program has different influence on the defined parameters. Not only the stable quality of life of the intervention group but also the short-term significant reduction in subjective stress perception directly after the training can be emphasized as positive indicators for the program. Key messages The results show that informal caregivers benefit from simulation training, since they can apply at home what they have learned during the training. Simulation training for informal caregivers significant influence their self-efficacy and the increase in knowledge.
Background: To synthesise existing qualitative evidence regarding the experiences of people living with cancer and their family caregivers using eHealth technology in their home setting. Method: A narrative review using a systematic approach was utilised. Five databases (PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, PsycINFO and the Cochrane Library) were searched using a tailored search strategy to identify primary research articles published between January 2005 and May 2021. Studies were quality appraised using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme's Qualitative Studies Checklist and the Mixed Method Appraisal Tool, where relevant. Identified studies were appraised by three reviewers and data were extracted for analysis. Key themes were identified and agreed upon by the authors. Results: 28 empirical studies were included in the review. Five major themes emerged: (i) understanding of cancer and its care (ii) alignment and integration of eHealth technology into daily life (iii) connection and collaboration with healthcare professionals, family and peers (iii) reassurance and sense of safety (iv) and the psychosocial impact on the self during the cancer experience. Conclusions: eHealth technology can have positive role in the lives of people with cancer and their family caregivers, beyond the intended health outcomes of the intervention. Individual preferences amongst people with cancer and their family caregivers using eHealth technology must be considered, especially regarding cancer information delivery, content and support methods. This review underlines a critical need for further in-depth evidence on the personal meaning and relationships people with cancer and their family caregivers develop with eHealth technology in an ambulatory care setting.
Background: Dementia caregiving has been associated with a range of adverse effects on the physical health of the caregiver. However, the specific mechanisms underlying the relationship between dementia caregiver stress and ill health remain unclear. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate, using available prospective data, the relationship between perceived stress (burden) and pre-clinical indices of ill-health (cortisol awakening response and secretory immunoglobulin A) amongst dementia caregivers. The potential moderating effect of social support on the perceived stress-physiological stress/health relationship was also explored. Methods: Participants (N = 31) were caregivers of community-dwelling older adults living with dementia who were enroled in a psychoeducation support program and provided data (study questionnaire and saliva samples) at two timepoints (T1 and T2), 10 weeks apart. Hierarchical regressions were used to determine if changes in stress and social support predicted change in each of the physiological outcomes. Results: Findings indicate that caregivers with more hours of care at T1, or with greater satisfaction with social support, were more likely to exhibit an adaptive cortisol awakening response at T2. Moreover, social support was found to buffer the effect of caregiver stress and hours of caregiving on the cortisol awakening response. Conclusions: Implications for future interventions targeting caregiver health are discussed.
Background: Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is one of the most common types of dementia in persons younger than 65 years of age. Diagnosis is often delayed due to slow, gradual decline and misinterpretation of ‘non-typical’ dementia symptoms. Informal carers of people with FTD experience greater levels of overall burden than carers of people with other forms of dementia. Objectives: The aim of this systematic review was to describe the subjective experience of being an informal carer of a person with FTD and to identify the specific needs, coping strategies and helpful support resources of this carer population. Methods: Four electronic databases were used to search for published literature presenting experiences of carers of people with FTD between January 2003 and July 2019. Search strategy followed PRISMA guidelines. Findings were analysed using framework analysis, employing five stages of analysis to develop a coding index and thematic framework that included key aspects of the carer experience, which were grouped into themes and presented in a narrative format. Results: 1213 articles were identified in total. Twelve studies were included in the final synthesis of the review. Six themes were identified: ‘Challenging road to and receipt of diagnosis’, ‘relationship change and loss’, ‘challenging experiences in caring’, ‘positive experiences and resilience’, ‘coping’ and ‘support needs’. Discussion: Findings highlight an increased need for carers of people with FTD to receive support during the pre-diagnostic stage, including support to manage symptoms. Further research should explore relationship changes and loss amongst carers to inform approaches for carer support. In conclusion, the lack of knowledge and unique needs of carers highlight the importance of public awareness campaigns and healthcare professional education to support carers with FTD symptom impact.
Background: Many older adults receive help from both family caregivers and home care workers. We aimed to understand family caregivers’ perspectives on home care workers. Methods: This qualitative study took place at an academic medical center in New York, N.Y. We interviewed family caregivers of community-dwelling older adults about their experiences with home care workers. We analyzed transcripts thematically. Results: We interviewed 17 family caregivers and identified four major themes: (a) home care workers provide functional and emotional support; (b) home care is logistically challenging; (c) finding the right fit between home care workers, older adults, and families is essential; and (d) home care workers and family caregivers coordinate care well beyond the initiation of home care. Conclusion: Despite its logistical challenges, home care benefits patients and family caregivers. Given the growing prevalence of caregiving, clinicians and family caregivers might benefit from training and support about working with home care workers.
Background: Supportive interventions are needed for the family and carers of people with multiple sclerosis. Methods: A rapid realist review and realist evaluation explored what helps, who it helps, when and how. Literature analysis was synthesised with a thematic analysis of qualitative interviews and focus groups with 49 family and carers of people with multiple sclerosis. Results: The resulting model summarised a family of interventions that could help people develop their capabilities and expand their resources, resulting in more positive outcomes. Conclusions: This may prevent or delay a 'tipping point' where capacity to care is overwhelmed by caring roles.
Background and Objectives: Adult day services (ADS) can provide emotional and physical relief for caregivers of persons with dementia. While prior studies conceptualized ADS use at the aggregate level as a dichotomous construct, little is known about objective and subjective respite as distinct constructs. This study investigated how objective and subjective breaks from caregiving were associated with caregivers' daily emotional well-being. Research Design and Methods: Family caregivers (N = 173) whose relatives were using ADS at least twice a week participated in daily interviews over 8 consecutive days (day N = 1,359). Participants provided information on daily respite hours and daily affect. They also reported perceived frequency of breaks from caregiving responsibilities and primary and secondary caregiving stressors (i.e., overload and work conflict). Multilevel models were used to examine the research questions. Results: On average, caregivers reported 7.12 respite hours on ADS days and 1.74 respite hours on non-ADS days. Having more objective respite was associated with higher positive affect, whereas more subjective respite was associated with lower negative affect, after controlling for ADS use and other covariates. Further, caregivers with greater work conflict experienced more benefits to their positive affect as a result of objective respite. Discussion and Implications: Objective and subjective respite are unique aspects of caregiving that may have varying impact on caregivers. Respite may be especially beneficial for caregivers experiencing conflict between work and caregiving.
Objectives: Explore learning processes associated with a psychoeducational pain selfmanagement intervention. Background: Self-management of cancer pain is challenging for patients and their family caregivers (FCs). While psychoeducational interventions can support them to handle these tasks, it remains unclear how learning processes are hampered or facilitated. Methods: A convergent parallel mixed methods design with qualitative data collection embedded in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) was used. Outpatients with cancer and FCs were recruited from three Swiss university hospitals. The six-week intervention consisted of education, skills building, and nurse coaching. Quantitative data on pain management knowledge and self-efficacy were analyzed using multilevel models. Patients and FCs were interviewed post-RCT regarding their learning experiences. Qualitative data analysis was guided by interpretive description. Finally, quantitative and qualitative data were integrated using case level comparisons and a meta-matrix. Results: Twenty-one patients and seven FCs completed this study. The group-by-time effect showed increases in knowledge (p = 0.035) and self-efficacy (p = 0.007). Patients' and FCs' learning through experience was supported by an intervention nurse, who was perceived as competent and trustworthy. After the study, most intervention group participants felt more confident to implement pain self-management. Finally, data integration showed that declining health hampered some patients' pain self-management. Conclusions: Competent and trustworthy nurses can support patients' and FCs' pain self-management by providing individualized interventions. Using a diary, jointly reflecting on the documented experiences, and addressing knowledge deficits and misconceptions through the use of academic detailing can facilitate patients' and FCs' learning of critical skills.
Objectives: To explore the experiences of informal caregivers of people with dementia with the hospitalization of their relative concerning patient care, interactions with nurses, caregivers’ situation and the acute hospital environment. Methods: Mixed‐methods design.MethodsThe data were collected using an online questionnaire among a panel of caregivers (n = 129), together with a focus group and individual interviews from February to November 2019. The data were triangulated and analysed using a conceptual framework. Results: Almost half of the respondents were satisfied with the extent to which nurses considered the patient's dementia. Activities to prevent challenging behaviours and provide person‐centred care were rarely seen by the caregivers. Caregivers experienced strain, intensified by a perceived lack of adequate communication and did not feel like partners in care; they also expressed concern about environmental safety. A key suggestion of caregivers was to create a special department for people with dementia, with specialized nurses. Conclusion: Positive experiences of caregivers are reported in relation to how nurses take dementia into account, involvement in care and shared decision making. Adverse experiences are described in relation to disease‐oriented care, ineffective communication and an unfamiliar environment. Caregivers expressed increased involvement when included in decisions and care when care was performed as described by the triangle of care model. Caregivers reported better care when a person‐centred approach was observed. Outcomes can be used in training to help nurses reflect and look for improvements. Impact: This study confirms that caregivers perceive that when they are more involved in care, this can contribute to improving the care of patients with dementia. The study is relevant for nurses to reflect on their own experiences and become aware of patients’ caregivers’ perspectives. It also provides insights to improve nurses’ training and for organizations to make the care and environment more dementia‐friendly.
Background: Caring for people with advanced illness has an impact on caregivers' physical, psychological, and emotional health. Patients being evaluated for lung transplantation or those on the transplant waitlist are required to have identified social support. However, little is known about the caregivers' specific supportive care needs. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the supportive care needs of informal caregivers of patients who are being evaluated for or awaiting lung transplantation. Methods: A cross sectional survey of the caregivers of lung transplant candidates using the Carers' Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) was conducted. Results: The sample (n = 78) included caregivers from a single-center academic institution in the United States. Participants were predominantly Caucasian and female, mean age 58 years (SD:13). Most were the patient's spouse or partner and over half reported needs in the following areas: what to expect in the future; who to call with healthcare concerns; financial, legal and work issues; and caregivers' feelings and worries. When asked if they need more support in these areas, up to one-third indicated they needed "quite a bit more" or "very much more," with substantial needs regarding what to expect in the future, who to call with healthcare concerns, and financial, legal, or work issues. Conclusion: A substantial portion of lung transplant caregivers express need for more support. Future research should focus on testing strategies to promote regular assessment of these needs and examining the effectiveness of interdisciplinary interventions to address them.
Background: End‐stage kidney disease (ESKD) is an overwhelming illness that impacts not just patients, but also their informal carers. Patients who opt for conservative management rather than dialysis experience difficult symptoms and the psychosocial consequences of their condition. Informal carers of patients who choose conservative management can also experience high levels of psychosocial burden, yet there is little guidance on how best to support informal carers, and no evidence on psychosocial interventions to address unmet needs. Objectives: The aim of this study is to explore the experiences and unmet needs of informal carers of patients with ESKD receiving conservative management in order to inform the development of a psychosocial intervention. Methods: This qualitative study will consist of three stages: (I) semi‐structured interviews with informal carers in England and Northern Ireland, (II) focus groups with healthcare professionals and informal carers, and (III) national workshops to refine the components of a psychosocial intervention. Discussion: Informal carers of patients with ESKD who are receiving conservative management experience a high psychosocial burden, but there is limited evidence on how best to provide support, particularly as the patient nears the end of life. To our knowledge this study will be the first to address this gap by exploring the experiences and unmet needs of informal carers, with the aim of informing the development of a psychosocial intervention to support the health and wellbeing of informal carers.
Background: The experience of bereavement is associated with severe physical, psychological, social and spiritual reactions in the parents of children with cancer. Because of that, the families of these children need to receive bereavement services. Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore the bereavement needs of families of children with cancer from the perspective of health caregiver as people who have a close relationship with the child and the family. Methods: This qualitative descriptive study design in. In total 15 semi-structured interviews were conducted using a purposive sampling in 2018. Interviews were recorded and transcribed and conventional content analysis was used to analysis the data. The Trustworthiness of the data were assessed according to the criteria of Lincoln and Guba. Results: From the data analysis, needs of the bereaved family were categorized in three dimension including “achieving peace,” “Abandoned family access to care,” and “continuing care.” The category of “achieving peace” includes spiritual and existential support, companionship with the family, contact with other bereaved families, support in passing and accepting the bereaved and continuing empathetic communication with the family, the category “Abandoned family access to care” includes the promotion of family self-control, awareness of end-of-life care to the family, and the category of “continuing care,” includes formal and informal family care and individualized care. Conclusion: It is necessary for the care team to pay special focus to family considering the needs of the family about the death of the patient and the challenges of the family bereavement period. It is recommended that members of the health care team should be trained in assessing family needs, identifying risks of adverse outcomes, continuing care, and providing resources during bereavement. The needs of the bereaved family should also be addressed in their care plan.
Background: Informal caregivers provide valuable care for ill or disabled adults. Nevertheless, many caregivers experience negative consequences from caregiving such as reduced mental health. Balancing personal costs of caregiving with caregivers' desires or obligations to provide care, is necessary to promote the well-being of these individuals and their care recipients. Drawing on a self-determination theory (SDT) perspective, caregivers whose psychological needs for relatedness, autonomy, and competence are satisfied with their care recipient, and their care recipients' healthcare providers, should be more autonomously motivated to care. Greater autonomous motivation should promote better mental health. Methods: This study tested mediation models in a sample of 158 caregivers in the United States. Autonomous motivation was examined as a mediator of the (a) associations between caregivers' need satisfaction with their care recipient and caregiver burden and depressive symptoms, and (b) associations between caregivers' autonomy support received from their care recipients' healthcare providers and caregiver burden and depressive symptoms. Next, specific types of motivation that vary in their relative autonomy were examined as unique mediators. Findings: Support was found for models using autonomous motivation as the mediator. Additionally, caregivers' autonomy support and female caregivers' need satisfaction were positively associated with intrinsic motivation to care which was negatively associated with burden. Although much research suggests caregivers' outcomes stem from the care recipients' condition, such as their functional dependence on others, the present study focused on the caregivers' relationships and motivations. Conclusions: Results support an SDT perspective of caregiving.
Objective: To identify the key themes for evaluating the quality of initiatives to engage patients and family caregivers in decision-making across the organisation and system domains of healthcare systems. Methods: We conducted a scoping review. Seven databases of journal articles were searched from their inception to June 2019. Eligible articles were literature reviews published in English and provided useful information for determining aspects of engaging patients and family caregivers in decision-making to evaluate. We extracted text under three predetermined categories: structure, process and outcomes that were adapted from the Donabedian conceptual framework. These excerpts were then independently open-coded among four researchers. The subsequent themes and their corresponding excerpts were summarised to provide a rich description of each theme. Results: Of 7747 unique articles identified, 366 were potentially relevant, from which we selected the 42 literature reviews. 18 unique themes were identified across the three predetermined categories. There were six structure themes: engagement plan, level of engagement, time and timing of engagement, format and composition, commitment to support and environment. There were four process themes: objectives, engagement approach, communication and engagement activities. There were eight outcome themes: decision-making process, stakeholder relationship, capacity development, stakeholder experience, shape policy/service/programme, health status, healthcare quality, and cost-effectiveness. Conclusions: The 18 themes and their descriptions provide a foundation for identifying constructs and selecting measures to evaluate the quality of initiatives for engaging patients and family caregivers in healthcare system decision-making within the organisation and system domains. The themes can be used to investigate the mechanisms through which relevant initiatives are effective and investigate their effectiveness.
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.
Background: Informal caregivers often receive limited training and support, especially in providing assistance with toileting, a physically and emotionally demanding activity of daily living. This increases caregivers' risk for physical injury and burnout and jeopardizes older adults' ability to age in place. Objective: To assess the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of a toileting intervention using an automated bidet to reduce the amount of physical assistance required from caregivers. Methods: Randomized wait-list control feasibility study. Setting: Caregiver's home. Participants: Ten informal caregivers. Intervention: An occupational therapy intervention to educate and train caregiving dyads to use an automated bidet system. Outcomes and Measures: Feasibility was measured in terms of recruitment and retention, bidet installation, ability to operate the bidet, acceptability (a process evaluation), preliminary efficacy (physical barriers and impact on caregiver outcomes of performance, satisfaction, and self-efficacy), and adverse events. Results: All bidets were installed successfully. All caregivers reported that the intervention made toileting easier and increased their confidence. Physical barriers decreased for the treatment group. The bidet had a large effect on self-efficacy for the treatment group. Conclusions and Relevance: The results suggest that the automated bidet intervention is feasible and acceptable and can have a positive impact on caregiver outcomes when assisting with toileting. What This Article Adds: A toileting intervention using an automated bidet is feasible and acceptable for caregivers of older adults and can reduce the amount of physical assistance required from caregivers.
Background: Previous studies have documented cognitive impairments, psychological stress, and depressive symptoms in family caregivers of people with dementia (PWD), which could be attributed to their sleep disturbances. Notwithstanding the increasing recognition of poor sleep quality and sleep disturbances in family caregivers of PWD, their association has not been tested yet using population-representative samples. Methods: We conducted a retrospective, cross-sectional study using population-based data from the 2018 Korean Community Health Survey. Sociodemographic, mental health-related, and physical health-related variables as well as sleep quality evaluated by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) were compared between 2537 cohabitating caregivers of PWD, 8864 noncohabitat-ing caregivers of PWD, and 190,278 non-caregivers. Two sets of multivariable logistic regressions were conducted to examine the associations between dementia caregiving and poor sleep quality in cohabitating and noncohabitating caregivers versus noncaregivers. Results: Both cohabitating and non-cohabitating caregivers had higher global PSQI scores and higher prevalence of poor sleep quality (PSQI score > 5) than did noncaregivers. Multivariable logistic regressions adjusted for potential confounders revealed that cohabitating caregivers (odds ratio (OR) 1.26, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.15–1.38) and noncohabitating caregivers (OR 1.15, CI 1.10–1.21) were significantly associated with poor sleep quality. Conclusions: Our results showed that both cohabitating and noncohabitating caregivers of PWD experienced overall poorer sleep quality compared to noncaregivers, indicating the deleterious effect of dementia caregiving on sleep quality, regardless of living arrangements. Given the high prevalence of poor sleep quality in family caregivers of PWD and the increasing awareness of the serious health consequences of poor-quality sleep, physicians should consider active sleep interventions to promote health and wellbeing not only for the dementia patients but also for family caregivers.
Backgrounds: As the prevalence of dementia rises, caregiver burden also increases in South Korea, especially for informal family caregivers. Objectives: This study aimed to analyze factors affecting caregiver burden by the severity of dementia based on data of patients in Seoul. Methods: A total of 12,292 individuals aged ≥65 years enrolled in the Seoul Dementia Management Project from 2010 to 2016 in an online database were selected. Caregiver’s burden was assessed using the Korea version of Zarit Burden Interview. Multiple regression analyses were performed to determine factors associated with primary caregiver’s burden after stratifying the severity of dementia. Results: Most patients showed moderate levels of cognitive impairment (49.4%), behavior problems (82.6%), and ADL dependency (73.6%). After stratifying the severity of dementia, caregivers caring for patients with mild symptoms of dementia were experienced with higher caregiver burden if patients were under a lower score of IADL. Significant factors for caregiver burden among caregivers supporting patients with moderate symptoms of dementia include caregivers’ residence with patients, subjective health status, and co-work with secondary caregivers. Lastly, caregivers for patients with severe dementia symptoms experienced a higher caregiver burden from limited cognitive function, problematic behavior, and caregivers’ negative health status. Conclusion: In terms of sample size, this study had far more patients than any other domestic or international study. It was meaningful in that it analyzed characteristics of patients with dementia and caregivers affecting the burden of caregivers in Korea. Intensive social supports with multiple coping strategies focusing on different levels of patients’ clinical symptoms and caregivers’ needs should be planned to relieve the caregiver burden.
Background: Family caregivers who care for individuals with dementia are more likely to develop chronic stress, major depression, anxiety, and physical health disorders and they have a higher mortality rate compared with the general population. Local problem: Caregivers are at an increased risk of physical and mental disorders. Many report that they are fatigued and need more forms of support. Methods: This project involved a convenience sample of 35 family caregivers who cared for family with dementia. Prequestionnaires and postquestionnaires were used to determine improvements in caregiver health and well-being and caregiver resources for supportive services as well as reduction in caregiver stress. Interventions: An evidence-based educational class was developed and implemented based on the Family Care Alliance (FCA): Taking Care of YOU: Self-Care for Family Caregivers Toolkit. The project aimed to (1) assess two FCA recommended domains: caregiver health and well-being and caregiver resources for supportive services and (2) reduce caregiver stress. Results: Stress Inventory results showed notable change in high risk/low risk categorization from pretest to posttest. At pretest, 31 caregivers were categorized as at high risk for unhealthy levels of stress, but posttest showed only 9 caregivers were so categorized. Approximately, 70% of those at high risk at pretest were categorized as low risk at posttest. Conclusions: This project validated that evidence-based educational interventions can improve caregiver knowledge and self-care. Continued support may be promoted by incorporating education and offering resource brochures to caregivers during primary care visits.
Background: Informal caregivers of people with dementia provide the majority of health-based care to people with dementia. Pro-viding this care requires knowledge and access to resources, which caregivers often do not receive. Objectives: We set out to evaluate the effect of online educational tools on informal caregiver self-efficacy, quality of life, burden/stress, depression, and anxiety, and to identify effective processes for online educa-tional tool development. Methods: We conducted a scoping review of articles on online educa-tional interventions for informal caregivers of people with dementia searching CINAHL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed from 1990 to March 2018, with an updated search conducted in 2020. The identified articles were screened and the data were charted. Results: 33 articles that reported on 24 interventions were included. There is some evidence that online interventions improve caregiver-related outcomes such as self-efficacy, depression, dementia knowledge, and quality of life; and decrease care -giver burden. Common findings across the studies included the need for tailored, stage-specific information applicable to the caregiver's situation and the use of psychosocial techniques to develop the knowledge components of the interventions. Conclusion: We demonstrate the importance of having caregivers and health-care professionals involved at all stages of tool concep-tualization and development. Online tools should be evaluated with robust trials that focus on how increased knowledge and development approaches affect caregiver-related outcomes.
Objectives: The current exploratory study sought to develop and pilot a Facebook-delivered health-promoting self-care intervention for caregivers of children with developmental disabilities (DD). Methods: Survey and focus group methods were used to gain information about the participation of caregivers of children with DD in existing Facebook support groups and their experiences related to stress, self-care, and social support that would aid in intervention development. Results were used in concert with existing guidance to determine the content and targets of the intervention. Caregivers were recruited to participate in a Facebook group-delivered intervention focused on broad areas of self-care including physical health, psychological health, social health, and work health. The Facebook group-delivered intervention, designed to target these identified areas using social support, was piloted over an 8-week period with caregivers of children with DD. Results: Across all variables, differences from pretest to posttest were statistically significant, with small to large effect sizes.
Background and Objectives: We investigated how carers of people with dementia evaluate their standing in their community and wider society, and if this is related to 'living well'. Methods: We used baseline data from the Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life programme and found that carers rated their standing in society higher than in their local community. Results: Higher evaluations of both were associated with enhanced life satisfaction, well-being and quality of life. Conclusions: Initiatives that increase support or engagement in the community or wider society may help to increase carerss' perceptions of their social status, enhancing their ability to 'live well'.
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.
Background: Caregiving is a global phenomenon which is bound to increase in tandem with the aging population worldwide. Stroke is a condition common in older people that requires complex caregiving necessitating provision of adequate support to the caregivers. Past literature consists of limited accounts of types and organization of support arrangements needed by different caregivers. Objectives: We aimed to describe the support system of caregivers of stroke survivors in Singapore, highlighting differences across the different caregiver identities (i.e. spouse, adult-child, etc.). Methods: We conducted a qualitative descriptive study in the community setting involving 61 purposively sampled and recruited stroke survivors and caregivers. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, and transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Our findings were summarized across the following 4 themes: 1) cultural influence and caregiving; 2) caregiver support system with the following sub-themes: 2.1) dyadic caregiver support type, 2.2) extended caregiver support type, 2.3.) distributed caregiver support type and 2.4) empowering caregiver support type; 3) breaks in care of stroke survivor and 4) complex relationship dynamics. We operationalized the caregiver support system as comprising of type, people and activities that enable the caregiver to participate in caregiving activities sustainably. While spouse caregivers preferred dyadic and extended support systems positioning themselves in a more central caregiving role, adult-child caregivers preferred distributed support system involving family members with paid caregivers playing a more central role. Conclusions: Our findings highlight caregiver identity as a surrogate for the differences in the caregiver support systems. Practical implications include imparting relationship-building skills to the stroke survivor-caregiver dyads to sustain dyadic support system and educating clinicians to include differences in caregiving arrangements of stroke survivors in practising family-centred care.
Background: Informal caregivers face risks of social isolation. Given the high prevalence of informal caregivers in Europe, a considerable proportion of the population are also former caregivers. The Finnish Expert Caregiver intervention sought to train former caregivers to become volunteers aim-ing to support current caregivers through mainly peer support. Objectives and methods: The aims of this mixed method non-controlled exploratory intervention study were to assess the feasibility of the Finnish Expert Caregiver intervention by co-designing and implementing the intervention, and by assessing demand and practicality with special attention to the impact of COVID-19. Results: The findings imply that the intervention was feasible as it resulted in a co-designed training course consisting of 30 h with 25 participants enrolling and 19 of them trying volunteering activities. The participants reported high scores on well-being at all timepoints of study, however, without statistically significant differences. The analysis of the focus group interviews revealed that the Expert Caregivers experienced the intervention as meaningful and offered them a sense of belonging with the other participants. Apart from using their caregiving past as an asset, the participants also took advantage of other personal skills and resources. Risks of adverse effects were related to the participants’ expectations on their own contribution, demanding peer support recipients, poorly functioning peer support groups, and insufficient distance to one’s caregiving past. The participants stressed the need for continuing support from intervention facilitators. Conclusions: Future studies with larger samples should investigate whether the effects differ between subgroups of participants and explore the perspective of the peer support recipients.
Background: Self-management (SM) interventions are supportive interventions systematically provided by healthcare professionals, peers, or laypersons to increase the skills and confidence of patients in their ability to manage chronic diseases. Objectives: (1) to summarise the preferences and experiences of patients and their caregivers (informal caregivers and healthcare professionals) with SM in four chronic diseases and (2) to identify and describe the relevant outcomes for SM interventions from these perspectives. Methods: We conducted a mixed-methods scoping review of reviews. We searched three databases until December 2020 for quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods reviews exploring patients’ and caregivers’ preferences or experiences with SM in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and heart failure (HF). Quantitative data were narratively synthesised, and qualitative data followed a three-step descriptive thematic synthesis. Identified themes were categorised into outcomes or modifiable factors of SM interventions. Results: We included 148 reviews covering T2DM (n = 53 [35.8%]), obesity (n = 20 [13.5%]), COPD (n = 32 [21.6%]), HF (n = 38 [25.7%]), and those with more than one disease (n = 5 [3.4%]). We identified 12 main themes. Eight described the process of SM (disease progression, SM behaviours, social support, interaction with healthcare professionals, access to healthcare, costs for patients, culturally defined roles and perceptions, and health knowledge), and four described their experiences with SM interventions (the perceived benefit of the intervention, individualised care, sense of community with peers, and usability of equipment). Most themes and subthemes were categorised as outcomes of SM interventions. Conclusion: The process of SM shaped the perspectives of patients and their caregivers on SM interventions. Their perspectives were influenced by the perceived benefit of the intervention, the sense of community with peers, the intervention’s usability, and the level of individualised care. Our findings can inform the selection of patient-important outcomes, decision-making processes, including the formulation of recommendations, and the design and implementation of SM interventions.
Background: People living with dementia (PLWD) and caregivers are adversely impacted by lack of meaningful activity leading to worse symptoms and impaired quality-of-life. There is a critical need to develop effective and well-tolerated treatments that mitigate clinical symptoms, engage PLWD and support caregiver wellbeing. We tested whether, compared to attention control, the Tailored Activity Program (TAP) reduced clinical symptoms and health-related events, and improved caregiver wellbeing, and if TAP activities were well-tolerated. Methods: We conducted a single-blind randomized controlled trial among 250 dyads recruited from Baltimore-Washington DC (2012–2016) with a dementia diagnosis and clinically significant agitation/aggression. Dyads were randomized to TAP (n = 124) or attention control (n = 126), and interviewed at baseline, 3 (endpoint) and 6-months (follow-up) by interviewers masked to group allocation. TAP assessed PLWD abilities/interests, instructed caregivers in using prescribed activities, and provided dementia education and stress reduction techniques. Attention controls received disease education and home safety tips. Both groups had up to 8 home visits over 3-months. The primary outcome was frequency by severity scores for agitation/aggression subscales of Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Clinician using caregiver ratings. Secondary outcomes included number of instrumental (IADL) and activities of daily living (ADL) needing assistance, caregiver wellbeing, and confidence using activities. Health-related events (PLWD death, hospitalizations, caregiver hospitalization, depression) and perceived study benefits were captured over 6 months. PLWD tolerability of prescribed activities was examined. Results: Of 250 dyads, most caregivers were female (81.2 %, n = 203), non-spouses (54.4 %, n = 136), white (59.2 %, n = 145) or African American (36.7 %, n = 90) with mean age = 65.4 (SD = 12.6). PLWD were mostly female (63.2 %, n = 158) with mean age = 81.4 (SD = 7.9), and mean MMSE = 14.3 (SD = 7.8). At 3-months, compared to controls, TAP conferred no benefit to agitation/aggression (p = 0.43, d = 0.11), but resulted in less IADL (p = 0.02, d=-0.33), and ADL (p = 0.04, d=-0.30) assistance, improved caregiver wellbeing (p = 0.01, d = 0.39), and confidence using activities (p = 0.02, d = 0.32). By 6-months, 15 PLWD in TAP had ≥ 1 health-related event versus 28 PLWD in control, demonstrating 48.8 % improvement in TAP (p = 0.03). TAP caregivers were more likely to perceive study benefits. Prescribed activities were well-tolerated. Conclusions: Although TAP did not benefit agitation/aggression, it impacted important outcomes that matter to families warranting its use in dementia care. Clinical trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov # NCT01892579 at https://clinicaltrials.gov/; Date of clinical trial registration: 04/07/2013; Date first dyad enrolled: 15/11/2013.
Background: Family caregivers of dying cancer patients are affected by grief experiences and bereavement complications. Several approaches such as psycho-emotional care and an increase in spirituality have been suggested to diminish these complications. However, the knowledge about the effects of family-based dignity intervention and expressive writing on anticipatory grief in family caregivers of dying cancer patients is limited. This is a study protocol describing a hospital-based mixed-methods study on the effects of family-based dignity intervention and expressive writing on anticipatory grief in family caregivers of dying cancer patients. Methods: This mixed-methods study will be done in an embedded explanatory design with two quantitative and qualitative phases. In the first phase (quantitative), a randomized clinical trial will be done, in which 200 family caregivers of dying cancer patients will be randomly assigned to one of the four groups: family-based single dignity intervention (group 1), expressive writing intervention (group 2), combined family-based single dignity intervention and expressive writing (group 3), and control (group 4). At baseline, 1 week and 2 weeks after the interventions, anticipatory grief will be assessed by a 13-item anticipatory grief scale. After the quantitative phase, the qualitative phase will be conducted through the conventional content analysis approach of Granheim and Lundman, in which an individual semi-structured interview will be taken from participants in the first phase to collect data on their experiences on interventions. Finally, data from the quantitative and qualitative phases will be analyzed and discussed. Discussion: Family caregivers of dying cancer patients usually experience depression, anxiety, and psychological distress due to isolation and inadequate social support. Psychological interventions such as dignity and expressive writing interventions may help caregivers to obtain a better understanding of themselves and to increase their abilities to cope with caregiving difficulties. Therefore, there is a need for a comprehensive study confirming the effects of mentioned interventions on family caregivers of dying cancer patients. Trial registration: Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (www.irct.ir) identifier: IRCT20210111050010N1. Date of trial registration: Feb 6, 2021. This is the first version of this protocol.
Background: Hypertension is becoming increasingly prevalent among the elderly. Family caregivers play an important role in caring for elderly people and empowering them to care for themselves. Objectives: This study’s goal was to see how social support training for family caregivers affected changes in hypertension, total cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and how such support led to the prevention of hypertension behaviors among the elderly in rural areas. Methods: This was a quasi-experimental study with 268 elderly people at risk of hypertension and their caregivers. Sixty seven pairs of elderly people and their caregivers were assigned to the intervention and control groups. Baseline data were collected in November 2020. The intervention group received the Social Support Family Caregiver Training Program (SSFCTP), while the control group received a regular program from the local health authority. The activity lasted 12 weeks, with home visits and telephone check-ups along the way, and data collection took place after the program ended. The final data were collected three months after the end of the intervention. Results: An analysis of repeated measures ANOVA showed the overall effect of the SSFCTP on knowledge, self-efficacy, health care behaviors, and blood pressure among elderly people during three different time periods (p<0.05). Furthermore, the intervention program had a time-dependent effect on knowledge, blood pressure, and total cholesterol levels (p<0.05). In terms of caregiver outcomes, there was an overall difference among the degrees of knowledge, self-efficacy, and behaviors toward health care displayed by elderly hypertensive patients during the three different time periods (p<0.05). The average knowledge and self-efficacy of the participants improved after the intervention. As a result, better self-care behaviors and lower blood pressure and total cholesterol levels were observed among the elderly participants after the intervention. Conclusions: The programs emphasized the importance of caregivers’ roles in providing social support, boosting confidence, and encouraging participation in caring, monitoring, and assisting the elderly in controlling blood pressure and other health issues.
Background: Sleep disturbances are common among family caregivers (FCs) of patients with advanced cancer. Self-administered acupressure can combat insomnia, but no study has been conducted to evaluate its efficacy in caregivers of patients with advanced cancer. Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate whether self-administered acupressure improves sleep quality for FCs of patients with advanced cancer. Methods: Family caregivers of patients with advanced cancer who reported sleep disturbance (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores >5 in recent months) were recruited. The experimental group self-administered acupressure at the Baihui (GV20), Fengchi (GB20), Neiguan (PC6), and Shenmen (HT7) points over a 12-week period, whereas the comparison group received sleep hygiene education. Sleep quality was assessed subjectively at 4, 8, and 12 weeks after the intervention using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and objectively using actigraphy measurements. Improvements in sleep quality were analyzed using a generalized estimating equation. Results: Compared with the control group, the experimental group demonstrated significantly lower sleep latency (Wald χ2 = 11.49, P = .001) and significantly better sleep efficiency (Wald χ2 = 5.24, P = .02) according to actigraphy measurements, but Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores did not differ significantly between the groups. Conclusions: Self-administered acupressure did not demonstrate favorable effects on subjective sleep quality, but did reduce sleep latency and improve sleep efficiency, according to actigraphy measurements. Self-administered acupressure may help relaxation and sedation and promote sleep in FCs. Implications for Practice: Healthcare providers may consider advising FCs to apply this self-administered acupressure to improve their sleep latency and sleep efficiency.
Objectives: To explore the effect of care transitions intervention (CTI) on the sense of benefit-finding of caregivers for patients with acute cerebral infarction (ACI). Ninety caregivers for patients with ACI were divided into two groups according to the random number table method (n = 45 in each group). Methods: The control group was given regular health guidance, and the intervention group was given care transitions intervention on the basis of the guidance used in the control group. The changes in the sense of benefit-finding and quality of life between the two groups were compared before and after the intervention. Results: There was no statistically significant difference in caregivers between the two groups in gender, age, educational level, occupational status, gender and age of the patients, activities of daily living (ADL) scores before discharge, and the relationships between the caregiver and the patient. Before CTI, there was no statistically significant difference in the caregivers' sense of benefit-finding (including sense of benefit, family relationship, personal growth, social relationship and healthy behavior) and quality of life (including benefit-finding of care, stress of care, choice of care, support to care and money issue) between the two groups. While after CTI, the scores of each dimension of the caregivers' sense of benefit finding and quality of life in the intervention group were significantly higher than those in the control group (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The CTI can help improve the sense of benefit-finding and quality of life of caregivers for patients with ACI.
Background: Informal (unpaid) caregivers play an essential role in caring for older people, whose care needs are often not fully met by formal services. While providing informal care may be a positive experience, it can also exert a considerable strain on caregivers' physical and mental health. How to best support the needs of informal caregivers remains largely debated. Objectives: This umbrella review (review of systematic reviews) aims to evaluate (1) whether effective interventions can mitigate the negative health outcomes of informal caregiving, (2) whether certain types of interventions are more effective than others, (3) whether effectiveness of interventions depends on caregiver/receiver, context or implementation characteristics and (4) how these interventions are perceived in terms of acceptability, feasibility and added value. Methods: We will include systematic reviews of primary studies focusing on the effectiveness of interventions (public or private, unifaceted or multifaceted, delivered by health or social care professionals or volunteers) aimed at reducing the impact of caregiving on caregivers' physical or mental health. This will also include quantitative and qualitative syntheses of implementation studies. The literature search will include the following databases: Medline, CINAHL, PsycINFO and Web of Science. A key informant-guided search of grey literature will be performed. Quality appraisal will be conducted with the AMSTAR-2 checklist for quantitative reviews and with an ad hoc checklist for qualitative syntheses. Narrative and tabular summaries of extracted data will be produced, and framework synthesis will be employed for weaving together evidence from quantitative studies in effectiveness reviews with findings on implementation from qualitative studies. Ethics and dissemination: This umbrella review will use data from secondary sources and will not involve interactions with study participants; it is thus exempt from ethical approval. Results will be presented at international conferences and will be published in a peer-reviewed journal. PROSPERO registration number CRD42021252841.
