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Carer support

The following resources address services/interventions intended to support carers.

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“Caregiving is like on the job training but nobody has the manual”: Canadian caregivers’ perceptions of their roles within the healthcare system

Background: Stepping into the role of an unpaid caregiver to offer help is often considered a natural expectation of family members or friends. In Canada, such contributions are substantial in terms of healthcare provision but this comes at a considerable cost to the caregivers in both health and economic terms. Methods: In this study, we conducted a secondary analysis of a collection of qualitative interviews with 39 caregivers of people with chronic physical illness to assess how they described their particular roles in caring for a loved one. We used a model of caregiving roles, originally proposed by Twigg in 1989, as a guide for our analysis, which specified three predominant roles for caregivers – as a resource, as a co-worker, and as a co-client. Results: The caregivers in this collection spoke about their roles in ways that aligned well with these roles, but they also described tasks and activities that fit best with a fourth role of ‘care-coordinator’, which required that they assume an oversight role in coordinating care across institutions, care providers and often advocate for care in line with their expectations. For each of these types of roles, we have highlighted the limitations and challenges they described in their interviews. Conclusions: We argue that a deeper understanding of the different roles that caregivers assume, as well as their challenges, can contribute to the design and implementation of policies and services that would support their contributions and choices as integral members of the care team. We provide some examples of system-level policies and programs from different jurisdictions developed in recognition of the need to sustain caregivers in their role and respond to such limitations.

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Caregiving for ageing parents: A literature review on the experience of adult children

Background: More and more adults in their fifties and sixties are confronted with the need to support their ageing parents. Although many aspects of filial caregiving have been researched, a well-documented and comprehensive overview of the caregiving experience is lacking. Aim: This study aims for a better understanding of the caregiving experience of adult children by generating an overview of main themes in international research. Method: A literature review of qualitative studies, focusing on the experiences of adult children caring for their ageing parents, was performed. The electronic EBSCO databases Academic Search Premier, CINAHL and PsycINFO, and Google Scholar were searched to identify relevant qualitative studies published between 2000 and 2017. The 'SPIDER' eligibility criteria directed the approach. The quality of studies included was screened with the assessment sheet designed by Hawker and colleagues. The experiences reported were analysed and themes were synthesized. Ethical consideration: Ethical requirements were respected in every phase of the research process. Findings: Nineteen qualitative studies met the inclusion criteria. The quality of the relationship with the parent appears to be an important determinant of the children's caregiving experience. Within this context, three themes were found: caregiving as an emotional rollercoaster, a normatively demanding experience and an opportunity for personal development. Discussion: Children caring for their ageing parents have to deal with a wide range of contradicting and conflicting norms and values. Implications for healthcare professionals and future research have been discussed. Conclusion: Caring for ageing parents is a continuous quest for giving the best possible care and living up to one's personal values, within the context of the parent's declining health. Professionals who support filial caregivers should address not only practical responsibilities but also the normative questions and moral considerations caregivers are dealing with.

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Caregivers’ perceptions of burden and health- promoting behaviours among informal caregivers of cancer and stroke patients attending tertiary care facilities in South- South Nigeria

Background: Family caregivers’ role in cancer and stroke care is overly burdensome. Studies have considered burden and predictors of burden but the influence of caregiving burden on health - promoting behaviours among cancer and stroke family caregivers in Nigeria is scarce. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of caregivers’ perceptions of burden and health-promoting behaviours on informal caregivers of cancer/ stroke patients attending tertiary care facilities in South- South Nigeria.  Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey was employed among 410 purposively selected cancer/ stroke patients’ family caregivers in tertiary care facilities, South- South Nigeria. A standardized Zarit burden interview scale and structured questionnaire were used to measure burden and determine health-promoting behaviours respectively. Descriptive (means, standard deviation and percentages) and inferential (ANOVA) statistics with a Fisher’s protected t- test at 0.05 level of significance were used for data analysis. Results: The respondents experienced severe (F= 14.02; P= 0.810) burden in caregiving to cancer/ stroke patients. The influence of health- promoting behaviours (primary, secondary and tertiary preventions) among caregivers of cancer/ stroke is significantly high in the tertiary care facilities, South-South, Nigeria. Conclusions: aregivers of cancer and stroke patients experienced severe levels of burden and health-promoting-behaviours in terms of prevention at the primary, secondary and tertiary activities were significantly high among respondents. This calls for knowledge mobilization and dissemination in Nigeria and beyond. 

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Caregivers of People With Disabilities: A Program to Enhance Wellness Self-Care

Background: Caregivers are a source of support for family members with disabilities. However, caregivers are at risk for caregiver burden, which can erode self-care skills and lead to poor physical and mental health outcomes. Caregiver Wellness Self-Care, developed to address that risk, is a 5-week group program in which participants learn about strategies that cultivate their inner resources, while connecting with others for support. Wellness, self-care, mindfulness, and yoga-based information and practices are taught in the sessions and included in participant handouts. Self-reflection and planning activities with facilitated discussions further support awareness and personal transformation. Methods: Designed by and for people providing care to an adult family member with a mental health disorder and a developmental/intellectual disability, the program was piloted three times. Findings: The current article describes the development of the program through caregiver involvement, participant and facilitator feedback, and implications for future efforts to build caregiver wellness self-care skills. Implications for nurses are highlighted. 

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Caregivers of Older Persons in Jamaica: Characteristics, Burden, and Associated Factors

Objective: The objective of this study was to determine and characterize caregiver burden among caregivers of community-dwelling older persons in Jamaica. Method: A nationally representative cross-sectional study was done among persons providing noninstitutional care for a single person (≥60 years). The Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) and a structured questionnaire were administered to 180 caregivers from four geographic health regions. Results: The ZBI scores ranged from 0 to 56 (median = 15). Independently associated factors were relationship to care recipient and age. Children/grandchildren had higher caregiver burden scores than formally employed caregivers (odds ratio = 2.9: 95% confidence interval: [1.02, 8.34]). Compared with caregivers 35 to 44 years, those aged 45 to 65 were almost 5 times more likely to report higher caregiver burden scores. Conclusion: Caregiver burden as identified by the ZBI was low. Age (45–65 years) and being the child/grandchild of the care recipient were independently associated with greater caregiver burden. Interventions to address caregiver burden must embrace strategies that recognize that these factors.

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Caregivers' Experience at an Integrated Memory Care Clinic

Background: The Integrated Memory Care Clinic is a patient-centered medical home led by advanced practice RNs (APRNs) who provide dementia care and primary care simultaneously and continuously. Methods: We explored the experiences of 12 informal caregivers of persons living with dementia during their first year at the Clinic. Data were analyzed via directed content analysis. Results: Caregivers described the Clinic as “the only place you should go to for dementia [care].” Caregivers felt a sense of belonging to the Clinic, valued APRNs' competence and staff's dedication, and round-the-clock telephone access to APRNs. Caregivers also acknowledged that “we're all out here swimming on our own.” They expressed their sense of being overwhelmed and needing more services and medical and non-medical resources, and more prognostic information on dementia. Conclusions: Although the Clinic is beneficial for caregivers, caregiving demands exceed the supply of services and resources at the Clinic. 

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Caregiver's difficulty paying child's healthcare bills and bullying victimization of adolescents with physical disabilities

Objective: Guided by the ecological systems perspective, the objective of the study was to examine whether caregivers' difficulty paying their child's health‐care bills is associated with bullying victimization directly and indirectly through the mediating mechanisms of caregivers' frustration, adolescents' internalizing problems, and social difficulty focusing on adolescents with physical disabilities. Design: The 2019 National Survey of Children's Health dataset, which collected data on adolescents' and caregivers' demographic characteristics and health and well‐being, was used. The study sample consisted of 368 caregivers of adolescents, 12–17 years of age with physical disabilities. Results: No direct association between caregivers' difficulty paying their child's health‐care bills and bullying victimization was found. However, caregivers' frustration and adolescents' internalizing problems were shown to have an indirect association with bullying victimization, which was mediated by difficulty making friends. In addition, adolescents' difficulty making friends was positively associated with bullying victimization. Conclusions: Practitioners working with adolescents with physical disabilities are encouraged to foster collaborative processes across various ecological systems of the adolescent and family to address caregivers' frustration and promote positive social and emotional development of the adolescent with physical disabilities, which can decrease their risk of bullying victimization.

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Caregiver support and place of death among older adults

Background/objectives: As home becomes the most common place of death in the United States, information about caregiver support and place of death is critical to improve patient and caregiver experiences at end of life. We seek to examine (1) the association between family care availability and place of death; and (2) caregiving intensity associated with place of death. Design: 2017 National Health and Aging Trends Study and National Study of Caregiving; nationally representative cross‐sectional study of deceased older adults and last‐month‐of‐life (LML) caregivers. Setting: United States; all places of deaths. Participants: Three‐hundred and seventy‐five decedents and 267 LML caregivers. Measurements: Place of death (home, hospital, and nursing or hospice facility), family care availability (spouse/partner, household size, number of daughters and sons), caregiving intensity (hours of help provided at LML and a binary indicator for high care‐related emotional difficulty). Results: 38.9% of older adults died at home, followed by hospital (33.1%), and nursing or hospice facility (28.0%). In an adjusted multinomial logistic regression, decedents with larger household size (odds ratio [OR]: 0.441; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.269–0.724) and more daughters (OR: 0.743 [95% CI: 0.575–0.958]) had lower odds of dying in nursing or hospice facility relative to dying at home. For older adults who died at home, caregivers provided 209.8 h of help at LML. In contrast, when death occurred in nursing or hospice facility, caregivers provided 91.6 fewer hours of help, adjusted for decedent and caregiver characteristics. Dying in hospital was associated with higher odds of caregiver emotional difficulty relative to home deaths (OR: 4.093 [95% CI: 1.623–10.323]). Conclusions: Household size and number of daughters are important determinants of place of death. Despite dying at home being associated with more hours of direct caregiving; caregiver emotional strain was experienced as higher for hospital deaths. Better support services for end‐of‐life caregivers might improve patient and caregiver experiences for home and hospital deaths.