Background: Worldwide, millions of people with advanced cancer and their family caregivers are experiencing physical and psychological distress. Psychosocial support and education can reduce distress and prevent avoidable healthcare resource use. To date, we lack knowledge from large-scale studies on which interventions generate positive outcomes for people with cancer and their informal caregivers’ quality of life. Objectives: This protocol describes the DIAdIC study that will evaluate the effectiveness of two psychosocial and educational interventions aimed at improving patient-family caregiver dyads’ emotional functioning and self-efficacy. Methods: We will conduct an international multicenter three-arm randomized controlled trial in Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In each country, 156 dyads (936 in total) of people with advanced cancer and their family caregiver will be randomized to one of the study arms: 1) a nurse-led face-to-face intervention (FOCUS+), 2) a web-based intervention (iFOCUS) or 3) a control group (care as usual). The two interventions offer tailored psychoeducational support for patient-family caregiver dyads. The nurse-led face-to-face intervention consists of two home visits and one online video session and the web-based intervention is completed independently by the patient-family caregiver dyad in four online sessions. The interventions are based on the FOCUS intervention, developed in the USA, that addresses five core components: family involvement, optimistic outlook, coping effectiveness, uncertainty reduction, and symptom management. The FOCUS intervention will be adapted to the European context. The primary outcomes are emotional functioning and self-efficacy of the patient and the family caregiver, respectively. The secondary outcomes are quality of life, benefits of illness, coping, dyadic communication, and ways of giving support of the patient and family caregiver. Discussion: DIAdIC aims to develop cost-effective interventions that integrate principles of early palliative care into standard care. The cross-country setup in six European countries allows for comparison of effectiveness of the interventions in different healthcare systems across Europe. By focusing on empowerment of the person with cancer and their family caregiver, the results of this RCT can contribute to the search for cost-effective novel interventions that can relieve constraints on professional healthcare. Trial registration: Registration on ClinicalTrials.gov on 12/11/2020, identifier NCT04626349. Date and version identifier: 20211209_DIAdIC_Protocol_Article.
Background: The objective of this study was to analyze the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based intervention program for the promotion of well-being and health in family caregivers. Methods: The participants were 111 family women caregivers aged between 33 and 75 years old. This was a double-blinded randomized controlled trial. The mindfulness intervention program lasted 12 weeks. The experimental group underwent mindfulness and acceptance-based interventions (MABIs). The control group performed physical activity training. Results: A cross-lagged panel analysis was computed with the two waves of health, well-being, burden and resilience and age in years and intervention as predictors. The cross-lagged path model fit well χ2 (8) = 7.179, p = 0.51, root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.00, comparative fit index (CFI) = 1.00, standardized root mean square residual (SRMR) = 0.05. The mindfulness intervention program was a significant predictor accounting for decreasing health problems (β = −0.292, p < 0.01) and burden (β = −0.190, p < 0.01) and increasing well-being (β = 0.107, p < 0.05) at post-test. Conclusions: Mindfulness-based intervention programs are effective in coping with the burden of family caregivers and, in turn, in promoting resilience, well-being and health among caregivers. Our findings encourage clinical uses of mindfulness interventions to promote health.
Background: Family support is internationally recognised as integral to palliative care. However, during end of life care discharge planning from hospital, families report a lack of opportunity to discuss their concerns or contribute their knowledge of the ill family member and consequently feel unheard and unsupported. To counter this experience, we co-produced the Family-Focused Support Conversation, a novel research-informed intervention, to guide discussion of family concerns about the meaning, implications and manageability of end of life caregiving following discharge. Objectives: To qualitatively evaluate the usability, accessibility and acceptability of the Family-Focused Support Conversation in hospital and factors which promote and inhibit implementation. Design: Participatory Learning and Action Research design, guided by Normalization Process Theory, a social implementation theory. Settings: Implementation was undertaken by 45 clinical co-researchers, specialist nurses (n=42) and occupational therapists (n=3), working in specialist palliative care teams in twelve hospitals (within seven NHS Trusts) across England, over a six-month period. Methods: During implementation clinical co-researchers collected reflective data about intervention delivery (n=110), participated in regular in-depth conversations of implementation with the research team (n=26 meeting records) and in a final evaluation meeting (n=11 meeting records). Data from family members who had received the intervention, comprised brief questionnaires (n=15) and in-depth semi-structured interviews (n=6). Data were qualitatively analysed, informed by Normalization Process Theory and Family Sense of Coherence Theory. Results: Clinical co-researchers found the intervention eminently usable and accessible. They reported a shift in family support from informing family members about patient healthcare needs, to family concerns such as how they made sense of the meaning of discharge, and how to provide family-orientated care. Family members found the intervention acceptable, they felt supported and able to make informed decisions about their role in providing end of life care. Implementation was positively influenced by coherence between the intervention and value placed on family care by clinical co-researchers. Once incorporated in their practice intervention delivery took no longer than usual practice and could be divided across consultations and collectively delivered with ward and discharge teams. Conclusions: The Family-Focused Support Conversation is usable, accessible and acceptable. It enhances family support by facilitating discussion of family concerns about end of life caregiving and results in family members making informed decisions about their role in end of life care following discharge.
Background: Parents of children with intellectual disabilities are likely to experience poorer mental well-being and face challenges accessing support. Early Positive Approaches to Support (E-PAtS) is a group-based programme, co-produced with parents and professionals, based on existing research evidence and a developmental systems approach to support parental mental well-being. Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of community service provider organisations delivering E-PAtS to parents/family caregivers of young children with intellectual disability, to inform a potential definitive randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of E-PAtS. Methods: This study was a feasibility cluster randomised controlled trial, with embedded process evaluation. Up to two parents/family caregivers of a child (18 months to <6 years old) with intellectual disability were recruited at research sites and allocated to intervention (E-PAtS and usual practise) or control (usual practise) on a 1:1 basis at cluster (family) level. Data were collected at baseline and 3 and 12 months' post-randomisation. The following feasibility outcomes were assessed: participant recruitment rates and effectiveness of recruitment pathways; retention rates; intervention adherence and fidelity; service provider recruitment rates and willingness to participate in a future trial; barriers and facilitating factors for recruitment, engagement, and intervention delivery; and feasibility of collecting outcome measures. Results: Seventy-four families were randomised to intervention or control (n = 37). Retention rates were 72% at 12 months post-randomisation, and completion of the proposed primary outcome measure (WEMWBS) was 51%. Recruitment of service provider organisations and facilitators was feasible and intervention implementation acceptable. Adherence to the intervention was 76% and the intervention was well-received by participants; exploratory analyses suggest that adherence and attendance may be associated with improved well-being. Health economic outcome measures were collected successfully and evidence indicates that linkage with routine data would be feasible in a future trial. Conclusions: The E-PAtS Feasibility RCT has demonstrated that the research design and methods of intervention implementation are generally feasible. Consideration of the limitations of this feasibility trial and any barriers to conducting a future definitive trial, do however, need to be considered by researchers. Clinical Trial Registration: https://www.isrctn.com, identifier: ISRCTN70419473.
Background and Objectives: This systematic review aimed to identify and appraise the evidence for online peer-support interventions for caregivers of stroke survivors (with and without aphasia), and people with dementia, traumatic brain injury (TBI), Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. Research Design and Methods: Systematic review conducted in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Five databases were systematically searched up until September 2020: EMBASE, PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus and Web of Science. Two reviewers independently screened titles, abstracts and full-text articles. The methodological quality of included studies was assessed using Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) and Mixed-Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) scales. Interventions were described using the Template for Intervention Description and Replication (TIDieR) checklist. Results: A total of 3026 records were identified from database searches. Following screening, 18 studies reporting 17 interventions were included in this review. Most studies (n = 13) reported interventions for caregivers of people with dementia. All studies incorporated an element of peer support as part of the intervention, however, most interventions (n = 15) comprised both psychosocial and educational elements. Statistically significant changes were reported for 11 interventions in one or more of the following domains: caregiver knowledge, mental health, stress, depression, distress, burden, self-efficacy, mastery, helplessness and perceived support. Qualitative outcomes included perceived reductions in stress and increased emotional and informational support. Discussion and Implications: Positive changes in caregiver outcomes were identified in response to multi-component online interventions (i.e., peer support in addition to education). Peer support was often poorly described, limiting the conclusions that could be drawn about the intervention components which result in better outcomes. Online interventions may provide an accessible and effective means of supporting caregivers.
Objective: Caregiver stress is the term used to define the adverse effects of caregiving, and its prevalence among caregivers of people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) is amplified by the suddenness of brain injury. This systematic review aimed to identify whether remote interventions can be helpful in minimizing those financial, emotional, and physical stressors associated with caring for a person with TBI. Method: Studies were located by searching the following databases: PsycINFO, PubMed, Science Direct, Web of Science, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, Medline, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Studies were included if they met the following criteria: (a) The study must be published in English, (b) The study must be published in a peer-reviewed journal, (c) The study must implement a remote intervention specific to caregivers of people with TBI, and (d) One or more symptoms of caregiver stress must be measured as an outcome. Results: After the review process, 12 articles met the inclusion criteria for the study. Most of the studies were randomized controlled trials, used an online problem-solving module, and targeted parents of children/adolescents with a TBI. Ten out of the 12 studies (83.3%) found that remote/online interventions improved caregiver stress outcomes and only two studies did not find improvement in caregiver stress outcomes. Conclusion: Results from this systematic review indicate that online interventions can be as effective as in-person interventions in reducing the symptoms of caregiver stress for caregivers of people with TBI. Implications for practice, research, and policy are discussed. Impact and Implications: Remote interventions are effective in improving life satisfaction, quality of life, and overall caregiver functioning among caregivers of people with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Remote interventions are also effective in reducing depression, anxiety, psychological distress, and other psychiatric symptoms among caregivers of people with TBI. Support services for caregivers should consider remote interventions such as online support groups, online psychotherapy, and telephone interventions to reduce access barriers for caregivers of people with TBI.
Objectives: To explore the effect of care transitions intervention (CTI) on the sense of benefit-finding of caregivers for patients with acute cerebral infarction (ACI). Methods: Ninety caregivers for patients with ACI were divided into two groups according to the random number table method (n = 45 in each group). The control group was given regular health guidance, and the intervention group was given care transitions intervention on the basis of the guidance used in the control group. The changes in the sense of benefit-finding and quality of life between the two groups were compared before and after the intervention. Results: There was no statistically significant difference in caregivers between the two groups in gender, age, educational level, occupational status, gender and age of the patients, activities of daily living (ADL) scores before discharge, and the relationships between the caregiver and the patient. Before CTI, there was no statistically significant difference in the caregivers' sense of benefit-finding (including sense of benefit, family relationship, personal growth, social relationship and healthy behavior) and quality of life (including benefit-finding of care, stress of care, choice of care, support to care and money issue) between the two groups. While after CTI, the scores of each dimension of the caregivers' sense of benefit finding and quality of life in the intervention group were significantly higher than those in the control group (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The CTI can help improve the sense of benefit-finding and quality of life of caregivers for patients with ACI.
Background: Informal caregivers of persons with dementia often experience elevated levels of caregiving burden. However, existing studies tend to use a variable-centered approach to explore it. This study aims to understand the caregiving burden of informal caregivers of persons with dementia in Singapore through a combination of variable-centered and person-centered analytical approaches, and explore the correlates of identified factors and latent classes of caregiving burden. Methods: Zarit Burden Interview was used to gauge the caregiving burden of 282 primary informal caregivers of persons with dementia recruited through convenience sampling in Singapore. Factor analysis and latent class analysis were conducted to identify the latent factors and the latent classes of Zarit Burden Interview, followed by multiple linear regression and multinomial logistic regression to explore their significant correlates. Results: The analyses suggested a 17-item 3-factor structure for Zarit burden interview and three mutually exclusive caregiving burden classes. Regression analyses found that caregiving related variables especially care recipients’ memory and behaviour problems were correlated with both the factors and latent classes of caregiving burden. Conclusions: The combination of these two approaches suggests that caregivers experiencing higher burden on one domain are likely to experience higher burden on the other two domains. This further supports the point that more attention should be given to caregivers who experience an overall high burden. Future research could explore the generalizability of our findings among caregivers elsewhere and explore the type of support needed by caregivers, especially those experiencing high burden.
Background: COGNISANCE is an international research programme (Australia, UK, Canada, Netherlands, and Poland). In partnership with people living with dementia, informal care partners, health and social care professionals and key national and international dementia organisations and researchers, we have co-designed online toolkits aiming to improve post-diagnostic support for dementia. Methods: We have worked closely with local working groups representing members from key audiences and a design and marketing agency to run a series of workshops in five countries. The workshops to date have focussed on the key messages, motivators for information seeking, experiences of dementia diagnosis and post diagnostic support, the purpose for toolkits and the tone and branding appropriate for the key audiences for a resource that focusses on the first twelve months post-diagnosis. Results: Co-design workshops were successfully run concurrently in five partner countries. Each country's research team and local working groups remained highly engaged throughout the process. Key motivators for the toolkits led to a focus on a practical and empathetic resource that was tailored to the individual. The toolkits will be a website that has three separate pathways, one for people recently diagnosed with dementia, one for care partners and one for health and social care professionals. These will function to support communicating the diagnosis, post-diagnostic support and planning for the first year post diagnosis. The design and marketing agency have worked closely with research teams and local working groups throughout the co-design process to interpret and build iteratively on each workshop outcome. From this we have successfully produced a generic website that can be tailored in different locations to the three key audiences. Conclusion: In the co-design process, representative users identified the need for a practical, empathetic and individually-tailored resource. The toolkit will be a website that has an individual planning tool for the first twelve months following a dementia diagnosis. We are continuing the co-design process to develop a campaign. This will promote the key messages and toolkit, to plan for a life with dementia, ahead of user testing, implementation and evaluation.
Background: Caregivers provide critical support for patients with chronic diseases, including heart disease, but often experience caregiver stress that negatively impacts their health, quality of life, and patient outcomes. Objectives: We aimed to inform health care teams on an evidence-based approach to supporting the caregivers of patients with heart disease. Methods and Results: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials written in English that evaluated interventions to support caregivers of patients with heart disease. We identified 15,561 articles as of April 2, 2020 from 6 databases; of which 20 unique randomized controlled trials were evaluated, representing a total of 1570 patients and 1776 caregivers. Most interventions focused on improving quality of life, and reducing burden, depression, and anxiety; 85% (17 of 20) of the randomized controlled trials provided psychoeducation for caregivers. Interventions had mixed results, with moderate non-significant effects observed for depression (Hedges' g=-0.64; 95% CI, -1.34 to 0.06) and burden (Hedges' g=-0.51; 95% CI, -2.71 to 1.70) at 2 to 4 months postintervention and small non-significant effects observed for quality of life and anxiety. These results were limited by the heterogeneity of outcome measures and intervention delivery methods. A qualitative synthesis of major themes of the interventions resulted in clinical recommendations represented with the acronym "CARE" (Caregiver-Centered, Active engagement, Reinforcement, Education). Conclusions: This systematic review highlights the need for greater understanding of the challenges faced by caregivers and the development of guidelines to help clinicians address those challenges. More research is necessary to develop clinical interventions that consistently improve caregiver outcomes.
Background: Most people living with dementia want to remain living in their own homes and are supported to do so by family carers. No interventions have consistently demonstrated improvements to people with dementia’s life quality, functioning, or other indices of living as well as possible with dementia. We have co-produced, with health and social care professionals and family carers of people with dementia, a new intervention (NIDUS-family). To our knowledge, NIDUS-family is the first manualised intervention that can be tailored to personal goals of people living with dementia and their families and is delivered by facilitators without clinical training. The intervention utilizes components of behavioural management, carer support, psychoeducation, communication and coping skills training, enablement, and environmental adaptations, with modules selected to address dyads’ selected goals. We will evaluate the effect of NIDUS-family and usual care on goal attainment, as measured by Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) rated by family carers, compared to usual care alone at 12-month follow-up. We will also determine whether NIDUS-family and usual care is more cost-effective than usual care alone over 12 months. Methods: A randomised, two-arm, single-masked, multi-site clinical trial involving 297 people living with dementia-family carer dyads. Dyads will be randomised 2:1 to receive the NIDUS-family intervention with usual care (n = 199) or usual care alone (n = 98). The intervention group will be offered, over 1 year, via 6–8 video call or telephone sessions (or face to face if COVID-19 restrictions allow in the recruitment period) in the initial 6 months, followed by telephone follow-ups every 1–2 months to support implementation, with a trained facilitator. Discussion: Increasing the time lived at home by people living with dementia is likely to benefit lives now and in the future. Our intervention, which we adapted to include remote delivery prior to trial commencement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, aims to address barriers to living as well and as independently as possible that distress people living with dementia, exacerbate family carer(s) stress, negatively affect relationships, lead to safety risks, and frequently precipitate avoidable moves to a care home. Trial registration: International Standard Randomised Controlled Trials Number ISRCTN11425138. Registered on 7 October 2019
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the closure or reduction in support services for family carers, resulting in increased social isolation and stress for this population. Objectives: The current scoping review aimed to identify the impact of COVID-19 upon carers and support provided for them during the pandemic. Methods: Four online databases (CINAHL, Medline, PsycINFO and PubMed) were systematically searched on 16th December 2020 and updated on 16th July 2021 for articles written in English and published after January 2020, focused on the carer and the impact of COVID-19. Google scholar and reference lists of relevant papers were checked, and key authors were contacted for further relevant information. Results: The database searches identified 976 citations, which resulted in 670 unique articles following the removal of duplicates. Title and abstract screening identified 63 articles for full-text review, 11 of which were subsequently excluded, leaving 52 articles which were subject to inductive thematic analysis. Four key themes were identified. Whilst a number of issues were identified that were exacerbated by the pandemic, others directly resulting from it were revealed. Few studies discussed support measures for carers and only one trial evaluated an intervention. Conclusions: This review identifies the impact of COVID-19 on carers, but there is a dearth of evidence to inform appropriate tailored support. Governments need to identify carers as a priority group in social care reform and commission co-produced, evidence and experience informed pathways to reinstate support services, potentially modelled on pandemic plans following the example currently being considered for the paid healthcare workforce.
Aims and objectives: To map the existing literature on support models provided to family members during the cancer trajectory. Background: Cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship have a profound influence on the surrounding family members. This scoping review is part of the development of a support model for family members of persons diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Methods: The method was guided by the Arksey and O’Malley framework, described in the Joanna Briggs Institute guidelines, and the reporting is compliant with PRISMA-ScR Checklist. Searches were conducted in PubMed, CINAHL and PsycINFO from November 2019–February 2020 with no limitation in publication year or study design. Complementing searches were conducted in reference lists and for grey literature, followed by an additional search in September 2020. Inclusion criteria were primary research about support provided by health care, to family members, during cancer, of an adult person, in Swedish or English, of moderate or high methodological quality. Quality was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal tools. Data were extracted using a charting form. Result: A total of 32 studies were included in the review describing 39 support models. Conclusion: The mapping of the existing literature resulted in the identification of three themes of support models: psychoeducation, caregiver training and psychological support. In addition, that future research should target a specific diagnosis and trajectory phase as well as include family members and intervention providers in model development. Relevance for clinical practice: Knowledge from the literature on both the needs of the family members and existing support models should be incorporated with the prerequisites of clinical practice. Clinical practice should also be complemented with structured assessments of family members’ needs conducted regularly.
Background: Carers (including young carers) experiencing negative outcomes due to their caring role are more likely to report a lower sense of coherence. This article explores young carers' support needs for support provided by professionals. Methods: A total of 20 interviews with young carers and the persons for whom they provide care were analysed by applying Antonovsky's paradigm of salutogenesis. The dimensions of manageability, comprehensibility and meaningfulness served to categorise the data. Findings: The findings show various needs for support within all three dimensions of the sense of coherence. Conclusions: The results outline key support strategies that professionals can use to build the competencies, confidence and resilience of young carers and their families.
Background: Although the extant literature identifies resistance to care (RTC) as one of the most frequently reported and impactful caregiver (CG) stressors, typical studies that rely on quantitative measures of RTC do not fully explain how and why RTC negatively influences CGs’ well-being. As such, it is difficult to develop specific intervention strategies to support CGs in dealing with RTC. Methods: Informed by existing literature and tenets from Stress Theory, the current study includes semi-structured interviews with 19 family CGs of community-dependent (non-institutionalized) elders, regarding their RTC experiences. Through a directed qualitative content analysis, we explored occurrence patterns, contextual factors of when and how RTC occurs, how CGs respond to RTC, and its potential impact on CGs’ subjective stress. Findings: The results revealed distinguishable characteristics of four types of RTC: Frequent-Pervasive, Frequent-Delimited, Transition-Activated, and Shock-to-Unfamiliar/Unexpected. Conclusions: We discuss how recognition of those types of RTC can be integrated into CG support intervention strategies.
Background: Among the few existing needs assessment tools for family carers, the 14-item Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) is the only brief and holistic needs screening tool designed for everyday use in palliative care practices. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability, validity, and acceptability of the traditional Chinese version of the CSNAT in palliative care settings in Hong Kong. Methods: This adopted a cross-sectional and correlation design with repeated measures. The participants were 125 family carers of palliative cancer patients and 10 healthcare providers (HCPs) that were recruited from two local hospitals. The evaluation of psychometric properties included the following: (1) content validity through HCPs including frontline physicians, nurses, social workers, and clinical psychologists; (2) construct validity between the CSNAT items and those of the validated tools that measured caregiver burden, social support, and caregiving self-efficacy; and (3) one-week test-retest reliability in a sub-sample of 81 caregivers. The acceptability of the tool was assessed by the carers using several closed-ended questions. Results: The content validity index of the CSNAT at the scale level was 0.98. Each item of the CSNAT was significantly and moderately correlated with caregiver burden (Spearman’s r = 0.24 to 0.50) and caregiving self-efficacy (r = − 0.21 to − 0.52), but not for social support. All CSNAT items had fair to moderate test-retest reliability (weighted kappa = 0.21 to 0.48), with the exception of two items “managing your relatives’ symptoms, including giving medicines” and “having time for yourself in the day”. Regarding the acceptability of the CSNAT, almost all HCPs were willing to use the CSNAT for carer assessment and support. 89.6% of the carers demonstrated a comprehensibility of the CSNAT tool and 92.9% felt comfortable answering the questions. Around 90% of the carers agreed to use the tool for screening, discussing needs, and making referrals. Conclusion: The traditional Chinese version of the CSNAT is a tool with high validity and acceptability and adequate reliability that measures family carers’ support needs, which should be considered for wide application in local palliative care practices.
Objective: To investigate the care needs of dying patients and their family caregivers in hospice and palliative care in mainland China. Methods: A search for English and Chinese quantitative and qualitative studies was performed using the following English databases: PubMed (Medline), CINAHL and PsycINFO, as well as Chinese databases: SinoMed and CNKI. The records were independently screened by two reviewers and critiqued using Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal tools. All quantitative data were transformed into qualitative data, which were converted into textual descriptions. Due to the diversity of included studies, a three-step analysis was performed: Narrative summary, thematic analysis and presentation of integrated results in a narrative form. The qualitative findings were pooled using the meta-aggregation approach. Results: The literature search identified 2964 papers after removing duplicates, from which 18 were included (9 quantitative and 9 qualitative studies). All studies were conducted in mainland China. Quantitative studies involved cross-sectional surveys, and qualitative studies involved interviews for data collection. Two synthesised results of patients' needs were identified, including needs to be comfortable and experience a good death. Another two synthesised results of family caregivers' needs included needs to care for and improve the quality of life of patients, and to care for themselves well. Conclusions: This study identified that patients and family caregivers have an increasing demand for professional care at the end of life. Professionals, especially nurses, should enact a patients' demand-centred practice to overcome the challenges of organisation, education, emotion and communication to provide high-quality end-of-life care.
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.
Background: Teenage and young adult (TYA) survivors of childhood brain tumours and their family caregivers can experience many late effects of treatment that can hamper the transition to living independent lives. Yet, their long-term supportive care needs are largely unknown. We investigated the supportive care needs of TYA survivors and their caregivers and explored the role and perceived use of support. Methods: Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with survivors aged 16–30 (n = 11) who were ≥ 5 years after diagnosis and caregivers (n = 11). Interviews were recorded and transcriptions thematically analysed. Results: Four themes emerged: (1) preferences for support and support services (unmet needs). Concerns regarding mental health, employment and financial uncertainty, the desire to live independently, and lack of support were emphasised. (2) Decline in support. Caregivers noted a drop-off in support available when transitioning to adult services. (3) Reasons for not obtaining adequate support. Several barriers to accessing support were raised, including distance and aging out of services. (4) The role of long-term hospital-based follow-up care. Participants highlighted the importance of, and reassurance from, long-term follow-up care but noted a more all-inclusive approach is required. Conclusions: Even many years after diagnosis, TYA childhood brain tumour survivors and their caregivers continue to have unmet supportive care needs. Both TYA survivors and their caregivers can benefit from support to meet their unique needs and improve long-term quality of life. Understanding unmet needs and recognising what services are required due to the late effects of treatment is critical to improving long-term quality of survival.
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.
Background: Across the world, informal (unpaid) caregiving has become the predominant model for community care: in the UK alone, there are an estimated 6.5 million caregivers supporting family members and friends on a regular basis, saving health and social care services approximately £132 billion per year. Despite our collective reliance on this group (particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic), quality of life for caregivers is often poor and there is an urgent need for disruptive innovations. Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore what a future roadmap for innovation could look like through a multi-stakeholder consultation and evaluation. Methods: An online survey was developed and distributed through convenience sampling, targeting both the informal caregiver and professionals/innovators interested in the caregiver demographic. Data were analysed using both quantitative (summary statistics) and qualitative (inductive thematic analysis) methods in order to develop recommendations for future multi-stakeholder collaboration and meaningful innovation. Results: The survey collected 174 responses from 112 informal caregivers and 62 professionals/innovators. Responses across these stakeholder groups identified that there is currently a missed opportunity to harness the value of the voice of the caregiver demographic. Although time and accessibility issues are considerable barriers to engagement with this stakeholder group, respondents were clear that regular contributions, ideally no more than 20 to 30 min a month could provide a realistic route for input, particularly through online approaches supported by community-based events. In conclusion, the landscape of digital health and wellness is becoming ever more sophisticated, where both industrial and academic innovators could establish new routes to identify, reach, inform, signpost, intervene and support vital and vulnerable groups such as the caregiver demographic. Conclusions: Here, the findings from a consultation with caregivers and professionals interested in informal caring are presented to help design the first stages of a roadmap through identifying priorities and actions that could help accelerate future research and policy that will lead to meaningful and innovative solutions.
Background: Home-based informal caregiving by friends and family members of patients with cancer is becoming increasingly common globally with rates continuing to rise. Such caregiving is often emotionally and cognitively demanding, resulting in mental exhaustion and high perceived burden. Support for caregivers may be fostered by engagement with the natural environment. Interaction with nature is associated with mental health benefits such as stress reduction and improved well-being. Objectives: The purpose of this paper was to evaluate the state of the science regarding the use of natural environment interventions to support caregivers of cancer patients in the community. Methods: A compre-hensive scoping review using the Arksey and O’Malley framework and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses assessed natural environment therapies and mental health outcomes among cancer caregivers. Databases searched included CINAHL, PubMed, Sco-pus, Cochrane, and Alt HealthWatch. Results: Findings recovered a total of five studies over a 10-year period that met criteria, demonstrating a lack of empirical evidence addressing this potential resource to support caregivers. Often, study appraisal was not on nature exposure, but rather other aspects of the projects such as program evaluation, exercise, or complementary therapies. Both qualitative and quantitative designs were used but sample sizes were small. Conclusions: Caregivers experienced beneficial results across the various studies and future work could enhance these findings.
Background: Lack of social engagement and the resulting social isolation can have negative impacts on health and well-being, especially in senior care communities and for those living with dementia. Project VITAL leverages technology and community resources to create a network for connection, engagement, education, and support of individuals with dementia and their caregivers, and explores the impact of these interventions in reducing feelings of social isolation and increasing mood among residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Through two phases, 600 personalized Wi-Fi-enabled iN2L tablets were distributed to 300 senior care communities (55% assisted living communities, 37% skilled nursing communities, 6% memory care communities, and 2% adult family-care homes) to connect and engage residents and their families. Different phases also included Project ECHO, a video-based learning platform, Alzheimer's Association virtual and online education and support for family caregivers, evidence-based online professional dementia care staff training and certification, and Virtual Forums designed to explore ways to build sustainable, scalable models to ensure access to support and decrease social isolation in the future. Tablet usage was collected over an 11-month period and an interim survey was designed to assess the effectiveness of the tablets, in preventing social isolation and increasing mood among residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: A total of 105 care community staff (whose community used the tablets) completed the survey and overall, these staff showed a high level of agreement to statements indicating that residents struggled with loneliness and mood, and that the tablet was useful in improving loneliness and mood in residents and allowing them to stay in touch with family and friends. Additional positive results were seen through a variety of other responses around the tablets and Project ECHO. Conclusion: Overall, the tablets were shown to be an effective way to engage residents and connect them with friends and family, as well as being a useful tool for staff members. A third phase is currently underway in the homes of people with dementia and their family caregivers, which includes tablets and direct access to Alzheimer's Association virtual and online education and support programs.
Background: Knowledge on the processes of adaptation and learning after stroke are scarce, hindering the development of evidence-based public health strategies to promote survivors and family carers' health and wellbeing, across the post stroke trajectory. Objectives: This study aims to assess the available evidence on the processes of adaptation and learning after stroke, by mapping the main barriers and enablers according to the perspectives of stroke survivors and family carers. Methods: A scoping review was performed, following PRISMA-ScR guidelines. The electronic databases PubMed, ISI Web of Science, PsycINFO and SciELO were searched for empirical, peer-reviewed, original, and full-length studies on the processes of adaptation and learning of stroke survivors and family carers, in March 2021. Eligibility and data extraction were conducted by two independent researchers. The main qualitative data were explored by thematic content analysis and quantitative findings were synthesized. Results: The included studies, 29 qualitative and 1 quantitative, were published between 1994 and 2019. Most of the studies were carried out with small samples and without a specific focus on the adaptation and learning processes after stroke. Barriers and enablers to stroke adaptation and learning processes were influenced by physical, psychological and social characteristics. The poor physical and functional status of survivors, the inability to maintaining the Activities of Daily Living, emotional disturbances, lack of support and information, and changes in roles, were identify as main barriers to stroke adaptation. Using coping strategies and having psychological, educational, and financial support were described as enablers. Conclusions: Public health policies and practices should consider the physical, psychological and social barriers and enablers to the stroke adaptation and learning processes to ensure a high-quality long-term care centred on survivors and family carers. Key messages: Robust theoretical and methodological studies, specifically designed to deeply explore and describe the post stroke adaptation and learning processes, are needed. Understand the main barriers and enablers to adaptation and learning after stroke may be useful for developing health education interventions centred on survivors and carers preferences and needs.
Background and aims: This mixed‐methods study examined participants' acceptance and perception of using digital health for managing nutrition and participants' digital competence. The results will be formative for making digital nutrition education more effective and acceptable for people with Parkinson's disease (PwPD) and their informal caregivers. Methods: Qualitative data were collected through in‐person semi‐structured, dyadic interviews, and questionnaires from 20 dyads (20 PwPD and their caregivers) in the Northeastern United States and analyzed throughout the 2018 to 2019 academic year. Interview transcripts were deductively coded using the framework analysis method. Phrases related to acceptance of digital health were sub‐coded into accept, neutral, or reject and those related to perceptions of digital health were sub‐coded into perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and awareness of digital health. Quantitative data were analyzed using independent samples t tests and Fisher's exact tests. Qualitative codes were transformed into variables and compared to digital competence scores to integrate the data. An average acceptance rate for digital health was calculated through examining the mean percent of phrases coded as accept from interview transcripts. Results: Twenty‐five of 40 (62.5%) participants used the internet for at least 5 health‐related purposes and the average acceptance rate was 54.4%. Dyads rejected digital health devices if they did not see the added benefit. The majority of participants reported digital health to be useful, but hard to use, and about half felt they needed education about existing digital health platforms. There was no difference in digital competence scores between PwPD and their caregivers (28.6 ± 12.6). Conclusion: Findings suggest that dyads accept and use technology but not to its full potential as technology can be perceived as hard to use. This finding, combined with digital competence scores, revealed that education is warranted prior to providing a digital nutrition intervention.
Background: Latinx and American Indians experience high rates of chronic health conditions. Family members play a significant role as informal caregivers for loved ones with chronic conditions and both patients and family caregivers report poor psychosocial outcomes. Objectives and Methods: This systematic review synthesizes published studies about psychosocial interventions for Latinx and American Indian care dyads to determine: (i) the benefits of these interventions; (ii) their distinguishing features or adaptations, and; (iii) recommendations for future intervention development. Findings: Out of 366 records identified, seven studies met inclusion criteria. Interventions demonstrated benefits to outcomes such as disease knowledge, caregiver self-efficacy and burden, patient and caregiver well-being, symptom distress, anxiety and depression, and dyadic communication. Distinguishing features included tailoring to cultural values, beliefs, and delivery preferences, participants’ level of acculturation, and population-specific issues such as migratory stressors and support networks. Conclusions: Based upon this review, six recommendations for future intervention development are put forth.
Objective: Post-stroke disability and psychosocial disorders cause burdens for the families of stroke patients, including physical and financial burdens. The physical and psychological health of family caregivers determines the quality of care they provide to patients. The purpose of this study was to identify the effectiveness of the Caregiver Empowerment Program Based on the Adaptation Model (CEP-BAM) in increasing the family caregiver's coping ability against various problems and reducing their burden while caring for the stroke patient. Methods: This research was a quasi-experimental study with pre- and post-test control group design. The intervention group received CEP-BAM, while the control group received a conventional intervention in the form of a discharge planning program for family caregivers in the hospital. The samples were caregivers who care for and facilitate the recovery of stroke patients during their convalescence at home. We selected the samples from the population using the stratified random sampling method. The number of samples completed in the study was 40 in the intervention group and 40 in the control group. Measurement of outcome variables (coping and caregiver burden) was carried out 4 times including pre-test before the intervention, post-test 1 at 4 months after the intervention, post-test 2 at 5 months after the intervention, and post-test 3 at 6 months after the intervention. Results: There were significant differences in caregiver's coping (P = 0.016) and caregiver's burden (P = 0.009) in measurements between the two groups. Conclusions: The CEP-BAM interventions were effective in increasing adaptive coping strategies and reducing the burden of caregivers 4 months and continuing 6 months after the intervention.
Background: Support services for people with dementia are variable depending on the area or town they live. People with dementia and family carers can often get very little support after a diagnosis. Services might not be suitable or they may not be aware of the service in the first place. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate a socially prescribed community service provided to people with dementia and family carers offering physical and mental activities. Methods: People with dementia and family carers were recruited from a community centre in the North West of England to complete in this study. Participants provided demographic information and completed the Short Warwick‐Edinburgh Mental Well‐Being Scale at baseline, and after 3 and 6 months. Postcode data were used to generate an Index of Multiple Deprivation score for information on participants’ socioeconomic background. Data were analysed using paired samples t‐tests to compare well‐being scores between baseline and follow‐up assessments. Results: A total of 25 people with dementia (n = 14) and family carers (n = 11) participated in the service. Visits ranged from 1 to 36, with 22 and 15 participants completing the 3‐ and 6‐month follow‐up respectively. Some reasons for discontinuation were lack of transport and other commitments. Most participants lived in some of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Compared to baseline, well‐being was significantly higher at both follow‐ups. Conclusions: This is one of the first studies reporting the benefits of a social prescribing service in dementia. Future implementation work needs to design an implementation plan so that the service can be implemented in other community centres across the country.
Background: In the joint project "Mobile Care Backup'' funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the smartphone-based app "MoCaB'' was developed in close cooperation with informal caregivers. It provides individualized, algorithm-based information and can accompany and support caring relatives in everyday life. After a multi-step development, informal caregivers tested the MoCaB app in a home setting at the end of the research project. Objectives: The goal was to find out how the test persons evaluate MoCaB and in which form the app can provide support to informal caregivers. Methods: Eighteen test persons caring for relatives participated in a four-week test of MoCaB. Guideline-based qualitative interviews to record usage behavior and experiences with the app were conducted after two and four weeks of testing, transcribed and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Results: The test persons described the care-related information as helpful. The individualized, algorithm-based mode of information delivery and the exercises provided for family caregivers were generally rated as helpful, but their use depends on the individual usage style. Three dimensions can describe the effects of MoCaB: 1) expansion of care-relevant knowledge, 2) stimulation of self-reflection, and 3) behavior towards the care recipients. Discussion: With few exceptions, the testing caregivers felt that the MoCaB app was enriching. The support dimensions have an effect at different points in everyday life and vary in intensity, depending on the duration of the existing care activity and the individual preferences of the users. Conclusion: The way in which caregivers used the app was not always consistent with the expected behaviors. This demonstrates the relevance of open-ended, qualitative research methods in the evaluation of health apps.
Background: Studies in the West have demonstrated that appropriate informational support is a vital component of cancer care, with positive effects on both patients and their informal caregivers. Since little is known about the information needs of advanced cancer patients and informal caregivers in China, where ‘silence as virtue’ is much more valued and the communication style is less open, this study was therefore conducted to elaborate the information needs of advanced cancer patients and informal caregivers as well as to explore their perceptions and experiences regarding their unmet information needs in the Chinese context. Methods: This sub-study of a previous cross-sectional survey utilized a qualitative descriptive study design. The approach involved semi-structured interviews that followed an interview guide to collect data. Eligible participants were the advanced cancer patients and informal caregivers who had participated in the previous cross-sectional survey and reported unmet information needs. Each interview was audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Descriptive content analysis was used to analyze the data. Results: Seventeen advanced cancer patients and 15 informal caregivers with unmet information needs participated in the semi-structured interviews, with ages ranging from 32 to 63 years old for patients and from 32 to 70 for informal caregivers. Four categories were extracted from the interviews with the patients and caregivers: (1) types of unmet information needs; (2) reasons for information needs not being met; (3) preferences for the provision of information; and (4) meaning and role of information. Each category had two to four sub-categories for both the patients and the caregivers, which were similar but not completely the same. Conclusion: The findings indicated that the provision of appropriate information could promote informed decision-making and greater satisfaction with treatment options, reductions in psychological disturbances, and enhanced confidence and ability in self-management and capacity in caregiving. Moreover, information on Traditional Chinese Medicine and food therapy should be increased, particularly for patients at the follow-up stage, while the amount of information on prognosis should be flexible as it could increase patients’ and caregivers’ psychological burden. Healthcare professionals were the most preferred information provider, although their heavy workload resulted in time constraints. In this case, they should provide information to patients and caregivers together as a ‘whole unit.’ At the same time, the value of separate conversations should also be recognized as some caregivers preferred to conceal unpleasant information from the patient.
Background: Informal caregivers, or carers (unpaid family members and friends), are instrumental to millions worldwide for the ongoing delivery of health and well-being needs. The risk of crisis points (eg, hospitalizations) for caregivers increases with the absence of physical activity. The COVID-19 pandemic is highly likely to have increased the risk of crisis points for caregivers by increasing the amount of time spent indoors due to shielding and lockdown restrictions. Thus, accessible evidence-based tools to facilitate physical activity for caregivers indoors are urgently needed. Objective: The aim of this study was to co-design and develop a novel mobile app to educate and support carers in the undertaking of regular physical activity at home during and beyond COVID-19 restrictions via integration of the transtheoretical model of behavior change and UK physical activity guidelines. Methods: We co-designed a mobile app, "CareFit," by directly involving caregivers, health care professionals, and social care professionals in the requirements, capturing, and evaluation phases of three Agile Scrum design and development sprints. Seven participants representing multistakeholder views took part in three co-design sessions, each of which was followed by a development sprint. Requirements for CareFit were grounded in a combination of behavioral change science and UK government guidelines for physical activity. Results: Participants identified different barriers and enablers to physical activity, such as a lack of time, recognition of existing activities, and concerns regarding safely undertaking physical activity. Requirements analysis highlighted the importance of simplicity in design and a need to anchor development around the everyday needs of caregivers (eg, easy-To-use video instructions). Our final prototype app integrated guidance for undertaking physical activity at home through educational, physical activity, and communication components. Conclusions: Integrating government guidelines with models of behavioral change into a mobile app to support the physical activity of carers is novel. We found that integrating core physical activity guidelines into a co-designed smartphone app with functionality such as a weekly planner and educational material for users is feasible. This work holds promise to fill the gap of effective physical activity solutions for caregivers both during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Further work is now needed to explore the feasibility, acceptability, and usability of the approach in real-world settings.
Objective: Family caregivers play an essential role in end-of-life care but suffer considerable impact on their own health. A better understanding of main factors related to carers' health is important to inform interventions. The purpose of the study was to test for the first time the potential impact of a comprehensive set of observable variables on carer health during end-of-life caregiving within a population-based carer sample. Design National retrospective, cross-sectional, 4-month post-bereavement postal census survey of family carers of people who died from cancer. Methods: Relatives who registered a death from cancer during a 2-week period in England were identified from death certificates by the Office of National Statistics; response rate was 1504/5271 (28.5%). Outcome measures Carers' mental health was measured through General Health Questionnaire (GHQ)-12; general health was measured through EuroQoL EQ-Visual Analogue Scale (EQ-5D VAS). Methods Survey questions to measure potential variables associated with carer health were based on past research and covered patients' symptoms and functioning; caregiving activities and hours; informal and formal help received; work hours, other caregiving, volunteering; changes to work, income and expenditure; sleep and relaxation; and demographic variables. Bivariate analyses and ordinary least square regression were performed to investigate these variables' relationship with outcomes. Results: Patients' psychological symptoms and functioning, caregiving hours, female gender and self-sought formal help related to worse mental health. General practitioner and social care input and relaxation related to better mental health. Patients' psychological symptoms, caregiving hours and female gender were associated with worse general health, and older age, employment and relaxation were associated with better general health. Conclusions: Improvements in carers' health overall may be made by focusing on potential impacts of patients' psychological symptoms on carers, facilitating respite and relaxation, and paying particular attention to factors affecting female carers.
Background: In order to provide improved care provision, integrated care services are being developed. However, little is known about how people living with dementia, their families and healthcare professionals experience integrated care. Therefore, the purpose of this review of the qualitative literature was to examine the experiences and perceptions of integrated dementia care. Methods: This qualitative review synthesised findings from included studies identified from a comprehensive literature search. Searches included: five electronic databases, journal handsearching, and reference list searching of relevant literature reviews and the final included studies. Findings: Three overarching themes were identified: 1) Ways of working which facilitate the delivery of integrated dementia care; 2) Informal carers as equal partners in care provision and decision making; and 3) Challenges leading to fragmented and disjointed integrated dementia care. For integrated care to be successful, communication and collaboration between healthcare professionals, and the involvement of informal carers is needed. Multidisciplinary teams and employing case managers to coordinate care provision can improve communication and collaboration. However, distrust between healthcare professionals and a lack of a central database to access and share information often hinders the development of integrated dementia care service provision. Conclusion: Integrated dementia care can be successful and well received by people living with dementia and their families when certain conditions are met. However, given the negative consequences fragmented and disjointed care can have on people living with dementia and their families, action is needed to further support the development of integrated dementia care services.
Background: Virtual Learning Collaboratives (VLC), learning communities focused on a common purpose, are used frequently in healthcare settings to implement best practices. Yet, there is limited research testing the effectiveness of this approach compared to other implementation strategies. Objective: This study evaluates the effectiveness of a VLC compared to Technical Assistance (TA) among community oncology practices implementing ENABLE (Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends), an evidence-based, early palliative care telehealth, psycho-educational intervention for patients with newly diagnosed advanced cancer and their caregivers. Methods: Using Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance (RE-AIM) and Proctor’s Implementation Outcomes Frameworks, this two-arm hybrid type-III cluster-randomized controlled trial (RCT) will compare two implementation strategies, VLC versus TA, among the 48 National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) practice clusters that have not historically provided palliative care to all patients with advanced cancer. Three cohorts of practice clusters will be randomized to the study arms. Each practice cluster will recruit 15–27 patients and a family caregiver to participate in ENABLE. The primary study outcome is ENABLE uptake (patient level), i.e., the proportion of eligible patients who complete the ENABLE program (receive a palliative care assessment and complete the six ENABLE sessions over 12 weeks). The secondary outcome is overall program implementation (practice cluster level), as measured by the General Organizational Index at baseline, 6, and 12 months. Exploratory aims assess patient and caregiver mood and quality of life outcomes at baseline, 12, and 24 weeks. Practice cluster randomization will seek to keep the proportion of rural practices, practice sizes, and minority patients seen within each practice balanced across the two study arms. Discussion: This study will advance the field of implementation science by evaluating VLC effectiveness, a commonly used but understudied, implementation strategy. The study will advance the field of palliative care by building the capacity and infrastructure to implement an early palliative care program in community oncology practices. Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov. NCT04062552; Pre-results.
Background: Pulmonary fibrosis is an incurable lung disease that leads to significant morbidity. In many patients, pulmonary fibrosis is progressive causing debilitating dyspnea that impairs patients' ability to perform everyday tasks and maintain independence. Informal caregivers provide invaluable support for patients with pulmonary fibrosis; however, support for the caregiver is inadequate. Objective: The purpose of this scoping review is to identify unmet needs for caregivers of pulmonary fibrosis patients. Findings: During the past 18 months, there has been an increase in studies about the impact of pulmonary fibrosis on the caregiver or carer of the patient with pulmonary fibrosis. These carers experience caregiver burden which includes negative psychological and physical effects on caregiver health because of the challenge in caring for someone with pulmonary fibrosis. Caregivers describe the need for help navigating the healthcare system. This includes supportive and informational needs, lack of access to comprehensive patient-centred care, geographically accessible specialty centres and psychological support for both patient and caregiver.
Background: This quasi-experimental study aimed to examine the effect of the modified transtheoretical theory of stress and coping (TTSC) program on the knowledge, burden, and quality of life of dementia caregivers. Methods: The participants comprised 60 caregivers (30 participants in each group) selected via purposive sampling, and the study was conducted between October 2018 and September 2019 in a semi-urban area of central Thailand. The experimental group received an 8-week program, while the comparison group received routine care. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data. To analyze the intervention's effectiveness, repeat measure ANOVA and Mann-Whitney, Friedman, and Dunn's tests were performed. Results: At the end of the program and again three months after the end of the program, the knowledge and quality of life scores for the experimental group were significantly higher (p < 0.05 and p < 0.05, respectively) than for the control group. The burden score decreased in the experimental group and increased in the control group in week 8 (p < 0.05). There was no statistically significant difference between the groups, as demonstrated by ANOVA (F[1.58] = 2.394; p = 0.127). Conclusions: Our findings show that this program had a positive effect on the caregivers' knowledge and quality of life. However, the program did not affect the caregivers' burden.
Background: This quasi-experimental study aimed to examine the effect of the modified transtheoretical theory of stress and coping (TTSC) program on the knowledge, burden, and quality of life of dementia caregivers. Methods: The participants comprised 60 caregivers (30 participants in each group) selected via purposive sampling, and the study was conducted between October 2018 and September 2019 in a semi-urban area of central Thailand. The experimental group received an 8-week program, while the comparison group received routine care. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data. To analyze the intervention's effectiveness, repeat measure ANOVA and Mann-Whitney, Friedman, and Dunn's tests were performed. Results: At the end of the program and again three months after the end of the program, the knowledge and quality of life scores for the experimental group were significantly higher (p < 0.05 and p < 0.05, respectively) than for the control group. The burden score decreased in the experimental group and increased in the control group in week 8 (p < 0.05). There was no statistically significant difference between the groups, as demonstrated by ANOVA (F[1.58] = 2.394; p = 0.127). Conclusions: Our findings show that this program had a positive effect on the caregivers' knowledge and quality of life. However, the program did not affect the caregivers' burden.
Background: This quasi-experimental study aimed to examine the effect of the modified transtheoretical theory of stress and coping (TTSC) program on the knowledge, burden, and quality of life of dementia caregivers. Methods: The participants comprised 60 caregivers (30 participants in each group) selected via purposive sampling, and the study was conducted between October 2018 and September 2019 in a semi-urban area of central Thailand. The experimental group received an 8-week program, while the comparison group received routine care. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data. To analyze the intervention's effectiveness, repeat measure ANOVA and Mann-Whitney, Friedman, and Dunn's tests were performed. Results: At the end of the program and again three months after the end of the program, the knowledge and quality of life scores for the experimental group were significantly higher (p < 0.05 and p < 0.05, respectively) than for the control group. The burden score decreased in the experimental group and increased in the control group in week 8 (p < 0.05). There was no statistically significant difference between the groups, as demonstrated by ANOVA (F[1.58] = 2.394; p = 0.127). Conclusions: Our findings show that this program had a positive effect on the caregivers' knowledge and quality of life. However, the program did not affect the caregivers' burden.
Background: Worldwide, restrictive measures have been taken to manage the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing and self-isolation have considerably affected the lives of people with dementia and their informal caregivers. Objectives: The purpose of the study was to explore the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic as experienced by the spouses of home-dwelling people with dementia in Norway. Methods: The study had a qualitative descriptive design using individual telephone interviews for data collection. A total sample of 17 spouses of people with dementia were included, 14 women and three men ages 52 to 82 years. A qualitative content analysis following six steps inspired by Graneheim and Lundman was used to identify the categories presented. Results: The participants emphasized four main perspectives: 1) Radical changes in available services, 2) Restrictions changed everyday life, 3) Impacts on health and well-being, and 4) Actions that made life easier. The participants also described how positive activities and easily accessible services helped them in this situation. Conclusions: The governmental restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in radical changes in available services with severe consequences for the lives and well-being of home-dwelling people with dementia and their spouses. Examples of coping strategies and possible psychosocial interventions compatible with virus precautions were identified. The potential of such interventions should be further explored to meet the needs of vulnerable groups in situations like a pandemic.
Background: Cancer is a global public health problem and it affects people in different ways. Family caregivers (FCs) play an essential role in caring for patients with cancer, and thus, they experience many caregiver burdens that go unnoticed. Aim: This research study explored the social burden that families experience in providing care to their family members living with cancer. Setting: This study was conducted in Durban and Pietermaritzburg, cities located in KwaZuluNatal, South Africa. Methods: This was a qualitative study using the interpretative phenomenological approach that was ideal for understanding FCs subjective perspectives on their cancer caregiving experience. Data saturation were reached at 20 in-depth interviews. Results: Two major themes culminated from the data analysis; dynamics of a cancer diagnosis and psychosocial impact of a cancer diagnosis with respective sub-themes. Themes centred around the relational impact of a cancer diagnosis with FCs experiencing a shift in this dynamic and a disturbance to normality in social life. Social support systems were found to play a meaningful role in mitigating the impact of a cancer diagnosis with financial, psychosocial and educational support considered essential needs. Conclusion: Cancer caregiving is a challenging task that also presents opportunities for strengthening family bonds as they evolve in new paths. A family-centred care approach is recommended as a form of social support with further collaboration with health care providers for guided patient care. If the needs of FCs are addressed accordingly through health care policies and interventions, FCs may be able to provide better care and support for their family members with cancer and thus positively impact cancer survivorship.
Background: Parents and family carers of children with complex needs experience a high level of pressure to meet children's needs while maintaining family functioning and, as a consequence, often experience reduced well-being and elevated psychological distress. Peer support interventions are intended to improve parent and carer well-being by enhancing the social support available to them. Support may be delivered via peer mentoring or through support groups (peer or facilitator led). Peer support interventions are widely available, but the potential benefits and risks of such interventions are not well established. Objectives: To assess the effects of peer support interventions (compared to usual care or alternate interventions) on psychological and psychosocial outcomes, including adverse outcomes, for parents and other family carers of children with complex needs in any setting. Search methods: We searched the following resources. • Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; latest issue: April 2014), in the Cochrane Library. • MEDLINE (OvidSP) (1966 to 19 March 2014). • Embase (OvidSP) (1974 to 18 March 2014). • Journals@OVID (22 April 2014). • PsycINFO (OvidSP) (1887 to 19 March 2014). • BiblioMap (EPPI-Centre, Health Promotion Research database) (22 April 2014). • ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (26 May 2014). • metaRegister of Controlled Trials (13 May 2014). We conducted a search update of the following databases. • MEDLINE (OvidSP) (2013 to 20 February 2018) (search overlapped to 2013). • PsycINFO (ProQuest) (2013 to 20 February 2018). • Embase (Elsevier) (2013 to 21 February 2018). We handsearched the reference lists of included studies and four key journals (European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: 31 March 2015; Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders: 30 March 2015; Diabetes Educator: 7 April 2015; Journal of Intellectual Disability Research: 13 April 2015). We contacted key investigators and consulted key advocacy groups for advice on identifying unpublished data. We ran updated searches on 14 August 2019 and on 25 May 2021. Studies identified in these searches as eligible for full-text review are listed as "Studies awaiting classification" and will be assessed in a future update. Selection criteria: Randomised and cluster randomised controlled trials (RCTs and cluster RCTs) and quasi-RCTs were eligible for inclusion. Controlled before-and-after and interrupted time series studies were eligible for inclusion if they met criteria set by the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Review Group. The comparator could be usual care or an alternative intervention. The population eligible for inclusion consisted of parents and other family carers of children with any complex needs. We applied no restriction on setting. Data collection and analysis: Inclusion decisions were made independently by two authors, with differences resolved by a third author. Extraction to data extraction templates was conducted independently by two authors and cross-checked. Risk of bias assessments were made independently by two authors and were reported according to Cochrane guidelines. All measures of treatment effect were continuous and were analysed in Review Manager version 5.3. GRADE assessments were undertaken independently by two review authors, with differences resolved by discussion. Main results: We included 22 studies (21 RCTs, 1 quasi-RCT) of 2404 participants. Sixteen studies compared peer support to usual care; three studies compared peer support to an alternative intervention and to usual care but only data from the usual care arm contributed to results; and three studies compared peer support to an alternative intervention only. We judged risk of bias as moderate to high across all studies, particularly for selection, performance, and detection bias. Included studies contributed data to seven effect estimates compared to usual care: psychological distress (standardised mean difference (SMD) -0.10, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.32 to 0.11; 8 studies, 864 articipants), confidence and self-efficacy (SMD 0.04, 95% CI -0.14 to 0.21; 8 studies, 542 participants), perception of coping (SMD -0.08, 95% CI -0.38 to 0.21; 3 studies, 293 participants), quality of life and life satisfaction (SMD 0.03, 95% CI -0.32 to 0.38; 2 studies, 143 participants), family functioning (SMD 0.15, 95% CI -0.09 to 0.38; 4 studies, 272 participants), perceived social support (SMD 0.31, 95% CI -0.15 to 0.77; 4 studies, 191 participants), and confidence and skill in navigating medical services (SMD 0.05, 95% CI -0.17 to 0.28; 4 studies, 304 participants). In comparisons to alternative interventions, one pooled effect estimate was possible: psychological distress (SMD 0.2, 95% CI -0.38 to 0.79; 2 studies, 95 participants). No studies reported on adverse outcomes. All narratively synthesised data for psychological distress (compared to usual care - 2 studies), family functioning (compared to usual care - 1 study; compared to an alternative intervention - 1 study), perceived social support (compared to usual care - 2 studies), and self-efficacy (compared to alternative interventions - 1 study) were equivocal. Comparisons with usual care showed no difference between intervention and control groups (perceived social support), some effect over time for both groups but more effect for intervention (distress), or mixed effects for intervention (family function). Comparisons with alternative interventions showed no difference between the intervention of interest and the alternative. This may indicate similar effects to the intervention of interest or lack of effect of both, and we are uncertain which option is likely. We found no clear evidence of effects of peer support interventions on any parent outcome, for any comparator; however, the certainty of evidence for each outcome was low to very low, and true effects may differ substantially from those reported here. We found no evidence of adverse events such as mood contagion, negative group interactions, or worsened psychological health. Qualitative data suggest that parents and carers value peer support interventions and appreciate emotional support. Conclusions: Parents and carers of children with complex needs perceive peer support interventions as valuable, but this review found no evidence of either benefit or harm. Currently, there is uncertainty about the effects of peer support interventions for parents and carers of children with complex needs. However, given the overall low to very low certainty of available evidence, our estimates showing no effects of interventions may very well change with further research of higher quality.
Background: This scoping review mapped out the relevant literature, identified gaps and made suggestions on the subject of the health needs of family caregivers (FC) of elderly stroke survivors (ESS). Methods: The authors utilised the PRISMA‐ScR checklist to guide the scoping review. The databases PubMed, Elsevier and BioMed Central were searched for academic articles published in the English Language between the years 2010 and 2020 that met a pre‐set criteria of content on the health needs of FC of ESS. The process of selection of sources of evidence based on screening and eligibility of evidence reduced the initially identified 13,303 sources of evidence in the searched databases to five sources of evidence. The content of these five sources of evidence was mapped out on a charting table where data was summarised and synthesised first individually and then collectively by the authors. Repetitive and irrelevant data were removed collectively by the authors from the charting table. Findings: The gaps identified were a paucity of research on the subject of health needs of FC of ESS, lack of longitudinal and mixed‐methods research on the health needs of FC of ESS, sparse use of social sciences perspectives and theories, research that addresses specific physical and mental health concerns beyond general descriptions and gaps in information, social networks, interventions, health policy and systems. Conclusions: Future research directions were suggested and a limitation of this scoping review are addressed in the discussion.
Background: Dementia is a neurodegenerative syndrome that can lead to profound psychological and social challenges for people with dementia and their informal caregivers. Previous research has found positive effects of arts‐based interventions for people with dementia and caregivers that have been dyadic in nature and the present article sought to review these findings. Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted to investigate psychosocial outcomes of dyadic arts interventions. PsychINFO, Medline, Web of Science and ASSIA databases (from journal inception to March 2020) were searched as well as Google Scholar and reference lists of relevant studies were searched. Interventions were delivered to people with dementia and their caregivers in community‐based settings across five countries. Findings: Thirteen peer‐reviewed journal articles met the criteria for inclusion in this review, six focusing on performing arts and seven on visual arts. The findings suggested that choral singing and visual arts interventions may have positive effects on psychosocial outcomes for both people with dementia and their informal caregivers. Improved well‐being, quality of life, mood, enhanced identity and decreased social isolation were found in some studies. Importantly, across all studies, participants reported enjoying arts activities. This is the first review to systematically assess dyadic arts activities in a dementia context. These activities offer enjoyable and engaging experiences for many person with dementia and caregivers and were generally found to have positive results but mostly small sample size, lack of control groups and different outcome measures made comparisons challenging. Conclusions: Future research recommendations include further theoretical development, identifying key intervention components, and specifying relevant and measurable theoretically informed outcomes within dyadic interventions for this population.
Background: In China, approximately 84.9% of people with dementia are cared for by family caregivers. Health professionals working in the departments where people with dementia are cared for in public tertiary hospitals are the primary sources to offer a formal diagnosis and treatment to people with dementia in China. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore family caregivers' expectations on dementia care, and the dementia knowledge and attitudes of health professionals in China. Method: Mixed method was used to collect data from April to December 2019. Surveys were used to evaluate health professionals' (n=603) dementia knowledge and attitudes in eleven public tertiary hospitals in Hebei Province in China. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in three public tertiary hospitals where family caregivers of people with dementia (n=21) were recruited. Result: The health professionals demonstrated limited knowledge of dementia and a low level of positive attitude. They expressed that it was challenging to communicate with people with dementia and to cope with their symptoms. Family caregivers reported that they received limited support from the community, hospital, and society and they held little hope of receiving such support. Most of the caregivers expected more financial support from the government, and more training in dementia care from health professionals. They also expressed their desire to have a professional caregiver in the nursing homes to provide optimal dementia care for their relatives. Conclusion: Health services in China are inadequately prepared to deal with the challenges of dementia care. More emphasis is needed on specialized education and training for caregivers and health professionals to improve their knowledge and to modify their attitudes. Family caregivers expected more support from the health system to enable improved care for people with dementia. An integrated health system for dementia care is needed in China.
Background: In Germany, most care dependent people are looked after by family members at home. Professional support can help ease the burden of caring relatives and stabilise home care. Ideally, care then is provided through the co‐production of formal and informal caregivers. Objective: This article analyses how care dependent people and their family caregivers integrate professional support into their care arrangements. Methods: An analysis was conducted using data collected for a qualitative study evaluating integrated local care centres in North‐Rhine‐Westphalia, Germany. The study is based on episodic interviews with users of these care centres and their family caregivers (N = 26). Findings: During the analysis, three interpretive and practice patterns relating to co‐production of care were identified. These patterns reveal how the interviewees deal with (increasing) needs for assistance and care while incorporating professional care into their lives. The patterns help differentiate whether the interviewees (a) use developed care skills to contribute actively to the co‐production with their layman knowledge, or (b) seek relief of their care responsibilities and withdraw temporarily from the direct sphere of care applying freed capacities to organise family daily life, or (c) use the services of the care centres to meet with other older people and to develop spaces for mutual help and co‐production. The interpretive and practice patterns thus differ in the extent to which care users and family caregivers continue to play an ‘active role’ in the care process and contribute their own knowledge, ideas, expectations and particular care activities. Conclusions: In order to achieve a functioning co‐production, professionals face the challenge of understanding these patterns that have been established over many years and of taking them into account appropriately.
Background: Dementia causes substantial suffering for affected persons and their family caregivers. Because no cure is available, it is important to investigate how alternative therapies can improve life for these individuals. Methods: For the current study, persons with dementia (PwD) were recruited from a specialized Memory Clinic in Sweden to engage in a choral singing intervention for 1 hour per week for four semesters. PwD were encouraged to bring a family caregiver to the sessions; both were interviewed and data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Findings: The choral singing intervention appeared to become an important social context for PwD and family caregivers and had a positive impact on relationship, mental well-being, mood, and memory. The intervention appeared to act as an enriched environment for all participants. Conclusions: Choral singing interventions for PwD and their family caregivers is a simple means to create a social context and improve general well-being.
Nurses have the opportunity to make a difference for caregivers.
Background: Although widening access policies have led to greater prioritisation of carers in higher education, strategies to address their needs remain underdeveloped. Objective: This paper puts forward a dual approach to progressing this agenda that recognises all students who have or have had experience of caring. Methods: Using an established theoretical lens on retention, institutional strategies for improving the success of carers studying in higher education are proposed. These strategies include flexible study programmes; affordances for social engagement; recognising carers' unique career trajectories: providing financial aid and advice; and establishing systems to identify student carers. The second element of the dual approach focuses on improving and extending the currently very limited evidence base on carers and higher education so that it can underpin and progress the development of effective strategies and initiatives. Central to this is the universal adoption of the term 'caring-experienced students'; local and national student carer registration and record-keeping systems; sensitivity to differences within the caring-experienced student population; adoption of a strengthsbased framing of caring-experienced students; and establishing knowledge exchange mechanisms to share new knowledge. Conclusions: The analysis presented aims to stimulate thinking and serves as a timely steer for further debate about carers' participation and retention in higher education.
Objective: The study aimed to determine the effectiveness of the multicomponent intervention on Quality of life (QOL) of family caregivers of cancer patients. Methodology: A Quasi-experimental study with pre and post-test measures was conducted among 200 caregivers of cancer patients selected by convenient sampling technique. The experimental group received the intervention, and no intervention was given for the control group during the study period. The data were collected from family members looking after the cancer patients diagnosed with breast/head & neck cancers and who were in the third and fourth stages of cancer. After the pre-test, provided multicomponent intervention (Pranayama, yogic relaxation, counselling and Education) and a post-test was conducted at the first month & third month. The obtained data were analysed and inferred using descriptive and inferential statistics to compare the outcomes among the groups. Result: Most of the caregivers belong to the age group of 31 to 40 years in the intervention group (31%) and in the control group (35%), 31% of them had their education up to a primary level in both the groups and most of the caregivers were spouses (49%). Regarding the QOL of family members, improvement was noted from baseline 66.66 to 126.82 (3 months) among the intervention group, and in the control group, mean QOL enhanced from 59.77 to 81.97. Repeated measure ANOVA was computed to analyse difference within and between the groups and it showed that the intervention program was efficacious in enhancing the QOL of family caregivers of cancer patients (F (1, 191) =639.02, p=.001). Conclusion: Nurses play a vibrant role in improving the Quality of life of family members of cancer patients since they are mostly involved in providing care. Health care system must ensure that the family members who provide care to the cancer patients receive appropriate teaching programmes on reducing their burden.
Objective: Lack of palliative care knowledge among caregivers may pose an access barrier for cognitively impaired older adults, who may benefit from the specialized care. Therefore, this study aims to examine the effectiveness of an educational intervention in improving palliative care knowledge among informal caregivers of cognitively impaired older adults. Method: Using a one-group, pre- and post-test intervention design, this study implemented an individual, face-to-face educational intervention with an informational brochure for 43 informal caregivers of chronically or seriously ill older adults (50+) with cognitive impairment, recruited from communities in West Alabama. Their level of knowledge about palliative care was assessed by the Palliative Care Knowledge Scale (PaCKS). The pre- and post-test scores were compared by the Wilcoxon signed-ranks test, and the racial subgroup (Whites vs. Blacks) comparison was made by the Mann–Whitney U test. Results: There was a statistically significant difference between the pre- and post-test scores (z = 5.38, p < 0.001), indicating a statistically significant effect of the educational intervention in improving palliative care knowledge among participants. There was a significant difference (U = 143, p < 0.05) between Whites and Blacks in the pre-test, which, however, disappeared in the post-test (U = 173.50, p > 0.05), suggesting that the amount of increased PaCKS scores were significantly greater for Blacks (Mdn = 9.50) than for Whites (Mdn = 4.00, U = 130.50, p < 0.05). Significance of results: This study demonstrated that a one-time educational intervention can improve the level of palliative care knowledge among informal caregivers of chronically or seriously ill older adults with cognitive impairment, particularly among Black caregivers. Therefore, further educational efforts can be made to promote palliative care knowledge and reduce racial disparities in palliative care knowledge and its use.
Background: Cancer patients commonly require assistance from a relative or friend, and many of these “family caregivers” are navigating employment while caring. Objectives: The purpose of this analysis was to understand the experience of employment while providing care to someone with cancer, including these caregivers’ roles and burden, adjustments made to employment, assistance provided by employers, and preferences for employment and financial support. To further highlight this group of cancer caregivers, we compare it with (1) cancer caregivers who were not employed while caring; (2) caregivers for patients with a primary condition other than cancer who were employed while caring; and (3) caregivers for patients with a primary condition other than cancer who were not employed while caring. Methods: This secondary analysis is drawn from the National Alliance for Caregiving’s (NAC)/AARP Caregiving in the US dataset of unpaid adult (i.e., age 18 and older) caregivers. Half of the cancer caregivers were employed while providing care, and these employed caregivers were significantly more likely to be younger than those non-employed while caring. Findings: The employed cancer caregivers provided significantly fewer hours of care per week on average than those non-employed (23.4 vs. 42.5 h/week) but provided a nearly equivalent number of ADLs on average. Nearly half (48%) of the employed cancer caregivers reported coming in late to work, leaving early, or taking off work to accommodate caregiving, while 24% cut back on hours at work or went from full-time to part-time employment and 11% retired early or quit work entirely. The employed cancer caregivers (excluding self-employed) indicated having access to flexible working hours (57%) or paid sick leave (48%), and most (73%) reported that their supervisor was aware of their caregiving role, which was significantly higher than employed non-cancer caregivers (55%). These findings suggest that balancing work and cancer caregiving is especially prevalent among younger caregivers, and that work adjustments are needed but that the cancer caregiving role might be more commonly discussed or shared with supervisors. Conclusions: These findings suggest the need to develop workplace educational resources for employees caring for a cancer patient but also for supervisors to enhance their understanding of caregiver strain, workload, and work-based strategies to assist cancer caregivers.
Purpose: This study aims to explore the level of stress perceived and quality of life (QOL) by gynaecologic cancer (GC) patients and family caregivers’ dyads. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 86 dyads were recruited from the gynaecological oncology department of a general hospital in Taichung City, Taiwan. The patients and family caregivers completed a sociodemographic information sheet, the Perceived Stress Scale, and the Taiwanese version of World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF questionnaire. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and Pearson's correlations. This study used the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) with distinguishable dyads to examine the effect of patients' and caregivers' perceived stress on QOL in patient-caregiver dyads. Results: GC patients' and caregivers' level of QOL was influenced by their own stress level (actor effect). Caregivers' stress was statistically negatively associated with the patients’ QOL (partner effect); however, there were no partner effect from GC patients to caregivers. Both patients and family caregivers with higher perceived stress had poorer QOL. Therefore, we identified that stress has some level of actor and partner effects on QOL in GC patient-family caregiver dyads. Conclusions: Family caregivers' stress displayed both actor and partner effects within the first year of the cancer diagnosis; therefore, patient-and caregiver-based interventions, such as stress reduction strategies, should be developed to enhance patients' and caregivers’ QOL and stress management ability.
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.
Background: Providing ongoing care for a family member or loved one with special needs is challenging. It is estimated that about 21% of the adult population in the United States are providing unpaid care for loved ones at home. Of that group, 5.7% are caring for children with special needs. Special needs can range from developmental delay to the provision of complex medical treatments. Family caregivers take on numerous roles to coordinate activities of daily living, therapies, in‐home services, school, and appointments. This is often a great source of stress on family caregivers. Providing the proper support for care to remain at home reduces the disruption to children and families’ lives (Carter et al., 2012). Methods: A pilot project was developed for children with physical, cognitive, and/or developmental impairment. This project was coordinated by nursing and physical therapy faculty and their students. Parents as well as nursing and physical therapy students benefited mutually. Findings: Our preliminary responses from families indicated stress relief from caregiving and benefiting from the ability to talk to other parents in similar circumstances.
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. :
Background: The biopsychosocial model has been applied through collaborative care dementia models to the diagnosis, symptom management, and treatment of dementia with a focus specifically on the person with dementia. Because individuals with dementia are increasingly dependent upon others particularly as the illness advances, dementia care requires the involvement and commitment of others, usually family, along with support from community-based resources. Hence, the quality and effectiveness of a person's dementia care are shaped in large part by the foundation of family relationships and the social and community networks in which they are embedded. While most current dementia care models incorporate biopsychosocial principles and recognize the essential role that family members play as caregivers, they fail to consider a patient's family system and relationships as potential risk factors or social determinants for care outcomes. Objective: This paper introduces a biopsychosocial-ecological framework to dementia care that is person-centered and “family-framed” in that it targets factors that influence care considerations at both the individual and relational levels of the social ecological networks that the patient and their family members occupy. Method and Findings: We use this model to illustrate how current dementia care practices tend to focus exclusively on the individual patient and caregiver levels but fail to identify and address important relational considerations that cut across levels. Conclusions: We call for the need to add assessment of family relational histories of persons with dementia and family members who care for them in order to better meet the needs of the patient and the caregiver and to prevent harm. This model accentuates the need for interprofessional education on family assessments and caregiver-centered care, as well as interdisciplinary, collaborative models of dementia care that assume more accountability for meeting the needs of family caregivers in addition to those of persons with dementia.
Background: End‐stage renal disease (ESRD) and the need for haemodialysis (HD) treatment are increasing. The course of the disease and all the life readjustments needed may generate a multitude of fears in patients and families.AimThis study aimed to explore the main fears and concerns of patients with ESRD undergoing HD and their family members. Methods: A qualitative study was performed.MethodsIndividual semi‐structured interviews were conducted with three groups: 20 patients, 14 family caregivers and 15 patient–family dyads. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim and submitted to thematic analysis. Findings: Five major themes emerged: (i) fear of death (fear of earlier death, fear of a sudden death and fear of dying); (ii) fear of problems during HD (fears related to the vascular access, and fear of complications during HD); (iii) concerns related to the disease (fear of loss of autonomy, fears of getting worse, fears related to renal transplantation and concerns about dietary restrictions); (iv) fear about the future; and (v) absence of fears and concerns. Conclusion: Patients with ESRD undergoing HD and their family members expressed different fears related to the disease and the treatments required. Renal care staff must acknowledge and understand such concerns and help patients and families to cope. This is important to improving people's quality of life (QoL), the dialogue between health professionals, patients, and family members, and the care offered by the dialysis care settings. Moreover, this study highlights the impact this disease has at a familial level. Future family‐based interventions should acknowledge possible fears and concerns of this population and integrate them into their programs.
Objectives: This study aimed to explore family caregivers experiences with tube feeding at home in Iran. Methods: This qualitative study was conducted with purposefully selected family caregivers who participated in an in-depth, semi-structured, face-To-face interview. Data analysis was performed through content analysis and rigor was investigated. Results: In total, 20 caregivers were interviewed. Two main categories were found in the interview data: abandoned training and lack of knowledge of nutrition . Participants felt abandoned and unsupported by health professionals. Participants also reported feeling that health professionals passed the training responsibility to other health professionals who did not give training. This resulted in participants feeling obligated to learn from their peers. Participants lacked knowledge about nutrition, as well as how to prepare home-made formula for feeding, the correct position for feeding and feeding times. Conclusion: Despite having a heavy and vital responsibility, participants felt that they had not been adequately trained and thus faced making errors, resulting in negative consequences for the patient and the family. Therefore, appropriate plans must be made to promote preparation for home care.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore youth experiences and perspectives on family caregiving to improve programs and policies that impact the well-being of youth. Methods: In August 2020, we asked three open-ended questions about current and anticipated caregiving responsibilities, impact, and needs using MyVoice, a national text message poll of youth. Content and thematic analysis was conducted to evaluate qualitative responses. Results: In our sample (n = 1,076), 35% of respondents reported previously or currently providing care for an adult relative either independently or by helping another relative. Participants believed caregiving had or would hinder their educational or career goals and that specific training would better prepare them to be a caregiver. Conclusions: The prevalence of youth caregiving may be higher than previous estimates. Healthcare professionals should evaluate youth for caregiving responsibilities and support them in identifying resources or interventions to reduce potential impacts of caregiving burden on health outcomes.
Objectives: This pilot study aimed to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects of a family-based psychoeducational intervention for patients undergoing hemodialysis (HD) and their family members. Methods: This was a single-group (six dyads), six-week, pre-post pilot study, delivered in a multifamily group format. Feasibility was based on screening, eligibility, content, retention, completion, and intervention adherence rates. Acceptability was assessed at post-intervention through a focus group interview. Self-reported anxiety and depression and patients' inter-dialytic weight gain (IDWG) were also measured. The screening (93.5%), retention (85.7%), and completion (100%) rates were satisfactory, whereas eligibility (22.8%), consent (18.4%), and intervention adherence (range: 16.7-50%) rates were the most critical. Results: Findings showed that participants appreciated the intervention and perceived several educational and emotional benefits. The results from the Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Test showed that a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms (p = 0.025, r = 0.646) was found, which was followed by medium to large within-group effect sizes for changes in depression symptoms (p = 0.261, r = 0.325) and patients' IDWG (p = 0.248, r = 0.472), respectively. Conclusions: Overall, the results indicated that this family-based psychoeducational intervention is likely to be feasible, acceptable, and effective for patients undergoing HD and their family caregivers; nonetheless, further considerations are needed on how to make the intervention more practical and easily implemented in routine dialysis care before proceeding to large-scale trials.
Background: Managing medications can impose difficulties for patients and families which may intensify towards the end of life. Family caregivers are often assumed to be willing and able to support patients with medications, yet little is known about the challenges they experience or how they cope with these. Aim: To explore patient and family caregivers’ views of managing medications when someone is seriously ill and dying at home. Design: A qualitative design underpinned by a social constructionist perspective involving interviews with bereaved family caregivers, patients and current family caregivers. A thematic analysis was undertaken. Setting/participants: Two English counties. Data reported in this paper were generated across two data sets using: (1) Interviews with bereaved family caregivers (n = 21) of patients who had been cared for at home during the last 6 months of life. (2) Interviews (n = 43) included within longitudinal family focused case studies (n = 20) with patients and current family caregivers followed-up over 4 months. Results: The ‘work of managing medications’ was identified as a central theme across the two data sets, with further subthemes of practical, physical, emotional and knowledge-based work. These are discussed by drawing together ideas of illness work, and how the management of medications can substantially add to the burden placed on patients and families. Conclusions: It is essential to consider the limits of what it is reasonable to ask patients and families to do, especially when fatigued, distressed and under pressure. Focus should be on improving support via greater professional understanding of the work needed to manage medications at home.
Background: Family caregivers assume substantial caregiving responsibilities for persons with chronic conditions, such as individuals with spinal cord injury, which leads to negative impacts on their lives. Respite care and other services are provided as a temporary relief and support for them. Design of appropriate respite care programs depends on identification of beneficiary subgroups for the different types of service. This study aimed to quantify the uptake of different respite and support services for family caregivers, the reasons for non-use, and to explore the respective predictors. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of family caregivers of persons with spinal cord injury was conducted nationwide in Switzerland. The use of 11 different respite and support services during the previous 12 months was investigated, along with caregivers’ reasons for not using any respite. Classification trees were used to characterize the beneficiaries and reasons for not using respite. Results: About a third of family caregivers used at least one type of respite or support service during the previous 12 months. Utilization of respite care was greater among those who employed professional home care (57% vs 24% of those without professional home care). Marked cantonal differences were also observed in utilization of respite care. The primary reason for not using respite services was “no demand” (80% of non-users of respite services), mainly among caregivers who were less emotionally affected by their caregiving tasks. Conclusions: Utilization of respite and support services depends more on place of residence and use of home care services than on functional status of the care recipient. Accordingly, programs should be tailored to the cultural context of their potential users. This is best achieved through coordination with local health care professionals who can identify needs, provide information, initiate referrals, and integrate the care into a larger support plan.