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Caregiver Social Status and Health-Related Quality of Life in Neurologically Impaired Children on Home Enteral Nutrition

Background: We aimed to investigate the association between caregiver social status and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in children with neurological impairment (NI) on home enteral nutrition (HEN). Methods: This was an ancillary study of a multicenter, cross-sectional study which explored HRQoL in 75 NI children on HEN. All the caregivers from the original cohort were contacted, and data on education level, occupation and marital status were collected. The association between social status and HRQoL was investigated using a multiple Poisson Generalized Linear Model. In total, 93 caregivers were included, responsible for the care of 71 children. The caregivers of four children of the original cohort did not answer the questionnaire. Results: Mothers with high-level education presented lower HRQoL in comparison to mothers with low-level (β: −5.97; 95% CI −11.51, −0.10; p = 0.027) or medium-level education (β: 4.85; 95% CI −9.87, 0.53; p = 0.044). The analysis of the subgroup of cases in which the main caregiver was represented by both parents gave similar findings, with education level of the father being negatively correlated with HRQoL. Conclusions: Our data showed that higher education level may negatively affect quality of life of caregivers of NI children. This could be helpful in identifying at-risk families and addressing supportive efforts.

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Caregiver Response to an Online Dementia and Caregiver Wellness Education Platform

Background: Web-based educational interventions are emerging as a potential solution to improve caregiver dementia knowledge and overall well-being. Objective: To assess the feasibility of delivering a web-based intervention for dementia caregivers by examining: 1) engagement with the online platform, 2) skill implementation, and 3) changes on outcome metrics over the 30-day study period. Methods: Enrolled participants were onboarded by a trained research coordinator and provided 24/7 access to the platform over 30 days. At study onset and completion, caregivers completed assessments of care recipient dementia severity and neuropsychiatric symptoms along with instruments which measured dementia knowledge, caregiver burden, and carer experience. Results: Of 84 referrals, 60 caregivers met study inclusion criteria and 55 completed pre and post study measures. Caregivers completed an average of 8 hours of learning over the 30-day web-based intervention, with 84.4%of participants reporting using at least one skill they learned from the online platform. Eighty-nine percent of participants reported high satisfaction with the web-based educational intervention. There were small effect sizes for decreases in NPIQ neuropsychiatric symptom severity and caregiver distress scores from pre- to post-intervention. Small effect sizes were observed for changes in caregiver burden from pre- to post-intervention among caregivers who perceived their care recipient as having high global deterioration. Conclusion: Findings show online educational programs are feasible for informal family caregivers of dementia and have perceived value. Future studies should address caregiver response to online education in less severe versus more severe care recipients, and explore the value of caregiver online platforms in diverse caregiver samples. 

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Caregiver distress and quality of life in primary caregivers of oncology patients in active treatment and follow‐up

Objective: As the number of informal caregivers and their caregiving responsibilities increase, this study aims at evaluating caregiver distress, quality of life (QoL) and their predictors in informal caregivers of cancer patients during active treatment and follow‐up. Methods: This cross‐sectional descriptive study targeted primary caregivers of patients with different cancer diagnoses. Caregiver‐reported outcomes were measured by the Caregiver Risk Screen (CRS), Distress Thermometer (DT) and Caregiver Quality of Life Index—Cancer (CQOLC). Results: Caregivers (n = 1580) experienced a low‐to‐moderate risk of caregiver distress and a moderate QoL during both treatment and follow‐up. About 13% reported a high caregiver risk and 20% reported severe distress. There was a strong and significant correlation between caregiver distress and caregivers' QoL (0.793). Predictive factors for higher distress and poorer QoL were: fewer emotional and practical resources, being female, non‐spousal relationship or not living together (p < 0.05). Caregivers of patients with head‐and‐neck, skin, lung and brain cancers reported the highest distress and lowest QoL. Conclusion: Caregiver distress is highly variable, but a minority of caregivers is at high risk for caregiver distress. Professional caregivers play an important role at supporting caregivers and detecting high‐risk caregivers.

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Caregiver Characteristics and Outcomes Associated With Level of Care Complexity for Older Adults

Background: Care in the home is increasingly complex, with family caregivers now expected to take on aspects of care previously managed by nurses and other health professionals. Method: In a national sample of caregivers of older adults, we examined predictors and outcomes of level of care (low, medium, high) based on caregiving hours and counts of activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental ADLs supported. Results: Characteristics associated with high level of care include Hispanic or “other” race/ethnicity, being unemployed, and specific care recipient conditions (e.g., Alzheimer's disease/dementia, cancer, mobility limitations). High compared to low level of care is also associated with caregiving difficulty and unmet needs. Conclusions: These findings underscore the need for targeted interventions and nursing research to further understand the features and dynamics of care complexity. Such research can inform family-centered interventions, health care system redesign, and health policies to support family caregivers of older adults engaged in complex care. 

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Caregiver burden, psychological distress and hopelessness among carers of thalassemia patients

Objective: To assess the relationship between care giver burden, hopelessness and Psychological distress. To explore the impact of care giver burden on Psychological distress and mediating role of hopelessness among carers of Thalassemia patients. Study Design: Descriptive cross-sectional study. Place and Duration of Study: At the Thalassemia center of The Children’s Hospital &amp; the Institute of Child Health Multan, Pakistan, in seven month from 17th November 2018 to 26th March 2019. Material and Methods: Two hundred and forty (240, 48.3% males and 51.6% female) carers of Thalassemia patients were assessed on Burden Scale for Family Caregivers (BSFC), Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) and Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS). Results: Findings showed that caregiver burden was positively correlated with psychological distress (p&lt;0.01) and hopelessness (p&lt;0.01). Results also revealed that caregiver burden significantly positively predicted hopelessness (p&lt;0.00) and hopelessness mediated the relationship between care giver burden and psychological distress (p&lt;0.00). Outcomes also illustrated that there were differences on care giver burden (p&lt;0.01), Psychological distress (p&lt;0.00) and hopelessness (p&lt;0.00) among carers of patients with thalassemia disorders on the ground of carer’s gender. Conclusion: Care giver burden, Psychological distress and Hopelessness are interlinked phenomenon, while male have more hopelessness and female have more care giver burden and psychological distress. 

Caregiver Burden with Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients: A Systematic Literature Review

Background: As the aging population increases, the rates of degenerative diseases associated with advanced age, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, also rise. Thus, the caregiver population grows in response, increasing the rates of caregiver burden. Caregivers of older adults are usually family members, and providing care to older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can be very physically and emotionally depleting for the caregivers, leading to negative consequences on the physical and mental health of the caregivers; subsequently leading to caregiver burden. Methods: This systematic literature review examined articles within the APA PsychInfo database related to informal caregivers of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, caregiver burden, risk factors associated with caregiver burden such as gender, kinship, cohabitation, and marriage status, and coping strategies, interventions, and resources that aid in mitigation of caregiver burden for these types of caregivers. Findings: This search yielded 26 studies that were included based on having met the eligibility criteria. Findings suggest that there are several risk factors associated with increased rates of caregiver burden in this caregiver population. Results addressed the benefits of coping strategies, interventions, and accessible resources on informal caregivers’ QOL and impacts on caregiver burden. Implications regarding ideal and accessible coping strategies and appropriate interventions for informal caregivers of individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia was addressed. 

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Caregiver burden versus intensity of anxiety and depression symptoms in parents of children with cerebral palsy as well as factors potentially differentiating the level of burden: a cross-sectional study (Poland)

Objectives: To assess the relationship between caregiver burden and severity of symptoms of anxiety/depression in parents of children with cerebral palsy (CP), and to identify factors differentiating the level of caregiver burden. Setting: Regional rehabilitation centres in South-Eastern Poland.ParticipantsThe study involved 190 parents of children with CP, that is, 138 women and 52 men. Primary and secondary outcome measures: Caregiver burden was assessed using Caregiver Burden Scale (CBS), while the intensity of anxiety and depression symptoms was measured using Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Potential predictors were examined using Gross Motor Function Classification System for Cerebral Palsy (GMFCS), Barthel Index (BI) as well as a questionnaire focusing on the characteristics of the child, the parent and the family. The analyses applied Pearson’s linear correlation coefficient as well as multiple regression analysis. Results: All the CBS measures are significantly correlated to HADS-A (anxiety) and HADS-D (depression). Intensity of anxiety is most visibly linked to CBS measures of disappointment and environment (p<0.0001), while severity of depression is related to emotional involvement and general strain (p<0.0001). The factors differentiating caregiver burden measure in the subscales of general strain (p<0.0001) and social isolation (p<0.0001) include the child’s age and BI, and the parent’s health status; in the subscale of disappointment (p<0.0001)—the child’s age, BI, GMFCS, as well as the parent’s age and health status; in the subscale of emotional involvement (p=0.0007)—BI, and the parent’s health status; in the subscale of environment (p=0.0002)—the child’s age and BI. Conclusions: There is a positive linear relationship between the caregiver burden measures and severity of anxiety and depression. Effort should be made to relieve caregiver burden in parents of children with CP.

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Caregiver burden in Buruli ulcer disease: Evidence from Ghana

Background: Buruli ulcer disease (BUD) results in disabilities and deformities in the absence of early medical intervention. The extensive role of caregiving in BUD is widely acknowledged, however, associated caregiver burden is poorly understood. In this paper we assessed the burden which caregivers experience when supporting patients with BUD in Ghana. Method: principal findings This qualitative study was conducted in 3 districts in Ghana between August and October 2019. 13 semi-structured interviews were conducted on caregivers of BUD patients in the local language of Twi. Data was translated into English, coded into broad themes, and direct content analysis approach was used to analyse results. Results: The results show the caregivers face financial, psychological and health issues as a consequence of their caregiving role. Conclusion/significance: This study found significant caregiver burden on family members. It also highlighted the psychological burden caregivers experience and the limited knowledge of the disease within endemic communities. Further research is needed to quantify the caregiver burden of BUD at different economic levels in order to better understand the impact of possible caregiver interventions on patient outcomes.

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Caregiver Burden for People with Schizophrenia in Medan, Indonesia

The article focuses on the Caregiver Burden for People with Schizophrenia in Medan, Indonesia. Topics discussed include Caregiving for a family member with a chronic and/or major illness is held as an obligation in many cultures; and interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed, with transcriptions checked for accuracy; and participants were deidentified in the transcripts, and analysis was performed using thematic analysis.

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Caregiver burden and related factors during active cancer treatment: A latent growth curve analysis

Background: Caregiver burden is frequently studied cross-sectionally, but longitudinal studies on family caregiver burden during active cancer treatment are lacking. The goals of this study were to characterize trajectories of caregivers' burden during a 6-month active treatment period, and to examine which predictors are associated with their burden. Methods: This study was a secondary analysis of data from a prospective study. A sample of 112 family caregivers of patients receiving cancer treatment were assessed at three time points (the initiation of new treatment regimen, 3-, and 6-month follow-up). Caregivers completed measures: Caregiver Reaction Assessment and Mutuality Scale of the Family Care Inventory. Data were analyzed using latent growth curve modeling. Results: The two highest burdens were subdomains related to disrupted schedule and financial problems. Models showed a decline in schedule burden over time, yet total burden and other subscales (financial problems, health problems, and lack of family support and self-esteem) remained relatively stable. In multivariate analysis, mutuality, the relationship quality between patients and caregivers was inversely related to burden at baseline. Being a spouse, a sole caregiver and lower income were related to higher burden over time. Our findings confirmed significant determinants of caregiver burden over the course of active treatment. It is important for health care providers to be attentive to vulnerable caregivers who are at higher risk of elevated burden over time. Conclusions: Considering the multidimensional nature of caregiver burden, early assessment and tailored support programs may be effective by focusing on patient-caregiver relationships, caregiving roles, and income. • Latent growth modeling is useful for examining baseline levels and changes of caregiver burden. • Patterns over time and factors that influence burden differ, based on each burden dimension. • Caregivers who are spouses, sole caregivers, and have lower income were more at risk for higher burden over time.

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Caregiver burden and quality of life among family caregivers of cancer patients on chemotherapy: A prospective observational study

Aim: Informal caregivers of cancer patients have extensive burdens. They are susceptible for deterioration of their quality of life (QOL). We aimed to assess caregiver burden and QOL of family caregivers of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy admitted in the ward/intensive care unit/high-dependency unit. Materials and Methods: This prospective observational study including 178 caregivers was carried out in a tertiary care hospital. The assessment of caregiving burden was done using the Zarit Burden Interview and its impact on QOL using the WHO BREF QOL questionnaire. Results: The mean age and mean Zarit Burden score of caregivers were 38.98 ± 10.53 and 30.697 ± 8.96, respectively. Of the total, 70.22% of caregivers reported mild-to-moderate burden and 21.38% reported moderate-to-severe burden. On assessment of QOL WHO BREF, the mean general score was 5.79 ± 1.84, physical health score was 49.65 ± 16.07, psychological health 51.85 ± 20.43, social relations 59.38 ± 21.43, and environmental 58.73 ± 17.51. The QOL scores were slightly better in mild-to-moderate burden compared to moderate-to-severe burden but not statistically significant except for social relations (P = 0.053). We did not find any difference in burden scores or QOL between male and female caregivers. Conclusion: Mild-to-moderate burden was seen in 70.22% of caregivers and 21.38% had moderate-to-severe burden.

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Caregiver burden and proxy-reported outcomes of people without natural speech: a cross-sectional survey study

Objective: To examine interrelations between care-related burden on informal caregivers and their proxy assessments of outcomes in people without natural speech. Design: A cross-sectional survey. Setting: Data were collected in January 2019 from a postal survey of informal caregivers of people without natural speech who are insured by a large regional health insurance company in the German federal state of Lower Saxony. Participants: n=714 informal caregivers of people without natural speech of all ages and with various underlying disabilities were identified and contacted via the health insurance company. Data from n=165 informal caregivers (26.4%) were obtained. Main outcome measures: Caregiver burden (self-reported, Burden Scale for Family Caregivers), pragmatic communication skills of people without natural speech (proxy report, self-developed), health-related quality of life of people without natural speech (proxy report, DISABKIDS Chronic Generic Measure - DCGM-12) and functioning of people without natural speech (proxy report, WHO Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0). Results: The analyses revealed significant associations between caregiver burden on the one hand and both proxy-reported health-related quality of life (b=−0.422; p≤0.001) and functioning (b=0.521; p≤0.001) on the other. Adding caregiver burden to the regression model leads to a substantial increase in explained variance in functioning (R² Model 1=0.349; R² Model 2=0.575) as well as in health-related quality of life (R² Model 1=0.292; R² Model 2=0.460). Conclusions: Caregiver burden should be considered an important determinant when informal caregivers report outcomes on behalf of people without natural speech. Longitudinal studies are recommended to better understand the burdens experienced by caregivers when supporting people without natural speech.

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Caregiver Burden and Compassion Fatigue Among Arab Family Caregivers of Older Relatives

Objectives: To examine the associations and the mechanisms between caregiver burden and compassion fatigue among family caregivers. Method: A cross-sectional study comprising 300 family caregivers of older relatives in Arab communities in Israel was conducted. Data were collected via face-to-face interviews in Arabic using structured questionnaires to identify factors associated with compassion fatigue (using a secondary traumatization stress scale). Bootstrapping with resampling strategies tested the multiple mediator model. Main findings: The results show a significant total effect of caregiver burden on compassion fatigue (b = 3.79, t (300) = 3.47, p <.001; R 2 =.50). This association was found to be partially mediated by family support (B =.81, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.23, 1.85) and disengagement coping (B =.97, 95% CI = 0.19, 2.14), but was not mediated by engagement coping strategies. Conclusion: Compassion fatigue is prevalent among family caregivers and requires more attention from professionals and policymakers.

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Adapting a guided low-intensity behavioural activation intervention for people with dementia and depression in the Swedish healthcare context (INVOLVERA): a study protocol using codesign and participatory action research

Introduction: Dementia is a worldwide health concern with incident rates continuing to increase. While depression prevalence is high in people with dementia and psychological interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are effective, access to psychological interventions remains limited. Reliance on traditional CBT for people with dementia and depression may present difficulties given it is a complex psychological approach, costly to deliver, and professional training time is lengthy. An alternative approach is behavioural activation (BA), a simpler psychological intervention for depression. The present study seeks to work with people with dementia, informal caregivers, community stakeholders, and healthcare professionals, to adapt a guided low-intensity BA intervention for people with dementia and depression, while maximising implementation potential within the Swedish healthcare context. Methods and analysis: A mixed methods study using codesign, principles from participatory action research (PAR) and normalisation process theory to facilitate the cultural relevance, appropriateness and implementation potential of the intervention. The study will consist of four iterative PAR phases, using focus groups with healthcare professionals and community stakeholders, and semi-structured interviews with people with dementia and informal caregivers. A content analysis approach will be adopted to analyse the transcribed focus groups and semi-structured interviews recordings. Ethics and dissemination: The study will be conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and data handled according to General Data Protection Regulation. Written informed consent will be obtained from all study participants. In accordance with the Swedish Health and Medical Services Act, capacity to consent will be examined by a member of the research team. Ethical approval has been obtained from the Swedish Ethical Review Authority (Dnr: 2020-05542 and Dnr: 2021-00925). Findings will be published in an open access peer-reviewed journal, presented at academic conferences, and disseminated among lay and healthcare professional audiences.

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Caregiver Burden and Associated Factors for the Respite Care Needs among the Family Caregivers of Community Dwelling Senior Citizens in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand

Background: Families are the backbone of caregiving for older adults living in communities. This is a tradition common to Thailand and many low- and middle-income countries where formal long-term care services are not so available or accessible. Therefore, population aging demands more and more young people engaging as family caregivers. Informal caregiving can become an unexpected duty for anyone anytime. However, studies measuring the burden of informal caregivers are limited. We aimed to determine the caregiver burden, both from the perspective of the caregivers as well as that of their care recipients. Method: We used the baseline survey data from a cluster randomized controlled trial providing a community integrated intermediary care (CIIC) service for seniors in Chiang Mai, Thailand, TCTR20190412004. Study participants were 867 pairs of older adults and their primary family caregivers. Descriptive analysis explored the characteristics of the caregivers and binary logistic regression identified factors influencing the caregivers’ burden. Results: The mean age of family caregivers was 55.27 ± 13.7 years and 5.5% indicated the need for respite care with Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI) scores ≥24. The highest burden was noted in the time-dependence burden domain (25.7%). The significant associated factors affecting CBI ≥24 were as follows: caregivers older than 60 years, being female, current smokers, having diabetes, and caring for seniors with probable depression and moderate to severe dependency. Conclusions: A quarter of caregivers can have their careers disturbed because of the time consumed with caregiving. Policies to assist families and interventions, such as respite service, care capacity building, official leave for caregiving, etc., may reduce the burden of families struggling with informal care chores. Furthermore, caregiver burden measurements can be applied as a screening tool to assess long-term care needs, complementing the dependency assessment. Finally, implementation research is required to determine the effectiveness of respite care services for older people in Thailand.

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Caregiver burden and associated factors amongst carers of women with advanced breast cancer attending a radiation oncology clinic in Nigeria

Background: The responsibility of caring for patients with advanced cancer in sub-Saharan Africa is mostly shouldered by family members because of paucity of institutional facilities. There is a growing concern that the number of women needing treatment for advanced breast cancer is rising at an unprecedented rate in Nigeria. Aim: To assess the caregiver burden and its associated factors amongst family caregivers of women with advanced breast cancer. Setting: The study was conducted at the radiation oncology clinic of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted amongst 157 eligible family caregivers of women with advanced breast cancer. The family caregivers completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire, which included the socio-demographic data, the caregiving process and the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI). Logistic regression was used to identify factors, and ethical approval was obtained. Results: Over half (53%) of the respondents were males with spousal caregivers dominantly constituting 27.4% of all respondents, closely followed by daughters (25.5%) of the care recipients. The mean ZBI score was 29.84 ± 13.9. Most (72%) of the caregivers experienced burden. Factors associated with caregiver burden were previous hospitalisation of the care recipient (odds ratio [OR] = 3.74, confidence interval [CI]: 1.67 to 8.38) and perceived dysfunction in patients activities of daily living (OR = 2.57, CI: 1.14 to 5.78). Conclusion: Family caregivers of women with advanced breast cancer experience burden of care. Recognition of this vulnerable population and the care recipient as a dyad is a sine qua non in mitigating the burden associated with their caregiving role. 