Background: Family members of patients admitted to the intensive care unit must tolerate high levels of stress, making them emotionally and physically vulnerable. However, little is known about the kinds of stress family members may experience. Objective: To explore perceived stress in the families of patients admitted to the intensive care unit. Methods: This qualitative content analysis study involved 23 family members of patients admitted to intensive care units. Participants were drawn from family members of patients hospitalized in intensive care units of 3 public and 2 private hospitals. Data were collected through semistructured interviews. Results: Three themes emerged from the data: "distrust," "repeated stress exposure," and "a whirlpool of persistent negative emotional-physical state." The first theme had 2 categories: "fearful mindset" and "negative beliefs about professional caregivers." The second theme also had 2 categories: "fear of the future" and "sustained accumulation of tensions." The third theme had 3 categories: "impaired mental health," "impaired physical health," and "impaired family function." Conclusions: The findings of this study may help critical care nurses better understand the nature and sources of family stresses during a patient's intensive care unit stay. Supervisory nurses should alert their staff to these issues so that family care programs can address them, thereby reducing family members' risk of posttraumatic stress disorder and post–intensive care syndrome-family.
Background: In the current ecology of care, social, rather than medical, support is critical in enabling frail older people to live at home. Objectives: This paper reports findings from a qualitative study about how home care workers (HCWs) support persons with dementia living in the community. Methods: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were carried out in England with 14 family care-givers (FCGs) recruited from a single private home care provider. A thematic analysis of the data was undertaken using the constant comparative method. Results: In every instance, it was FCGs who initiated domiciliary care for the person with dementia, highlighting ambiguity about who is the 'client'. Rather than focusing on the HCWs' work in undertaking practical tasks and personal care, respondents prioritised HCWs as companions, providing emotional and social support for their relatives. From an organisational perspective, respondents valued the capacity of the provider to deliver a consistent, personal, reliable and punctual service. These attributes were important in supporting their relative's agency and dignity. Respondents described HCWs engaging in skilled and sensitive communication with clients but considered 'character' and 'innate' caring abilities to be more important than those derived from training. Conclusions: The results highlight the need to acknowledge the family, rather than the individual client, as the functioning unit of care, and to recognise the highly skilled communicative and emotional work undertaken by HCWs.
Background: A series of policies aimed toward rational resource allocation of long‐term care have being actively discussed since the launch of the social long‐term care insurance in Shanghai, and it is important to take a societal perspective for informed decision‐making. Objectives: This study aims to explore factors that are associated with well‐being of informal caregivers in Shanghai, and to provide empirical evidence of application of an established well‐being valuation method to monetise informal caregivers' well‐being losses in a developing country. Methods: 310 informal caregivers of applicants for social long‐term care insurance in Shanghai were interviewed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to explore the associated factors with life satisfaction of the caregivers. The monetary values of an additional hour of caregiving with and without specification of care tasks were estimated by the well‐being valuation method. Results: Life satisfaction was consistently associated with monthly income, health status, and caring hours of the caregivers. The money needed to compensate one additional hour of caring per week was 12.58 CNY (0.3% of the monthly income), and 96.95 CNY (2.0% of the monthly income) for activities of daily living (ADL) tasks. Income, health status, and caregiving are significantly associated with well‐being of informal caregivers. Conclusions: Caregivers in relatively poor health condition and/or involved in more ADL tasks should be particularly considered in supporting policies in Shanghai.
Background: Despite the importance of carers supporting the lives of people with mental illness, there are limited studies investigating the well‐being and needs of Malay carers in multicultural Singapore. The Malays consist of 13.4% of Singapore's population. Methods: A mixed methods qualitative dominant research approach was used to explore the well‐being and needs of Malay carers in a voluntary welfare organisation. The Kessler‐10, Friendship Scale and Carers' and Users' Expectations of Services—Carer version were used to assess the needs and well‐being of 17 Malay carers. Results: Findings show that Malay carers experienced poor well‐being and had numerous unmet needs. Four main themes were found: (a) Concerns related to relatives with mental illness, (b) Mental health practices related to carers, (c) Holistic support for carers and (d) Preference for greater spiritual support in mental health. Recovery‐oriented mental health practice implications are discussed. Conclusion: Spirituality of Malay carers needs to be given greater consideration in recovery‐oriented mental health services.
Background: Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) impairs the ability to carry out daily activities, reduces independence and quality of life and increases caregiver burden. Our understanding of functional decline has traditionally relied on reports by family and caregivers, which are subjective and vulnerable to recall bias. The Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable sensor technologies promise to provide objective, affordable and reliable means for monitoring and understanding function. However, human factors for its acceptance are relatively unexplored. Objective The Public Involvement (PI) activity presented in this paper aims to capture the preferences, priorities and concerns of people with AD and their caregivers for using monitoring wearables. Their feedback will drive device selection for clinical research, starting with the study of the RADAR-AD project. Method: The PI activity involved the Patient Advisory Board (PAB) of the RADAR-AD project, comprised of people with dementia across Europe and their caregivers. A set of four devices that optimally represent various combinations of aspects and features from the variety of currently available wearables (e.g. weight, size, comfort, battery life, screen types, water-resistance and metrics) was presented and experienced hands-on. Afterwards, sets of cards were used to rate and rank devices and features and freely discuss preferences. Results: Overall, the PAB was willing to accept and incorporate devices into their daily lives. For the presented devices, the aspects most important to them included comfort, convenience and affordability. For devices in general, the features they prioritized were appearance/style, battery life and water resistance, followed by price, having an emergency button and a screen with metrics. The metrics valuable to them included activity levels and heart rate, followed by respiration rate, sleep quality and distance. Some concerns were the potential complexity, forgetting to charge the device, the potential stigma and data privacy. Conclusions: The PI activity explored the preferences, priorities and concerns of the PAB, a group of people with dementia and caregivers across Europe, regarding devices for monitoring function and decline, after a hands-on experience and explanation. They highlighted some expected aspects, metrics and features (e.g., comfort and convenience), but also some less expected (e.g. screen with metrics).
Background: Informal carers provide an important role in supporting people with cancer. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experience higher cancer mortality than other Australians. To date, very little is known about the support needs of carers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults with cancer. This article explored these needs through a qualitative study. Methods: Twenty-two semi-structured qualitative interviews and one focus group were conducted with carers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults with cancer (n = 12) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cancer survivors (n = 15) from Queensland, Australia. Half of the carers interviewed were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australians. Interviews were transcribed, coded and thematically analysed following an interpretive phenomenological approach. Findings: Thematic analysis of carer and survivor interviews revealed four key themes relating to carers’ needs: managing multiple responsibilities; maintaining the carer’s own health and wellbeing; accessing practical support and information; and engaging with the health system. Within these overarching themes, multiple needs were identified including specific needs relevant for carers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, such as advocating for the patient; accessing Indigenous support services and health workers; and ensuring that the cultural needs of the person are recognised and respected. Conclusion: Identifying the needs of informal carers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cancer patients will enable greater understanding of the support that carers require and inform the development of strategies to meet these areas of need.
Introduction: The physical, mental and social status of family caregivers and their care demands have been largely overlooked. This fact has been no different during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, home care will need updates for this new pandemic context, prioritizing the provision of personalized guidance for family caregivers. Objective: To minimize the impact on the mental health of family caregivers of people with dementia through the virtual support group for family caregivers. Method: The research was developed from the performance of support groups for family caregivers in dementia in the virtual format. The meetings were weekly, lasting 2 hours and the themes were worked out according to the group's demands. All meetings were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic content analysis. Results: In the 8 meetings, 10 family caregivers participated and 5 thematic categories were identified: technology; the routine in the COVID-19 pandemic; behavioral changes and their relationship with the caregiver's mental health; the support network as a health marker; and the new way of carrying out meaningful activities. Conclusion: The support group in the virtual format proved to be a powerful tool for accessing information and guidance concerning dementia, about family care and actions aimed at the caregiver's self-care, with an impact on their emotional state and well-being, minimizing the feeling of social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Background: Views on advance care planning (ACP) has shifted from a focus solely on treatment decisions at the end-of-life and medically orientated advanced directives to encouraging conversations on personal values and life goals, patient-caregiver communication and decision making, and family preparation. This study will evaluate the potential utility of a video decision support tool (VDST) that models values-based ACP discussions between cancer patients and their nominated caregivers to enable patients and families to achieve shared-decisions when completing ACP’s. Methods: This open-label, parallel-arm, phase II randomised control trial will recruit cancer patient-caregiver dyads across a large health network. Previously used written vignettes will be converted to video vignettes using the recommended methodology. Participants will be ≥18 years and be able to complete questionnaires. Dyads will be randomised in a 1:1 ratio to a usual care (UC) or VDST group. The VDST group will watch a video of several patient-caregiver dyads communicating personal values across different cancer trajectory stages and will receive verbal and written ACP information. The UC group will receive verbal and written ACP information. Patient and caregiver data will be collected individually via an anonymous questionnaire developed for the study, pre and post the UC and VDST intervention. Our primary outcome will be ACP completion rates. Secondarily, we will compare patient-caregiver (i) attitudes towards ACP, (ii) congruence in communication, and (iii) preparation for decision-making. Conclusion: We need to continue to explore innovative ways to engage cancer patients in ACP. This study will be the first VDST study to attempt to integrate values-based conversations into an ACP intervention. This pilot study’s findings will assist with further refinement of the VDST and planning for a future multisite study. Trial registration Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry No: ACTRN12620001035910. Registered 12 October 2020. Retrospectively registered.
Purpose: This study aims to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of a new group intervention, using an acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) approach, developed for dementia caregivers. Preliminary data regarding the effectiveness of the intervention was also collected. Design/methodology/approach: A quasi-experimental design is used involving pre- and post-intervention data from four different intervention sites, along with three-month follow-up data. Data on attendance, attrition and qualitative feedback was also collected as an indication of acceptability. A total of 23 people currently caring for a family member with dementia attended the ACT group intervention for five sessions. Detailed evaluation forms were collected at the end of each group, along with four self-report questionnaires: Zarit Burden Interview, Positive Aspects of Caregiving Scale, Dementia Management Strategies Scale and Experiential Avoidance in Caregiving Questionnaire. Findings: Findings indicate that the group intervention was feasible and acceptable to caregivers, with subjective change reported in understanding of behavioural changes in the care-recipient, ability to handle negative emotions and valued living. These changes were not reflected in the outcome measures, with only one change reaching statistical significance (reduction in “intolerance of negative thoughts and emotions towards the relative”). Suggestions are made regarding possible alternative outcome measures for future studies to capture participants’ experience more fully, along with potential adaptations and future directions for the intervention. Originality/value: This study provides preliminary evidence of the acceptability and feasibility of a group therapeutic intervention based on ACT for informal caregivers of dementia.
Background: The purpose of the present study was to examine the internal consistency reliability and construct validity of the Caregiving Burden Instrument in Korean informal caregivers of stroke survivors. Methods: A descriptive survey design was used with a convenience sample of 208 primary caregivers of stroke survivors. Internal consistency reliability was assessed using Cronbach’s alpha coefficients. Construct validity was assessed using exploratory and known-group analysis. Results: Each subscale and the total scale demonstrated satisfactory internal consistency reliability. Exploratory factor analysis identified five factors: family support, patient’s dependency, physical health, financial burden, and psychological health, which together accounted for 62.7% of the variance. Known-group analysis indicated that caregivers with more than one year of experience reported significantly higher mean scores for the total burden score and its five subscales compared to those with less than one year. Conclusions: This 23-item instrument demonstrates good internal consistency reliability and construct validity. The tool can be used to effectively assess burden in caregivers of stroke survivors and the data obtained can form the basis for the development of family interventions.
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.
Objective: To identify the relationships between the context in which integrated care programmes (ICPs) for community-dwelling frail older people are applied, the mechanisms by which the programmes do (not) work and the outcomes resulting from this interaction by establishing a programme theory. Design: Rapid realist review. Inclusion criteria: Reviews and meta-analyses (January 2013–January 2019) and non-peer-reviewed literature (January 2013–December 2019) reporting on integrated care for community-dwelling frail older people (≥60 years). Analysis: Selection and appraisal of documents was based on relevance and rigour according to the Realist And Meta-narrative Evidence Syntheses: Evolving Standards criteria. Data on context, mechanisms, programme activities and outcomes were extracted. Factors were categorised into the five strategies of the WHO framework of integrated people-centred health services (IPCHS). Results: 27 papers were included. The following programme theory was developed: it is essential to establish multidisciplinary teams of competent healthcare providers (HCPs) providing person-centred care, closely working together and communicating effectively with other stakeholders. Older people and informal caregivers should be involved in the care process. Financial support, efficient use of information technology and organisational alignment are also essential. ICPs demonstrate positive effects on the functionality of older people, satisfaction of older people, informal caregivers and HCPs, and a delayed placement in a nursing home. Heterogeneous effects were found for hospital-related outcomes, quality of life, healthcare costs and use of healthcare services. The two most prevalent WHO-IPCHS strategies as part of ICPs are ‘creating an enabling environment’, followed by ‘strengthening governance and accountability’. Conclusion: Currently, most ICPs do not address all WHO-IPCHS strategies. In order to optimise ICPs for frail older people the interaction between context items, mechanisms, programme activities and the outcomes should be taken into account from different perspectives (system, organisation, service delivery, HCP and patient).
Background: Sarcoma is a rare cancer that may result in reduced mobility, social isolation, poorer mental health, and ongoing medical issues for patients. Family carers play a crucial role in supporting patients throughout their sarcoma journey. Despite the aggressive and debilitating nature of the disease, the unmet needs of these carers are yet to be explored. Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore the unmet needs of carers of patients diagnosed with sarcoma. Methods: An exploratory qualitative research design with a social constructionist epistemology was used. Participants were carers of patients diagnosed with a sarcoma (n = 33). Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with carers of patients who completed treatment for sarcoma and also bereaved carers (BC). Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Findings: Four overarching themes were identified: support with medical aspects of caregiving, support for self, needing information about the patient, and financial support. Participants recognised that they needed psychosocial support, however, many were reluctant to access support as they perceived this to be prioritising their own needs instead of the patients'. They also needed more information about the patients' disease and how to navigate the health system. Conclusions: Family carers for patients with sarcoma have onerous responsibilities that affect their ability to access care for themselves and their family. Providing more holistic patient care and carer‐specific information and training could reduce carer burden. Establishing support groups specific to carers and BC of patients diagnosed with sarcoma could provide opportunities for social interaction and psychosocial support.
In the article, the author discusses the challenges facing family caregivers in the U.S. and the alleged failure by the government to support their needs by citing her experiences in caring for her parents, who both suffered from cancer. Other topics include the lack of information on the various support groups, programs and services offered to vulnerable elders and their caregivers by the government and nonprofit organizations.
Objectives: Capture change in family members' experiences as they look after patients during chemotherapy, and understand variability in their needs for support. Methods: Longitudinal digitally-recorded qualitative semi-structured interviews with family carers at the beginning, mid-point, and end of treatment. Twenty-five family members (17 women, 8 men), mean age 53, were interviewed. Fifteen participants were supporting a relative having chemotherapy with curative intent, and 10 a patient receiving palliative chemotherapy. They were recruited from two UK locations: a regional cancer centre in Southampton and a comprehensive cancer centre in London. Sixty-three interviews were conducted in total, and the data were analysed using Framework Analysis. Findings: Three themes were generated from the data: Changing lives, Changing roles ; Confidence in caring , and Managing uncertainty. These captured family carers' evolving needs and sense of confidence in caregiving during chemotherapy. Carers reported considerable anxiety at the outset of treatment which persisted throughout. Anxiety was underpinned by fears of disease recurrence or progression and concerns about treatment outcomes. Conclusions: This study presents original fine-grained work that captures the changes over time in family carers' experiences of chemotherapy and their adaptation to caregiving. It provides fundamental evidence of the challenges that cancer carers face during patients' treatment; evidence that can be used as a basis for carer assessment and to build much-needed carer interventions. Oncology nurses should assess carers': ability to care; needs for information and support to prepare them for this; wellbeing over time; and, any support they may require to prevent them from becoming overburdened.
Background: Neuropsychological evaluation serves a number of health-related purposes, but little is known about how the evaluation process is experienced by clients and their family members. In this article, we describe a quality improvement initiative that utilized a mixed-methods approach to explore personal goal attainment and satisfaction by clients and family members engaging in the evaluation process. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed data collected over a 5-year period from a neuropsychological evaluation service at a tertiary geriatric care center. At the outset of the evaluation, 492 clients and family members identified goals to better understand the client's cognition and to obtain recommendations for managing cognitive changes; the large majority of these goals were rated as achieved by the end of the feedback session. Results: At service completion, 657 clients and family members completed satisfaction questionnaires, and over 90% of respondents endorsed the highest level of satisfaction. Qualitative content analysis identified clinician behaviors, quality of care, and environmental factors as important aspects of the client and family experience. Findings were used to improve the delivery of client-centered, evidence-based care. Conclusion: The results of this initiative demonstrate the feasibility and utility of incorporating client and family goals and feedback into routine clinical practice. Practical suggestions and relevant tools are provided to assist the professional psychologist in implementing quality improvement processes in their own practices.
Background: To explore family members' perceptions of an electronic communication application, VidaTalk™, their communication experience, and emotional reactions to communication with mechanically ventilated patients in the intensive care units. Methods: Qualitative phase of a mixed-methods study nested within a randomised controlled trial. Family members in the intervention group received the VidaTalk™ app as a communication aid during their intensive care stay. Seven family members participated in 18 semi-structured email interviews after discharge between May and December 2018. Interviews were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Families were recruited in multiple intensive care units located in one university hospital. Communication experience with the VidaTalk™ and emotions while communicating with the patient. Basic qualitative description and constant comparative techniques were used to code and analyse the text using ATLAS_ti (Version 7.5.18). Findings: The VidaTalk™ opened up family-patient communication by allowing clear communication and expanding communication content. Family members felt happy and thankful to communicate with the patient. They also expressed feelings of relief and less frustration and less stress while communicating with the patient. On the other hand, the patient's ability to express their worries or anxiety sometimes made families feel sad or distressed. The VidaTalk™ was helpful for family-patient communication. Conclusions: The VidaTalk™ may help families reduce psychological distress. However, expanded communication with critically ill patients may cause other negative feelings.
Objective: Telehealth platforms have potential utility for providing remote access to supportive care to people with brain tumour. This systematic review aimed to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and efficacy of delivering supportive care via telehealth platforms to adults with primary brain tumour and family caregivers. Methods: A systematic search of PsycINFO, MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase, Scopus and Cochrane Library was conducted from 1980 to 1st June 2020 to identify eligible studies. Methodological quality was assessed by two independent reviewers. Results: Seventeen articles, reporting on 16 studies, evaluated telephone‐based support (5 studies), videoconferencing (3 studies), web‐based programs and resources (7 studies) or combined use of videoconferencing and web‐based modules (1 study) to deliver supportive care remotely. Caregivers were involved in 31% of interventions. Mean rates of accrual (68%) and adherence (74%) were moderate, whereas acceptability or satisfaction for those completing the interventions was typically high (M satisfied or very satisfied = 81%). Adherence rates were generally higher and clinical gains were more evident for interventions involving real‐time interaction as opposed to self‐guided interventions. Conclusions: Telehealth delivery of supportive care is feasible and acceptable to a high proportion of individuals with primary brain tumour and their caregivers. It is recommended that future research focuses on implementation outcomes, including factors influencing the uptake and sustainability of telehealth platforms in practice.
Background: In Japan, there is a high incidence of family members caring for their elderly. To facilitate this, caregivers often quit their jobs, work reduced hours, and forfeit leisure activities. Objectives: This study examined the relationship between the mental health of the caregivers and the sacrifices and adjustments they make to care for the elderly. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with responses from 171 caregivers. Referencing Pearlin’s stress process model, the relationship among five types of work change, four types of leisure activity quitting, caregivers’ subjective care burden, and depression were analyzed using t-test and multiple regression analysis. Methods: Caregivers who quit their work or other home activities had significantly more daily living care responsibilities than those who did not. Moreover, caregivers who gave up leisure activities had a greater sense of subjective care burden than those who did not. The experience of giving up peer activities and taking leave of absence from work was significantly associated with increased depressive symptoms. Being a part-timer or financially prosperous was associated with good mental health. Conclusions: To support family caregivers, it is essential to reduce the burden of long-term care and provide financial help and an environment where they interact with their peers, and their moods can be enhanced.
Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease (ALS/MND) remains under-resourced across much of the world, including the global south. The lack of supports for ALS/MND is underscored, given the barriers to care, stigma associated, and need for intensive, 24-hour care, primarily provided by family, including vulnerable children and youth, 'young carers'. With little information of the care experience in ALS/MND in South Africa, this study sought to explore family characteristics and identify caregiving experiences and need of young carers in families living with ALS/MND. Methods: Using an exploratory mixed-methods approach, participants (N = 40) from 20 familes, were recruited from the two ALS/MND clinics in Cape Town and Johannesburg areas. Separate audiotaped interviews with adults living with ALS, adult caregivers and young carers were conducted. Findings: Young carers, both genders, ages 9–19, provided care up to 50 or more hours per week, including administering medications, toileting, and feeding the person with ALS/MND, with the majority reporting no training. Stigma, fear and lack of knowledge about ALS/MND limited how families discussed both ALS/MND and care provided by young carers. Families highlighted transportation barriers, and inconsistent access to care across regions. Parents identified emotional support, and in-home help to alleviate the burden of care on youth, acknowledging reliance on young carers due to cost of care. Young carers identified the need for education and people their age to talk to about ALS/MND. Conclusions: Results highlight the complex needs and interaction among families living with ALS/MND in South Africa. Data support the development of targeted support and education programs to address the need for culturally relevant interventions for families and their young carers living with ALS/MND.
The article is part of a series, which supporting Family Caregivers, and published in collaboration with the AARP Public Policy Institute. Topics discussed include results of focus groups, conducted as part of the AARP Public Policy Institute's No Longer Home Alone video project, supported evidence that family caregivers; and this series of articles and accompanying videos aims to help nurses provide caregivers with the tools they need to manage their family member's health care at home.
Background: An increasing number of older people in Germany receive care at home from family members, particularly from spouses. Family care has been associated not only with subjective burden but also with negative effects on caregivers’ health. A heterogeneous group, caregivers are confronted with individual situational demands and use different available coping strategies. To date, little is known about the relationship between burden and coping by spousal caregivers, particularly in the context of geriatric patients without dementia. Objectives: The aim of this study is to explore the burden and coping strategies of caregiving spouses of geriatric patients without dementia and with a hospitalization within the last year. To help explore this population, a typology is presented that has been based on reported perceptions of home care burden and individual coping strategies. Furthermore, a case study is presented for each type of spousal caregiver. Methods: The study used a concurrent mixed method design with a sample of nine spousal caregivers (mean age: 78.9 years). Four women and five men were recruited in an acute hospital setting during the TIGER study. Quantitative data were collected using a self-questionnaire and qualitative data were gathered through nine problem-centered interviews with spousal caregivers. The latter were subsequently analyzed utilizing the structured content analysis method. The data were then summarized to nine individual cases. Finally, the results were clustered using the empirically grounded construction of types and typologies. Each type of spousal caregiver is presented by a case study. Results: Three types of caregiving spouses were identified: “The Caring Partner”, “The Worried Manager” and “The Desperate Overburdened”. These types differ primarily in the level of subjective burden and caregiving stress, the coping strategies, the motivation for caregiving, and expressed emotions. Conclusions: The development of this new typology of caregiving spouses could help health care professionals better understand caregiving arrangements and thus provide more targeted advice. Trial registration The TIGER study was registered with clinicaltrials.gov: NCT03513159. Registered on April 17, 2018.
Aims and objectives: To explore how mental healthcare professionals' experience and evaluate the use of Family‐Centred Support Conversation Intervention. Background: Mental health professionals working in the community mental health service provide treatment, care and support to young adults suffering from mental illness. Young adults suffering from mental illness are dependent on other family members and live close to the family. The Family‐Centred Support Conversation promotes healing and alleviates the suffering of the family. Design and methods: A qualitative explorative design was used. Individual interviews with health professionals (n = 13) were conducted in Norway and analysed using a phenomenographic approach. The COREQ checklist was used. Results: Three descriptive categories emerged: A new tool in the toolbox, the family as a conversational partner and Implementing the intervention, with seven conceptions. The mental health professionals had no previous routine for family support. The conversations helped them to structure the involvement of family members. Having the family as a conversational partner together with the patients was considered both somewhat new and rewarding but also challenging. The mental health professionals described a need to adjust the intervention. Conclusions: The Family‐Centred Support Conversation was described as a complement to care, as usual, structuring the involvement of families. The knowledge exchange between the families and the mental health professionals may create a context of changing beliefs, strengths and resources. Relevance to clinical practice: Clinical practice is challenged to work on establishing a mindset; whereby, the family is regarded as a resource with important skills and life experience. The family should be offered individualised support and follow‐up, and FCSC may be a relevant intervention.
Background: The aging population in the United States is predicted to become one fifth of the population by 2050. With that increase, more individuals in the country will be experiencing chronic health conditions and the need for care, with end of life (EoL) becoming more of a topic that needs to be discussed. Objectives & Methods: This study aims to explore the ways adult children talk to their parents about EoL, death, and dying. Findings: We discovered six themes: protection, meeting needs, guilt and regret, control, family dynamics, and communication type. Each of these was prevalent in responses to how adult children cope, how they cared for their parent, and how hope played into the interactions. Conclusions: We believe these themes will be helpful in developing a quantitative scale to study EoL further and be practical in helping adult children cope following death of their parent.
Background: Both advanced cancer patients and their family caregivers experience distress and have a range of concerns after cancer diagnosis. However, longitudinal studies on this topic have been lacking. Aim: To investigate concerns in both patients with advanced lung cancer and their family caregivers longitudinally from diagnosis. Design: A multi-center prospective questionnaire-based study. Setting/participants: We recruited patients with newly diagnosed advanced lung cancer and their family caregivers at 16 hospitals in Japan. We prospectively assessed the prevalence of their concerns using the Concerns Checklist and investigated the associations between their concerns and mental status as well as quality of life until 24 months after diagnosis. Results: A total of 248 patients and their 232 family caregivers were enrolled. The prevalence of serious concerns was highest at diagnosis (patients: 68.3%, family caregivers: 65.3%). The most common serious concern was concern about the future in both groups at diagnosis (38.2% and 40.5%, respectively) and this remained high in prevalence over time, while the high prevalence of concern about lack of information improved 3 months after diagnosis in both groups. Approximately one-third of patient-family caregiver dyads had discrepant reports of serious concerns. The presence of serious concerns was significantly associated with anxiety and depression continuously in both groups. Conclusions: The majority of advanced lung cancer patients and their family caregivers have serious concerns from diagnosis, which is associated with their psychological distress. The spectrum of concerns alters over the disease trajectory, warranting efficient tailored care and support for both groups immediately after diagnosis.
Background: There are few illnesses as disruptive as motor neurone disease, a fatal neurodegenerative condition, where diagnosis introduces a clinical narrative of inevitable decline through progressive immobilisation into death. Recent evidence suggests that bereaved motor neurone disease family caregivers are more likely to be at moderate or high risk of complicated grief. Methods: Qualitative data from an anonymous national survey of bereaved motor neurone disease caregivers (n = 393) was examined through thematic analysis to explore the experiences of people who are at low, moderate, and high risk of complicated grief. Up to 40% responded to three open-ended questions: How caregivers viewed their coping strategies; the advice they had for others and what had been positive about their experience. Results: Ten themes informed the narratives of illness and loss. All three groups shared similar experiences but differed in their capacity to address them. The low-risk group seemed to recognise the uncertainty of life and that meaning needed to be created by them. For the moderate-risk group, while motor neurone disease was a major disruption, they could with support, regroup and plan in different ways. The high-risk group did not have many resources, external or internal. They felt let down when professionals did not have answers and could not see or did not know how to change their ways of responding to this unwanted situation. Conclusion: The differences in these three profiles and their narratives of loss should alert health and community service providers to identify and address the caregivers’ support needs early and throughout the caregiving journey. Motor Neurone Disease Associations are involved throughout the illness journey and need to invest in a continuum of care incorporating end-of-life care and bereavement support. Community grief literacy and enhancement of social networks are keys to improved support from families and friends that can enable the focus to be on feelings of empowerment rather than abandonment.
Background: To produce a conceptual and operational definition of transition, in the context of end-of-life care, as experienced by informal caregivers. Methods: The authors used Rodgers' (2000) concept analysis framework to examine this concept. Findings: Common themes emerged using Rodgers' (2000) inductive approach confirming transition for informal caregivers at the end of life as a process comprising the presence of trigger(s)/event(s), awareness, instability and engagement/learning while maintaining normality. There was also duration to this process that was often unknown and unpredictable. This concept analysis provides useful insight into understanding the complex dynamics of transition during this period. The primary antecedent of this concept, prompting transition, is a diagnosis of non-curative disease for the patient. In some cases, a gradual realisation rather than a formal diagnosis that the illness has progressed to a non-curative stage, can also be an antecedent. Transition during end-of-life-care for informal caregivers can be a highly emotional time for this vulnerable cohort. Effective transitioning can ensure a stability and quality end-of-life outcomes, such as a peaceful death, as the awareness and learning that it brings, prompts planning actions for terminal care. Conclusions: Through recognising the findings of this concept analysis, deeper insight may be gained to support the provision of care, by nurses, to informal caregivers, prompting them towards effective transitions that foster the best interest of the patient.
Objectives: Previous analyses of interventions targeting relationships between family caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias and residential long-term care (RLTC) staff showed modest associations with caregiver outcomes. This analysis aimed to better understand interpersonal and contextual factors that influence caregiver–staff relationships and identify targets for future interventions to improve these relationships. Methods: Using a parallel convergent mixed methods approach to analyze data from an ongoing counseling intervention trial, descriptive statistics characterized the sample of 85 caregivers and thematic analyses explored their experiences over 4 months. Results: The findings illustrated that communication, perceptions of care, and relationships with staff are valued by family caregivers following the transition of a relative with dementia to RLTC. Discussion: The findings deepen understanding of potential intervention targets and mechanisms. These results can inform future psychosocial and psychoeducational approaches that assist, validate, and empower family caregivers during the transition to RLTC.
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.
Background: Planning for the future is important for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families. When caregivers are no longer able to provide support, individuals with I/DD may experience loss of services or benefits, residential or employment‐related disruption, or other adverse consequences. Up until now, most future planning related interventions and approaches have been focused on directly supporting families and individuals with I/DD. Methods: We present findings from a training intervention designed for professionals who work with individuals with I/DD and their families, suggesting that future planning be included in service provision and community outreach. Results: Training participants increased their confidence in helping families plan and their likelihood to take action after participating in a 1‐day training. Conclusions: We discuss the implications of developing disability professionals as allies and resources to families as they engage in future planning activities.
Objectives: The aim of this article is to conceptualise the phenomenon of therapy-related parental stress in parents of children with a physical disability. Methods: Three models related to parental stress were reviewed, i.e., general parental stress, burden of caregiving in parents of children with physical disabilities, and experiences of these parents with their child's therapy. Findings: The proposed definition of therapy-related parental stress is "the subjective stress and subsequent changes of functioning and health experienced by a parent of a child with a physical disability in response to paramedical therapies (i.e., physical, occupational, and/or speech and language therapy)". A theoretical model is proposed to describe the process of therapy-related parental stress. Available questionnaires will most likely not be valid and responsive to capture the (changes in) stress parents experience related to therapy their child receives. This article provides a first definition of therapy-related parental stress and a theoretical model to visualise the processes with regard to this topic. Empirical testing of the presented components and their coherence is needed to confirm or improve the model. A questionnaire that specifically measures the concept of therapy-related parental stress is needed, along with evaluating therapy-related parental stress in clinical practice and research. It is imperative to recognise paramedical therapies (i.e., physical, occupational, and speech and language therapy) as a potential stressor for parents of children with a physical disability, both in paediatric rehabilitation practice and research. Conclusions: A definition and theoretical model of therapy-related parental stress is proposed and the need for measures to evaluate this phenomenon is argued. The authors provide a starting point for the evidence base of the concept of therapy-related parental stress.
A breast cancer diagnosis presents daunting challenges and disruptions to everyday life for family members and caregivers of breast cancer survivors (BCS). Particularly critical to families are their coping mechanisms, patterns of resiliency, and resource availability to navigate such a transformational experience. Family therapy and family therapists can introduce vulnerable families to a variety of clinical interventions that can be helpful in reducing the distress engendered by a breast cancer diagnosis. This manuscript describes clinical dynamics, considerations, and interventions that can be utilized with families of breast cancer survivors. Implications for practice, limitations, and ideas for future research are discussed.
Aims: We aim to establish the feasibility and acceptability of the Tele‐STELLA (Support via Telehealth: Living and Learning with Advancing Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias) intervention. We will also assess the efficacy of the intervention in reducing the frequency of behavioural symptoms of dementia as well as family Care Partner reactivity to the symptoms. Design: This is a multi‐component, quasi‐experimental study that focuses on facilitating effective management of behavioural symptoms that occur in the later stages of dementia. Methods: Family Care Partners (n = 124) for persons with Alzheimer's disease will participate in two 8‐week videoconferencing components that address behavioural symptoms—in both the persons with Alzheimer's disease and their Care Partners. In the first component ('Nova'), Care Partners work with one nurse for an hour/week for 4 weeks, then they join a small group for another 4 weeks. In the second component ('Constellation'), Care Partners work in a larger group to hone skills and knit supportive relationships. Behavioural symptom frequency and Care Partner reactivity to the behaviours will be measured prior to, during and after the intervention. The study is funded by the United States National Institute on Aging (R01AG067546); funding was initiated as on February, 2021. Discussion: Tele‐STELLA fills a gap in current videoconference‐based psychoeducational interventions in that it offers real‐time interaction with nurses and peers. The intervention was designed with feedback by pilot participants. This study will assess Tele‐STELLA in its current, novel format; thus, preparing it for a larger, future randomized controlled trial. Impact: Tele‐STELLA addresses symptoms that occur in the later stages of dementia, providing families with tools to facilitate effective behavioural management. Because Tele‐STELLA is implemented via videoconferencing, it targets Care Partners who face barriers to support, such as cost and transportation. Trial Registration: This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (#NCT04627662).
Background: Family-centered practices that involve direct participation of caregivers as part of intervention is critical to effective early intervention. However, regularly scheduled, in person service delivery is not always possible in remote communities, prompting a need for adaptations to the delivery of services, such as the use of live video conferencing to coach caregivers in strategies to promote their children's development. Methods: In this study, caregivers and their children ages 2–9 with autism who were living in rural and remote Canadian communities were included. A concurrent multiple baseline design across participants was applied to examine the effects of live video conference caregiver coaching on children's time jointly engaged with caregivers and caregivers' intervention strategy implementation. Results: Results indicated that all children demonstrated greater time jointly engaged and caregivers demonstrated greater use of strategies in comparison to baseline. Conclusions: The results of this study offer preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of real time video conference coaching for caregivers engaging their children with ASD in play.
Background: Informal caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) manage a complex spectrum of patient behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). Mobile health information technologies have quickly become sources for modern social support and chronic disease management. These technologies can improve our understanding of how to care for patients with ADRD and their informal caregivers. A mobile telehealth intervention could help reduce caregiver burden and BPSD. Methods: This is a pilot randomized controlled trial of 60 dyads of patients living with ADRD and their caregivers, to test the feasibility and estimate the potential effect of the Brain CareNotes (BCN) mobile telehealth system. Participants will be recruited from two health systems. Participants will be randomly assigned to either the BCN intervention arm or usual care comparator. Data will be collected at baseline, 3- and 6-month follow-up. The primary objectives of this trial are to assess feasibility outcomes: (a) recruitment rate, (b) data completion, (c) BCN usability, (d) BCN acceptance, and (e) BCN use and assessed either on an ongoing basis or at 3- and 6-month post-intervention. A secondary objective was to estimate the intervention’s effects on caregiver burden and patient BPSD outcomes at 3 and 6 months, assessed by the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. Discussion: The study will assess the intervention feasibility and potential effect size of the BCN telehealth system as a potentially scalable and lower-cost solution for addressing the ADRD public health crisis. Trial registration Clinical Trials. NCT03119259. Registered on April 18, 2017.
Objectives: This article proposes an intervention from the field of social sciences to improve the knowledge of informal caregivers about care for the elderly. Methods: We analyze the social and cultural relationships that support the informal care culture in Spain. Some of the most important factors that are an obstacle to the professionalization of the sector are presented. Findings: The profiles of the informal caregivers are established, highlighting that most of them are women, whether they are family members or not. Furthermore, we find a prominent role of immigrant women in the non-professional care sector. We also analyzed the different relationships that groups related to informal care of the elderly have with technologies, highlighting mobile phones and instant messaging applications. Conclusions: With this result, we proposed the public policies of care for the elderly to contemplate training actions transmitted through the mobile phone and messaging applications.
Purpose: Illness uncertainty pervades individuals' experiences of cancer across the illness trajectory and is associated with poor psychological adjustment. This review systematically examined the characteristics and outcomes of interventions promoting illness uncertainty management among cancer patients and/or their family caregivers. Methods: PubMed, Scopus, PsycINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Embase, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were systematically searched for relevant literature. We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-experimental studies focusing on interventions for uncertainty management in cancer patients and/or their family caregivers. Results: Our database searches yielded 26 studies. Twenty interventions were only offered to cancer patients, who were mostly elder, female, and White. All interventions included informational support. Other intervention components included emotional support, appraisal support, and instrumental support. Most interventions were delivered in person and via telephone (n = 8) or exclusively in person (n = 7). Overall, 18 studies identified positive intervention effects on illness uncertainty outcomes. Conclusion: This systematic review foregrounds the promising potential of several interventions—and especially multi-component interventions—to promote uncertainty management among cancer patients and their family caregivers. To further improve these interventions' effectiveness and expand their potential impact, future uncertainty management interventions should be tested among more diverse populations using rigorous methodologies.
Background: Communication between patients and family caregivers plays a key role in successful end-of-life (EOL) care. In the majority of cases, health-care providers (HCP) are responsible for leading this communication in clinical settings. Objectives: This systematic review aimed to examine the evidence for the efficacy of HCP-led interventions in enhancing communication between patients and family caregivers. Methods: The review followed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines and involved a search of MEDLINE via PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus, Embase, and PsycINFO as well as a manual search for additional articles on Google Scholar without date restrictions. Of 2955 articles retrieved, 8 meeting the eligibility criteria were included in the review. A quality appraisal of the selected studies was performed using the van Tulder Scale, with 5 of 8 studies rated as high quality. Results: All 8 studies employed psychoeducational interventions involving both patients and surrogate/family caregivers. Common elements of the interventions reviewed included encouraging participant dyads to share their concerns about the patient's medical condition, clarify their goals and values for EOL care, and discuss their EOL care preferences. Of 8 interventions reviewed, 6 measured EOL care preference congruence within dyads as a primary outcome, and all 6 interventions were effective in increasing congruence. Secondary outcomes measured included decisional conflict and relationship quality, with mixed outcomes reported. Conclusions: This review suggests that HCP-led EOL communication interventions show promise for improving EOL care preference congruence. However, further studies with improved methodological rigor are needed to establish the optimal timing, intensity, and duration of interventions.
Introduction: Symptom perception in heart failure (HF) has been identified as crucial for effective self-care, and is related to patient and health system outcomes. There is uncertainty regarding the feasibility and acceptability of symptom perception support and doubts regarding how to include informal caregivers. This study aims to test the feasibility, acceptability and outcome responsiveness of an intervention supporting symptom perception in persons with HF and their informal caregiver. Methods and analysis: A feasibility study with a quasi-experimental pretest and post-test single group design is conducted. The convenience sample consists of 30 persons with HF, their informal caregivers and six nurses. SYMPERHEART is an evidence-informed intervention that targets symptom perception by educational and support components. Feasibility is measured by time-to-recruit; time-to-deliver; eligibility rate; intervention delivery fidelity rate. Acceptability is measured by rate of consent, retention rate, treatment acceptability and the engagement in the intervention components. Outcome responsiveness includes: HF self-care (via the Self-care of Heart Failure Index V.7.2); perception of HF symptom burden (via the Heart Failure Somatic Perception Scale V.3); health status (via the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire-12); caregivers’ contribution to HF self-care (via the Caregiver Contribution to Self-Care of Heart Failure Index 2); caregivers’ burden (via the Zarit Burden Interview). Clinical outcomes include HF events, hospitalisation reason and length of hospital stay. Descriptive statistics will be used to report feasibility, acceptability, patient-reported outcomes (PRO) and clinical outcomes. PRO and caregiver-reported outcome responsiveness will be reported with mean absolute change and effect sizes. Ethics and dissemination: The study is conducted according to the Declaration of Helsinki. The Human Research Ethics Committee of the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland, has approved the study. Written informed consent from persons with HF and informal caregivers are obtained. Results will be published via peer reviewed and professional journals, and further disseminated via congresses. Trial registration number: ISRCTN18151041.
Background: Kerala is known as the diabetes mellitus (DM) and hypertension (HTN) capital of the world, thus compelling health professionals to model strategies, addressing their social, behavioural, and cognitive risk factors and eliminating various barriers to management. This paper describes the protocol of our study that aims to examine the effectiveness and sustainability of an integrated care model for the management of chronic conditions and their risk factors through a family-based intervention. The proposed care model targets to modify systems and processes that predispose to chronic conditions by enhancing social cohesion and social networks, preventing lifestyle risks, developing iterative cognitive interventions, and engaging the family into customised treatment adherence strategies navigated by community health social workers (CHSWs). Methods: A cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) in selected participants will be conducted involving additional assessments prior to the baseline assessment. The assessment will identify and categorise patients into four risk groups, namely behavioural, social, cognitive, and multiple, based on dominant risks identified. Eligible participants will be randomly allocated (at a ratio of 1:1) into the intervention or control arm. The intervention arm will receive social, behavioural, and cognitive or multiple interventions corresponding to the identified risk groups, whereas the control arm will receive general intervention. Both the groups will be followed up at 6 months and 12 months post baseline to measure outcomes. The primary outcome will be the control of HTN and DM, and secondary outcomes include decreased depression and anxiety and improved functioning, social cohesion, and social network linkages. The sustainability and scalability of this intervention will be assessed through cost effectiveness, acceptability, and user friendliness of the integrated approach by performing a qualitative evaluation. Discussion: This RCT will inform the potential paradigm shift from a medical model of chronic condition management to a multidimensional, multisystem, and multidisciplinary convergence model navigated by CHSWs. Such a model is not currently considered in the management of chronic conditions in Kerala. Trial registration: Trial has been prospectively registered on Clinical Trial Registry of India- CTRI/2020/12/029474 on 1st December 2020.
Background: Family caregivers enable patients to be cared for and die at home whereas nurses aim to support the family caregivers of these patients. Information on how this support is provided and how this is documented in nursing files is largely lacking. Objectives: To gain insight in nurses' reports on the supportive care for family caregivers. Methods: We studied 59 nursing files of adult patients who had received hospice home care in the Netherlands from 4 home care organisations between August 2017 and October 2018. Information on supportive nursing care for family caregivers was retrieved from the nursing files based on a prestructured form. Data was quantitatively and qualitatively analysed. Findings: 54 out of 59 nursing files contained information about family caregivers; 40 files contained nursing diagnoses on family caregivers and in 26 files nursing interventions on supportive care for family caregivers were reported. Only half of the nursing files contained information about supportive nursing care for family caregivers. Conclusions: Complete nursing documentation of provided care to family caregivers is needed. • Nurses should pay attention to the family caregivers' needs and experiences in palliative care. • Nursing documentation on supporting family caregivers is found to be incomplete. • Reported interventions to support family caregivers in palliative care were scarce. • Nurses may take into account two roles in the care for family caregivers: co-client and co-worker. • Assessment tools and proper documentation may help nurses to support family caregivers.
Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the supportive care needs of family caregivers (FCs) of advanced cancer patients and their support service use at the beginning of specialist inpatient palliative care (SIPC), near the patient's death, and during bereavement. Methods: FCs reported their needs using the Family Inventory of Needs (FIN), along with their utilization of psychosocial and bereavement support services at the beginning (N = 232) and 6–9 months after SIPC (N = 160). Results: At the beginning of SIPC, mean of 16.9 of 20 needs were reported to be highly important, and 12.2 were reported to be met. At the time of the patient's death, 16.8 needs were highly important, and 13.8 were met. At both time points, the highest ranked need was related to information about changes in the patient's condition (100% vs. 99%), and the most frequently unmet need was related to feeling hope (73% vs. 71%). Multivariate linear regression analysis revealed a low education level to be consistently related to a greater number of highly important needs. Higher satisfaction with care and better social support was related to a greater number of met needs. Twenty-five percent of FCs had accessed at least one psychosocial support service prior to SIPC, and 30% had done so during bereavement. Among non-users of support services, > 75% indicated sufficient informal support as a barrier to service use. Conclusions: The findings offer a useful guide for adequately addressing FCs' needs in an effort to optimize FC support. However, only a subgroup of the FCs used support services. Better information and provision of tailored services might improve FCs' situations in the future.
Background: Community-based care for people with dementia is mainly provided by family carers, many of whom experience decreased mental, physical and financial well-being due to their caring role. Many countries are now implementing ageing-in-place policies that have increased pressure on family carers as care-work is redistributed from residential to community-based settings. Family caring responsibilities for people with dementia are made even more complicated by the economic, social and cultural expectations that underpin existing provision. Support for family carers is, therefore, an important policy topic across many countries. Objectives: The focus of this paper is on the propensity of citizens to support enhanced care for family carers in Ireland, as demonstrated by their willingness-to-pay additional taxation to fund different combinations of carer support measures, developed through careful and sustained dialogue with multiple stakeholders, especially family carers themselves. Methods: We carried out a discrete choice experiment (DCE) with 509 members of the general public in Ireland between January and February 2021. Results: Using mixed logit models, our findings show that citizens value four key attributes: regular caring breaks for family carers (day-care and long-break respite); financial compensation (carer's allowance); and emotional support (carer peer support groups). We also estimated the welfare impact of moving from current provision to enhanced support packages for family carers of people with dementia. The welfare gains accumulate to €1035.80 for the most complete levels of provision across the four support attributes. Conclusions: Overall, respondents in this paper showed empathy and understanding towards family carers of people with dementia through their willingness to contribute to funding additional services and supports.
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.
This quality standard covers the provision of support for adults aged 18 or over who provide unpaid care for 1 or more people aged 16 or over with health and social care needs. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.
It does not cover people who provide paid care or do so as voluntary work.
Background: Family caregivers are often the first line of support for people requiring care; although they may personally stand to benefit, these activities substantially increase the risk of physical and emotional stress. General practitioners (GPs) may provide important support and stabilisation, but need to adjust to the needs and expectations of this group in order to do so. Objectives: The aim of the study was to compare the needs of family caregivers from GPs to the support they actually experience. Additional aims included determining the main factors affecting satisfaction amongst family caregivers with support from GPs. The results were used to develop possible approaches towards optimisation within the purview of general medical practice. Methods: Between January and July 2020, 612 people supporting or caring for a family member responded to an online survey posted in seventeen internet forums focused on family caregivers. In addition to the descriptive analysis, a t-test with independent samples was used to identify significant differences between two groups. We also used binary logistic regression analysis to identify indications of potentially influential factors regarding the experienced support from GPs. Results: Around three out of every four respondents (72%) consulted GPs in care matters. The respondents gave positive responses on their GP's knowledge of the care situation (71%), approachability in various issues connecting with care and service towards the caregiver (82%). GPs' efforts in meeting the needs and requirements of the care recipient were also rated positively (82%). Weaknesses in support from GPs mainly involved the lack of information on advice and assistance services (55%) as well as frequently not identifying or involving caregivers as such soon enough (42%). Results from regression analysis show that the last two aspects play a major role in subjective satisfaction amongst family caregivers with support from GPs. Conclusions: We recommend that GPs undergo further training to reinforce awareness that the care triad of needs, requirements and stresses amongst family caregivers also plays a vital role in care outcomes. With this in mind, general practice staff should adopt a pre-emptive strategy towards approaching family members about potential issues and informing them about existing assistance and support services.
Objectives: 1. Develop a streamlined, routine psychosocial spiritual assessment among families and caregivers of palliative care patients. 2. Develop streamlined, routine psychosocial spiritual needs intervention among families and caregivers of palliative care patients. Background: Complicated grief is intense, debilitating grief for more than six months after loss and is predicted by pre-loss depressive symptoms and unmet psychosocial needs. Per the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, families are at risk and their psychosocial-spiritual needs should be met to improve outcomes. Aim Statement: This initiative aims to develop a streamlined, routine psychosocial spiritual assessment and intervention of families and caregivers' needs to enhance support. Methods: A validated, confidential, 13-question tool (The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine's Chart Abstraction Checklist-Psychosocial Spiritual Assessment, edited with permission) was used to assess families of inpatient palliative care patients (n=46) over a three-month period. Identified needs were appropriately referred to a social worker, chaplain, or care manager. These assessments measured the number of needs identified and relationships among needs (p<0.05 is statistically significant). Results: Of those assessed, 97.8 percent had a need that required follow-up. A moderately significant relationship was established between those who felt they were coping well and those who reported the perception of a good support system (X2 =6.893, p=.009, Cramer's V of .387). Conclusions and Implications: Performing routine assessments resulted in a significant identification of unmet needs. Those who have greater perceived support reported coping well. Routine psychosocial spiritual assessments and appropriate interventions on caregivers should be continued with a focus on those who have a lack of a support system.
Background: A caregiver support group was initiated at the Schizophrenia Research Foundation, Chennai, India. Objective: The study aimed to evaluate this service for 100 caregivers of persons with dementia, identify the needs met and explore the facilitating factors and barriers for participation. Findings: The support group met the information, emotional and counselling needs of caregivers. Trust between members was a key facilitating factor. Lack of help at home to support the person with dementia, distance from the venue and work commitments were barriers to caregiver participation. Conclusion: The study found that support groups fulfil an important need for caregivers by providing information and peer support.
Objectives: This study aimed to understand the subjective meanings attributed to home care by family caregivers of dependent older adults through a multicenter qualitative investigation that gathered 84 in-depth interviews with family caregivers from eight Brazilian locations. Methods: The hermeneutic-dialectic, theoretical, methodological framework was employed. Findings: The following categories emerged from the analysis: 1. Movements inhibiting emotions and feelings; 2. Presence of processes of symbiosis and emotional dependence in the older adult-relative relationship; 3. Contentment in caring for the dependent older adult; and 4. Giving up current and future life projects. The results reveal life experiences marked by symbiotic processes, emotional dependence, and psychic stress. Dependence causes suffering and feelings of despair, powerlessness, impatience, but also solidarity and empathy. Withdrawal from the job market, social depreciation of family caregiver’s activity, social isolation, neglected self-care, and family conflicts impact caregivers’ subjectivity. Conclusions: The elaboration of public policies must consider the social-affective life experiences of family caregivers of dependent older adults in order to include the care of those providing care.
Background: There is increasing evidence that subjective caregiver burden is an important determinant of clinically significant anxiety in family carers. Objectives: This meta-analysis aims to synthesise this evidence and investigate the relationship between subjective caregiver burden and anxiety symptoms in informal caregivers. Methods: We searched PubMed, CINAHL and PsycINFO up to January 2020. Combined estimates were obtained using a random-effects model. After screening of 4,312 articles, 74 studies (with 75 independent samples) were included. Findings: There was a large, positive association between subjective caregiver burden and anxiety symptoms (r = 0.51; 95% CI = 0.47, 0.54; I2 = 0.0%). No differences were found in subgroup analyses by type of study design (cross-sectional vs. longitudinal), sampling, control of confounders or care-recipient characteristics. Subjective caregiver burden is an important risk factor for anxiety in informal caregivers. Conclusion: Targeting subjective caregiver burden could be beneficial in preventing clinically significant anxiety for the increasing number of family carers worldwide.
Background: Family support during stroke treatment at home is crucial. However, post-stroke patients’ long-term care will be a problem for families, reducing the level of life satisfaction and physical burden for caregivers. Furthermore, families may experience depression. AIM: Analyzing family conditions related to physical, psychological, and spiritual conditions that receive home-based health worker interventions. Methods: Study implemented systematic review design with Prisma guidelines, initially with the identification of article sources, following by article screening, checking the eligibility of studies then appraised the selected articles. Three databases were used, Ebsco, PubMed, and PROQUEST. Only studies using quasi-experimental, pre-experimental, and RCT designs were included in this study. Furthermore, those articles were published between 2014 until 2019, full type article and conducted anykind of home intervention for stroke patients and/or family member. Keywords that were employed “Stroke, Apoplexy, Cerebrovascular Accident, Vascular Accident, Home Care Services, home care, Home Health Care, Domiciliary Care, Physical, Physics, Psychological Factors, Psychological Side Effects, Psychosocial Factors, Spirituality.” Totally, 19,528 articles were obtained. Finally, only six eligible articles met review requirements. Results: Implementation of home-based care lowered the physical fatigue of the family. In psychological responses showed that home-based care could reduce the incidence of depression and anxiety levels. Another impact was that the family felt helped because patients could more independently do their activities. Furthermore, the family always supported to motivate the patients to do their daily tasks. Conclusion: Home-based interventions for stroke patients can reduce depression, anxiety, and fatigue for the family caregiver.
Background: The objectives of the present study were to determine the prevalence of older adults with hemodialysis (HD) abuse by family caregivers and the factors affecting it. Method: This is a correlational-causal study, which is conducted in 2018 in Iran. The sample size was 367 in both groups (the older adults and their family caregivers). Data collection was done using an individual-social information questionnaire for the older adults under hemodialysis and their family caregivers, the questionnaire of elder abuse by family caregivers to the older people under hemodialysis, Zarit Burden Interview and the scale of instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). Data were analyzed by the structural equation model (SEM) method. The Fitness of proposed pattern was measured using the following indexes: chi-square/degree of freedom ratio (CMIN/DF), Normed Fit Index (NFI), comparative fit index (CFI), goodness of fit index (GFI), and standardized root mean squared residual (SRMR). The significant level in this study was considered p < 0.05. Results: The results of the present study showed that more than 70 % of the older adults suffer from elder abuse by family caregivers on average. The highest median elder abuse was related to emotional misbehavior (21.46 ± 6.09) and financial misbehavior (19.07 ± 5.33), respectively. Moderate care burden was experienced by 63.2 % of caregivers. The percentage of older women and men, who needed help with daily activities was 81.4 and 80.5 %, respectively. The results showed that the caregivers’ level of education and care burden with standard beta coefficient of -0.251 and 0.200 and the educational level of older adults and IADL with the best beta coefficient of -0.299 and − 0.234, had the highest regression effect on elder abuse respectively. According to the results, the model-fit indices of the hypothesized model was meet the criteria, with the NFI = 0.951, GFI = 0.970, CFI = 0.967, and SRMR = 0.041. The outcome was suitable for the recommended level, so the hypothetical model appeared to fit the data. Conclusions: The results of the present study showed that the prevalence of elder abuse by family caregivers among the older adults under hemodialysis is high. Providing psychological counseling can reduce the consequences of elder abuse.
Background: To understand parents' experiences of evidence-based assessment by health professionals for their child with cerebral palsy. Method: A qualitative interpretive description study was undertaken. Primary carers of children with cerebral palsy (aged 3–18 years) from south-eastern Australia were invited to participate. Face-to-face interviews were held using a semi-structured topic guide and data analyzed inductively. Credibility was ensured through: journal reflections; co-author review; audit trail; and, participant member-checking. Fourteen parents of children with cerebral palsy, representing Gross Motor Functional Classification System levels I–V, participated. Findings: Six themes emerged: (1) Protection; (2) Positively Framed; (3) Bridging the Gap; (4) Involvement; (5) Finding Worth; and (6) Trust. Central to parents' experience was protection of their child's identity and personal self. Assessment can be emotionally confronting, at any stage. Representing the child positively and highlighting possibilities was deemed essential. Parents' involvement ranged from being overlooked spectators to being instigators of assessment. Evidence-based assessment was worthwhile when relevant to parents' direction and family context. The researchers' interpretive description generated a schema and metaphor—the Steering Wheel for Collaborative Assessment. A strengths-based approach to diagnosis and assessment is essential. The resulting interpretive description may assist health professionals align evidence-based assessment practices with family-centred care. Parents of children who have cerebral palsy describe having to protect their child's identity and representation, and their own personal well-being, through evidence-based assessment and diagnostic processes. Involving parents in the process of evidence-based assessment and adopting a strengths-based approach is essential. Conclusions: The interpretive description developed—the Steering Wheel for Collaborative Assessment—may assist health professionals to implement evidence-based assessment tools in ways consistent with family-centred care principles.
Background: In Australia, informal caregivers (family, friends and neighbours) play a crucial role in supporting people with dementia to remain at home. Within the community aged care policy, informal caregivers are acknowledged as assisting with managing care. However, they usually receive very limited dementia care education and training to support them in their role. The World Health Organization (WHO) developed iSupport for Dementia, a comprehensive online dementia education and skill training programme, to address the gap in supporting informal caregivers. Aim: The aim of the study was to identify stakeholders’ perspectives regarding adapting the WHO iSupport for use by informal caregivers of people with dementia in Australia. Methods: An interpretive description study design was used. Data were collected in focus groups with informal caregivers and care staff of dementia and aged care service providers conducted in May–July 2018. A thematic analysis was utilised to analyse data and identify findings. Results: In total, 16 informal caregivers and 20 care staff participated in the study. Five themes were identified. First, informal caregivers perceived iSupport as an opportunity to provide an online one-stop shop to meet their education needs and their needs to manage care services. Second, both informal caregivers and care staff believed that an integrated caregiver network moderated by a health professional was much needed to enable informal caregivers to share learning experiences and enhance social support. Third, both informal caregivers and care staff strongly suggested that dementia and aged care service providers had a role to play in promoting the iSupport. Fourth, informal caregivers were concerned about the time commitment to participate in the iSupport programme. Finally, informal caregivers expected the iSupport to be user-friendly. Conclusion: Stakeholders perceived the adaptation of the WHO iSupport in Australia would strengthen informal caregiver education and optimise support for informal caregivers.
Background: The dementia is a degenerative uncurable disease. Giving its high prevalence worldwide, it is considered a major global public health concern. Patients with dementia need long-term care and support at home. Current evidence demonstrates that their informal caregivers are prone to psychiatric and cardiovascular diseases and lack formal support that can help them in their exhausting daily routine. We intend to report the creation of an ICT solution to support informal caregivers of patients with dementia, addressing identified needs. Methods: The academic engineering project launched was divided in two phases: 1) requirements analysis and software design and 2) software development and deployment. The user-friendly and smooth functioning application developed, called OneCare, has a set of functionalities that allows the free access to information about the disease, useful resources, medication, outpatient consultation management and communication with peers. Discussion: We consider that this application may improve effectiveness in care provided by informal caregivers of patients with dementia, while having a positive impact in their health outcomes and quality of life. We advocate that future policies in this area should consider the use of this kind of technology as a way to reduce disease burden, institutionalization needs and increase the chances of living well at home.
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.
Background: Healthcare workers have reported a certain segment of geriatric patients that are suffering from abuse/neglect, which in turn has been associated with anxiety, depression, and helplessness in the individual. Family caregivers (blood relations), being the most common perpetrators of elder abuse and neglect (EAN), have also been shown to respond to sensitization if the type of EAN and the interventions are appropriate. Objectives: This study was aimed to comparatively analyze the influence of intervention (psychotherapeutic sensitization of FCG) upon long-term (24 months) treatment maintenance and satisfaction in elderly neglected patients. Methods: One hundred and fifty patients (aged 41–80 years) suffering from elder neglect (EN) (self-confession) and their respective FCGs, fulfilling the study criteria, participated in this longitudinal 2-year study. The patients were randomly dis-tributed (simple random, convenient) in two equal groups (75 each), namely Group (GP) A (control) and GP B (test). A standardized, complete denture treatment was initiated for all the participants. Both the FCGs and the patients of GP B were sensitized (psychotherapeutic education) for EN, while there was no such intervention in GP A. The influence of such intervention was measured for denture maintenance [denture plaque index (DPI) scores] and treatment satisfaction (10-point visual analog scale). Absolute/relative frequencies and means were major calculations during data analysis. Differences between the groups for any treatment compliance parameter was done through the unpaired t-test, while Karl Pearson’s test determined the level of relationship between variables (p-value < 0.05). Results: Decrease in mean DPI scores (suggesting improvement) was seen among patients in GP A from 1 month (m = 2.92) to 24 months (m = 2.77). A negligible increase in DPI scores was observed among patients of GP B from 1 month (m = 1.38) to 24 months (m = 1.44). Differences in mean values between the two groups were statistically significant at 24-month intervals, while the relationship between the variables was nonsignificant. FCG sensitization through psychotherapeutic education shows a long-term positive influence on the treatment compliance (maintenance and satisfaction). Conclusions: Identifying the existence of EAN among geriatric patients, followed by psychothera-peutic education of FCGs is recommended for routine medical and dental long-duration treatment procedures.
Background: Quality of life (QOL) for patients undergoing lung resection and their family caregivers (FCGs) is often affected by surgical treatment for lung cancer. Objectives: Patients and FCGs have a great deal of distress that affects their QOL. Introducing self-management skills soon after diagnosis improves patient and FCG outcomes. Methods: This article presents a intervention model for providing patients and FCGs with self-management skills. Patients and FCGs will learn how to identify and overcome challenges, set goals, and address unmet needs throughout the phases of surgery. The model and case examples are presented. Findings: Patients and FCGs gained self-efficacy. They were able to identify potential stressors that would otherwise become burdensome. Patients remained in control of their preoperative care and recovery, resulting in continued independence. FCGs achieved healthier well-being, which increased positive caregiving experiences.
Purpose: Family interventions have been developed to support carers of people with mental illness, but not much is known about how such interventions can improve carers' physical health. This review aimed to identify and analyze existing family interventions that addressed the physical health of carers. Methods: A scoping review was conducted to identify peer-reviewed journal articles on family interventions with physical health components. A total of six articles were found and analyzed thematically to identify the family interventions, physical health components of the interventions, and associated physical health outcomes. Results: Synthesis of the findings from relevant articles showed that the development of physical health components in family interventions is emerging and at an early stage. However, most studies had physical health as a minor area focusing mainly on stress and sleep. Conclusions: Family interventions would be more holistic if consideration of physical health issues was addressed as a core module.
Background and objective: Health and social care may affect unpaid (family) carers’ health and wellbeing in addition to patients’ lives. It is recommended that such impacts (carer effects) are considered in decision-making. However, the scope of carer effects and range of decisions where carer effects should be considered is uncertain. This study aimed to identify: (i) how different categories of healthcare and social care were perceived to impact on unpaid carers; and (ii) whether there was consensus about when carer effects should be formally considered in decision-making contexts. Methods: A two round, online Delphi study was conducted with 65 UK-based participants (unpaid carers, care professionals, and researchers) with expertise in dementia, mental health, and stroke. Participants considered two broad forms of ‘interventions’ (patient treatment and replacement care) and two broad forms of ‘organisational change’ (staffing and changes in timing/location of care). Participants assessed the likely impacts of these on unpaid carers and whether impacts should be considered in decision-making. Results: Participants predicted interventions and organisational changes would impact on multiple domains of unpaid carers’ lives, with ‘emotional health’ the most likely outcome to be affected. Patient treatment and replacement care services (‘interventions’) were associated with positive impacts across all domains. Conversely, timing/location changes and staffing changes (‘organisational changes’) were perceived to have mixed and negative impacts. There was widespread support (80–81 %) for considering carer effects in research studies, funding decisions, and patient decision-making. Conclusions: This study highlights a perception that carer effects are widespread and important to consider in economic evaluation and decision-making. It highlights the particular need to measure and value effects on carers’ emotional health and the need to use a societal perspective to avoid cost shifting to unpaid carers when introducing interventions and making organisational changes.
Background: Caring for a growing aging population using existing long-term care resources while simultaneously supporting and educating family caregivers, is a public health challenge. We describe the application of the Replicating Effective Programs (REP) framework, developed by the Centers for Disease Control Prevention and used in public health program implementation, to scale up an evidence-based family caregiver training intervention in the Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system. Methods: From 2018 to 2020, clinicians at eight VA medical centers received REP-guided implementation including facilitation, technical assistance, and implementation tools to deliver the training program. The project team used the REP framework to develop activities across four distinct phases – (1) pre-conditions, (2) pre-implementation, (3) implementation, and (4) maintenance and evolution – and systematically tracked implementation facilitators, barriers, and adaptations. Results: Within the REP framework, results describe how each medical center adapted implementation approaches to fit local needs. We highlight examples of how sites balanced adaptations and intervention fidelity. Conclusions: The REP framework shows promise for national expansion of the caregiver training intervention, including to non-VA systems of care, because it allows sites to adapt while maintaining intervention fidelity. Trial registration NCT03474380. Date registered: March 22, 2018.
Background: Providing care for someone with a disease or chronic condition can have a negative psychological, physical, social, and economic impact upon informal caregivers. Despite the socio-economic relevance and more than three decades of caregiver intervention research only very few translational efforts of successful interventions are reported. Still less of these interventions have been implemented into routine services. Objectives: The aim of the ReDiCare study (German acronym BerTA) is to evaluate the effectiveness of a stepped counselling approach for burdened caregivers delivered by care counsellors of two long-term care insurances and registered psychotherapists. Methods/design: A pragmatic randomised controlled trial with 572 caregivers of older adults (≥ 60 years) receiving benefits of one of the two participating long-term care insurances. Participants are assigned (t0) to either the ReDiCare intervention or a control group receiving routine care and counselling. Data are collected at baseline (-t1), 3-month (t1), 9-month (t2) and 15-month (t3). The 9-month post-intervention assessment (t2) is the primary endpoint to evaluate the results on the primary and secondary outcomes, measured by self-reported questionnaires. Depressive symptoms measured with the CES-D are the primary outcome. The main secondary outcomes are physical complaints, utilization of psychosocial resources, caregiver self-efficacy and burden, positive aspects of caregiving and perceived care quality. A process evaluation, including audio tapes, self-report questionnaires and documentation will be conducted to examine internal and external validity of the intervention. Data on direct and indirect costs are collected for the (health) economic evaluation, using a health care perspective and a societal perspective. Discussion: While comparable previous caregiver interventions have been developed and evaluated for specific caregiver groups (e.g. dementia caregivers, stroke caregivers), the ReDiCare study will indicate whether a stepped approach will be effective also in a broader group of caregivers. The intervention is one of the very few translational studies in caregiver intervention research and will provide valuable insights into relevant factors for training, intervention protocol adherence, effectiveness, and costs for future implementation steps. Trial registration Deutsches Register Klinischer Studien (German Clinical Trials Register), DRKS00014593 (www.drks.de, registered 14 May 2018) and International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, DRKS00014593 (https://apps.who.int/trialsearch/).
Purpose: This paper aims to reports on an academic–industry service development innovation to advance the symptom monitor and track feature within the CogniCare app to support family carers of people living with dementia. Expert opinion from dementia care professionals identified key monitoring strategies for enhanced carer competence and confidence in the early identification of relevant symptoms that would help facilitate meaningful hospital/social care consultations. Design/methodology/approach: A co-production approach between industry and academia included stakeholder representation from NHS Highland and Alzheimer Scotland. Dementia care experts validated items to be included for symptom monitoring and tracking using a newly developed A2BC2D2EF2 framework as part of this project and recommended additional strategies for monitoring symptom change, including carer well-being. Findings: Dementia care experts perceived the symptom monitoring and track feature to have the potential to support family carers with dementia care at home and foster a relationship-centred approach to dementia care to facilitate meaningful hospital/social care consultations. Originality/value: The CogniCare app is the first platform of its kind that aims to support family carers to care for people living with dementia at home. This unique service development collaborative combined dementia and digital expertise to create innovative digital solutions for dementia care. The proposed monitoring and tracking feature is perceived by dementia care experts as a tool with the potential to enhance carer confidence and thus enable safe and effective dementia care within the home environment.
Background: Counselling and other psychotherapeutic interventions can be offered to people with dementia and their caregivers, to treat specific conditions or symptoms (e.g. affective disorders such as depression). Psychotherapeutic interventions also offer the opportunity for individuals with dementia and their families/caregivers to engage in psychological support for a wide range of presentations. However, little is known about how those within this demographic who receive these interventions perceive the experience. Objectives: This study aimed to understand the experiences of individuals with dementia or caring for someone with dementia, before and after a 12-week relational counselling intervention delivered through a third sector organisation within England. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were completed with participants (29 pre-intervention and 25 post-intervention). Framework analysis was conducted, with four main themes identified; expectations and outcomes of counselling, emotional impact of life with dementia, appraisals of identity and importance of therapeutic relationship. Results: Participants reported that counselling interventions addressed a range of needs and concerns that they had, enabling them to reassess and reconsider these. Specific training is needed before therapists deliver therapeutic interventions with people with dementia, to ensure that appropriate support is provided for those with more severe cognitive impairment or who may have fluctuating capacity. Conclusions: Future research should explore the experiences of people with dementia and their caregivers, across different counselling modalities, to establish the appropriateness and effectiveness of relational counselling.
Background: It is unknown how Swiss professionals support for young carers. Previous national research suggests a lack of support services for young carers. Professionals do provide individual as well as a family-centred support. Social services seem to be most inclined to initiating interdisciplinary support. The situation of children, adolescents, young adults with caring responsibilities and their families has only recently been addressed in the Swiss context. Initial findings show a low level of awareness among professionals towards young people with caring responsibilities, and also a lack of specific support services nationally for young carers. This might suggest that the support needs of young carers and young adult carers are not currently being recognised or met in Switzerland. Objectives: The purpose of this analysis was to explore to what degree young carers' needs for support are currently met by professionals. We evaluated how professionals in Switzerland currently support young carers in their occupational context; what kind of organisations they refer young carers to; and if the current support approaches meet international recommendations (drawn from research and policy in other countries). Methods: Data from a cross-sectional online survey completed by 2142 professionals from education, healthcare and social services in Switzerland were analysed. The data included respondents' demographics, professional background, awareness of young carers' situations and circumstances, ability to support young carers, referrals to other organisations, as well as approaches to support young carers. We conducted text analysis of the open-ended answers according to Kuckartz (2014) as well as descriptive statistical analysis and Chi-Square independence tests. Just over half (55.8%) of the professionals in our study reported being able to support young carers. Findings: Five different categories of support interventions were identified: counselling ; connecting with others ; emotional support ; including the family/network; and providing practical skills & illness-related knowledge. Professionals who reported that they themselves had a caring role when they were young were more likely to be able to support young carers (p <.001). Professionals familiar with the term 'young carers' more often mentioned systemic support approaches (such as family-centred procedures and coordination/interdisciplinary cooperation) than those who were not familiar with the term. Study results show that many professionals in Switzerland address relevant realms and specific challenges for young people with caring responsibilities without being familiar with the experiences or needs of young carers. How they support young carers and young adult carers, perhaps surprisingly given their lack of awareness and specific knowledge, correspond with the main approaches currently found in the international literature recommendations for professionals working with young carers. The fact that systemic approaches of support were less often described, especially by professionals unfamiliar with the term 'young carer', raises the question whether appropriate sustainable and long-term support can be provided without having a clear understanding of the concept, experiences and specific needs of young carers. Conclusions: The study results provide a national starting point to develop support provisions and interventions for young carers. The results also offer relevant data for policy recommendations.
Background: Informal family caregivers constitute an important and increasingly demanding role in the cancer healthcare system. This is especially true for caregivers of patients with primary malignant brain tumors based on the rapid progression of disease, including physical and cognitive debilitation. Informal social network resources such as friends and family can provide social support to caregivers, which lowers caregiver burden and improves overall quality of life. However, barriers to obtaining needed social support exist for caregivers. To address this need, our team developed and is assessing a multi-component caregiver support intervention that uses a blend of technology and personal contact to improve caregiver social support. Methods: We are currently conducting a prospective, longitudinal 2-group randomized controlled trial which compares caregivers who receive the intervention to a wait-list control group. Only caregivers directly receive the intervention, but the patient-caregiver dyads are enrolled so we can assess outcomes in both. The 8-week intervention consists of two components: (1) The electronic Social Network Assessment Program, a web-based tool to visualize existing social support resources and provide a tailored list of additional resources; and (2) Caregiver Navigation, including weekly phone sessions with a Caregiver Navigator to address caregiver social support needs. Outcomes are assessed by questionnaires completed by the caregiver (baseline, 4-week, 8-week) and the cancer patient (baseline, and 8-week). At 8 weeks, caregivers in the wait-list condition may opt into the intervention. Our primary outcome is caregiver well-being; we also explore patient well-being and caregiver and patient health care utilization. Discussion: This protocol describes a study testing a novel social support intervention that pairs a web-based social network visualization tool and resource list (eSNAP) with personalized caregiver navigation. This intervention is responsive to a family-centered model of care and calls for clinical and research priorities focused on informal caregiving research. Trial registration clinicaltrials.gov, Registration number: NCT04268979; Date of registration: February 10, 2020, retrospectively registered.
Introduction: A family-centered care model (FCCM) providing family-based HIV services, rather than separate adult/pediatric services, has been proposed to increase pediatric retention and treatment adherence. Materials and methods: Eight health-care facilities in the Hhohho region of Eswatini were randomized to implement FCCM (n = 4) or continue standard-of-care (SOC) separate adult/pediatric clinics (n = 4). HIV-positive children and caregivers were enrolled; caregiver interview and child/caregiver chart abstraction were done at enrollment and every three months; pediatric viral load was evaluated at enrollment and every six months through 12 months. Because of study group differences in 12-month viral load data availability (89.4% FCCM and 72.0% SOC children had 12-month viral load), we used three separate analyses to evaluate the effects of FCCM on children's viral suppression (<1,000 copies/mL) and undetectable virus (<400 copies/mL) at 12 months. In the first analysis, all children with missing viral outcome data were excluded from the analysis (modified intent to treat, mITT). The second analysis used inverse probability of missingness weighted logistic regression to estimate the effect of FCCM on 12-month viral outcomes compared to SOC (weighted mITT). For the third approach, missing virologic outcome data were imputed as virologic failure (imputed ITT). We also examined factors associated with viral suppression at 12 months using multivariable logistic regression. Results: We enrolled 379 HIV-positive children and 363 caregivers. Among all children at enrollment, viral suppression and undetectability was 78.4% and 73.9%, respectively, improving to 90.2% and 87.3% at 12 months. In mITT and weighted mITT analyses, there was no significant difference in children's 12-month viral suppression between FCCM and SOC groups (89.2% and 91.6%, respectively). Using imputed ITT, there was a modest increase in 12-month viral suppression in FCCM versus SOC children (79.7% and 69.8%, respectively, p = 0.051) and 12-month undetectability (78.7% and 65.7%, respectively, p = 0.015). Among the 255 children suppressed at enrollment, more FCCM versus SOC children (98.0% versus 95.3%) were suppressed at 12-months, but this was not statistically significant in mITT or weighted mITT analyses, with a marginally significant difference using imputed mITT analysis (p = 0.042). A higher proportion of children suppressed at enrollment had undetectable viral load at 12 months in FCCM versus SOC children (98.0% versus 92.5%), a statistically significant difference across analytical methods. Among the 61 children unsuppressed at enrollment, achieving suppression was higher among SOC versus FCCM children, but this difference was not statistically significant and included only 38 children; and there were no significant differences in detectable viral load at 12 months. There were no significant differences between study groups in retention or ART adherence at 12 months for children or caregivers. Factors associated with lack of viral suppression/detectability at 12 months included lack of viral suppression at enrollment and having a younger caregiver (age <25 years). Conclusions: FCCM in Eswatini was associated with a modest increase in viral suppression/undetectability at 12-months; 12-month retention and adherence did not differ by study group for children or caregivers. High levels of suppression and retention in both groups may have limited our ability to detect a difference. Trial registration: NCT03397420; ClinicalTrials.gov.
Objective: Family caregivers (FCs) of cancer patients often experience high distress. This randomized clinical trial assessed the feasibility and preliminary effects of an intervention to improve FC supportive care. Method: A pragmatic and minimal intervention to improve FC supportive care was developed and pretested with FCs, oncology team, and family physicians to assess its relevance and acceptability. Then, FCs of lung cancer patients were randomized to the intervention or the control group. The intervention included (1) systematic FC distress screening and problem assessment in the first months after their relative cancer diagnosis, and every 2 months after; (2) privileged contact with an oncology nurse to address FC problems, provide emotional support and skills to play their caregiving role; (3) liaison with the family physician of FCs reporting high distress (distress thermometer score ≥4/10) to involve them in the provision of supportive care. Distress, the primary outcome, was measured every 3 months, for 9 months. Secondary outcomes included quality of life, caregiving preparedness, and perceived burden. At the end of their participation, a purposive sample of FC from the experimental group was individually interviewed to assess the intervention usefulness. Content analysis was performed. Results: A total of 109 FCs participated in the trial. FC distress decreased over time, but this reduction was observed in both groups. Similar results were found for secondary outcomes. However, FCs who received the intervention felt better prepared in caregiving than controls (p = 0.05). All 10 interviewed FCs valued the intervention, even though they clearly underused it. Knowing they could contact the oncology nurse served as a security net. Significance of results: Although the intervention was not found effective, some of its aspects were positively perceived by FCs. As many of them experience high distress, an improved intervention should be developed to better support them.