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

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

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The care needs of persons with oropharyngeal dysphagia and their informal caregivers: A scoping review

Introduction: Besides affecting physical health, Oropharyngeal Dysphagia (OD) entails limitations in daily activities and social participation for both patients and their informal caregivers. The identification of OD-related needs is crucial for designing appropriate person-centered interventions. Aims: To explore and map the literature investigating the care needs related to OD management of adult persons with OD and their informal caregivers during the last 20 years. Methods: A scoping review was conducted and reported following PRISMA guidelines. Five electronic databases and reference lists of eligible publications were searched for original works in English or Italian, published between January 2000 and February 2021. Two independent raters assessed studies’ eligibility and extracted data; a third rater resolved disagreements. Extracted care needs were analyzed using a Best fit framework synthesis approach. Results: Out of 2,534 records preliminarily identified, 15 studies were included in the review and 266 care needs were extracted. All studies were conducted in Western countries. Research methods primarily consisted of qualitative interviews and focus groups (14 studies, 93.3%); head and neck cancer was the most frequent cause of patients’ dysphagia (8 studies, 53.3%); caregivers’ perspective was seldom investigated (5 studies, 33.3%). Both patients and caregivers primarily reported social (N = 77; 28.9%) and practical (N = 67; 25.2%) needs, followed by informational (N = 55; 20.7%) and psychological (N = 54; 20.3%) ones. Only patients reported physical needs (N = 13; 4.9%), while spiritual needs were not cited. Conclusions: The recurrence of personal and social needs besides physical ones highlighted the manifold impact of OD on patients’ and caregivers’ lives. Larger and more focused studies are required in order to design tools and interventions tailored to patients’ and caregivers’ needs.

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Care difficulties and burden during COVID‐19 pandemic lockdowns among caregivers of people with schizophrenia: A cross‐sectional study

Aims: The purpose of this study was to retrospectively investigate care difficulties experienced by caregivers of people with schizophrenia during COVID‐19 pandemic lockdowns in Japan (April 7‐May 25, 2020) and examine associations between these care difficulties during lockdowns and daily caregiver burden. Methods: Data were collected from 132 participants of the LINE Schizophrenia Family Association using an online survey. Results: Caregivers were mostly concerned about who would care for people with schizophrenia if caregivers become infected with COVID‐19. A significant association was found between higher daily caregiver burden and more difficult care experiences during COVID‐19 pandemic lockdowns (B = 0.58, 95% confidence interval, 0.40‐0.75, P < .01, adjusted R‐squared = .34). Conclusions: Further studies and supports for caregivers of people with schizophrenia are needed.

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Care burden dimensions of informal caregivers having patients with bipolar disorder (challenges and alternatives) (qualitative study)

Background: Taking care of patients with bipolar disorder (BD) makes critical challenges for their informal caregivers (ICGs) and forces them to tolerate considerable burden. This qualitative study explored the dimensions of ICGs' care burden (CB) based on their own experiences and the patients' therapists. Materials and methods: This is a qualitative study which was conducted based on conventional content analysis through semistructured and in-depth interviews. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants including 13 ICGs and 14 therapists (2 psychiatrists, 10 psychiatric nurses, and 2 clinical psychologists). Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using Graneheim's 2004 principles. Results: Qualitative analyses yielded three major themes: 'challenges associated with the nature of BD,' 'challenges related to the ICGs,' and 'challenges related to interventions.' The categories of the first theme entailed 'individual-oriented characteristics of BD' and 'social-oriented characteristics of BD.' The categories of the second theme consisted of 'social stigma,' 'psychiatric problems and helplessness of ICGs,' 'financial costs related to providing cares,' and 'insufficient self-efficacy of ICGs in cares provision.' The categories of the last theme included 'educational interventions' and 'organizational interventions.' Conclusions: This study showed that the burden of ICGs have individual, social, and organizational aspects. Every one of them impacts the severity of their burden remarkably. The depth of the therapists' experiences has a significant role in designing the interventions to reduce this burden. The present investigation emphasized the constitution of a comprehensive framework related to all factors affecting burden in a developing country. 

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Acceptance and commitment therapy for fatigue interference in advanced gastrointestinal cancer and caregiver burden: protocol of a pilot randomized controlled trial

Background: Fatigue interference with activities, mood, and cognition is one of the most prevalent and bothersome concerns of advanced gastrointestinal (GI) cancer patients. As fatigue interferes with patient functioning, family caregivers often report feeling burdened by increasing responsibilities. Evidence-based interventions jointly addressing cancer patient fatigue interference and caregiver burden are lacking. In pilot studies, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) has shown promise for addressing symptom-related suffering in cancer patients. The current pilot trial seeks to test a novel, dyadic ACT intervention for both advanced GI cancer patients with moderate-to-severe fatigue interference and their family caregivers with significant caregiving burden or distress. Methods: A minimum of 40 patient-caregiver dyads will be randomly assigned to either the ACT intervention or an education/support control condition. Dyads in both conditions attend six weekly 50-min telephone sessions. Outcomes are assessed at baseline as well as 2 weeks and 3 months post-intervention. We will evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of ACT for improving patient fatigue interference and caregiver burden. Secondary outcomes include patient sleep interference and patient and caregiver engagement in daily activities, psychological flexibility, and quality of life. We will also explore the effects of ACT on patient and caregiver physical and mental health service use. Discussion: Findings will inform a large-scale trial of intervention efficacy. Results will also lay the groundwork for further novel applications of ACT to symptom interference with functioning and caregiver burden in advanced cancer. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04010227. Registered 8 July 2019.

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Care Burden and Coping Strategies among Caregivers of Paediatric HIV/AIDS in Northern Uganda: A Cross-Sectional Mixed-Method Study

Background: Family caregivers provide the bulk of care to children living with HIV. This places an enormous demand and care burden on the caregivers who often struggle to cope in various ways, some of which may be maladaptive. This may adversely affect their quality of care. Very little literature exists in resource-limited contexts on the burden of care experienced by caregivers on whom children living with HIV/AIDS depend for their long-term care. We assessed care burden and coping strategies among the caregivers of paediatric HIV/AIDS patients in Lira district, northern Uganda. Methods: A mixed-method cross-sectional study was conducted among 113 caregivers of paediatric HIV patients attending the ART clinic at a tertiary healthcare facility in Lira district, northern Uganda. A consecutive sampling method was used to select participants for the quantitative study, while 15 respondents were purposively sampled for the qualitative data. Quantitative data were collected using standard interviewer-administered questionnaires, while in-depth interview guides were used to collect qualitative data. Data were entered, cleaned, and analysed using SPSS version 23. Qualitative data were analysed thematically. Results: The majority of the caregivers, 65.5% (74), experienced mild-to-moderate burden. The mean burden scores significantly differed by caregivers’ age (P=0.017), marital status (P=0.017), average monthly income (P=0.035), and child’s school attendance (P=0.039). Accepting social support, seeking spiritual support, and reframing were the three most commonly used strategies for coping. Marital status and occupation were, respectively, positively and negatively correlated with information-seeking as a coping strategy, while monthly income was positively correlated with psychosocial support as a strategy. Seeking community support was negatively correlated with the duration of the child’s care. Conclusions: Our findings show that care burden is a common problem among the caregivers of children living with HIV in the study context.

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The capacity of informal caregivers in the rehabilitation of older people after a stroke

Objective: To characterize informal caregivers of dependent older people after a stroke related to aspects of care, and to describe the activities performed and the difficulties faced by these caregivers. Methods: Cross-sectional, descriptive study, held in southern Brazil with 190 informal caregivers of older adults after stroke. The sociodemographic data instrument and the Capacity Scale for Informal Caregivers of Elderly Stroke Patients (ECCIID-AVC), adapted and validated for use in Brazil by Dal Pizzol et al., were used. Results: Most caregivers were women (82.6%) or children (56.3%), had average schooling of 9.6 years, and the majority (68.3%) provided care for people with moderate to severe disability. The main activities carried out included: providing materials and/or support for eating (99%), dressing (98.4%), and administering medications (96.2%). Caregivers had the most difficulty with transferring and positioning activities. Conclusion: Most caregivers have adequate capacity to provide essential care to the dependent older adult after a stroke. However, a significant portion had difficulty in the activities of transferring and positioning the older person due to the lack of guidance regarding the posture to carry out these activities. The assessment of nurses regarding the activities performed and the difficulties faced by caregivers is an important strategy to identify problems and effectively attend to the needs of these individuals at all levels of health care.

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Cancer caregivers unmet needs and emotional states across cancer treatment phases

Study objective: To investigate the association between family cancer caregivers’ unmet daily needs and emotional states of depression, anxiety and stress across their care recipient’s treatment phases. Method: A cross-sectional study design and self-report questionnaires were used. Family caregivers (N = 237) of cancer patients in ambulatory cancer clinics were recruited from May to December 2017, and completed a sociodemographic and medical questionnaire, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale and Needs Assessment of Family Caregivers-Cancer Scale. Hierarchical linear regression was conducted to examine the influence of each predictor (sociodemographic variables, unmet personal care and role management needs, cancer treatment phase) on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale total score, depression subscale, anxiety subscale, and the stress subscale. Results: Family caregivers’ unmet daily activity needs, in particular higher unmet personal care needs, during the intermediate phase (6–9 months), were significantly associated (ps<0.05) with overall distress (b = 4.93) and stress (b = 2.26). In the chronic treatment phase (>9 months), the significant association of unmet personal care needs was with overall distress (b = 5.91), anxiety (b = 1.97) and stress (b = 2.53). After completing treatment, unmet role management needs were only significantly associated with stress (b = -1.59). Caregivers’ higher depression was also associated with greater unmet role management needs, regardless of treatment phases. Conclusions: Intermediate and chronic cancer treatment phases were identified as having greatest effect on caregivers’ unmet daily activity needs and emotions. Unmet personal care needs played the major effect on overall negative emotional states in the intermediate treatment phase and stress in the chronic treatment phase. Close attention to caregivers needs in intermediate and chronic treatment phases, would be highly beneficial in alleviating negative emotional disturbances.