Background: Gliomas are the most common primary malignant brain tumors in adults. It has a devastating impact on the cognitive, physical, social, and psychological well-being of patients. Informal caregivers refer to family members, friends, and other carers of the patient who provide unpaid care for patients. They provide physical and psychological support for patients and the family during the disease process. Despite this, there is a paucity of knowledge regarding the experiences and needs of glioma caregivers across the disease trajectory. Methods: A systematic review will be conducted to identify the experiences and needs of informal caregivers of patients with glioma. Seven English databases and four Chinese databases will be analyzed. The search is limited to peer-reviewed full-text articles published either in English or Chinese, with no restrictions on the publication period. According to the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) manual for evidence synthesis, two independent reviewers will apply the JBI Critical Appraisal Checklist for Qualitative Research to evaluate the methodological quality of each study. The JBI meta-aggregation method will subsequently be used to synthesize the data, eventually forming themes, categories, and findings. Discussion: The systematic review is expected to be the first qualitative synthesis of evidence pertains to the experience of family caregivers for glioma patients. The findings generated from the systematic review may be rewarding for researchers to improve care and quality of life for glioma patients and their family members. Trial registration: PROSPERO CRD42020222307.
Background and Purpose: The need for high-quality long-term healthcare services is increasing across the globe as the population ages. Strategies for improving transitional care from hospital to home are needed. This study aimed to explore the perspectives of patients aged 65 years and over and their family caregivers transitioning from hospital to home in an urban area of Turkey. Methods: Thematic analysis of in-depth semi-structured interviews was conducted with older patients (n = 14), with at least one chronic disease and admitted to the hospital for a minimum of 3 days, and family caregivers (n = 11) who voluntarily participated. Results: Main themes were "confused feelings of safety and stress"; "worried about being left alone"; and "disrupted healthcare journey." The proactive rehabilitation model was used to elaborate on the study findings and interpret the perspectives and experiences of older patients and their family caregivers, which can be used for improving the quality of care after discharge from hospital. Implications for Practice: A high-quality transitional care program requires taking care of the feeling of safety in older patients and their family caregivers by the multidisciplinary team and their enhanced involvement in care initiatives after hospital discharge.
Background: Primary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (pHLH) is a rare and life-threatening disorder, which usually occurs during infancy or early childhood and is characterized by abnormal activation of the immune system. However, the burden of pHLH on children and their families has not been previously evaluated. Methods: This qualitative study investigated the impact of pHLH and its treatment on the physical, emotional, and social well-being of patients and caregivers in the USA and UK using interviews to provide a comprehensive insight from the perspective of the caregivers and young survivors. Results: Twenty-one caregivers were enrolled (median [range] age, 41.1 [26-58] years) and represented 20 patients, four from the UK and 16 from the USA. At enrollment, 17 of the 20 patients were alive with a median [range] age of 12.75 [5-31] years at a mean [range] of 7.8 [0.6-11.6] years after diagnosis. In addition, four adult survivors (median [range] age, 23.3 [21-30] years) were also enrolled (total participants n = 25). From noticing initial symptoms to receiving a diagnosis, caregivers reported a mean (range) of 25.9 (0-258) months. pHLH and its treatment had a substantial and long-lasting impact on patients and caregivers, affecting their physical, emotional and social well-being, family relationships, friendships, and ability to work and study. Many of the experiences reported were negative, even after curative treatment, and some participants experienced long-lasting physical and emotional issues. The most noticeable impact of pHLH for patients was on their physical well-being, whereas for caregivers it was emotional well-being. Across all participants there was a sense of isolation due to the illness and its treatment, particularly regarding the patient being immunocompromised and the fear of infection. Areas having a major impact and considered in need of improvement included: delays in diagnosis, lack of patient-specific information on pHLH and a lack of support and understanding about the condition. Conclusions: pHLH placed a substantial burden on patients and caregivers, which for some were long-lasting. This was compounded by the lack of awareness and understanding of pHLH by healthcare professionals, and a lack of accessible information for those affected by pHLH.
Background: There is little evidence that outlines how family carers understand the person with dementia's perspective, values and anticipated future needs. Whilst people with dementia should be consulted about their own quality of life and care values, carers – otherwise known as care partners – require such understandings to ensure that the support the person receives into the future upholds their quality of life and is consistent with what they desire. Aim: This research aimed to explore and describe family carers' experience of supporting the person with dementia to maintain their quality of life by understanding how carers developed an awareness and understanding of the person with dementia's expectations for the future and what they believed was important for the person to whom they provided care. Method: Using an application of the grounded theory method, data were collected from 21 carers during semi structured interviews and analysed using constant comparative analysis. Findings: Four categories emerged from the data: Knowing the person, Process of decision making, Maintaining normalcy and quality of life and Out of their control. Discussion: This study provides insights into how carers developed awareness of the expectations of people with dementia. Findings also illuminate carers' perspectives of the changing nature of decision making during the dementia trajectory. Conclusion: Understanding the perspective of the person living with dementia is essential to facilitate advocacy and support that is 'person centred' now and into the future. Assisting carers to incorporate this perspective into caring has the potential to be better facilitated by health professionals and merits further investigation.
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
Background: Informal caregivers of persons living with dementia have an increased risk of adverse mental health effects. It is therefore important to systematically summarize published literature in order to find out which mental health interventions generate effective support for informal caregivers of persons living with dementia. Objectives: The objective of this study is to conduct a systematic review of intervention content, effectiveness and subgroup differentiation of mental health interventions for informal caregivers of persons with dementia living at home. Method: We searched four electronic databases (PubMed, PsychINFO, Scopus and CINAHL) and included only methodically high-quality randomized controlled trials (RCTs), published in English or German language between 2009 and 2018. The intervention programmes focused on mental health of family caregivers. A narrative synthesis of the included studies is given. Results: Forty-eight publications relating to 46 intervention programmes met the inclusion criteria. Burden, depression and quality of life (QoL) are the predominant parameters that were investigated. Twenty-five of forty-six interventions (54.3%) show positive effects on at least one of the outcomes examined. Most often, positive effects are reported for the outcome subjective burden (46.2%). Only six studies explicitly target on a certain subgroup of informal dementia caregivers (13%), whereas all other interventions (87%) target the group as a whole without differentiation. Conclusion: The most beneficial results were found for cognitive behavioural approaches, especially concerning the reduction of depressive symptoms. Besides this, leisure and physical activity interventions show some good results in reducing subjective caregiver burden. In order to improve effectiveness, research and practice may focus on developing more targeted interventions for special dementia informal caregiver subgroups.
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.
Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers and informal caregivers were at an increased risk of adverse mental health effects. This systematic review provides a summary of the available evidence on the content and efficacy of the psychological support interventions in increasing mental health among healthcare providers and informal caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: PubMed, Google Scholar, PsychINFO, and Scopus databases were systematically searched for relevant articles, and the methodological quality of selected articles was assessed using the Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies. Results: A search of electronic databases identified five reports based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. All psychological support interventions for caregivers were delivered digitally. Despite the large heterogeneity of the selected studies, the findings support the efficacy of mental health interventions in reducing distress and burnout, while promoting self-efficacy and well-being in both healthcare providers and informal caregivers. Conclusion: Since mental health problems are expected to increase during, and as a result of, the COVID-19 pandemic, and digital tools might offer a range of mental health treatments to meet the unique and immediate needs of people, further research is needed to test the cost-effectiveness of digital psychological interventions.
Background: Latinas with breast cancer draw on a diverse range of family members for informal care. Latin cultures typically prescribe high levels of support and care for an ill family member that leave caregivers vulnerable to compromised well-being. Method: In this cross-sectional survey study, 258 family caregivers of Latinas with breast cancer completed reports of psychological distress, availability of social support, and acculturation. Results: Mothers who provide care to a daughter with breast cancer experience higher levels of psychological distress and report lower availability of informational support than most other types of family caregivers. Mothers' lower levels of acculturation may at least partially explain these reductions in well-being. Discussion: This study highlights the diverse range of family and fictive kin who participate in family caregiving for Latina breast cancer survivors. Spousal caregivers may not represent a unique population, whereas mothers as caregivers are indeed distinct for their higher distress levels.
Background: The wellbeing of family caregivers of mentally ill persons has often been ignored, despite that family caregivers can be predisposed to psychiatric morbidities and burden in caring for their mentally ill family members. This study examined the levels of psychological distress and burden of care experienced by family caregivers who care for their mentally ill relatives in Edo State, Nigeria. Methods: This study assessed psychological distress using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Burden of care was measured using the 22-item Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) questionnaire. Multiple linear regression was done to determine factors associated with burden of care and psychological distress, while factor analysis was used to determine the underlying forms of burden of care and psychological distress among participants. Results: Caregivers studied were relatives of patients diagnosed for depression (25.1%), substance use disorder (22.2%), schizophrenia (20.2%) and bipolar affective disorder (11.1%). Approximately 15% experienced no-to-mild burden, 51.3% mild-to-moderate burden and 34.0% high-or-severe burden. Nearly halve (49.0%) of participants experienced psychological distress. Severe rate of psychological distress was observed among subjects caring for patients with schizophrenia (60.7%), epilepsy (60.0%), substance use disorder (52.2%) and depression (49.0%). High burden of care was more preponderant among caregivers of relatives with mental retardation and epilepsy (50% each) and schizophrenia (39.3%). Having a higher educational qualification and being self-employed was a predictor of psychological distress. Gender of caregiver and the diagnosis schizophrenia among relatives of caregivers predisposed to burden of care. Three factors including social and emotional dysfunction, psychological distress and cognitive dysfunction were identified as components of psychological health through factor analysis. On the burden scale, six factor components were identified as: personal strain, role strain, intolerance, patients’ dependence, guilt and interference in personal life. Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of psychological morbidity and burden of care among family caregivers providing care for persons with mental illness.
Background: Dementia is one of the world's greatest public health issues. Most people with dementia receive home care, and family members are vulnerable to feeling burdened and depressed that reinforces the need for caregiver-driven services to mitigate these negative effects. Objective: The purpose of this research was to evaluate the effect of the psychoeducational program on burden and quality of life of family caregivers for people with dementia. Methods: This randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted on 60 family caregivers. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either the 8-session psychoeducational program (study group) or routine care only (control group). The demographic data of the caregivers and their patients, the burden of caregivers using Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI), and the quality of life of the patients using Quality of Life in Alzheimer Disease (QoL-AD) questionnaire were measured before and after the psychoeducational program and compared between the study group and the control group. Results: The results revealed that 80% of the family caregivers were female and 42% were daughters. The mean ± SD of the baseline burden was 61 ± 13.7 and 60.9 ± 10 in the study and the control group, respectively. ZBI burden score in the study group demonstrated a significant drop after the psychoeducational program compared to the control group. Logistic regression analysis showed that caregivers who received the psychoeducational program have OR (95% CI) of 14 (3.1-67.8) compared to those who did not receive the psychoeducational program. Conclusions: Psychoeducational program is effective in reducing the family caregivers' perceived burden. These findings need to be considered in developing comprehensive dementia care programs to well increase the strategies that help caregivers to deal with their patients.
A growing number of people live with cancer and dementia. Dementia creates a particular set of challenges in all aspects of cancer treatment and care, including diagnosis, decision-making, access to appointments, monitoring of signs and symptoms of cancer and side effects of cancer treatment, and management of self-care tasks. People with cancer and dementia often require extensive support from family carers, and those without family support face additional challenges. This article uses the emerging UK evidence base on cancer and dementia to discuss the challenges that arise when providing cancer treatment and care to people with dementia and their families, and to make research-based recommendations on how to improve service provision for that population.
Background: Persons with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) are often characterized as ideal adopters of new digital healthcare trends, but it is worth thinking about whether and which pwMS will be targeted and served by a particular eHealth service like a patient portal. With our study, we wanted to explore needs and barriers for subgroups of pwMS and their caregivers when interacting with eHealth services in care and daily living. Methods: This study comprises results from two surveys: one collecting data from pwMS and their relatives (as informal caregivers) and another one providing information on the opinions and attitudes of healthcare professionals (HCPs). Data were analyzed descriptively and via generalized linear models. Results: 185 pwMS, 25 informal caregivers, and 24 HCPs in the field of MS participated. Nine out of ten pwMS used information technology on a daily base. Individual impairments like in vision and cognition resulted in individual needs like the desire to actively monitor their disease course or communicate with their physician in person. HCPs reported that a complete medication overview, additional medication information, overview of future visits and a reminder of medication intake would be very helpful eHealth features for pwMS, while they themselves preferred features organizing and enriching future visits. Conclusions: A closer look at the various profiles of eHealth adoption in pwMS and their caregivers indicated that there is a broad and robust enthusiasm across several subgroups that does not exclude anyone in general, but constitutes specific areas of interest. For pwMS, the focus was on eHealth services that connect previously collected information and make them easily accessible and understandable.
Background: Spinal cord injury imposes high demands on family caregivers providing long-term care. Professional home care has been suggested for family caregivers’ relief. However, it is not clear whether professional home care can achieve the goal of relieving family caregivers. Objective: To quantify to what extent professional home care was used as a relief or replacement for family caregivers, using the case of care for persons with spinal cord injury in Switzerland. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting: Community setting in Switzerland. Participants: 717 family caregivers of persons with spinal cord injury living at home. Methods: Linear regression analyses were applied to investigate the relationship between care hours by family caregivers and the use of professional home care. Percentages of family caregivers that assisted in different tasks, and their time investment in the tasks, were contrasted between those with and without professional home care. Multiple logistic regression compared the likelihood of specific tasks being assisted by family caregivers dependent on whether professional home care was in place. The reasons given for not hiring more professional home care despite unmet needs were described with relative frequencies. Results: Adjusted for non-utilization, care hours of family caregivers had a positive, but insignificant, relationship with the hours of professional home care (Coef. = 0.21, 95% CI: –0.05–0.47). Assistance in activities of daily living was more frequent in family caregivers with professional home care. Eating and drinking assistance was provided by 47% of family caregivers with professional home care (versus 18% of those without professional home care). The most frequent task in instrumental activities of daily living was housekeeping (88% of family caregivers with professional home care and 83% of those without professional home care). After adjusting for characteristics of the caregivers and care recipients, significantly lower odds of assistance were found in washing feet (OR 0.39, 95% CI: 0.22–0.71), transferring to the toilet or bathtub (OR 0.53, 95% CI: 0.29–0.96), and climbing stairs (OR 0.26, 95% CI: 0.09–0.69). Higher odds of assistance were found in respiratory care (OR 2.22, 95% CI: 1.04–4.74) and bladder management (OR 1.99, 95% CI: 1.05–3.76) with professional home care in place. No significant difference was found in other tasks. Conclusion: Professional home care is a strong support to caregivers in high care demand situations, but it is not a replacement. The present study recommends further relief, empowerment, and acknowledgement for family caregivers.
An editorial is presented on the Prioritizing Family Caregiving Research Across Diverse Settings to Support Aging Society. The article discusses that this has become abundantly clear during the evolving COVID-19 pandemic as family caregivers took on increasing responsibility for care amid the most challenging of circumstances; and research must not only continue but must also grow to better demonstrate how we can effectively support caregivers.
Background: Family-based ‘informal’ caregivers are critical to enable sustainable cancer care that produces optimal health outcomes but also gives rise to psychological burdens on caregivers. Evidence of psychosocial support for caregivers does not currently address the impacts of their role in providing clinical and health-related care for their loved ones. The present study sought to address this gap including with those from priority populations. Methods: Qualitative data was collected using focus group and interview methods. We purposively sampled caregivers identified as having a high burden of responsibility for providing clinical care including those from ethnic minority backgrounds, parental caregivers and those living rurally. Transcripts were subject to thematic analysis utilising a team-based approach. Results: Family-based caregivers included spouses (11), parents (7), children (1), siblings (1). Ten participants were from ethnic minority backgrounds and five participants were from regional or rural locations. Four resulting inter-related themes were; 1) Dual burden of providing clinical care and managing personal emotional distress; 2) Navigating healthcare partnership dynamics; 3) Developing a caregiving skillset, and 4) Unique supportive needs and barriers to access. These data provide evidence of the unique challenge of providing clinical care as part of family-based caregiving for a loved one with cancer, and the absence of support for caregivers to take up this role. Conclusion: Our findings highlight the substantial contribution of family-based caregivers to the provision of cancer care in contemporary health systems. Inadequate support for caregivers is apparent with regard to their role in providing clinical aspects of care such as medication administration and management. Support programs to prepare caregivers to provide clinical care while building capacity to manage their stressors and emotions through this challenging period may be valuable towards sustainable, person-centred care.
Background: Pre-loss grief (PLG) has been identified as a robust risk factor for Prolonged Grief Disorder, which will be added to the DSM 5-TR. Therefore, identifying treatment targets to reduce PLG is warranted. "Preparedness" has been found to strongly predict PLG. The work is nascent and a consensus has not been reached about how best to assess for preparedness, and no reliable measure of this construct exists. Before examining the relationship between preparedness and PLG, an in depth understanding of how family members define preparedness is warranted. The purpose of this study was to develop a preliminary theoretical framework of preparedness for the loss. Methods: This was achieved through prospective semi-structured interviews with family members of Stage 4 Cancer (N = 16) and Advanced Dementia (N = 24) patients. Findings: The overarching theme related to preparedness for the loss was the need to reduce uncertainty, both before the person passes away (i.e., present certainty) and after the person passes away (i.e., future certainty). Factors associated with the need to establish certainty in the present included, religiosity and spirituality, good relationship quality with the person with the life limiting illness, having access to support, good communication with person with life limiting illness, and acceptance of the impending death. Certainty for the future included, knowing what to expect due to past experience of loss, having plans for life without the person, and social support. Conclusions: This study provides a preliminary framework of preparedness for family members of individuals with life limiting illness.
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.
Background: Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face higher levels of caregiver strain compared to parents of children with other disabilities. This study examined child clinical features that predict high levels of caregiver strain for 374 parents of children with ASD. Methods: Caregiver strain was measured using the Caregiver Strain Questionnaire (CGSQ) objective, subjective internalized, and subjective externalized subscales. Results: Confirmatory factor analysis indicated an acceptable fit for the original CGSQ three-factor solution. The strongest child predictors across CGSQ subscales were: disruptive behavior for objective strain, autism severity and disruptive behavior for subjective internalized strain, and oppositional behavior and hyperactivity for subjective externalized strain. Conclusions: Individualized interventions that attend to specific elements of parental strain may reduce strain and improve family wellbeing.
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.
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.
The inherent challenges of an aging population and increased frailty include physical, social, psychological, and cognitive issues and associated complexities. With the growing population of persons living with dementia (PLWD), the need for continued support of family caregivers for these individuals also grows. Chronic pain is a common problem among older adults. The 2016 Global Burden of Disease Study reported pain as the leading cause of disability and disease burden globally (Vos et al., 2017). Pain management is a key aspect of the family caregiver role, but many family caregivers need education, support, and training to ensure that their loved ones' pain-related needs are addressed. As the demand for family caregiving increases, policymakers must acknowledge the expanding surrogacy role that caregivers play with PLWD and develop policies to address this need. This paper reviews the problem of pain in PLWD and the family caregiver's role. Two pieces of legislation—the Older Americans Act and the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act—are reviewed as opportunities for pain management nursing policy advocacy.
Background: Family caregivers are key actors in the ageing society. They are mediators between practitioners and patients and usually provide also essential daily services for the elders. However, till now, few services have been deployed to help caregivers in their care tasks as in improving their mental health which can experience sever burden due to caregiving duties. Objectives: The purpose of the study is to implement a community-based participatory research project to co-design an innovative organizational model of social services for family caregivers of elderly health consumers living in remote rural areas in Italy. Methods: This is a community-based participatory research project in the remote area of Vallecamonica involving four main phases. These included a quantitative analysis of caregiver needs, a scoping review on existing services for caregivers, co-design workshops with local stakeholders and caregivers to create a novel service the piloting and a first implementation of the service and the assessment of project transferability to other contexts. Results: As the hours dedicated to elder care increases, both objective and developmental caregiver's burden significantly increases. Conversely, higher levels of engagement were associated with lower physical and emotional burden, and caregiver engagement was positively correlated with their perceived self-efficacy in managing disruptive patient behaviours. Based on these preliminary results, four co-design workshops with caregivers were conducted and led to the definition of the SOS caregivers service, built on four pillars structured upon the previous need analysis: a citizens' management board, training courses, peer-to-peer meetings, and project and service information. We found that co-design is an effective means of creating new services for family caregivers, whose experiential knowledge proved to be a key resource for the project team in delivering and managing services. Less positively, the transferability analysis indicated that local municipalities remain reluctant to acknowledge caregivers' pivotal role. Conclusions: A dedicated support service for caregivers can ameliorate caregiving conditions and engagement levels. The service has resulted a successful co-productive initiative for a psycho-social intervention for family caregivers. For the future, we suggest that family caregiver should be considered an active partner in the process of designing novel psycho-social services and not just as recipients to enhance a better aging-in-place process.
Background: Learned resourcefulness, a theory-based education intervention, can be applied to provide strategies to improve the health status and reduce caregiver burden for older family caregivers. Methods: We developed a culturally relevant SOURCE program and designed a pilot study to its effect and feasibility for older family caregivers living in Taiwan. Using a quasi-experimental study with one-group, pre-test and post-test design, we recruited a convenience sample of 30 older family caregivers who received home-care services from a regional hospital in southern Taiwan. The older family caregivers participated in and completed the four-week SOURCE program. Effectiveness and feasibility data were collected after the completion of the program. Findings: Results indicated that the SOURCE program significantly improved caregiving burden (t = 3.05, p = .005) and revealed that the program was helpful and useful to older family caregivers. The next step will be to use the SOURCE program with more older family caregivers.
Background: Because of an often complicated and difficult-to-access care system, help-seeking for people with suspected dementia can be stressful. Difficulty in help-seeking may contribute to carer burden, in addition to other known stressors in dementia care. Objectives: This study examined the relationship between perceived help-seeking difficulty and carer burden, and the barriers contributing to perceived difficulty. Methods: We interviewed 110 carers accessing a community-based dementia assessment service for suspected dementia of a family member for their perceived difficulty, delays, and barriers in help-seeking, and carers burden in terms of role strain, self-criticism, and negative emotions. Results: Linear regression models showed that perceived help-seeking difficulty is associated with carer self-criticism, while carer role strain and negative emotions are associated with symptom severity of the person with dementia but not help-seeking difficulty. Inadequate knowledge about symptoms, service accessibility, and affordability together explained more than half of the variance in perceived help-seeking difficulty (Nagelkerke R2 = 0.56). Conclusion: Public awareness about symptoms, support in navigating service, and financial support may reduce perceived difficulty in help-seeking, which in turn may reduce carer self-criticism during the early course of illness.
Background: Perceived health in caregivers is related to caregiver burden, psychological well‐being and social support. Women perceive poorer health and are more likely than men to experience caregiver overload. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to analyse perceived health, perceived social support and caregiver overload in family caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease, as well as to study the effect of the perceived social support as a mediating variable between perceived health and caregiver overload was also analysed, taking into account the caregivers’ gender. Methods: A cross‐sectional descriptive design was used. The sample consisted of 255 family caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease in the Almería Health District (Spain). This study was conducted from January to December 2015. The caregivers’ mean age was 55.35 years (SD = 12.35), with 85.5% (n = 218) being women and 14.5% (n = 37) being men. The following questionnaires were administered: Goldberg's General Health Questionnaire‐28; the Caregiver Strain Index, measuring caregiver overload; and the Duke‐UNC‐11 functional social support questionnaire. Results: Poor perceived health, high caregiver overload and high perceived social support were found. Differences in perceived health and perceived social support were significantly higher in women than in men. In women, perceived social support was a mediating variable between perceived health and family caregiver overload. This mediation was not observed in men. Conclusion: This study suggests that perceived social support influences the emotional well‐being and the caregiver overload of family caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's. However, its effect differs according to gender. It would, therefore, be necessary to have an in‐depth understanding of the variables determining these differences in family caregivers.
Objectives: The aim of this study is to propose a model of the benefits and working mechanisms of family nursing conversations in home healthcare from the perspective of participating patients and their family members. Background: Family nursing conversations in this study are intended to optimise family functioning, improve collaboration between family and professional caregivers and ultimately prevent or reduce overburden of family caregivers. Methods: In a qualitative grounded theory design, data were collected in 2017 using intensive interviewing with participants of family nursing conversations in home healthcare. A total of 26 participants (9 patients and 17 family members) from 11 families participated in a family nursing conversation and the study. Seven nurses who received extensive education in family nursing conversations conducted them as part of their daily practice. Interviews occurred 4–6 weeks after the family nursing conversation. Results: The model that was constructed in close collaboration with the families consists of three parts. The first part outlines working mechanisms of the conversation itself according to participants, i.e. structured and open communication about the care situation and the presence of all of the people who are involved. The second part consists of the benefits that participants experienced during and immediately after the conversation – an increased sense of overview and improved contact among the people involved – and the related working mechanisms. The last part consists of benefits that emerged in the weeks after the conversation – reduced caregiver burden and improved quality of care – and the related working mechanisms. Insight into the benefits and working mechanisms of family nursing conversations may assist healthcare professionals in their application of the intervention and provides directions for outcomes and processes to include in future studies.
Background: Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are detrimental to health and are largely preventable with adherence to CAUTI prevention guidelines. Patient and family engagement in CAUTI prevention is often encouraged in these guidelines; however, little is known about how this engagement is operationalized in practice. Methods: A systematic review was conducted to synthesize the content, format, and outcomes of interventions that engage patients and/or families in CAUTI prevention. Two reviewers independently screened records from four databases up to March 2021 and searched reference lists of final articles. Included articles were primary research, tested an intervention, involved indwelling urinary catheters, and described at least one patient and/or family engagement method. Articles were appraised for quality using the Downs and Black checklist. Findings: After 720 records were screened, 12 were included. Study quality ranged from good to poor, scoring lowest in internal validity. The most common formats of patient/family engagement were flyers/handouts (83.3%) and verbal education (58.3%). Common content areas were urinary catheter care and maintenance strategies. Most study outcomes (83.3%) measured CAUTI rates, and half measured patient/family-related outcomes. Improvements were seen in at least one outcome across all studies, but less than half (41.7%) showed statistically significant results. The researchers found that most interventions lacked sufficient detail on the content, delivery, and/or outcome measurement of patient/family engagement, which limits transferability. Conclusions: More high-quality, generalizable trials are warranted in this area. Future research should focus on integrating publicly available resources into practice that can be tested for comprehension and revised based on feedback from target audiences.
Background and Objective: Research has documented the stigma that individuals with degenerative neurological diseases experience, but caregivers also experience stigma by association (i.e., affiliate stigma). In order to shed light on the stigma of caregivers of people with degenerative neurological diseases, the current study aimed to explore cross-cultural differences in the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease (PD) caregiver affiliate stigma, as well as the relationship between PD symptoms and caregiver affiliate stigma. Applications for Alzheimer’s disease are discussed. Methods: Survey data were collected in PD clinics at public, academic medical centers. Informal caregivers of an individual with PD from the US (n = 105) and from Mexico (n = 148) participated in the study. Caregivers completed a questionnaire that included the MDS Unified PD Rating Scale to describe the symptoms of the individual with PD, as well as the Affiliate Stigma Scale and demo-graphic information. Results: A series of multiple regressions was run to examine whether PD symptoms were associated with affiliate stigma and if these differed by country. These regressions suggested that different patterns of PD symptoms predicted affiliate stigma in each country. Stigma was higher in the US compared to Mexico, and the relationship between bowel/bladder symptoms and affiliate stigma was significantly stronger in the US. Conclusion: Symptoms of individuals with neurodegenerative diseases are related to affiliate stigma experienced by caregivers, and these relationships may differ cross-culturally. Negative public attitudes concerning bowl and bladder issues and the physical symptoms that accompany PD re-main a source of stigma for caregivers and families, particularly in the US. Interventions for caregivers of individuals with neurodegenerative diseases should include strategies for coping with stigma concerning bladder and bowel problems, as well as other physical and mental health issues.
Background: The Community‐Based Rehabilitation (CBR) services under the Malaysian Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development have provided two types of services for disabled children: centre‐based and home‐based care since 1984. Methods: A cross‐sectional study was conducted among parents and caregivers with children receiving treatment at CBRs on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, to determine the level of satisfaction with the services provided. Respondents were recruited via multi‐staged sampling, and simple randomisation at CBR level. Respondents self‐administered the Physical Therapy Satisfaction Questionnaire (PTSQ) and provided sociodemographic data. Results: A total of 297 respondents were recruited and all the questionnaires were returned complete, making the response rate 100%. Total satisfaction scores and factors influencing respondents’ satisfaction for both groups were analysed. The mean total satisfaction score for centre‐based and home‐based were 84.69 (SD = 10.01) and 75.30 (SD = 12.23; t = 7.160, p ≤ .001) respectively. Ninety‐eight per cent of centre‐based and 89% of home‐based respondents were satisfied with the current services. There were significantly mean differences in the satisfaction level of respondents of different states respectively (Kelantan mean 84.92 10.83, Terengganu mean 77.49 11.16 and Pahang mean 77.47 12.93, p ≤ .001). Factors associated with satisfaction were education (p = .002), occupation (p = <0.001), monthly income (p = .001) and source of income (p = .001). Conclusions: In conclusion, majority of parents and caregivers were satisfied with current services provided at CBR and satisfaction with services was dependent on CBR centre location and education and financial earning capacity.
Background: Despite the well-known role of parents as caregivers, few studies have addressed their health outcomes related to the Zika virus epidemic. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out with 146 primary caregivers of children 15–26 months of age, with laboratory and/or clinical evidence of Zika infection between August and October 2017 in three Brazilian municipalities: João Pessoa and Campina Grande in the state of Paraíba and Fortaleza in the state of Ceará. Caregivers reported on their child's life and health, family circumstances and underwent screening for stress using the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form. Children were evaluated for developmental delays and clinical outcomes. Differences in the prevalence of risk factors between caregivers with high or clinically relevant stress and those with normal stress were evaluated. Results: Of the 146 participants, 13% (n = 19) were classified as having high or clinically relevant stress, all of them mothers. The two risk factors significantly and independently associated with high levels of stress, compared with individuals with normal stress levels, were "reporting difficulty in covering basic expenses" (adjusted OR 3.6 (95% CI 1.1–11.8; p = 0.034)) and "having a child with sleep problems" (adjusted OR 10.4 (95% CI 1.3–81.7; p = 0.026)). Conclusions: Some factors seem to contribute significantly more than others to the level of stress experienced by caregivers of children with evidence of Zika virus congenital infection. Interventions and preventive strategies should also target caregivers, who in turn will be able to respond to the unique characteristics of their child.
Background: This study identifies and describes feeding concerns of parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and examines the extent to which parents relate those concerns as having been addressed by therapists. Methods: Survey data were collected from 113 parents of children with ASD. Results: Of the parents surveyed, 68% described a past or present concern with feeding; 60% of those parents with concerns said a therapist had not addressed those concerns. Feeding concerns were more likely addressed when therapists shared parent's concerns. Specific types of concerns, such as those around food selectivity and food refusal, were more likely addressed than difficulties around mealtime. A gap is identified between parental report of feeding difficulties and parental report of professional services addressing feeding needs. Conclusion: This analysis presents an opportunity for occupational therapists in the area of feeding, particularly around identifying and addressing parental concerns.
Background: This study investigated whether parental caregiving burden changed during adjunct multi-family therapy of adolescent anorexia nervosa and eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS) and whether caregiver burden at baseline and changes in caregiver burden during treatment were associated with treatment outcome. Methods: Twenty-four females, 13 to 16 years old, and their parents, participated in the study. Caregiver burden was measured with the Eating Disorders Symptom Impact Scale, by mothers (n = 23) and fathers (n = 22). Treatment outcome was measured by adolescent body mass index, level of global functioning and self-rated eating disorder symptoms by the Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire 4.0. Results: All patient outcomes improved and overall caregiver burden decreased significantly during treatment. When broken down in aspects of caregiver burden the decrease in parental perceived isolation, was found to be associated with improvement of BMI and Children's Global Assessment Scale. When analyzing fathers and mothers separately, we found that maternal feelings of guilt and paternal perceived burden of dysregulated behaviors at base-line were correlated to treatment outcome. Conclusions: Future studies are needed to clarify the role of caregiver burden as a potential mediator of treatment results.
Objective: The recent-onset period of type 1 diabetes (T1D) in early school-age children should include comprehensive, parent-focused T1D education as well as family-centered resources and support to help with adjustment. Here, we present parent/caregiver perspectives on specific areas of concern during the recent-onset period of T1D and their preferred timing for different topics related to T1D education. Methods: Parents/caregivers of 5- to 9-year-old children with T1D completed a card-sorting task and qualitative interview to describe ongoing areas of concern and preferred educational topics during the first year after T1D diagnosis. Results: Thirteen parents/caregivers (aged 35.1 ± 6.9 years) of a child with T1D (aged 8.9 ± 0.8 years, 11.3 ± 7.0 months post-diagnosis) completed the card-sorting task, and 11 completed the qualitative interview. Parents/caregivers endorsed four preferred stages of education: basic education and T1D survival skills during month 1 post-diagnosis, application and practice of T1D skills from months 1–3, access to community supports to cope with anxiety and distress from months 3–6, and support to build autonomy and manage burnout beyond month 6 post-diagnosis. Parents/caregivers endorsed four main themes for ongoing concerns: anxiety, autonomy, distress, and support. Conclusion: Parents endorsed four time points for education and psychosocial services within the first year of a T1D diagnosis. Parents/caregivers may benefit the most from psychosocial interventions 3–6 months post-diagnosis, once they have had sufficient time to develop basic T1D management skills. These findings support the need for regular parent psychosocial screening and access to scalable psychosocial interventions in the first year post-diagnosis of T1D.
Background: The patients' companions can help improve transitional care as an important missing link, but their role is not clear. The aim of this study was to explore the role of the patients' companion in the transitional care from the open heart surgery intensive care unit (OH-ICU) to the cardiac surgery ward. Methods: This was a qualitative descriptive study using conventional content analysis that was conducted from September 2019 to February 2020 in Tehran, Iran. Purposeful sampling method with maximum variation was performed among the patients eligible for transfer to the cardiac surgery ward, their companions, nurses, and physicians in charge of transferring from the OH-ICU to the ward. 27 in-depth and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 participants, and data were analyzed using the Granheim and Lundman method. The data were managed using the MAXQDA software (version 10.0). Results: Based on our analysis, the theme "Dual role of the patients' companion" and its two categories, "Companion as a facilitator" and "Companion as an inhibitor", were extracted. Emotional support, satisfaction of basic needs, care arm, alarm bell, and communication bridge were the sub-categories of the first category, and Interfering with care and creation of tension were those of the second category. Conclusion: We concluded that the patients' companions can play an important role in transitional care, especially as emotional support and system assistants due to the structure of the health care system and Iranian cultural context. Therefore, it is suggested that the patients' companion should be considered as a member of the transition team and accompany them in this process by informing and supporting them.
Background: Most cancer patients' families suffer from maladaptation which increases family distress and caregiving burden. This study was conducted to explore the relationship between these maladaptation indicators, and the sense of coherence (SOC) of family caregivers alongside other family resilience determines among family caregivers of cancer patients. Methods: A total of 104 family caregivers of cancer patients were included in this cross-sectional study. They answered three questionnaires to assess family resilience factors: Family Inventory of Resources for Management (FIRM), Family Crisis Oriented Personal Evaluation Scales (F-COPES), and SOC scale. In addition, family maladaptation factors were determined by two instruments, including Family Distress Index (FDI) and Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI). Results: The results of this study showed that the FIRM and the SOC together were responsible for 35% and 43% of the variances in FDI and CBI scores, respectively (P < 0.001). "Reframing", the subscale of the F-COPES, significantly predicted the variances of FDI (β = −0.26, P = 0.01) and CBI scores (β = −0.21, P = 0.04). Moreover, "Mastery and health", the subscale of the FIRM, significantly predicted the variances of FDI (β = −0.38, P < 0.01) and CBI scores (β = −0.21, P = 0.02). Conclusions: Family caregiver's SOC alongside other family resilience determinants plays a significant role in alleviating family distress and caregiver burden. It is suggested that palliative care providers consider family caregivers' SOC in developing a psychological intervention plan to improve family resilience in families of cancer patients.
Objectives: Families impacted by paediatric cancer are met with logistical, financial and psychological impacts, with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus two creating additional barriers and stressors for these families. Connected Health (CH) may facilitate cancer care. The objective of the present study was to systematically review CH for families/informal caregivers affected by paediatric cancer. Methods: Using search terms relating to: (1) paediatric cancer, (2) family/caregivers and (3) CH, the databases of PsycINFO, Pubmed, EMBASE and Web of Science were searched. Inclusion criteria included an evaluation of CH technologies for supportive care for families/caregivers affected by paediatric cancer at any stage of treatment or survivorship. Results: Sixteen studies met inclusion criteria. CH was primarily web‐based (n = 6), however smartphone applications (n = 5), telehealth (n = 2) and online groups (n = 3) were utilised. Intervention areas included psycho‐social (n = 6), health and information provision (n = 8) and palliative care (n = 2). Conclusions: While limited studies have evaluated the impact of CH on families living with paediatric cancer, emerging evidence suggests potential benefits. More evidenced‐based interventions are required.
Objective: The aim of this study was to examine how the burden of caregivers of patients with an advanced oncological illness mediates the relationship between positive aspects of care, depression and anxiety. Methods: Quantitative study with a cross‐sectional design. One hundred informal adult caregivers of patients with advanced oncological illness who attended the pain and palliative care unit or the psychological unit at the Instituto de Cancerologia Clinica las Americas (Medellin, Colombia) completed self‐report assessments including positive aspects of care (PAC), burden and anxiety/depression measured using the HADS (Hospitalized Anxiety Depression Scale). The partial least squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS‐SEM) approach was selected to validate the hypotheses of the study. Results: Most of the participants were women (86%), with a mean age of 46.52 years (SD=15.05). Most of the participants reported experiencing both PAC and anxiety. They also scored low for burden. PAC exerted a negative effect on Burden, whereas Burden contributed positively to Anxiety and Depression. The indirect impact of PAC on Anxiety and Depression was significant p < .00. Conclusions: Positive aspects of care in advanced cancer caregivers constitutes a protective factor against caregiver's burden, depression and anxiety. Health staff can promote caregivers' adaptation and wellbeing emphasizing these PAC.