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Calculation and Analysis of Family Care Burden Coefficient

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

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Business Models of eHealth Interventions to Support Informal Caregivers of People With Dementia in the Netherlands: Analysis of Case Studies

Background: In academic research contexts, eHealth interventions for caregivers of people with dementia have shown ample evidence of effectiveness. However, they are rarely implemented in practice, and much can be learned from their counterparts (commercial, governmental, or other origins) that are already being used in practice. Objective: This study aims to examine a sample of case studies of eHealth interventions to support informal caregivers of people with dementia that are currently used in the Netherlands; to investigate what strategies are used to ensure the desirability, feasibility, viability, and sustainability of the interventions; and to apply the lessons learned from this practical, commercial implementation perspective to academically developed eHealth interventions for caregivers of people with dementia. Methods: In step 1, experts (N=483) in the fields of dementia and eHealth were contacted and asked to recommend interventions that met the following criteria: delivered via the internet; suitable for informal caregivers of people with dementia; accessible in the Netherlands, either in Dutch or in English; and used in practice. The contacted experts were academics working on dementia and psychosocial innovations, industry professionals from eHealth software companies, clinicians, patient organizations, and people with dementia and their caregivers. In step 2, contact persons from the suggested eHealth interventions participated in a semistructured telephone interview. The results were analyzed using a multiple case study methodology. Results: In total, the response rate was 7.5% (36/483), and 21 eHealth interventions for caregivers of people with dementia were recommended. Furthermore, 43% (9/21) of the interventions met all 4 criteria and were included in the sample for the case study analysis. Of these 9 interventions, 4 were found to have developed sustainable business models and 5 were implemented in a more exploratory manner and relied on research grants to varying extents, although some had also developed preliminary business models. Conclusions: These findings suggest that the desirability, feasibility, and viability of eHealth interventions for caregivers of people with dementia are linked to their integration into larger structures, their ownership and support of content internally, their development of information and communication technology services externally, and their offer of fixed, low pricing. The origin of the case studies was also important, as eHealth interventions that had originated in an academic research context less reliably found their way to sustainable implementation. In addition, careful selection of digital transformation strategies, more intersectoral cooperation, and more funding for implementation and business modeling research are recommended to help future developers bring eHealth interventions for caregivers of people with dementia into practice.

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Burden on family caregivers of children and adolescent in immediate post hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Objective: To evaluate the burden on family caregivers of children and adolescents in immediate post hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Method: Study of quantitative nature, of analytical and traverse type, accomplished in two institutions of health with 31 caregivers of children and adolescents in immediate post transplantation. The data collection was accomplished between October of 2018 and June of 2019. The caregivers' social demographic profile was characterized, and the burden was evaluated by Caregiver Burden Scale. The descriptive statistics and the Spearman correlation were used. Results: It was obtained a burden global score of 2.4/4; the domains with larger scores were: general stress and frustration, both with 2.8/4. Conclusion: The understanding of how the family faces the challenges imposed by the immediate post hematopoietic stem cell transplantation guides the multiprofessional team a care centered in the family and to offer maximum support and guidance to the caregiver.

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The Burden of Primary Caregivers of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Patients and Their Needs

Aim: This study aims to reveal the problems faced by families of children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), by evaluating their care burden, needs, and expectations. Materials and Methods: The participants were the primary caregivers of 34 children between the ages of 0 and 18 years diagnosed with SMA. Thirteen children were diagnosed with type 1, 13 children with type 2 and 8 children with type 3 SMA. Data on the medical history, functional levels of the participants, and the characteristics of families were collected. The childrens' parents completed the Family Needs Survey and the Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale. Results: According to the results of the Family Needs Survey, it was found that information was the most common requirement, and this was independent of the level of education. According to the Caregiver Burden Scale, it was recorded that 64.7% of the caregivers were under mild/ moderate burden. While there was a moderate correlation (r = 0.574; P < .001) between the Caregiver Burden Scale and the Family Needs Survey, it was observed that the functional level of the child was not associated with family needs and caregiver burden. Conclusions: Our study suggests that the needs of families of SMA patients, especially related to income level, have changed. The caregivers' burden is not directly related to the income level or the functional level of the child. Families' need for information should also be prioritized within the rehabilitation program.

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Burden and depression among Jordanian caregivers of hemodialysis patients: A cross-sectional study

Introduction: Caring for patients receiving hemodialysis places a burden on caregivers. Objectives: To examine caregiving burden and depression in the family caregivers of patients receiving hemodialysis and associated factors. Methods: A cross-sectional design was used. Participants were 204 adult caregivers of patients receiving hemodialysis. Questionnaires included sociodemographic characteristics, the Oberst Caregiving Burden Scale-Difficulty (OCBS-D) subscale, Bakas Caregiving Outcomes Scale (BCOS), and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 to measure the burden and depression of caregivers. Descriptive statistics, two linear regression analyses, and multinomial logistic regression were used in data analysis. Results: The majority (59.0%, n = 120) of caregivers had a moderate level of depression with scores ranging from 11 to 16. The analysis showed that the mean score of OCBS-D was 42.0 (SD = 4.7) with scores ranging from 26.9 to 58.9 (range = 32.0), while the caregivers' mean score of BCOS was 52.1 (SD = 9.3) with scores ranging from 38.0 to 82.5 (range = 44.5). Given that the expected score of OCBS-D and BCOS ranged from 15 to 75 and 15 to 105, respectively, the analysis indicated a moderate to a high level of burden among caregivers. Age and travel time were associated with a higher likelihood of negative outcomes in the family caregivers, while higher patient age was associated with a greater caregiver burden. Relevance to Clinical Practice: It is important to assess and address the practical issues that caregivers experience, such as employment-related responsibilities, financial difficulties, and the need to learn specific skills related to patients’ chronic illnesses. Conclusion: Caregivers of patients receiving hemodialysis are likely to experience moderate depression and burden. Caregiver burden increases with patient age and travel time to the hemodialysis units. 

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Building family caregiver skills using a simulation-based intervention for care of patients with cancer: protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Background: Family caregivers of patients with cancer undergoing radiation therapy experience significant distress and challenges related to high symptom burden and complex care demands. This is particularly true for caregivers of patients with head and neck, esophageal, anal, rectal, and lung cancers, who are often receiving combined-modality treatment and may have tracheostomy tubes, gastrostomy tubes, or colostomies/ileostomies. This study aims to evaluate a simulation-based nursing intervention to provide information, support, and training to caregivers during radiation therapy. Methods: This randomized controlled trial will include a sample of 180 patients and their family caregivers. Caregivers assigned to the control group will receive usual care and an informational booklet from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Those in the intervention group will receive usual care, the NCI booklet, and three meetings with a nurse interventionist during radiation treatment followed by a booster call two weeks posttreatment. Intervention sessions focus on themes consistent with the trajectory of radiation therapy: the patient experience/needs, the caregiver experience and dyad communication, and transition to survivorship. Outcomes are measured at baseline, end of treatment (T2), and 4 (T3) and 20 (T4) weeks posttreatment, with the primary outcome being caregiver anxiety at T4. Discussion: This trial is innovative in its use of simulation in a psychoeducational intervention for family caregivers. The intervention is administered at point-of-care and aimed at feasibility for integration into clinical practice. Patient quality of life and healthcare utilization measures will assess how providing support and training to the caregiver may impact patient outcomes. Trial registration: The trial was registered on 08/14/2019 at ClinicalTrials.gov (identifier NCT04055948).

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Bridging the gap: A mixed methods study investigating caregiver integration for people with geriatric syndrome

Introduction: Transitions of care between acute hospital and community settings are points of vulnerability for people with geriatric syndrome. Routinely including informal caregivers into the transition processes may mitigate risk. Guidance for operational aspects of caregiver inclusion is currently lacking in healthcare policy and fails to address the barriers faced by caregivers and healthcare professionals. Methods: A questionnaire and a semi-structured interview were piloted with acute care physiotherapists who facilitate patient discharge into community settings. The questionnaire was analysed using summary statistics and interviews were thematically analysed by researchers, using NVivo 12 software. Results: Questionnaire responses indicated mixed satisfaction with current caregiver integration by the multidisciplinary team. Four themes were shaped in the interviews: inconsistent caregiver engagement, individuals working in a system, an outdated model of care, and invisible care gaps. Discussion: Feedback loops constructed from participant questionnaires and interview responses informed the identification of barriers and solutions. These are system wide and address automated integration, cultural shift, reimbursement models, and flexible structures to enhance informal caregiver participation. Future research is urgently required to translate, implement, and evaluate enhanced caregiver integration to ensure sustainable, person-centred healthcare delivery. 

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Bibliotherapy for improving caregiving appraisal of informal caregivers of people with dementia: A pilot randomized controlled trial

Background: Caregiving appraisal is a key driver to moderating caregiving outcomes. The caregiving appraisal of informal caregivers of people with dementia requires increased attention. This study aimed to explore the feasibility and acceptability of an evidence‐based bibliotherapy protocol, and test the efficacy on improving caregiving appraisal. Design: A two‐arm pilot randomized controlled trial was adopted. Sixty informal caregivers were randomized to either the intervention group, receiving eight weekly professional‐guided bibliotherapy sessions in addition to usual care; or the usual care group. The professional‐guided bibliotherapy sessions were weekly sessions in which caregivers self‐read the designated chapter and then received telephone coaching. Caregiving appraisal, coping, psychological well‐being, positive aspects of caregiving, knowledge of dementia, and attitude toward dementia were assessed both at baseline and immediately after the intervention. Assessors were blinded to group allocation. Individual interviews among 10 participants from the intervention group were conducted to explorecaregivers' acceptance of the intervention. Descriptive statistics, χ2 test, Mann–Whitney U test, independent t test, generalized estimating equation, and content analysis were used for data analysis. This study pioneered the use of bibliotherapy among informal caregivers of people with dementia. Results: The participant recruitment rate was 69.8%. The attrition rate of the intervention group was 20%. Bibliotherapy had a significant time‐by‐group interaction effect on caregiving appraisal (p < 0.001), coping (p = 0.003), positive aspects of caregiving (p = 0.001), knowledge of dementia (p = 0.017), and attitude toward dementia (p < 0.001). The effect on psychological well‐being, however, was only significant on the personal growth subscale (p = 0.025). The acceptability was also confirmed. No adverse event was documented.