Objective: The vital role played by primary caregivers in caring for cancer patients is well‐recognized, but the caregiver burden and impact on family functioning to caregivers’ mental health is poorly understood. This study examined the prospective and reciprocal relationships between family functioning, caregiver burden, and mental health. We aimed to determine whether inferior family functioning and heavy caregiver burden act as risk factors for mental health, as consequences of mental health, or both. Methods: Participants were 187 primary caregivers of cancer patients. They completed questionnaires with standardized measures assessing family functioning, caregiver burden, and mental health. A quantitative longitudinal design and a cross‐lag model were used to test the reciprocal relationships between variables at three time points with 6‐month intervals during the first year of early‐stage cancer diagnosis and treatment. Results: Family functioning did not predict participants' future mental health, but their mental health state predicted future caregiver burden and family functioning. Caregiver burden also predicted participants' future mental health. There was a dynamic reciprocal relationship between caregiver burden and mental health over time. Conclusions: The findings of this study emphasize the adverse effects of caregiver burden and may contribute to shedding light on the distinct mechanisms that underlie the relationships between caregiver burden, family functioning, and mental health. Our findings indicate the necessity of developing interventions to reduce the burden of caregiving and to facilitate family functioning. They will provide direction for family‐centered nursing to meet primary caregivers' mental health needs in the care of cancer patients.
Background: The protective effects of social support for caregiver mental health are well documented, however the differential impact of support providers (partner, child, family, siblings, friends, professionals) and types (perceived, received) remain unclear. Methods: Observational data from 21 independent studies, involving a pooled sample of 2273 parents, stepparents and grandparents of children (aged ≤ 19) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were examined. Pearson's r, publication bias and heterogeneity were calculated using random effects modelling. Results: Significant associations were noted between lowered depressive symptoms and positive sources of support, regardless of support type. Conclusions: Parental mental health can be enhanced by strengthening close personal relationships alongside connections with formal support services. Longitudinal research is needed to explore support need and perceived helpfulness over time.
The existing interventions for informal caregivers assist with managing health outcomes of the role burden. However, the deeper meaning-making needs of informal caregivers have been generally neglected. This paper reflects on the meaning-making needs of informal caregivers, through the theory of narrative identity, and proposes a new approach – the Transformative Video Design technique delivered via video storytelling. Transformative Video Design assists informal caregivers to re-create a cohesive caregiving story and incorporate it into the narrative identity. The technique is used as a stimulus for triggering the self-re-structure within the narrative identity and facilitating role transformation.
Background: Growing numbers of interventions are being developed to support families living with dementia, but the extent to which they address the issues of most importance to people living with dementia and their carers is unclear. The aim of this review is to synthesise the best available qualitative evidence on the outcomes valued by (a) people living with dementia and (b) their carers, both for themselves and each other. This review is a part of a wider project aiming to improve post diagnostic support for people living with dementia and their carers. Method: We will use thematic synthesis methodology. Studies from 1990 onwards will be eligible if they include qualitative data on the views of people living with dementia or their carers on valued outcomes or the lived experience of dementia. Databases to be searched include MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycInfo and Social Sciences Premium Collection, in addition to systematically gathered grey literature. Rayyan QCRI software will be used to manage the screening processes and NVivo software will be used to manage data extraction and analysis. The review will also critically evaluate the extent to which international recommendations address the areas of importance to people living with dementia and their families. Results: The results of this review will be presented at the conference. Conclusion: The findings will be of relevance to researchers, policy makers, and providers and commissioners of dementia services.
Objective: Investigated clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a person-centred intervention for informal carers/caregivers of stroke survivors. Design: Pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial (cRCT) with economic and process evaluation. Setting: Clusters were services, from a UK voluntary sector specialist provider, delivering support primarily in the homes of stroke survivors and informal carers. Participants: Adult carers in participating clusters were referred to the study by cluster staff following initial support contact. Intervention was the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool for Stroke: a staff-facilitated, carer-led approach to help identify, prioritise and address the specific support needs of carers. It required at least one face-to-face support contact dedicated to carers, with reviews as required. Control was usual care, which included carer support (unstructured and variable). Outcome measures: Participants provided study entry and self-reported outcome data by postal questionnaires, 3 and 6 months after first contact by cluster staff. Primary outcome: 3-month caregiver strain (Family Appraisal of Caregiving Questionnaire, FACQ). Secondary outcomes: FACQ subscales of caregiver distress and positive appraisals of caregiving, mood (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) and satisfaction with stroke services (Pound). The economic evaluation included self-reported healthcare utilisation, intervention costs and EQ-5D-5L. Randomisation and masking: Clusters were recruited before randomisation to intervention or control, with stratification for size of service. Cluster staff could not be masked as training was required for participation. Carer research participants provided self-reported outcome data unaware of allocation; they consented to follow-up data collection only. Results: Between 1 February 2017 and 31 July 2018, 35 randomised clusters (18 intervention; 17 control) recruited 414 cRCT carers (208 intervention; 206 control). Study entry characteristics were well balanced. Primary outcome measure: intention-to-treat analysis for 84% retained participants (175 intervention; 174 control) found mean (SD) FACQ carer strain at 3 months to be 3.11 (0.87) in the control group compared with 3.03 (0.90) in the intervention group, adjusted mean difference of −0.04 (95% CI −0.20 to 0.13). Secondary outcomes had similarly small differences and tight CIs. Sensitivity analyses suggested robust findings. Intervention fidelity was not achieved. Intervention-related group costs were marginally higher with no additional health benefit observed on EQ-5D-5L. No adverse events were related to the intervention. Conclusions: The intervention was not fully implemented in this pragmatic trial. As delivered, it conferred no clinical benefits and is unlikely to be cost-effective compared with usual care from a stroke specialist provider organisation. It remains unclear how best to support carers of stroke survivors. To overcome the implementation challenges of person-centred care in carers’ research and service development, staff training and organisational support would need to be enhanced.Trial registration numberISRCTN58414120.
Objectives: The aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly, to investigate the potential benefits of online health communities (OHCs) for informal caregivers by conducting a systematic literature review. Secondly, to identify the relationship between the potential benefits of OHCs and resilience factors of older adults. Methods & Findings: Performing a thematic analysis, we identified the potential benefits of OHCs for informal caregivers of older adults, including two salient themes: (a) caregivers sharing and receiving social support and (b) self and moral empowerment of caregivers. Then, we uncovered how these potential benefits can support resilience of older adults. Our findings show that sharing and receiving of social support by informal caregivers, and self and moral empowerment of informal caregivers in OHCs, can support four resilience factors among older adults, including self‐care, independence, altruism and external connections. Conclusions: This review enables a better understanding of OHCs and Gerontology, and our outcomes also challenge the way healthcare and aged‐care service providers view caregivers and older adults. Furthermore, the identified gap and opportunities would provide avenues for further research in OHCs.
Informal family caregivers play a crucial role in end-of-life care, especially in the community. However, family caregivers are known to have high needs and psychological morbidity, including fatigue, sleep problems, depression, anxiety and burnout. Palliative care aims to provide psychosocial support to patients and families facing terminal illness. Interventions that aim to support family caregivers are increasing and have been reported in the literature. Implications for practice and research: Nurses should provide individualised interventions to support family caregivers in end-of-life-care at home. Multicomponent interventions have the potential to address the complex needs of family caregivers. Future research needs to establish effective interventions and their related components.
Objectives: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of home‐care nursing intervention on the burden of family caregivers for older adults surviving a stroke. A randomised clinical trial blinded for outcome evaluation. Methods: Forty‐eight family caregivers of older adults surviving a stroke took part in the study. The intervention group (IG) received three home visits by nurses in 1 month after hospital discharge for guidance on the disease and care activities for the elderly people. The control group (CG) relied on the service network that had access. The Caregiver Burden Scale was applied to assess the burden outcome 1 week, 60 days and 1 year after hospital discharge. Results: The caregivers of the intervention and CGs had no difference regarding baseline data. There was an interaction effect between the CG and the IG in the isolation domain (p = 0.037) and in the emotional involvement domain (p = 0.003) over time. Conclusions: These findings provide support for strengthening a care line for the elderly people after a stroke, with adequate discharge planning, indicating the importance of integrating care network services such as primary care, home care and hospital care with a view to achieving an effective care transition. It is also necessary to construct a specific instrument to evaluate other outcomes, such as the knowledge and learning of caregivers in relation to the care activities taught.
Background: Pneumoconiosis is an irreversible chronic disease. With functional limitations and an inability to work, pneumoconiosis patients require support from family caregivers. However, the needs of pneumoconiosis caregivers have been neglected. Objectives & Methods: This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a nurse-led education program, which involved four weekly 90-min workshops led by an experienced nurse and guided by Orem’s self-care deficit theory. A single-group, repeated-measure study design was adopted. Caregivers’ mental health (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, HADS, four single items for stress, worriedness, tiredness, and insufficient support), caregiving burdens (caregiving burden scale, CBS), and unmet direct support and enabling needs (Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool, CSNAT) were measured at the baseline (T0), immediately after (T1), and one month after intervention (T2); 49, 41, and 28 female participants completed the T0, T1, and T2 measurements. Mean age was 65.9 years old (SD 10.08) with a range between 37 and 85 years old. Results: The program improved the caregivers’ mental wellbeing, and reduced their caregiving burdens and their unmet support and enabling needs, both immediately (T1) and one-month after the intervention (T2). In particular, the intervention improved the caregivers’ mental wellbeing significantly, specifically depression symptoms, stress, and tiredness immediately after the intervention; and reduced most of their unmet support needs and unmet enabling needs one-month after the intervention. Conclusions: This was the first nurse-led program for pneumoconiosis caregivers and should serve as a foundation for further studies to test the program with robust designs.
Background: Community health-care services for older, home-dwelling persons with dementia tend to be underutilised. Family care-givers provide substantial care, and they often arrange for and co-ordinate health-care services on behalf of persons with dementia. Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine family care-givers' knowledge of unused services and their self-reported reasons for non-use of such services. We gathered cross-sectional survey data from 430 family care-givers of older persons with dementia in Northern Norway. Methods: Multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to identify predictors of family care-givers' knowledge of unused services. An open-ended question regarding reasons for non-use of services was analysed by thematic text analysis. Findings: Characteristics of family care-givers (e.g. education level) and factors related to the care-giving circumstances (e.g. negative impact of care-giving) predicted family care-givers' knowledge of unused services. Reasons for non-use of services were multifaceted and complex, and were related to attributes of the person with dementia and/or the family care-giver (e.g. reluctance to use services) and/or the health-care services (e.g. low quality). Although services were unused, several family care-givers indicated substantial needs for the services. Conclusions: Strategies aimed at addressing the non-use of services should emphasise individuals' and families' needs and the adaptation of information about available services and their benefits for both care recipients and family care-givers. A relationship-centred care approach is thus recommended in dementia care.
Background: Persons living with dementia have various health and social care needs and expectations, some which are not fully met by health providers, including primary care clinicians. The Quebec Alzheimer plan, implemented in 2014, aimed to cover these needs, but there is no research on the effect this plan had on the needs and expectations of persons living with dementia. The objective of this study is to identify persons living with dementia and caregivers’ met and unmet needs and to describe their experience. Methods: This is a sequential mixed methods explanatory design: Phase 1: cross-sectional study to describe the met and unmet health and social care needs of community-dwelling persons living with dementia using Camberwell Assessment of Need of the Elderly and Carers’ Assessment for Dementia tools. Phase 2: qualitative descriptive study to explore and understand the experiences of persons living with dementia and caregivers with the use of social and healthcare services, using semi-structured interviews. Data from phase 1 was analyzed with descriptive statistics, and from phase 2, with inductive thematic analysis. Results from phases 1 and 2 were compared, contrasted and interpreted together. Results: The mean total number of needs reported by the patients was 5.03 (4.48 and 0.55 met and unmet needs, respectively). Caregivers had 0.52 met needs (3.16 unmet needs). The main needs for both were memory, physical health, eyesight/hearing/communication, medication, looking after home, money/budgeting. Three categories were mentioned by the participants: Persons living with dementia and caregiver’s attitude towards memory decline, their perception of community health services and of the family medicine practice. Conclusions: Our study confirms the findings of other studies on the most common unmet needs of the patients and caregivers that are met partially or not at all. In addition, the participants were satisfied with access to care, and medical services in primary practices, being confident in their family. Our results indicate persons living with dementia and their caregivers need a contact person, a clear explanation of their dementia diagnosis, a care plan, written information on available services, and support for the caregivers.
Background: Informal caregivers for patients with head and neck cancer perform complex caregiving tasks on a daily basis, but caregivers' needs are rarely acknowledged or addressed in current healthcare practice. Methods: A thorough review of CINAHL®, MEDLINE®/PubMed®, and PsycINFO® was conducted by the authors. 266 manuscripts were identified, with no time limit. The search was conducted in November2019. In total, 19 articles were included in the review. Throughout the disease trajectory, caregivers' psychological and emotional support needs are consistently high, whereas information needs diminish overtime. Implications for practice: Informal caregivers are imperative in supplementing the continuing care demands of people living with head and neck cancer; however, they are at risk for experiencing caregiving burden. Skill training and psychological support interventions are needed for educating and supporting caregivers.
Background: In the present study we conduct a systematic review to evaluate the needs and experience of people with pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS) and their caregivers. Methods: The literature search was conducted across 10 academic databases, adhering to PRISMA-P guidelines. Quality appraisal was conducted using the mixed method appraisal test for individual studies, and GRADE-CERQual to establish overall confidence of findings. Results were analyzed using a process of narrative synthesis. Results: We identified 26 studies which included 2253 children/adolescents with MS (CAMS) and 1608 caregivers. MS was reported to negatively impact experiences for CAMS in domains such as of school performance, social relationships, mental health, and overall physical functioning. Specifically, fatigue and social support were reported as the most important barriers and facilitators for CAMS, respectively. In terms of caregiver experience, negative impacts were reported on social functioning, mental health, and quality of life. Additionally, lack of awareness concerning MS was one of the biggest challenges reported. Caregivers expressed needs for psychological and social support. Conclusions: This study provides the first evidence regarding the needs and experiences of CAMS and their caregivers. Findings can be used to address policy gaps for supporting families affected by pediatric MS.
We focus attention on problems that are affecting the informal caregivers of patients with neurodegenerative disorders in the time of COVID‐19. The pandemic is increasing difficulties in the management of the frailest people and their isolation is actually even more tangible than it was in the past. The social restrictions and the lockdown of many activities are putting the system of care provided by informal caregivers on the edge of collapse. We incite the scientific community to face these concerns and provide clinicians clear indications for assisting and supporting caregivers in the care of their relatives during this period. We suggest that e‐health programs could become the ideal “environment” to favor the continuity of care for patients with neurodegenerative conditions and guarantee the required support to their caregivers, both directly in terms of psychological management and indirectly for helping them in disease management.
Background: Community dwelling older adults who are care dependent are highly affected by incontinence, resulting in substantial informal caregiver burden. Understanding the experiences of these caregivers is needed to develop supportive programs that reduce caregiver burden and rates of institutionalization for care recipients. Objectives: This systematic review aimed to critically appraise and synthesize the qualitative literature on the perceptions, experiences, and consequences of informal caregivers managing incontinence in community dwelling older adults. Design: A qualitative evidence synthesis using meta-aggregation. Data sources: CINAHL, Embase, Ovid Medline, PsycInfo, Scopus, and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Review methods: A comprehensive search was conducted to identify qualitative studies of all designs, published in English from January 1970 to November 2020, reporting on the experiences of unpaid adult family members or friends providing care at home to an adult aged 60 or older with urinary and/or fecal incontinence. Screening, data extraction, and quality appraisal were conducted independently by two reviewers, with disagreements resolved by consensus with all team members. Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) processes were used to assess study quality, and the dependability and credibility of both study findings and synthesized findings. All articles included met predetermined criteria. Results: Database searches yielded 1165 references, of which 117 full-text documents were screened. Seven articles of moderate to high methodological quality met eligibility criteria and were included. Studies occurred in nine countries with 134 participants who were mostly female spouses of the care recipient. From these eligible studies, 49 findings were extracted with 35 equivocal or credible findings eligible for meta-aggregation. Findings were synthesized into the following four categories: 1) emotional responses, 2) physical, financial, and social consequences, 3) family roles and caregiver support, and 4) management and coping strategies. Conclusions: Informal caregivers experience many physical, psychosocial, and financial challenges in caring for an older family member with incontinence. Educational and supportive programs for managing incontinence should be multi-component and tailored to meet the individual needs of informal caregivers. Future research should incorporate strategies to cope with emotional responses and offer practical strategies for managing incontinence.
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.
Aim: The aim of this study is to adapt and evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness of a multisensory, psychosocial intervention called Namaste Care delivered by family and friend caregivers of community‐dwelling older adults with moderate to advanced dementia. Design: A multiphase mixed methods design combining quantitative and qualitative methods will be used. Methods: This study is composed of two phases. Phase 1 is guided by a qualitative description approach. Small group workshop sessions with 8–10 caregivers of community‐dwelling older adults with moderate to advanced dementia will be conducted to adapt Namaste Care. In Phase 2, 10–20 caregivers will receive training and implement the adapted Namaste Care approach at home. A one group, before‐after design will be used to evaluate feasibility, acceptability and preliminary effectiveness of the approach over 3 months. Feasibility will be assessed using quantitative measures and acceptability will be explored using qualitative methods. Outcomes to evaluate preliminary effectiveness include quality of life (QoL), positive perceptions of caregiving, self‐efficacy, and caregiver burden. Discussion: There are currently few skill‐building interventions that can be delivered by caregivers of people with moderate to advanced dementia at home. Caregivers should be involved in developing programs to enhance program relevance. This research will be the first to explore the feasibility of implementing the Namaste Care approach at home by caregivers. Impact: Study results will provide important information about the feasibility and preliminary effects of an adapted form of Namaste Care. This program has the potential to improve the QoL of caregivers and may prevent hospitalization or long‐term care placement of older persons with moderate to advanced dementia. The revised Namaste Care program supports building the skills of caregivers so that their needs and the needs of older persons with dementia living at home are being addressed.
Background: This research explores and represents the sleep of people caring for a family member with cognitive impairment or dementia. Methods: A thematic analysis was applied to the open-ended comments from 526 carers from a postal survey concerning sleep, health and caregiving. Themes are presented within a framework of five dimensions of sleep health. Findings: Themes of sleep duration included striking a balance between 'achieving the hours' whilst also sacrificing sleep to manage responsibilities. Themes of sleep efficiency included symptoms of insomnia ('losing sleep over the situation') and 'sleeping on guard' in case night-time support was required. Timing of sleep was themed as either restricted to 'when the one I care for sleeps' or salvaged as a luxury 'quiet time'. Levels of alertness were represented within themes of being 'tired all of the time' whilst also in a state of 'high alert'. Finally, overall sleep satisfaction ranged from themes concerning 'sleeping fine at the moment' to sleep being 'a big problem'. Conclusion: The sleep experience of family carers is unique and often includes tensions between roles and responsibilities and their own need for sleep and well-being. Findings have implications for community support and healthcare interventions for families affected by dementia.
Background/Objectives: While it is well‐known that caregiving can have adverse effects on the physical and mental health of informal caregivers and their families, caregivers of those with early‐onset Alzheimer's Disease (EOAD) may have distinct needs. Little is written about the experiences of Latino caregivers of family members with EOAD, especially inherited forms. This study's objective was to explore the experiences and needs of Latino caregivers of persons with EOAD. Methods: Five focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted among 27 informal caregivers of Latinos with EOAD who were recruited through an AD clinic in Los Angeles. Results: The stress of caregiving was compounded by other pressures and worries, such as taking care of young children, providing financially for family, caregivers' own co‐morbidities, and contemplating their own risk of inheriting EOAD. Resources for monolingual Spanish speakers were scarce. Participants had two primary unmet needs: information and support services. Participants lacked information about how to provide appropriate care, which heightened fears. Difficulty in obtaining a diagnosis from physicians who were uninformed about EOAD was also common. Recommended topics for informational campaigns included how‐to videos on caring for a loved one but also topics related to self‐care for caregivers. Conclusions: Our results underscore the need to tailor programs for caregivers of family members with EOAD. Educational campaigns could help to dispel myths and misconceptions, reduce stigma associated with EOAD, and encourage more people to seek timely care. Additional psychosocial support, such as support groups, could build solidarity and self‐efficacy. Better access to dual‐language information and support could encourage early help‐seeking but also improve caregivers' quality of life as they manage long‐term caregiving responsibilities.
Objective: To understand the multiple and sometimes conflicting roles substitute decision makers (SDMs) of individuals in a vegetative state (VS), minimally conscious state (MCS), or with locked-in syndrome (LIS) perform while caring for a loved one and the competing priorities derived from these roles. Methods: We conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews using a constructive-grounded theory design. Twelve SDMs, who were also family members for 11 patients, were interviewed at two time points (except one) for a total of 21 in-depth interviews. Results: Participants described that caregiving is often the central role which they identify as their top priority and around which they coordinate and to some extent subordinate their other roles. In addition to caregiving, they participated in a wide variety of roles, which were sometimes in conflict, as they became caregivers for a loved one with chronic and complex needs. SDMs described the caregiver role as complex and intense that lead to physical, emotional, social, and economic burdens. Conclusion: SDMs report high levels of burdens in caring for a person with a prolonged disorder of consciousness. Lack of health system support that recognized the broader context of SDMs lives, including their multiple competing priorities, was a major contributing factor.
Background: Multi-family therapy for Bulimia Nervosa (MFT-BN) was developed in response to the modest outcomes following both Family Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy for adolescents with BN. BN impacts individuals and their family members with high levels of carer stress. MFT-BN targets barriers to treatment including low motivation to change, hostility and criticism, negative affect alongside emotion dysregulation and common comorbidities. MFT-BN enhances treatment, providing a community of support and acquisition of emotional regulation and interpersonal skills. Methods: The study describes the clinical characteristics of the group of participants to whom MFT-BN is offered and presents the outcomes of families who have participated in it. Findings: Prior to MFT-BN, adolescents who received it were more likely to have self-harmed and had elevated levels of eating disordered cognitions than those who did not receive MFT-BN. Following MFT-BN, parents report decreases in the negative experiences of caregiving and in their own symptoms of anxiety. Adolescents report reductions in anxiety and depression alongside improvement in emotion regulation. Improvements in symptoms of eating disorders include reductions in eating disorder cognitions and modest reductions in binge and purge symptoms after 14 weeks of treatment. Adolescents who participated in MFT-BN were less likely to drop out of outpatient treatment.
Background: Being an informal caregiver (IC) of a cancer patient is often associated with psychological distress. We have recently, in a randomized controlled trial (RCT), demonstrated efficacy of Emotion Regulation Therapy for ICs (ERT-C), evidenced as lower levels of psychological distress. Such efficacy demonstration is important, but a crucial step in improving treatments for the IC population is the identification of moderators (i.e., for whom the treatment works) and mediators (i.e., the drivers of the detected effect). Material and methods: In a sample of 65 psychologically distressed ICs (combining participants who received immediate and delayed treatment in the RCT); we investigated age, gender, and homework completion as moderators of treatment outcome. Proposed mediators were derived from the ERT model and included mindfulness, emotion regulation dysfunction, decentering, and cognitive reappraisal. Results and conclusions: The strongest moderation effect was found for homework completion, predicting improvements on psychological distress. Correlational mediation analyses generally supported the ERT model. However, temporal precedence was only established for the association between decentering and worry, where a bidirectional relation was revealed. Homework thus emerged as an important aspect of ERT-C and, albeit a bidirectional relationship, changes in decentering may precede changes in worry. Future trials should ensure the robustness of these results, hone the specificity of process measures, and further investigate the causal timeline of change.
Background: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited chronic condition that requires extensive daily care and quarterly clinic visits with a multidisciplinary care team. The limited exchange of information outside of the quarterly clinic visits impedes optimal disease self-management, patient engagement, and shared decision making. Objective: The aim of this study is to adapt a mobile health (mHealth) app originally developed in Sweden to the needs of patients, families, and health care providers in a CF center in the United States and to test it as a platform for sharing patient-generated health data with the CF health care team. Methods: Focus groups with health care providers of patients with CF, adolescents with CF, and caregivers of children with CF were conducted to determine what modifications were necessary. Focus group data were analyzed using a thematic analysis, and emergent themes were ranked according to desirability and technical feasibility. The mHealth platform was then modified to meet the identified needs and preferences, and the flow of patient-generated health data to a secure Research Electronic Data Capture database was tested. Protocols for data management and clinical follow-up were also developed. Results: A total of 5 focus groups with 21 participants were conducted. Recommended modifications pertained to all functionalities of the mHealth platform, including tracking of symptoms, treatments, and activities of daily care; creating and organizing medication lists and setting up reminders; generating reports for the health care team; language and presentation; sharing and privacy; and settings and accounts. Overall, health care providers recommended changes to align the mHealth platform with US standards of care, people with CF and their caregivers requested more tracking functionalities, and both groups suggested the inclusion of a mental health tracker as well as more detailed response options and precise language. Beta testers of the modified platform reported issues related to translatability to US environment and various bugs. Conclusions: This study demonstrated the importance of identifying the needs and preferences of target users and stakeholders before adopting existing mHealth solutions. All relevant perspectives, including those of clinicians, patients, and caregivers, should be thoroughly considered to meet both end users’ needs and evidence-based practice recommendations.
Background: Multimorbidity tends to increase with age. Providing care that is individualized and that focuses on the whole person rather than on separate health issues is a challenge for healthcare, due to a lack of coordination and information exchange. In the future, relatives will need to take even more responsibility for their next of kin. Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore relatives' views of aspects that create a sense of security and feelings of quality of care related to acute mobile geriatric care for older people in their own homes. Methods: Data were collected using semi-structured interviews analysed using content analysis. Findings: This study is reported in accordance with the COREQ checklist. Interpersonal factors such as straightforward communication, empathy, having time for the person, a focus on the person, and having a few known caregivers who are easy to contact, rather than more clinical factors, have been identified as central to creating a sense of security and quality of care.
Objectives: To examine the feasibility and acceptability of NIDUS-Family, a 6–8 session manualised, individually tailored, modular intervention supporting independence at home for people with dementia; and explore participants' and facilitators' experiences of the intervention. Methods: In this single group multi-site feasibility study, trained, supervised non-clinically qualified graduates (facilitators) delivered NIDUS-Family to family carer and people living with dementia dyads. We recruited participants from GP practices and memory services in London and Bradford. We completed quantitative outcomes pre- and post-intervention; and conducted qualitative interviews with participants and facilitators. Our pre-specified main outcomes were proportion of potential participants approached who agreed to participate, intervention adherence and acceptability to family carers, and facilitator fidelity to the manual. Results: We recruited 16 dyads (57% of those approached); 12 (75%) completed the intervention. Of 12 participants rating intervention acceptability, 9 (75%) agreed or strongly agreed that it had helped; 2 (18%) neither agreed nor disagreed and 1 (8%) disagreed. Mean facilitator fidelity was high (81.5%). Dyads set on average 3.9 goals; these most commonly related to getting out and about and increasing activity/hobby participation (n = 10); carer wellbeing (n = 6), managing physical complaints (n = 6); meal preparation/cooking (n = 5); and reducing irritability, frustration or aggression (n = 5). Almost all secondary outcomes changed in a direction indicating improvement. In our qualitative analysis we identified three overarching themes; relationships facilitate change, goal-focused versus manualised approach and balancing the needs of carers and people with dementia. Conclusions: NIDUS-Family was feasible and acceptable to participants. Following refinements, testing in a pragmatic trial is underway.
Background: Evidence on effective fall prevention strategies for community‐dwelling elders with dementia is limited, although these elders are at high risk of falling. Informal caregivers may play an essential role in managing fall risk for elders with dementia. Thus, understanding caregiver's experiences is critically important. Objectives: This systematic review aims to (a) identify caregivers' perceptual, emotional and behavioural responses to fall risk in elders with dementia and (b) examine the outcomes and effects of caregiver behavioural responses. Methods: A mixed methods systematic review of 10 databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Social Service Abstracts, Social Work Abstracts, EMBASE, Web of Science, Scopus, Cochrane Library and TRIP Medical Database) was conducted. We searched English language, peer‐review articles (January 1, 1985–March 20, 2020) that met the predefined inclusion/exclusion criteria. Study quality was assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Data were analysed using thematic synthesis techniques. Findings: Twenty‐nine studies were included. Six analytic themes were generated concerning caregivers' perceptual, emotional and behavioural responses: (a) fear of the negative health consequences of falls; (b) limited insights into factors contributing to falls; (c) varying expectations of managing fall risk; (d) multi‐level efforts; (e) struggling with responsibilities; and (f) inaction and withdrawal. The findings about the outcomes and effects of caregivers' behaviours were synthesised into three analytic themes: (a) multi‐faceted outcomes; (b) uncertain and inconsistent evidence; and (c) unclear associations. Conclusions: The study generated new insights in understanding caregivers' responses of fall risk among community‐dwelling elders with dementia and identified significant gaps in examining the impact of caregivers' responses and what shapes these responses. Investment in understanding caregivers' perspectives will inform future interventions and policies to reduce negative outcomes for elders, caregivers and care systems.
Objectives: To provide an overview of the current use of mindfulness- and compassion-based interventions with family carers of older adults, to aid primary healthcare practitioners in their decision-making around referral to wider healthcare services. The study was guided by four research questions: what interventions are currently used; whom they are used with; why they are used; and their evidence-base in terms of acceptability and effectiveness. Methods: A scoping study using the methodological frameworks of Arksey and O'Malley and Levac et al. Searches of electronic databases (MEDLINE, CINHAL, PsycINFO), reference lists of relevant articles, and journal websites were conducted in June 2019. Search terms were developed via an iterative process, and included medical subject headings and keywords relating to mindfulness and compassion, interventions, and family carers. Articles were included if: written in English; published in a peer-reviewed journal; employed quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method research designs; and described a mindfulness- and/or compassion-based intervention for adults identified as a family carer of an older adult. Data from included studies were charted (using a purposively-designed template), and descriptively analysed in relation to the study's research questions. Findings: From 2005 unique records, 32 primary studies were included. Seven types of mindfulness- or compassion-based interventions were broadly described within studies, including: mindfulness-based stress reduction (n = 13), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (n = 3), meditation interventions (n = 9), acceptance and commitment therapy (n = 1), dialectical behaviour therapy (n = 1), compassion-focused therapy (n = 1), and study-specific interventions involving a combination of mindfulness and/or compassion (n = 4). Studies sampled a total of n = 991 participants and targeted six family carer sub-groups: dementia (n = 23), cancer (n = 5), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (n = 1), chronic conditions (n = 1), cirrhosis (n = 1), and Parkinson's disease (n = 1). A variety of health outcomes were assessed across interventions, with the most common being depression (n = 26), anxiety (n = 15), burden (n = 15), quality of life (n = 14), and stress (n = 11). The evidence-base for each intervention was insufficient and too heterogeneous to make clear statements regarding effectiveness. However, based on these findings, interventions show some potential utility in supporting family carers in their role and, given a collective rate of attrition (18%), may do so in a way that is acceptable to carers. Conclusions: This scoping study highlighted the nascent use of mindfulness- and compassion-based interventions with family carers of older adults, and provided important substantive detail about what each intervention entails. Based on current evidence, a number of implications for research and practice are presented.
Background: Past trauma and exposure to violence have been related to poor emotion regulation and household violence, which can have persistent mental health effects across generations. The Family Strengthening Intervention for Early Childhood Development (FSI-ECD/called Sugira Muryango in Rwanda) is an evidence-based behavioral home-visiting intervention to promote caregiver mental health, positive parenting practices, and early childhood development among families facing adversity. In Sierra Leone and other lower- and middle-income countries, mobile health (mHealth) technology has the potential to improve health care delivery and health outcomes. Objective: This study aims to (1) apply a user-centered design to develop and test mHealth tools to improve supervision and fidelity monitoring of community health workers (CHWs) delivering the FSI-ECD and (2) conduct a pilot randomized controlled trial of the FSI-ECD to assess feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects on caregiver mental health, emotion regulation, caregiving behaviors, and family violence in high-risk families with children aged 6-36 months in comparison with control families receiving standard care. Methods: We will recruit and enroll CHWs, supervisors, and families with a child aged 6-36 months from community health clinics in Sierra Leone. CHWs and supervisors will participate in 1 problem analysis focus group and 2 user interface/user experience cycles to provide feedback on mHealth tool prototypes. Families will be randomized to mHealth-supported FSI-ECD or standard maternal and child health services. We will collect quantitative data on caregiver mental health, emotion regulation, caregiving behaviors, and family functioning at baseline, postintervention, and 3-month follow up. We will use a mixed methods approach to explore feasibility and acceptability of mHealth tools and the FSI-ECD. Mixed effects linear modeling will assess FSI-ECD effects on caregiver outcomes. Cost-effectiveness analysis will estimate costs across FSI-ECD versus standard care. Results: Funding for this study was received from the National Institutes of Mental Health on August 17, 2020. Institutional Review Board approval was received on September 4, 2020. Data collection is projected to begin on December 15, 2020. Conclusions: This study will provide important data on the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of mHealth-supported delivery of an evidence-based family home-visiting intervention in a postconflict LMIC. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04481399; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04481399. International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID): PRR1-10.2196/25443
Background: Intellectual disabilities are characterized by constant and complex needs for care that place a heavy burden on the families of affected individuals and affect their overall quality of life. We evaluated the mediating effects of family functioning on the relationship between care burden and the family quality of life of caregivers of children with intellectual disabilities in Mongolia. Methods: Data were collected from a sample of 150 caregivers of children with intellectual disabilities from October 2017 to November 2017. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed to examine the mediating effects of family functioning. Results: Family functioning had a partial mediating effect (β =.702, p <.001) on the relationship between care burden and family quality of life. Conclusion: Family functioning should be considered when developing a social support intervention to improve family quality of life among caregivers of children with intellectual disabilities.
Background: This article reports the findings of a qualitative investigation of the way people find meaning through caregiving. Methods: It draws on the results of in-depth interviews with 37 informal carers and 11 stakeholders in Nottinghamshire, the United Kingdom. Findings: For most respondents caregiving involved looking after family members-for example, husband or wife, father or mother, young or adult children and mother-in-law. The meaning that respondents found through caregiving motivated them to cope with the difficulties associated with looking after a person in need. This research found that most informal carers operate with long-standing, gender-based understandings of their role, creating a potential risk that using gender-neutral terminology when referring to family members may obscure the subjective values that carers attach to informal caregiving and lead to role confusion. Moreover, although informal carers typically feel obliged to take care of family members in need and may value this role, they often require additional support from the state to reduce the pressures associated with caregiving and to enable them to continue to lead a meaningful life both within and beyond their caring role.
Background and Aims: Sensitivity to the rights of people with dementia is a key principle cited in the World Health Organisation's global action plan on dementia. Some critics question whether rights-based approaches embody loose and ill-defined ideas incapable of bringing about meaningful change. Exercising the right to autonomy is considered a core problem for people living with dementia. The tradition of individual sovereignty dominates ideas about autonomy, although the person as an individual is not a cross-culturally universal concept. This study explored the viewpoints of people with dementia and family carers regarding the meaning of autonomy with a view to informing rights-based practice. Methods: Twenty participants, people living with dementia and family carers, each conducted a Q-sort of statements regarding the meaning of autonomy. A by-person factor analysis was used to identify patterns in how the range of statements about autonomy were ranked. Results: Three factors emerged: retaining independence and self-expression, accepting dependence but being included and opportunity for connection. There was some agreement across these different views regarding the importance of being given time to think before making decisions and being kept active. Conclusions: This study highlights the need for a person-centred approach to supporting people with dementia to claim their rights and the importance of adopting a stance of curiosity and critical thinking in rights-based training and professional practice. The findings suggest a variety of meaningful stories of autonomy and the possibility of further developing existing rights-based frameworks for dementia care.
Background: Long-term outcomes are of particular importance in evaluating interventions for family caregivers of people with dementia (PwD). So far, evidence for long-term effects (>6 months postintervention) is limited to four interventions. Objective: We examined the long-term effects of Tele.TAnDem, a telephone-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) intervention, on a variety of outcomes at 3-year follow-up, the longest follow-up of any intervention study for caregivers of PwD (without continuous support). Methods: Caregivers of PwD were randomly assigned to receive Tele.TAnDem consisting of 12 sessions over 6 months (intervention group [IG]) or usual care (control group [CG]). At 3-year follow-up (i.e., 2.5 years postintervention), 29 caregivers in the IG and 22 caregivers in the CG were still caring at home for a PwD. Results: Caregivers in the IG reported significantly lower caregiver burden and higher quality of life regarding social relationships. Conclusions: Tele.TAnDem is successful in buffering detrimental effects of caregiving on caregiver burden and social relationships in the long term. The small- to medium-sized effects lie in the range of effect sizes reported in the few previous investigations. The findings add to the scant evidence that interventions yielding long-term outcomes have to date mostly been multicomponent interventions based on CBT principles with structured techniques and at least seven sessions over more than 2 months.
Objectives: The aim of this longitudinal study was to evaluate the long-term effects of providing a therapeutic conversation intervention, based on Family Systems Nursing, to family caregivers of a close relative with advanced cancer over the period before and during bereavement. Background: To prevent adverse outcomes, caregivers need ongoing support that begins pre-loss and extends into the post-loss period. Methods: This study employed a one-group pre-test, post-test quasi-experimental design. Twenty-four caregivers participated in two intervention trials conducted over a 42-month period, receiving two intervention sessions pre-loss (Trial 1) and one intervention session post-loss (Trial 2). Results: Significant decreases in anxiety and stress were noted over the three post-loss assessments. The final post-loss stress outcome was significantly lower than the first pre-loss score. For the depression score, there was not a significant change over time within the pre- or post-loss period. Conclusions: The findings provide evidence of decreasing anxiety and stress following the implementation of an extended family nursing intervention for bereaved family caregivers.
Background: Considering the potential impacts of family caregivers on heart failure management and the costs of healthcare, health professionals need to pay attention to the challenges faced by family caregivers. Methods: This study longitudinally explored the caregiving experiences of family caregivers of persons with heart failure. Serial interview scripts collected from 53 family caregivers were analyzed using a content analysis method. Findings: The following themes emerged: (1) accumulating knowledge and skills for caregiving; (2) losing a sense of control; (3) balancing an unstable life; (4) constructing illness memory; (5) centering the patient in daily life; (6) accepting the loss of a family member; (7) coping with grief by drawing on social support; (8) facing financial responsibility; and (9) rethinking hospice care. Conclusions: Family caregivers experience concern about unpredictable caregiving years, disease's fluctuating symptoms and poor prognosis. More educational opportunities, financial counseling programs, and palliative care consultations should be provided.
Objective: To examine live hospice discharge prevalence and experiences of families and hospice staff. Hospice eligibility is based on a cancer model where decline and death are predicable. Decline is less predictable for diagnoses such as dementia, frequently resulting in involuntary live hospice discharge. Methods: A mixed-method integration of hospice 2013-17 admission/discharge data, 5 family interviews, hospice discipline-specific focus groups (3 aides, 2 nurses, 1 administrator interview) and a discipline-combined focus group (all 6 staff; each staff participant engaged in two data collection experiences). Results: 5648 hospice admissions occurred between 2013-17; 795 patients experienced live discharge. The most prevalent admitting diagnosis was cancer, the most prevalent live discharge diagnosis was dementia. Family caregiver themes were Attitude and experience with hospice, Discharge experience, and Continued need/desire for hospice following discharge. Staff themes were Discharge circumstances, Regulatory guidelines, and Changing practice to meet regulatory guidelines. Conclusion: Involuntary live hospice discharge precludes patient-centered care due to policy constraints, especially for those with noncancer diagnoses. Families and staff noted the paradox of beneficial hospice care, yet this care resulted in ineligibility for continued hospice services. Practice Implications: Transparent, patient-family-staff communication (including CNAs) facilitates hospice live discharge planning. Hospice service eligibility policy changes are needed.
Background: Dignity is an important component of quality of life and a core value of family nursing care. Few studies have explored dignity in community-dwelling adults with dementia. Methods: This study used blogs written by caregivers to explore the concept of dignity in dementia caregiving. A template analysis of blogs written by family caregivers of people with dementia was conducted. Findings: Four themes were defined a priori in relation to Jacelon's model of dignity: perceived value from others, self in relation to others, behavioral respect, and self-value. Caregivers wrote about experiences that related to each of the four a priori themes from Jacelon's model. In addition, the theme of dignity by proxy was derived from the analysis. Conclusions: By understanding the concept of dignity in the context of dementia family caregiving, interventions and services can be developed to improve family quality of life through dignifying, family-focused care.
Background: A child’s long-term illness or disability is always a serious matter that impacts the whole family. Costs related to an illness can substantially affect a family’s financial situation. To date, there is little research on how parents experience available support for financial assistance. Surveys in Finland have found that families of children with long-term illnesses and disabilities could experience financial struggle and perceive the state provided financial support system as too complex. Objectives: This article aimed to explore how caregivers of children with long-term illnesses perceived their financial situation, need for financial support and experienced its provision by the state in the Helsinki greater region. Methods: Convenience sampling was used. Participants were contacted through peer-support groups on Facebook. Eleven mothers of children with varying long-term illnesses and disabilities residing in the Helsinki greater region were interviewed using in-depth interviews. Recordings of the interviews were transcribed and analysed using framework analysis. An analytical framework was built to label the dataset, which was then charted. Lastly, themes were formed through descriptive analysis. Results: The main findings showed how the burden of caring for a child with a long-term illness or disability causes fatigue, which affects a family’s financial situation holistically. This affected both employment and financial management, but also receiving information about and applying for the state provided allowances. Mental resources were further depleted by seeking information and applying for allowances. This contributed to a vicious cycle between parental fatigue and financial struggle. Participants found the allocation of funds inequitable across the country. Finally, participants thought the allowance was insufficient in compensating for time spent caring for their child’s illness and did not consider their mental strain. Conclusions: Even in a welfare state such as Finland, caregivers of children with long-term illnesses are at risk of poverty and struggle with the organization of state provided financial support. Policies should be designed to ensure equity across the country and consider how the parental fatigue should be addressed. The study has implications for achieving sustainable development goals on wellbeing and reducing poverty.
Background: The impact of COVID-19 restrictions on people living with dementia and their carers is an emerging focus of recent research determining how we can best support this population. People living with dementia have faced service curtailment, increased risk for COVID-19, as well as potential heightened deterioration. This study reports the experiences of people living with dementia and their family carers during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in England and the impact on them. Methods: We recruited and remotely interviewed 30 people living with dementia in their own homes and 31 family carers, via video or telephone call in mid-2020. Data were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Results: People living with dementia often had a basic understanding of COVID-19 restrictions but could have difficulty translating this into personalised risk-appraisal of their own actions. Managing COVID-19 risks facing people living with dementia at home was largely done by family carers, exemplified by changes to living arrangements, which could strain or sustain caring relationships. Well-established familial caring relationships contributed to the wellbeing of the person living with dementia and their carer, as well as keeping to simple routines that included leaving the home for exercise and stimulation. People living with dementia reported some negative psychological and cognitive effects due to the imposed restrictions, such as increased apathy, irritability, or anxiety, which were fuelled by lack of social engagement. Conclusions: Structuring routine (remote) social interactions where possible could increase social engagement and improve wellbeing for people living with dementia, especially those with limited familial support in a post-COVID-19 context. As some care relationships had been restructured to manage COVID-19 risks, additional carer strain may emerge as a result of the impact on the independence of the person living with dementia and come to the attention of professionals in health and care services. People living with dementia and their carers highlighted the importance of maintaining or adapting routines which may be useful learning for professionals, although additional support may be necessary for those who are impacted by more severe or worsening symptoms of dementia.
Background: Eating disorders are widely recognized as serious illnesses, with complex psychological and physiological comorbidities. Affected individuals face a protracted and challenging treatment journey which, particularly for children and adolescents, requires significant input from family members as carers. This study investigated the perspectives and experiences of those caring for family members with an eating disorder diagnosis. Method: Participants were carers of affected individuals with an eating disorder, and were recruited from an online survey, subsequently consenting to a semi-structured qualitative interview. Inductive thematic analysis was undertaken to identify themes. Results: Most participants in the sample were parents of affected individuals. Significant and ongoing psychological and emotional impacts were identified across the sample. The diagnosis, treatment journey and overall impact of the carer role created a situation captured by the over-arching theme ‘life is different now’. Impacts profoundly influenced relationships and were felt across all aspects of life by carers, affected individuals and other family members. Heightened worry and vigilance experienced by carers continued beyond improvement or recovery. Conclusions: This research highlighted challenging and often exhausting impacts felt by carers due to their pivotal role in eating disorder treatment. Inadequate support for most carers in this sample has clear implications for families as well as service and funding providers. Further research should more fully investigate carer experience with different eating disorders to explore the type of support necessary to build capacity and resilience to reduce carer burden.
Background: Violent behavior is one of the most common symptoms of people who have schizophrenia. Caring for family members who have schizophrenia can be a stressor for other family members. The stressors can be stressful for the caregiver. Family caregivers require coping strategies to overcome the stressors. This study aims to determine the relationship between stress levels and coping strategies of family caregivers who treat schizophrenic patients with a risk of violent behavior. Design and Methods: The research design engaged cross-sectional with the purposive sampling technique by involving 87 caregiver families who who treat schizophrenic patients. The data was collected by using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and Ways of Coping (WOC) questionnaires. This study was analyzed by employing the Chi-Square test to determine the relationship between stress levels and coping strategies in the caregiver family. Results: This study shows that stress levels are not significantly associated with coping strategies in family caregivers. Conclusion: Good supports from health and social service professionals are required to help family caregivers cope with their stressors well.
Background: Individuals with heart failure (HF) typically live in the community and are cared for at home by family caregivers. These caregivers often lack supportive services and the time to access those services when available. Technology can play a role in conveniently bringing needed support to these caregivers. Objectives: The purpose of this article is to describe the implementation of a virtual health coaching intervention with caregivers of HF patients (“Virtual Caregiver Coach for You”—ViCCY). Methods: A randomized controlled trial is currently in progress to test the efficacy of the intervention to improve self‐care. In this trial, 250 caregivers will be randomly assigned to receive health information via a tablet computer (hereafter, tablet) plus 10 live health coaching sessions delivered virtually (intervention group; n = 125) or health information via a tablet only (control group; n = 125). Each tablet has specific health information websites preloaded. To inform others embarking on similar technology projects, here we highlight the technology challenges encountered with the first 15 caregivers who received the ViCCY intervention and the solutions used to overcome those challenges. Results: Several adaptations to the implementation of ViCCY were needed to address hardware, software, and network connectivity challenges. Even with a well‐designed research implementation plan, it is important to re‐examine strategies at every step to solve implementation barriers and maximize fidelity to the intervention. Conclusion: Researcher and interventionist flexibility in adapting to new strategies is essential when implementing a technology‐based virtual health coaching intervention.
Background: This study explored the transformative outcomes of programmes and activities for family caregivers of people with dementia in Taiwan. Methods: Transformative learning theory was used to examine the relationship between participation and positive outcomes. A group of nonparticipants was included to provide a complete picture of the transformative learning process. In this qualitative study, 18 participants were interviewed with audio recording, and the data were transcribed verbatim. A thematic analysis was performed to determine the themes and subthemes in the results. Findings: The results revealed that participation in programmes and activities was not the single factor leading to transformative outcomes; family support, self-adjustment, the ability to cope, and coordinated intervention in accordance with individual preferences and needs also facilitated transformative outcomes for nonparticipants. Conclusions: Further studies should focus on interventions modifying factors of perceived caregiver burden, for instance, by providing psychological support to informal caregivers, offering programmes and activities targeting the management of neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with dementia, and supporting quality of life.
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.
Background: Disorders of consciousness (DoC) disrupt close relationships. This study investigated the experience of a DoC in the family. Methods: Four main themes were identified from semi-structured interviews with nine females and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA): Findings: (1) Loss without a name, (2) Relationship without a title, (3) Symbiotic relating and (4) Frozen futures. Participants’ accounts showed complex losses and relationship transformations that were challenging to cope with. Participants embodied the person and experienced reductions in rehabilitation and social visits as personally abandoning and led to strong advocacy with professionals. The uncertainty created by the DoC meant participants lived in the present moment and struggled to make plans for their future. Conclusions: Psychological support to demonstrate a sensitivity and validation of this unique complex loss, a framework for naming the loss, provision of education about the condition and enhancing coping with a chronic situation are needed.
Background: Globally, many infants and children are diagnosed with illnesses that impose limitations on their well-being and life course trajectory. Children’s care becomes the central focus of family life. Inadequate support for parents is detrimental to their well-being and management of their child’s care and support needs. Methods: The second phase of this evaluation study followed a quasi-experimental crossover design to test a theory-based psychosocial intervention, the Keeping Hope Possible Toolkit. Fifty-nine participants were randomly assigned to one of two sequence groups, with measures of hope, feelings of control, distress, and uncertainty completed pre- and post-intervention, and at a three-month follow-up. Qualitative interviews sought to assess participant experiences with the intervention, along with acceptability and feasibility. Results: Significant influence on parental distress was found, and the qualitative findings reveal benefits of the intervention for parental wellbeing. The intervention effectively offered practical and emotional support to diverse family caregivers. Conclusions: The evidence-informed KHP intervention can be used by healthcare providers to intervene with family caregivers to support their dynamic emotions including hope, need to live in the moment and remember self, and social preferences. In doing so, parents’ critical caregiving activities can be sustained and their child’s health and wellbeing optimized.
Objective: The objective was to explore family caregivers' perspectives of the recovery process of older adults with hip fracture and describe experiences from caregivers who: (1) used the online intervention, or (2) received home-based care provided by the Andalusian Public Health Care System. Methods: This was an exploratory secondary study with informal family caregivers who had an older adult family member with hip fracture enrolled in a novel telerehabilitation (telerehab) clinical trial. Forty-four caregivers of older adults with hip fracture were interviewed at 6 to 9 months after their family member's hip fracture. Results: Caregivers shared concerns of family members' survival and recovery; they recounted increased stress and anxiety due to the uncertainty of new tasks associated with providing care and the impact on their lifestyle. Although most caregivers were satisfied with the health care received, they made suggestions for better organization of hospital discharge and requests for home support. The main reasons why caregivers and their family member chose the telerehab program were to enhance recovery after fracture, gain knowledge for managing at home, and because of the convenience of completing the exercises at home. There were more family caregivers in the control group who expressed a high level of stress and anxiety, and they also requested more social and health services compared with caregivers whose family member received telerehab. Conclusion: Family caregivers are an essential component of recovery after hip fracture by providing emotional and physical support. However, future clinical interventions should evaluate person-centered interventions to mitigate possible stress and anxiety experienced by family caregivers. Impact Family caregivers' perspectives are necessary in the co-design of management strategies for older adults after hip fracture.
Background: Sarcomas are a group of rare and aggressive cancers, which develop in bones and connective tissue throughout the body. Sarcomas account for only 1–2% of all cancers worldwide; however, mortality rates for sarcoma are high with approximately two in four sarcoma patients dying following a diagnosis. Delays in diagnosis, poor management of symptoms, patients’ high symptom loads and high carer burden are all associated with carer distress, which may lead to complications after bereavement. The experience of having a family member referred for palliative care is also distressing for carers, with the realisation that their family member is dying. This study aimed to explore the experiences of bereaved family carers of people diagnosed with sarcoma. Methods: A qualitative descriptive design using a social constructionist framework was adopted. Interviews were conducted with sixteen participants, and thematic analysis was used to identify patterns in the data. Findings: Four overarching themes emerged: beginning the journey; moving through treatment; transitioning to palliative care; and experiencing bereavement. The narratives were coherent and potent, and people reflected on their journeys. Conclusions: Interventions and supports for bereaved carers could include opportunities for counselling to support reflections, supports for developing a narrative such as writing therapy, and preparation for the death of the family member.
Background: Family caregivers of people with dementia represent a physically and psychologically burdened target group, which can benefit from offers of health promotion, but rarely use existing services. This article deals with the motives and conditions that induce this target group to be (not) active in sports. Methods: For this purpose, the perspectives of family caregivers and local sports clubs in Germany are compared to uncover similarities and discrepancies with the aim of developing target group-specific health promotion services. Results: Results were classified into three dimensions for (non-)participation in sports activities. People who participated in sports club programs generally confirmed its positive effects. Among other things, the sports clubs and family caregivers surveyed emphasized the compatibility of the care situation with possible leisure activities as very important components for (non-)participation. Conclusions: The results show that the subjective health attitudes must be taken into account in the design of health promotion offers.
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.
Background: The family caregivers of patients on hemodialysis (HD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD) typically experience higher burden than the general population because of the nature of tasks these caregivers need to carry out as a part of homecare. This fact influences both the caregivers’ quality of life and the quality of their care toward the patient. Thus, this study aimed to review the effectiveness and limitations of interventions in improving the well-being of family caregivers of patients on HD and PD. Methodology: A systematic review was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses and the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions (version 5.1.0). The Cochrane Library, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Embase, MEDLINE, VHL Regional Portal, Scopus, and Web of Science databases were searched queried for randomized controlled trials that developed interventions aimed at improving the well-being of family caregivers of patients undergoing HD and/or PD from 2009 to 2020. The study protocol was registered at the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (registration no. CRD42020151161). Results: Six studies met the inclusion criteria, all of which addressed caregivers of patients undergoing HD. All interventions reported in the included studies were carried out in group sessions, which addressed topics such as patient assistance and care, treatment complications, coping strategies, caregiver self-care practices, problem solving, and self-efficacy. The studies found significant improvement in the caregiver’s well-being. Conclusions: Group session interventions are effective in improving the well-being of family caregivers of patients undergoing HD. In regard to PD, there is insufficient evidence to make recommendations for caregivers of patients with this treatment.
Background: Caregivers of older adults with chronic illnesses often face challenges that harm their health and well-being. Evidence-based strategies are needed to address such outcomes. Objectives: The current study aims to synthesize interventions designed to improve the health and well-being of caregivers of older adults with chronic illnesses. Methods: Search strategies included investigating four databases (e.g., PubMed, CINAHL), as well as conducting bibliographic, hand, and author searches. Eligible studies were randomized controlled trials conducted between 2009 and 2019 that included family caregivers of older adults with chronic illnesses aged =65 and that reported caregiver health or well-being outcomes. Results: Data from 24 eligible studies were extracted, analyzed, and narratively synthesized. Conclusions: Although intervention characteristics were diverse (e.g., strategies, interventionists), most improved health and well-being. Thus, providers have an array of interventions available to them to help caregivers. Future caregiver research should examine theory-driven interventions among diverse samples, clearly report intervention dose, and measure physical health.
Background: Carers of patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) experience high levels of distress. Several studies have been carried out on interventions designed to decrease their burden. However, the evidence from these studies has not been summarized. Objective: The objective of this work is to explore the clinical utility of interventions developed for family members of patients with BPD. Methods: A systematic review was conducted following the PRISMA guidelines (registration number CRD42018107318), including psychological interventions focused on relatives of patients with BPD. The following databases were used: PsycINFO, PubMed, EBSCOhost, and Web of Science. Two independent researchers reviewed the studies to determine whether the eligibility criteria were met. A total of 2,303 abstracts were identified. Results: After duplicates had been removed, 1,746 studies were screened. Finally, 433 full‐text articles were reviewed, yielding 11 studies that satisfied the inclusion criteria. Results show that these interventions with different clinical formats and settings are effective. The quality of the included studies varies, and the empirical support for these programs is still preliminary. Conclusions: The results help to establish a general framework for interventions specifically developed for family members of patients with BPD, but additional efforts should be made to improve the methodological quality of this field of research and more solidly determine the utility of these interventions. Given the paucity of data so far, this information may open up new lines of research to improve the effectiveness of future programs for carers of patients with BPD and help to reduce their burden.
Objectives: The current systematic review aimed to identify, appraise, and synthesize the available evidence regarding interventions that assisted family members of long-term care facility residents with dementia to cope with stressful situations. Methods: A search of published articles in eight databases was performed. Results: In total, 1,293 records were identified, with six studies included in this systematic review. Interventions were categorized as education/skill training, psychoeducation, and psychosocial support. The risk of bias across the included studies varied from moderate to high. The intervention components, dose, and delivery methods differed widely with mixed results. The interventions showed potential benefits for reducing family members' stress-related outcomes (e.g., stress appraisal, guilt) and residents' problematic behaviors. Yet, meta-analysis yielded a non-significant pooled effect for reducing family members' depressive symptoms (mean difference = 1.38, 95% confidence interval [–2.27, 5.04], The current systematic review aimed to identify, appraise, and synthesize the available evidence regarding interventions that assisted family members of long-term care facility residents with dementia to cope with stressful situations. A search of published articles in eight databases was performed. In total, 1,293 records were identified, with six studies included in this systematic review. Interventions were categorized as education/skill training, psychoeducation, and psychosocial support. The risk of bias across the included studies varied from moderate to high. The intervention components, dose, and delivery methods differed widely with mixed results. The interventions showed potential benefits for reducing family members' stress-related outcomes (e.g., stress appraisal, guilt) and residents' problematic behaviors. Yet, meta-analysis yielded a non-significant pooled effect for reducing family members' depressive symptoms (mean difference = 1.38, 95% confidence interval [–2.27, 5.04], p = 0.46). Conclusions: Evidence in this field is currently insufficient and more well-designed studies with larger sample sizes and use of theoretical frameworks are needed.
Background: An increasingly ageing society together with concerns about sustainability of old-age benefits call for reforming the care structure of many western welfare states. However, finding an acceptable balance between the formal care provided by institutions and informal care provided by family members is a delicate policy choice with profound ethical implications. In this respect, literature on intergenerational familial relationships can offer insights to inform policymaking in this field and help resolve the ethical concerns that excessive reliance on informal caregiving might entail. Methods: In this contribution, we start by presenting – with Switzerland as a case study – the challenges of the current care structure and illustrate some of the ethical issues that reshaping the balance between formal and informal care raises. We then review and analyse available theoretical literature on intergenerational familial relationships and present three dimensions that underpin such relationships: ethical, theoretical and practical. Findings: Based on our analysis, we provide two recommendations to inform policymaking on how to support care needs of the elderly and set an ethically acceptable balance between formal and informal care when familial generations are involved.
Background: The theme of young family caregivers of older relatives is still partially uncovered, although the phenomenon is increasing worldwide. Methods: This Systematic Literature Review discusses methodological and content issues of ten articles covering this topic, in order to contribute to increase the knowledge and provide suggestions for designing effective support services for adolescent young caregivers. To this purpose, the findings of this review are framed within the caregiving stress appraisal model (renamed CSA model) elaborated by Yates’ and collegues, in order to highlight differences between young caregivers and the older ones. Methods Multiple databases including PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, ProQuest - Psychology Database, CINAHL Complete - EBSCOHost were used to carry out a systematic review of the literature. Additional references were retrieved from experts contacted and research knowledge. The selected articles underwent both methodological appraisal and contents analysis: for every article an appraisal score was calculated and themes and sub-themes were identified. Results: Out of the ten included studies three were mixed methods, six qualitative and one quantitative. Nine reached a high quality methodological score and one medium. Four main themes emerged from the content analysis: aspects of the caregiving relationship; effects of caregiving; coping strategies; recommendations for services, policy and research. Conclusions: Selected studies explored practical features of the relationship between young caregivers and older family members (tasks performed, motivations, coping strategies) and highlighted both positive and negative outcomes on young people’s everyday life condition and future development. Nevertheless, these evidences were often limited to small samples that did not allow to make generalizations. More studies are needed including large samples in order to deepen the different aspects of caregiving and design tailored support services.
Background: Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) have a major impact in persons with dementia (PwD). The interaction between the caregiver and the person with dementia may be related to the emergence of NPS. The concept of expressed emotion (EE) is used to capture this dyadic interaction. Objectives: The aim of the present study is to examine longitudinally the association between EE in caregivers and NPS in PwD living at home. Design: A longitudinal cohort study with 2 years of follow-up. Setting: PwD and their informal caregivers living at home in the south of the Netherlands. Participants: 112 dyads of PwD and their caregivers from the MAAstricht Study of BEhavior in Dementia. Main outcome measures: EE was measured at baseline with the Five-Minute Speech Sample and was used to classify caregivers in a low-EE or high-EE group. Associations between EE and neuropsychiatric subsyndromes (hyperactivity, mood and psychosis) measured with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) were analysed over time. Results: Seventy-six (67.9%) caregivers were classified in the low-EE group and 36 (32.1%) in the high-EE group. There was no difference between the EE groups in mean NPI scores over time. In the high-EE group, hyperactivity occurred more frequently than in the low-EE group at baseline (p=0.013) and at the other time points, but the mean difference was not always significant. There were no differences for the mood and psychosis subsyndromes. PwD with caregivers scoring high on the EE subcategory critical comments had an increased risk of institutionalisation (OR 6.07 (95% CI 1.14 to 32.14, p=0.034)) in comparison with caregivers scoring low on critical comments. Conclusions: High EE in informal caregivers is associated with hyperactivity symptoms in PwD. This association is likely to be bidirectional. Future studies investigating this association and possible interventions to reduce EE are needed.
Background: Diagnosis of hematological cancer affects patients and caregivers as a unit. Few studies have focused on the relationship between hematological cancer patients and their caregivers. Objective: To explore (a) the interaction between patients receiving treatment for hematological cancer in a hematology-oncology clinic and their family caregivers and (b) perceived changes in lives of patients receiving treatment for hematological cancer in a hematology-oncology clinic and their family caregivers. Methods: We used a qualitative descriptive design with a dyadic approach. The study sample included 11 patients with hematological cancer and 11 family caregivers selected through purposive sampling. In-depth interviews were conducted using a semistructured interview format. Results: As a result of a content analysis, 3 themes emerged: hidden emotions, companionship,and life changes. Both the patients and the family caregivers described coping by hiding their feelings, thoughts, and needs and reducing communication with each other. Dyadmembers described commitment to each other and an increase in confidence. In addition, the patients and the family caregivers experienced changes in their roles and perspectives during the diagnosis and treatment process. Conclusion: Patients with hematological cancer and family caregivers need nurses' support. Nurses should be prepared to provide patient-caregiver--based interventions. Implication for Practices: It is important that nurses take action to strengthen the relationship between patients and their caregivers, particularly with a focus on carrying out interventions to improve communication between them. Nurses can also strengthen dyads' coping by drawing attention to positive developments in their perspectives and relationships.
Aim: To understand how family caregivers of older adults hospitalized for orthopaedic surgery are integrated by nurses in delirium prevention care. Design: Multiple case study. Methods: The sample consisted of eight cases. Each case comprised an older adult, a family caregiver, and a nurse. Data were collected from September 2017 ‐ April 2018 through various instruments, including semi‐structured interviews and family caregiver logs. Within‐ and across‐case analyses were conducted, based on the model of The Care Partner Engagement developed by Hill, Yevchak, Gilmore‐Bykovskyi, & Kolanowski (Geriatric Nursing, 35, 2014, 272). Results: Two themes emerged: (a) family caregivers were engaged in caring for the older adults during their hospital stay, though they had differences in terms of views and needs; and (b) family caregivers communicated with nurses but nurses did not recognize their role and did not integrate them much in care. Conclusion: The presence and availability of family caregivers, their sense of responsibility towards the hospitalized older adults, and their positive effects on them suggest that family caregivers could be integrated more systematically in a care partnership with nurses. Poor integration of family caregivers in delirium prevention care shows that nurse delirium prevention competencies and their relational skills for communicating effectively with family caregivers need to be developed further. Impact: Integrating family caregivers in delirium prevention care for older adults is a challenge for nurses. Family caregivers are engaged during the hospitalization of older adults, though differences and problems exist between the two groups. While there is communication between patients, family caregivers, and nurses, nurses do not recognize the role of family caregivers and hardly integrated them in the delirium prevention care of hospitalized older adults. Nurses must adopt a patient‐ and family‐centred approach. Care and training facilities must make resources available to implement this approach in nursing practice.
Background: A need for people‐centred health and social support systems is acknowledged as a global priority. Most nations face challenges in providing safe, effective, timely, affordable, coordinated care around the needs and preferences of people who access integrated health and social care (IHSC) services. Much of the current research in the field focuses on describing and evaluating specific models for delivering IHSC. Fewer studies focus on person‐centred experiences, needs and preferences of people who use these services. However, current international guidance for integrated care sets a precedence of person‐centred integrated care that meets the health and well‐being needs of people who access IHSC services. Methods: This integrative literature review synthesises empirical literature from six databases (CINAHL; MEDLINE; AMED; TRIP; Web of Science and Science Direct; 2007–2019). This review aims to better understand the experiences and health and well‐being needs of people who use IHSC services in a community setting. Results: Twenty studies met the inclusion criteria and results were thematically analysed. Three overarching themes were identified, including relationships, promoting health and well‐being and difficulty understanding systems. Findings of this review indicate that relationships hold significance in IHSC. People who access IHSC services felt that they were not always involved in planning their care and that there was a lack of clarity in navigating integrated systems; subsequently, this impacted upon their experiences of those services. However, service user and informal carer voices appear to be underrepresented in current literature and studies that included their views were found to be of low quality overall. Conclusions: Collectively, these findings support the need for further research that explores the person‐centred experiences and needs of people who access IHSC.
Background: A need for people‐centred health and social support systems is acknowledged as a global priority. Most nations face challenges in providing safe, effective, timely, affordable, coordinated care around the needs and preferences of people who access integrated health and social care (IHSC) services. Much of the current research in the field focuses on describing and evaluating specific models for delivering IHSC. Fewer studies focus on person‐centred experiences, needs and preferences of people who use these services. However, current international guidance for integrated care sets a precedence of person‐centred integrated care that meets the health and well‐being needs of people who access IHSC services. Methods: This integrative literature review synthesises empirical literature from six databases (CINAHL; MEDLINE; AMED; TRIP; Web of Science and Science Direct; 2007–2019). This review aims to better understand the experiences and health and well‐being needs of people who use IHSC services in a community setting. Results: Twenty studies met the inclusion criteria and results were thematically analysed. Three overarching themes were identified, including relationships, promoting health and well‐being and difficulty understanding systems. Findings of this review indicate that relationships hold significance in IHSC. People who access IHSC services felt that they were not always involved in planning their care and that there was a lack of clarity in navigating integrated systems; subsequently, this impacted upon their experiences of those services. However, service user and informal carer voices appear to be underrepresented in current literature and studies that included their views were found to be of low quality overall. Conclusions: Collectively, these findings support the need for further research that explores the person‐centred experiences and needs of people who access IHSC.
Background: thousands of patients are admitted to intensive care units annually, which is a stressful event. Many of these patients still require particular care after discharge. In many countries, families play an essential role in taking care of these patients after discharge. Objectives: This study aimed to determine the informational needs of families of patients discharged from Intensive Care Units (ICU), Kerman, southeast Iran. Methods: this study had a cross-sectional design. Families were selected using the information extracted from patients' medical records. One hundred forty family members of the ICU discharged patients participated in the survey using convenience sampling. Data collection tools were a validated researcher-made questionnaire about informational needs and a demographic characteristics form. Results: the mean score of family informational needs was 31.18 ± 3.97 out of 40. Most families required a high level of information in all dimensions. However, the maximum need was associated with self-care subscale (4.89 out of 5), and the minimum need was associated with defecation (3.13 out of 5). Conclusion: the families of patients discharged from intensive care units required much information about different areas of care particularly self-care. Health care providers, especially nurses, should be aware of the informational needs of the ICU patients' families post-discharge to provide better care.
Objectives: The aim of this assessment was to determine the information needs, resources, and resource preferences and self/family-management challenges of parents caring for a child with asthma in China. The acceptance of asthma and consolidated framework for implementation research guided the study. Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive design was used. Seventy-one parents of a child receiving care in an outpatient respiratory clinic completed a three-part, pragmatic, self-report survey. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and qualitative data using thematic analysis. Findings: Parents, who needed more knowledge about asthma, sought information from internet sources. However, most parents preferred receiving information during in-person consultation with trained specialists. Management challenges revolved around understanding asthma information, formulating beliefs about asthma, experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, forming supportive networks, and meeting their child's emotional needs. Conclusion: Evidence supports expanding nursing roles in China to include extended time for initial in-person parental interactions and follow-up using reliable clinic-based internet counseling.
Background: Shifts in locations and levels of care and changing demographics have created a high demand for informal family caregivers. The U.S. healthcare system could not sustain the financial or human resources necessary to meet the needs of care recipients who are dying without the assistance of informal family caregivers. End-of-life caregivers pay a price— emotional, social, financial, and physical—throughout the caregiving process. Many factors contribute to the cost of caregiving, such as caregiver distress and burden. Despite the extensive scientific literature on caregiving at the end of life, necessary evidence to inform nursing science in ways that adequately and appropriately support and sustain those healthy informal family caregivers providing end-of-life care remains unknown. No research to date has approached this problem from a linguistic standpoint. Methods: This study used discourse-based analysis to examine a qualitative secondary dataset to understand which aspects of self (caregiver) and other (care recipient) are revealed through caregiver discourse and how a caregiver’s perception of self and the care recipient change over time. Principles of discourse analysis were applied to develop an analytic framework and explore the linguistic cues (i.e., grammar, reference, identity, deixis, stance, indexicality and agency) expressed by a caregiver in their role as caregiver. Findings: Findings demonstrated the usefulness of a discourse-based analytic method as a new approach in the reuse of large qualitative secondary datasets. In addition, linguistic cues were revealed about how a caregiver perceives self and the care recipient over time. Results established an analytic framework that can be applied to a larger sample of this dataset to more deeply and precisely reveal discursive cues within one End-of-Life Caregiving Trajectory (expected-death) and across all three trajectories (expected-death, unexpected-death and mixed-death). Understanding a caregiver’s discursive cues may give clinicians the ability to better identify subtle yet important expressions of caregivers’ perception of self and others in the caregiving role. Conclusions: Further analysis is needed to identify how these linguistic patterns can lead to interventions that support informal family caregivers. Timely and appropriate interventions in times of uncertainty can mitigate negative outcomes for the caregiver and care recipient, resulting in a healthy caregiving workforce.
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.
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.
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.
Background: Informal caregivers are those who provide care for others without compensation. In the US, 85 % of elderly individuals receive care from an informal caregiver, and this number is expected to increase. Caregivers often experience different types of strain, stemming from physical, emotional, and financial demands. Methods: Guided by intersectionality theory, this study explores the relationships between informal caregiving strains and gender, race, and income, along with various control variables, including age, marital status, education, number of hours spent providing care, and employment status. Data from the 2015 Caregiving in the US survey (N = 1248) were used. Results: Findings indicated male informal caregivers reported more financial strain compared to females. White women reported more emotional strain than women of color, and those with higher incomes reported less financial strain. Gender, race, and income were not significantly related to physical strain among informal caregivers. Conclusions: Implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Background: Informal caregivers are a population currently in the shadows of disaster risk reduction (DRR), and yet essential to the provision of healthcare services. This scoping review explored the literature to understand issues related to informal caregiving and promising practices to support resilience for disasters. Methods: Following guidelines for scoping review as outlined by Tricco et al. (2016), relevant publications were identified from five major databases—Medline, Embase, PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus. Relevant studies referenced informal caregiving and disasters for a variety of population groups including children, people with disabilities or chronic illnesses, and older adults. Studies were excluded if they discussed formal caregiving services (for example, nursing), lacked relevance to disasters, or had insufficient discussion of informal caregiving. Results: Overall, 21 articles met the inclusion criteria and were fully analyzed. Five themes were identified: (1) the need for education and training in DRR; (2) stressors around medication and supply issues; (3) factors affecting the decision-making process in a disaster; (4) barriers leading to disaster-related problems; and (5) factors promoting resilience. Recommended areas of strategic action and knowledge gaps are discussed. Many informal caregivers do not feel adequately prepared for disasters. Conclusions: Given the important role of informal caregivers in healthcare provision, preparedness strategies are essential to support community resilience for those requiring personal care support. By understanding and mobilizing assets to support the resilience of informal caregivers, we also support the resilience of the greater healthcare system and the community, in disaster contexts.
Methods: Using the random-effects meta-analysis model, we investigated the effect of informal caregiving on all-cause mortality across 12 longitudinal population-based studies (seven United States; five international: United Kingdom, Northern Ireland , Japan, and Australia). Results: Across the studies, the combined effect of informal caregiving on all-cause mortality was 16% lower in favor of caregivers. Subgroup analyses revealed that the relationship between informal caregiving and all-cause mortality was not significant among the U.S. studies, in contrast to the international studies. Also, the mortality advantage of informal caregivers was not evident among those studies in which informal caregiving was operationalized precisely (Activity of Daily [ADL]/Instrumental Activity of Daily Living [IADL] assistance) as opposed to more broadly. Furthermore, studies in which the kinship tie between the informal caregiver and care recipient was unspecified tended to find a mortality advantage in favor of caregivers. Conclusions: When covariates were considered, the results of this meta-analysis provided more support for stress theory than the healthy caregiver hypothesis.
Objectives: Globally, informal caregivers caring for cancer patients meet challenges within their caregiving role, which significantly influence their quality of life. This qualitative systematic review aimed to analyze how cancer caregiving influence the quality of life of informal caregivers and the management strategies of informal caregivers for their role as cancer caregivers. Methods: Following the enhancing transparency in reporting the synthesis of qualitative research (ENTREQ) statement, Wanfang database, the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), CINAHL, MEDLINE, PubMed, Cochrane Library, PsycARTICLES and PsycINFO, and grey literature in English and Chinese from 1 May 2009 to 31 December 2019 were searched. Quality of included studies was assessed by the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (2018) Qualitative Checklist and thematic synthesis was conducted. Results: Of the 8,945 studies identified, 6 studies met the inclusion criteria. One analytical theme relating to the QoL of informal caregivers following cancer caregiving was identified: “challenges of caregiving”. In terms of the management strategies to the role of cancer caregivers, two analytical themes were identified: “self-adjustment” and “seeking for formal and informal support”. Conclusions: Cancer caregiving influences informal caregivers’ QoL significantly and informal caregivers develop diverse coping strategies to deal with the difficulties occurred while balancing the relationship between their own lives and caregiving. However, professional and policy support remain inadequate for informal caregivers that require the need for improvement in terms of health care professionals and policymakers.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to describe the psychological and physical health needs of informal caregivers in a rehabilitation hospital and explore differences related to informal caregiver and care recipient characteristics. Readiness to engage in health promotion and perspectives on mindfulness meditation were assessed. Methods: Informal caregivers (N = 33) to patients receiving inpatient or outpatient treatment completed the Multidimensional Health Profile screening tools. Readiness to change was assessed using the readiness ruler approach. Results: Almost half of participants (45.5%) had a chronic illness and 18.2% reported that it interferes with daily functioning. Low Positive Health Habits were reported by 43% of participants, and Negative Health Habits were reported by 25%. A subgroup (15%–20%) reported both physical and mental health concerns. A majority of participants indicated it was both very important for them to improve their physical and mental health and felt very confident they could do so. Receptivity to mindfulness meditation was high, with 72.7% reporting an interest. Comprehensive screening and counseling interventions to address the physical and mental health of informal caregivers in physical rehabilitation hospital settings are needed, and information gained from screening could be addressed in interventions delivered by systems-oriented rehabilitation counselors. Conclusion: A mindfulness meditation intervention may be a useful strategy for promoting well-being in this population.
Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)/motor neuron disease (MND) is a systemic and fatal neurodegenerative condition for which there is currently no cure. Informal caregivers play a vital role in supporting the person with ALS, and it is essential to support their wellbeing. This multi-centre, mixed methods descriptive exploratory study describes the complexity of burden and self-defined difficulties as described by the caregivers themselves. Methods: Quantitative and qualitative data were collected during face-to-face interviews with informal caregivers from centres in the Netherlands, England, and Ireland. Standardised measures assessed burden, quality of life, and psychological distress; furthermore, an open-ended question was asked about difficult aspects of caregiving. Results: Most caregivers were female, spouse/partners, and lived with the person with ALS for whom they provided care. Significant differences between national cohorts were identified for burden, quality of life, and anxiety. Among the difficulties described were the practical issues associated with the caregiver role and emotional factors such as witnessing a patient’s health decline, relationship change, and their own distress. The mixed-methods approach allows for a more nuanced understanding of the burden and difficulties experienced. Conclusion: It is important to generate an evidence base to support the psychosocial wellbeing and brain health of informal caregivers.
Background: While the relation between care involvement of informal caregivers and caregiver burden is well-known, the additional psychosocial burden related to care involvement during the COVID-19 pandemic has not yet been investigated. Methods: A total of 1000 informal caregivers, recruited offline, participated in a cross-sectional online survey from April 21 to May 2, 2020. Questionnaires were used to assess COVID-19-specific changes in the care situation, negative feelings in the care situation, problems with implementation of COVID-19 measures, concerns/excessive demands, loss of support, change in informal caregivers’ own involvement in care and problems with provision, comprehension & practicability of COVID-19 information, and to relate these issues to five indicators of care involvement (i.e., being the main caregiver, high expenditure of time, high level of care, dementia, no professional help). Binomial and multiple regression analyses were applied. Results: Across indicators of care involvement, 25.5–39.7% reported that the care situation rather or greatly worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for those caring for someone with dementia or those usually relying on professional help. In a multiple regression model, the mean number of involvement indicators met was associated with age (β = .18; CI .10–.25), excessive demands (β = .10, CI .00–.19), problems with implementation of COVID-19 measures (β = .11, CI .04–.19), an increase in caregiving by the informal caregivers themselves (β = .14, CI .03–.24) as well as with no change in the amount of caregiving (β = .18, CI .07–.29) and loss of support (β = −.08, CI −.16–.00). No significant associations with the mean number of involvement indicators met were found for gender, educational level,