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Beyond the Patient: A Mixed-Methods Inquiry Into Family Members’ Involvement in the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease to Target Third-Party Disability

Purpose: Family members of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) may experience third-party disability, manifesting as difficulty managing communication breakdowns and changed relationships influenced by communication disorders. This study examined family involvement in therapy to address third-party disability from the perspective of family members of people with PD and speech-language pathologists (SLPs). Method: A mixed-methods design was used with two phases of data collection. In Phase 1 qualitative interviews, nine family members shared their perspectives about their involvement in therapy. In Phase 2, a survey was developed from Phase 1 data to gather data from SLPs (N = 110) on their clinical practices involving family members. Results: Family members and SLPs agreed that when family were involved in therapy, it was primarily to support therapy exercises for the person with PD. Many SLPs reported providing supportive activities for family members. However, qualitative data from family members suggested that the limited involvement they had in therapy did not sufficiently meet their unique needs resulting from communication changes with the person with PD and other related challenges. Constraints influencing family member involvement included insurance billing regulations, privacy laws for patients, and family members’ availability. Conclusions: While some families and SLPs reported efforts to specifically include families and address their needs in therapy, these practices were inconsistent and, from families’ perspectives, insufficient to meet their own needs. Future research should consider family-centered approaches that involve family members in speech-language therapy to enhance their daily lives, along with persons with PD.

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Being the Family Caregiver of a Patient With Dementia During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Lockdown

Background: Family caregivers of patients with dementia are at high risk of stress and burden and quarantine due to COVID-19 pandemic may have increased the risk of psychological disturbances in this population. The current study was carried out during the national lockdown declared in March 2020 by the Italian government as a containment measure of the first wave of coronavirus pandemic, and is the first nation-wide survey on impact of COVID-19 lockdown on mental health of dementia informal caregivers. Methods: Eighty-seven Dementia Centers evenly distributed on the Italian territory enrolled 4710 caregiver-patient pairs. Caregivers were delivered a telephone interview assessing classical symptoms of caregiver stress and concern for the consequences of COVID-19 infection on patient’s health. We calculated prevalence of symptoms and regressed them on various potential stress risk factors: caregivers' socio-demographic characteristics and lifestyle, patients' clinical features, and lockdown-related elements, like discontinuity in medical care. Results: Approximately 90% of caregivers reported at least one symptom of stress, and nearly 30% reported four or more symptoms. The most prevalent symptoms were Concern for consequences of COVID-19 on patient's health (75%) and Anxiety (46%). The main risk factors for stress were identified as a conflicting relationship with the patient and discontinuity in assistance, but caregiver's female sex, younger age, lower education and cohabitation with the patient also had an impact. Availability of help from institutions or private individuals showed a protective effect against Sense of Abandonment, but a detrimental effect on concern about the risk for the patient to contract COVID-19. The only protective factor was mild dementia severity, which was associated with a lower risk of feeling isolated and abandoned; type of dementia, on the other hand, did not affect stress risk. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate the large prevalence of stress in family caregivers of patients with dementia during COVID-19 pandemic, and has identified both caregivers and situations at higher risk of stress, that should be taken into account in the planning of interventions in support of quarantined families and patients.

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Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and family caregiver burden: a path analysis

Background: Studies reported the relationship between behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), cognitive function, caregiver burden, and therapeutic effects. However, the causal relationship between BPSD in community-dwelling patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and caregiver burden is yet to be established. This study aimed to classify BPSD in patients with AD and identify the relationship between BPSD and the factors affecting family caregiver burden. Methods: Path analysis was conducted at a neurology outpatient clinic of a tertiary general hospital in South Korea. The medical records of 170 patients, aged ≥50 years, diagnosed with or suspected for AD were retrospectively reviewed. We investigated cognitive function (Korean version of the Mini-Mental-State Exam), dementia stages (Korean version of the Expanded Clinical Dementia Rating scale), depression (Short-form Geriatric Depression Scale-Korea), activities of daily living (ADL; Korean version of the Barthel Activities of Daily Living index), instrumental activities of daily living (IADL; Seoul-Instrumental Activities of Daily Living), and BPSD and caregiver burden (Korean Neuropsychiatric Inventory). Considering the characteristic features of BPSD with various symptoms, BPSD was classified using factor analysis. Factor extraction was performed using principal component analysis, followed by Varimax factor rotation. Results: Mean total BPSD score was 17.66 ± 20.67, and the mean score for family caregiver burden was 9.65 ± 11.12. Symptom cluster-1 (hyperactivity symptoms) included disinhibition, irritability, and agitation/aggression. Symptom cluster-2 (psychosis symptoms) included hallucinations, anxiety, elation/euphoria, delusions, and depression/dysphoria. Symptom cluster-3 (physical behaviour symptoms) included appetite and eating abnormalities, apathy/indifference, aberrant motor behaviour, sleep, and night-time behaviour disturbances. Dementia stages, ADL, and IADL had indirect effects on family caregiver burden through hyperactivity, psychosis, and physical behaviour symptoms, indicating that BPSD exerted a complete mediating effect. Conclusions: Unlike previous studies, we classified BPSD symptoms into similar symptom clusters to evaluate its effect on caregiver burden, rather than collectively investigating the 12 symptoms of BPSD. As the dementia stage worsens, symptom clusters in BPSD serve as a medium between ADL and IADL degradation and for the increase in caregivers’ burden. The development and implementation of therapeutic, nursing interventions, and policies focusing on dementia stages, ADL, and IADL, delaying and preventing BPSD can alleviate family caregivers’ burden.

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Becoming an empowered parent. How do parents successfully take up their role as a collaborative partner in their child's specialist care?

Background: The purpose of this article is to offer an improved understanding of how parents of children with long-term disabilities are empowered to successfully take up their role as decision-making partners in the design and delivery of the care of their child. The intention is to stimulate dialogue, encourage reflection and provide practical suggestions for health professionals working with children and their families. Design: The reported findings are from a study which was guided by a constructivist grounded theory methodology. This involved an iterative process of repeated cycles of data collection and analysis, which comprised 12 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 14 parents of children accessing paediatric services within a single National Health Service Trust. Results: A novel model, explaining how the power im/balance and the perceived state of the therapeutic relationship influence how successfully a parent takes up their position in the collaborative partnership, is presented and discussed. Conclusion: It is suggested that by thoughtfully addressing the traditional hierarchy that exists within healthcare, health professionals might facilitate the development of a 'truly' therapeutic relationship, which can help promote parental empowerment.

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Becoming a Family Caregiver to a Person With Dementia: A Literature Review on the Needs of Family Caregivers

Introduction: The dementia disease affects both the family caregivers’ health and social and psychological well-being. The aim of this review was to identify and describe the needs of family caregivers living with a person with dementia at home. Method: The literature review, conducted using the matrix method, was also inspired by Thomas and Harden’s thematic synthesis. Results: Three themes were identified: (1) the family caregiver’s new roles and relationships; (2) caregiver burdens; and (3) the caregiver’s need for information and support. Conclusion: When family caregivers gradually lose their reciprocal relationship with the person with dementia, and sometimes also with family and friends, the need for other kinds of social contact arises e.g. with others in a similar situation. They also need to have some respite to provide room to pursue their own interests and take care of their own health. Also, a high level of individually tailored information is needed. 

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Barriers to Family Resilience in Caregivers of People Who Have Schizophrenia

Purpose: To explore the barriers to family resilience in caregivers of people who have schizophrenia. Design: A qualitative descriptive approach was used. Methods: Semistructured interviews were conducted with family caregivers of patients with schizophrenia registered at the psychiatry outpatient unit of a hospital center. Content analysis was performed on audio‐recorded and verbatim‐transcribed interviews. The consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ) checklist was applied to this study. Results: A total of 31 family caregivers participated, the majority of whom were female (71%) with an average age of 57.5 years. Most participants lived with and cared for their relative (90.3%). The caregiver role was assumed mostly by mothers (54.8%) and fathers (22.6%). Barriers to family resilience in caregivers of people experiencing schizophrenia broadly fall under five categories: lack of knowledge about the disease, social stigma, expressed emotion, involvement in the relationship, and blame. Conclusions: In view of the paucity of studies exploring and understanding the barriers to family resilience, this study presents itself as one of the first in this area. There are different barriers to family resilience. This research provides an overview and an understanding of key barriers to family resilience in caregivers of people experiencing schizophrenia. Clinical Relevance: There is a need for nurses to help families to be resilient. By understanding the barriers to resilience, nurses are able to focus on these factors and help families to remove or reduce their influence.

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Balneotherapy with a psychoeducation program for the promotion of a balanced care in family caregivers of older adults

Background: This study aimed to analyze the efficacy of an intervention program for informal caregivers of elderly dependent that combined balneotherapy with group psychoeducation (BT-PE) based on the balanced care model. Method: The BT-PE intervention (N = 124) was compared with a comparison group only exposed to balneotherapy (BT) (N = 76). The two modalities included both primary and secondary informal caregivers. A three-way mixed ANOVA was conducted to determine the effects of two between-subjects´ factors (intervention group and caregiver type) and one within-subjects´ factor (time) on burden, depression, anxiety, maladjustment and care satisfaction. Results: Results showed less burden and more care satisfaction in both primary and secondary caregivers participating in the BT-PE program after the interventions. Primary caregivers also showed lower levels of maladjustment in the experimental group at post-intervention. Although depressive symptoms and anxiety decreased significantly in both intervention groups, BT-PE did not show lower scores compared with the application of sole BT. Conclusion: The relevance of caregivers´ psychoeducation on the balanced care model and its combination with balneotherapy is highlighted. 

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Autism-specific parenting self-efficacy: An examination of the role of parent-reported intervention involvement, satisfaction with intervention-related training, and caregiver burden

Background: Parenting self-efficacy, described as the beliefs parents hold about their ability to successfully parent their children, has been shown to support parent and child well-being. Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder face disproportionately high levels of demand both as caregivers, and as partners in multiple, complex, intervention programs. This study examines the relationship between parents' experiences with their child's interventions—specifically their sense of involvement in treatment and satisfaction with intervention-related training—and their confidence in parenting a child with autism spectrum disorder, defined as autism-specific parenting self-efficacy. Methods: Participants (N = 438, 93% mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder aged 2–17 years) completed our novel autism-specific parenting self-efficacy scale and rated their experience of involvement in their child's interventions and satisfaction with intervention-related training across a range of common autism spectrum disorder–related treatments. Respondents also completed a caregiver burden scale. Results: Findings indicate that parents who report greater involvement in their child's interventions, and note greater satisfaction with intervention-related training, also report greater autism-specific parenting self-efficacy. Parents who report greater financial and social burden report lower autism-specific parenting self-efficacy. Conclusions: We propose that these results are important in creating intervention experiences that foster parental self-efficacy through involvement, productive training experiences, and addressing parental burden.  

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Associations Between Hospice Care and Scary Family Caregiver Experiences

Context: Hospice deaths in the U.S. are increasing. Dying hospice patients may have rapidly emerging needs the hospice team cannot immediately meet, exposing family caregivers to fright-inducing (i.e., scary) situations. Objectives: To examine relationships between hospice care and family caregiver exposures and psychological responses to witnessing common and distressing patient symptoms near the end of life. Methods: Secondary analysis of prospective cohort study of 169 patients with advanced cancer and their family caregivers was analyzed. Multivariable regression analyses modeled associations between hospice use and caregiver exposures and psychological responses (fear and helplessness) to witnessing distressing symptoms common near death, adjusting for potential confounding influences (e.g., home death, patient characteristics, and suffering). Caregiver self-reported exposures and responses to observing patient symptoms during the last month of life were assessed using the validated Stressful Caregiving Response to Experiences of Dying (SCARED) scale. Results: Hospice care was significantly positively associated with more exposures and negative psychological responses to distressing patient symptoms, adjusting for home death, patient characteristics, and physical and mental suffering. On average, hospice patients' caregivers scored 1.6 points higher on the SCARED exposure scale and 6.2 points higher on the SCARED psychological response scale than caregivers of patients without hospice (exposure: 10.53 vs. 8.96; psychological responses: 29.85 vs. 23.67). Patient pain/discomfort, delirium, and difficulty swallowing/choking were reported by three-fourths of caregivers and associated with the most fear and helplessness among caregivers. Conclusion: Hospice care is associated with more exposures to and caregiver fear and helplessness in response to scary patient experiences. Research is needed to understand how better to support family caregivers of hospice patients to enable them to cope with common distressing symptoms of dying cancer patients. Hospice clinicians providing additional education and training about these symptoms might enable caregivers to better care for dying loved ones and reduce the stresses of end-of-life caregiving.

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

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

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Association between family caregivers and depressive symptoms among community-dwelling older adults in Japan: A cross-sectional study during the COVID-19 pandemic

Objectives: Novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic could increase the mental health burden of family caregivers of older adults, but related reports are limited. We examined the association between family caregiving and changes in the depressive symptom status during the pandemic. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 957 (mean age [standard deviation] = 80.8 [4.8] years; 53.5% females) community-dwelling older adults aged ≥ 65 years from a semi-urban area of Japan, who completed a mailed questionnaire. Based on the depressive symptom status assessed with the Two-Question Screen between March and October 2020, participants were classified into four groups: “non-depressive symptoms,” “incidence of depressive symptoms,” “remission from depressive symptoms,” or “persistence of depressive symptoms.” Participants were assessed in October 2020 for the family caregiving status, caregiving role, the severity of care recipients’ needs, and increased caregiver burden during the pandemic, each with the simple question. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was applied to obtain the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for changes in depressive symptom status. Results: Compared to non-caregivers, family caregivers were associated with the incidence (OR [95% CI] = 3.17 [1.55–6.51], p < 0.01) and persistence of depressive symptoms (OR [95% CI] = 2.39 [1.30–4.38], p < 0.01). Primary caregivers, caregivers for individuals with severe care needs, and caregivers with increased burden during the pandemic had a high risk of depressive symptoms. Conclusions: Family caregivers had a high risk of depressive symptoms during the pandemic. Our findings highlight the need for a support system for family caregivers. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Assessment of alternative methods for informal caregivers to perform patient repositioning tasks

Background: Manual patient handling tasks put formal and informal caregivers at risk of musculoskeletal injury. Intervention research to reduce risks to informal caregivers is limited. Design: This study examined effects of slide sheet use when individual informal caregivers performed patient boosting and turning tasks. Three methods of slide sheet use and a baseline method (no slide sheet) were compared, to reposition a 70 kg individual. Results: Muscle activity, ground reaction force, posture, and rating of perceived exertion were significantly affected by task method. Erector Spinae activity was reduced in boosting and turning away tasks with the slide sheet. Shoulder elevation, torso angle, and normalized vertical ground reaction force were also reduced with the slide sheet during boosting. The turn towards task was generally not improved with the slide sheet. Conclusion: Overall, using a slide sheet provided biomechanical benefits to individual caregivers performing two common patient handling tasks: boosting and turning patient away from caregiver. 

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Application of the hospital‐family holistic care model in caregivers of patients with permanent enterostomy: A randomized controlled trial

Aims: To evaluate the effectiveness of the hospital‐family holistic care model based on the theory of 'Timing It Right' in caregivers of patients with permanent enterostomy. Design: A prospective randomized controlled trial. Methods: One hundred and twenty‐five caregivers of patients with permanent enterostomy were recruited from 1 May 2017–31 August 2019. They were randomized into either intervention group (N = 62) or control group (N = 63). The control group received routine care and follow‐up, while the intervention group received routine care, follow‐up, and hospital‐family holistic care intervention based on 'Timing It Right'. The care ability, psychological distress, and life quality of the caregivers were evaluated between the groups before the intervention, at discharge, and 3 and 6 months after discharge. Results: One hundred and eleven caregivers completed the study (88.8%). At 3 and 6 months after discharge, the care ability and life quality in the intervention group were significantly better than those in the control group (t = 8.506/9.783, t = 22.652/26.179, p < 0.05) based on the t tests, and the psychological distress was lower than that in the control group. The ostomy adaptability of the control group was significantly lower than that in the intervention group (p < 0.001) based on the t tests, and the χ2 test showed that ostomy complication was more than that in the intervention group (23.81% vs. 12.90% and 34.92% vs. 19.35%; p < 0.05) at 3 and 6 months after discharge. The interaction between time and group showed that the effect of time factor varied with the group and the four evaluation indexes in the intervention group gradually improved with the extension of the observation time and were better than those in the control group based on generalized estimating equation model. Conclusion: The hospital‐family holistic care model based on 'Timing It Right' can effectively improve the care ability of caregivers of patients with permanent enterostomy, reduce psychological distress, and improve the quality of life. Impact: The caregivers of patients with permanent enterostomy showed dynamic changes in their care experience and needs at different stages of the disease. The hospital‐family holistic care intervention strategy based on 'Timing It Right' can effectively improve the caregiver's care ability, alleviate psychological distress, and improve the quality of life. Additionally, improving the patients' stoma adaptability and reducing the incidence of complications related to ostomy.
 

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Anxiety and depression among caregivers of young children with Congenital Zika Syndrome in Brazil

Aims: To examine the psychological well-being of primary caregivers of infants and toddlers with Congenital Zika Syndrome (CZS), and the roles of family resources, parenting stress, and coping strategies in caregivers' adaptation. Methods: Family caregivers (N = 50) of children with CZS who were receiving treatment at a rehabilitation hospital in Recife, Brazil participated a cross-sectional survey study. Caregivers completed measures of anxiety and depression, coping strategies, family resources, and parenting stress. Results: Mild to severe symptoms of depression were identified in 40% of caregivers and were a more prominent concern than symptoms of anxiety. Fewer family resources and high levels of parenting stress were significantly associated with both anxiety and depression. The association between parenting stress and depression was moderated by coping, such that parenting stress was associated with higher caregiver depression at low but not high levels of coping strategy use. Conclusions: Practitioners in Brazil should consider the role of family coping and resources as important resilience promoting factors in the development of new programs designed to promote psychological adaptation in caregivers to children with CZS. It is recommended that caregiver mental health support services be integrated into existing early intervention programs targeting children with CZS. Parents and other primary caregivers are encouraged to take an active role in the care and developmental monitoring of children born with CZS, but their ability to provide care may be compromised by difficulties in psychological adaptation. Moderate and severe symptoms of depression were more prominent in caregivers than moderate and severe symptoms of anxiety (20% versus 6%, respectively). Practitioners should include assessment of coping strategies, parenting stress and family resources conjointly with evaluation of symptoms of depression and anxiety as part of routine CZS family evaluations. A useful approach for caregivers in Brazil may be to more fully integrate caregiver mental health support services into existing early intervention programs for children with CZS.

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Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver Characteristics and Their Relationship with Anticipatory Grief

Background: In Alzheimer’s disease, two fundamental aspects become important for caregivers: ambiguity and ambivalence. Thus, anticipatory grief is considered an active psychological process that is very different from the mere anticipation of death. The present study aims to determine which characteristics of family caregivers of people with dementia, such as age, gender, educational level, relationship with the person with dementia, years with dementia or years as a caregiver, are related to the presence of anticipatory grief. Methods: A cross-sectional design was employed. The sample consisted of a total of 129 subjects who cared for a family member with dementia. A sociodemographic data sheet and a battery of tests measure the presence of anticipatory grief, caregiver burden and/or psychopathology. Results: The results obtained allowed us to confirm some of the hypotheses regarding the anticipatory grief construct, the importance of the care time factor, in years and per day, as well as the relevance of the previous demographic and psychopathological profile (being female, spouse function and possible depressive symptomatology). Likewise, from the prediction analyzes performed, it seems that these variables can predict anticipatory grief. Conclusion: These results propose interesting opportunities to formulate care proposals to professionals and family caregivers in relation to care tasks and caregiver skills.

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Advance Care Planning in Pediatric Serious Illness: Centering in the Family Experience

The article presents a study which analyzed the effects of advanced care planning interventions like the Family-Centered Advance Care Planning for Teens with Cancer (FACE-TC) on families' evaluation of their experiences in familial distress and caregiving. FACE-TC is recognized by the National Cancer Institute. Allso cited is the importance of pediatric palliative care in addressing the patients' and families' goals and values during serious illnesses.

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Adapting ENABLE for patients with advanced cancer and their family caregivers in Singapore: a qualitative formative evaluation

Background: ENABLE (Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends) is a nurse coach-led, early palliative care model for patients with advanced cancer and their family caregivers. Content covered includes problem-solving, advance care planning, symptom management and self-care. The aim was to evaluate the cultural acceptability of ENABLE among patients with advanced cancer and their caregivers in Singapore and identify modifications for an adapted ENABLE-SG model. Methods: Qualitative formative evaluation with a thematic analysis approach in two hospitals in Singapore, involving patients (n = 10), family caregivers (n = 11) and healthcare professionals (n = 10) who care for patients with advanced cancer. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore (i) the main needs and challenges facing individuals with advanced cancer and their family caregivers; (ii) patient involvement in healthcare decision making; and (iii) content and delivery of ENABLE. Results: While physical needs were largely well met, participants expressed that psychosocial care was delivered too late in the illness trajectory. Healthcare decision making approaches varied from a patient-centred shared decision-making model to a family-centred model where patients may not know their cancer diagnosis and prognosis. The content was considered to be relevant, comprehensive and practical; financial assistance, adjustment to body image, and evaluation of complementary therapy were also recommended. Face-to-face rather than telephone sessions were preferred to facilitate rapport building. Conclusions: ENABLE was broadly acceptable with some modifications, including adjusting the content to ensure it can be delivered even if the patient is not fully aware of cancer diagnosis and delivering the first session face-to-face with flexibility for subsequent sessions.

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

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

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Acceptability and feasibility of a Japanese version of STrAtegies for RelaTives (START-J): A manualized coping strategy program for family caregivers of relatives living with dementia

Background: The rising older population in Japan is associated with a rise in cases of dementia. Support for the increased number of family caregivers of people living with dementia is crucial, as caring may negatively affect a family caregiver's health. This study seeks to evaluate the feasibility and applicability of a recently developed Japanese version of START (STrAtegies for RelaTives). START is a psychosocial coping intervention program developed in the United Kingdom that has been shown to improve caregivers' mood and quality of life in a randomized controlled trial. Method: We made changes to START (e.g., idioms, linguistic nuance, and providing care insurance information suited for Japan) to make it culturally appropriate. Fourteen Japanese female family caregivers of relatives with mild dementia (n = 10) or mild cognitive impairment (n = 4) were referred to the study, but six were excluded owing to illness and busyness. This single-arm study had a before–after trial evaluating psychological outcomes including depression, anxiety, quality of life, and subjective care burden. Results: The acceptance retention and satisfaction rate suggest the feasibility and acceptability of the START program; 8/14 (>55%) eligible, prospective participants consented and were included in this study, all (8/8) of whom completed all START sessions. The mean program satisfaction score was 30.25 (standard deviation = 2.25) out of a potential 32. Conclusion: The results suggest that it is feasible and acceptable to deliver START in Japanese and based on the results of analysis using a linear mixed model, there is initial indication that the intervention improved family caregivers' quality of life, depressive symptoms, and care burden.

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Accentuate the Positive: The Association Between Informal and Formal Supports and Caregiving Gains

Background: To promote resilience among caregivers for persons living with dementia (PLWDs), we examine how formal and informal supports are linked to caregiving gains, and whether gender moderates the association between supports and gains. Method: Using the National Health and Aging Trends Study and associated National Study of Caregiving, sources of informal (emotional support, practical support, and help with the PLWD) and formal support (respite care, training program, support group) are considered as predictors of caregiving gains, with gender as a moderator of these associations. The sample included 707 caregivers for 502 PLWDs. Results: Greater caregiving gains were significantly associated with emotional support from friends/family (β = 0.14, SE = 0.09, p =.03). Furthermore, attending a caregiver training program was only associated with increased caregiving gains among men (β = 0.11, SE = 0.08, p =.02). Conclusion: Emotional support from family/friends appears particularly consequential for caregiving gains, and male caregivers may benefit most from programs that emphasize skill building.

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Care for carers: A concept analysis of support for carers of ill relatives

The aim of the study is to clarify the concept "care for carers," and enhance our understanding of caring for carers of ill relatives. Healthcare professionals often refer to "care for carers" when discussing methods to support the carers of ill family relatives. These carers do not always receive the support they need. A literature search of electronic databases and search engines, using the keywords carer, caregiver, caring for the carer, caring for the caregiver was done. Peer-reviewed research articles published between 2014 and 2019 and written in the English language were analyzed. Following retrieval, research articles were analyzed to describe the uses, attributes, antecedents, consequences, and empirical referents of the concept "care for carers." Research articles describing borderline, related, contrary, and illegitimate examples were included. "Care for carers" addresses the unique support needs of those taking care of ill family members. Carers may derive a sense of empowerment from receiving individualized and proactively rendered support. Carers should be supported to develop control over their circumstances, to find meaning in their caring, to become resilient when experiencing challenges, and to confirm their identity as carers of their ill relatives. 

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Involvement of informal carers in discharge planning and transition between hospital and community mental health care: A systematic review

What Is Known on the Subject: Family members and friends (informal carers) are very important for providing support to people with mental health difficulties. When these carers are included to care planning patients seem to benefit, as they are less likely to relapse.; What the Paper Adds to Existing Knowledge: There are three types of interventions including carers in the patients'transition 1) programmes that offer education in hospital; 2) programmes that involve carers in planning the patients discharge; and 3) programmes that involve carers in hospital care, discharge planning and also follow-up in the community. Interventions including carers that take place both in the hospital and the community have the clearest evidence for benefit on relapse reduction.; What Are the Implications for Practice: Comprehensive interventions have the best evidence for effectiveness but challenges in their implementation and resourcing should be considered. It might worth trying to identify and test simpler interventions focusing on discharge planning that can be used in busy services and require more limited resources whilst providing opportunities for the participation of carers.;

Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Involving informal carers (family and friends of patients) in mental health interventions can lead to positive clinical and psychosocial outcomes such as relapse prevention or treatment adherence.; Aim/question: To explore the evidence on the effectiveness of different models that involve carers in the transition between hospital and community mental health care.; Methods: Five electronic databases (PsycINFO, CINAHL, MEDLINE, Embase and Scopus) and Grey literature (Open Grey and Grey Literature report) were systematically searched. The results were analysed using a narrative synthesis.; Results: Fourteen papers were identified. They described twelve interventions that were categorized into three groups: 1) purely educational programmes in preparation of discharge; 2) programmes that involved carers in planning the transition from the mental health inpatient treatment to community mental health services; and 3) programmes that bridged into the aftercare involving carers in community follow-up. The most comprehensive interventions, i.e. those including psychoeducation, care planning and aftercare follow-up were better evaluated and showed a clearer benefit in improving long-term outcomes and, in particular, reduce re-hospitalization.; Implications for Practice: Comprehensive interventions showed the clearest benefit in improving long-term clinical outcomes of patients. Future research should explore implementation, costs and cost-effectiveness, as comprehensive interventions delivered across different settings are likely to require wide-ranging organizational changes and significant resources. 

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Journal of Advanced Nursing

Aim To assess the effects of family nursing conversations on family caregiver burden, patients' quality of life, family functioning and the amount of professional home health care. Design A controlled before-and-after design. Methods Intervention group families participated in two family nursing conversations incorporated in home health care; control group families received usual home health care. Patients and family members completed a set of questionnaires on entering the study and 6 months later to assess family caregiver burden, family functioning and patients' quality of life. The amount of home health care was extracted from patient files. Data were collected between January 2018-June 2019. Results Data of 51 patients (mean age 80; 47% male) and 61 family members (mean age 67; 38% male) were included in the results. Family caregiver burden remained stable in the intervention group whereas it increased in the control group. Family functioning improved significantly compared with the control group for patients and family members in the intervention group. No significant effects on patients' quality of life emerged. The amount of professional home health care decreased significantly in the intervention group whereas it remained equal in the control group. Conclusion Family nursing conversations prevented family caregiver burden, improved family functioning, but did not affect patients' quality of life. In addition, the amount of home health care decreased following the family nursing conversations. Impact Countries with ageing populations seek to reduce professional and residential care and therefore encourage family caregiving. Intensive family caregiving, however, places families at risk for caregiver burden which may lead to increased professional care and admission into residential care. This study demonstrates that family nursing conversations help nurses to prevent family caregiver burden and improve family functioning while decreasing the amount of home health care.

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Walking the Walk: support for carers with a loved one at the end of life

When a carer’s loved one is at the end of life, the carer’s needs can often be overlooked despite this being a distressing time. Walking the Walk is an initiative first developed to learn how to better meet the needs of carers in the acute hospital setting; this article describes a pilot adapting it for use in care homes, GP practices and community hospitals. The project has received overwhelmingly positive evaluation responses, with participants reporting a renewed motivation to better support and cater to the needs of carers.

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Effective interventions for depressive symptoms among caregivers of people with dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Background Caring for a family member with dementia puts caregivers at risk for depressive symptoms. Yet, interventions with promising effects on caregiver depressive symptoms are not well documented. Aims This review aimed to examine the quality and effectiveness of interventions to reduce depressive symptoms reported by caregivers of people with dementia. Design A systematic review and meta-analysis of nonpharmacological intervention trials was conducted. Methods The electronic databases searched included MEDLINE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO to find randomized controlled trials published between 2007 and 2017. A total of 31 randomized controlled trials were included in the meta-analysis. Results Cognitive-behavioral therapy (838 participants) showed a large, significant effect (standardized mean difference = -0.905; 95% CI = (-1.622, -0.187); p = 0.013) and mindfulness interventions (186 participants) showed moderate, significant effects (standardized mean difference = -0.578; 95% CI = (-0.881, -0.275); p < 0.001) on decreasing caregiver depressive symptoms, while psychoeducational interventions demonstrated small but significant effects (standardized mean difference = -0.244; 95% CI = (-0.395, -0.092); p = 0.002). Emotional support, cognitive rehabilitation, and multicomponent interventions showed less than small or nonsignificant effects related to depressive symptoms among caregivers. Conclusion Cognitive-behavioral therapy interventions, which focus on diminishing negative thoughts and increasing positive activities, can effectively decrease depressive symptoms for caregivers of individuals with dementia. Future research is recommended to assess the long-term effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy in this population.

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The Use of Modified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Program for Family Caregivers of People Living with Dementia: A Feasibility Study

Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a modified mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) program for reducing the stress, depressive symptoms, and subjective burden of family caregivers of people with dementia (PWD). Methods: A prospective, parallel-group, randomized controlled trial design was adopted. Fifty-seven participants were recruited from the community and randomized into either the modified MBSR group (n = 27) or modified MBCT group (n = 26), receiving seven face-to-face intervention sessions for more than 16 weeks. Various psychological outcomes were measured at baseline (T0), immediately after intervention (T1), and at the 3-month follow-up (T2). Results: Both interventions were found to be feasible in view of the high attendance (more than 70.0%) and low attrition (3.8%) rates. The mixed analysis of variance (ANOVA) results showed positive within-group effects on perceived stress (p =.030, Cohen's d = 0.54), depressive symptoms (p =.002, Cohen's d = 0.77), and subjective caregiver burden (p <.001, Cohen's d = 1.12) in both interventions across the time points, whereas the modified MBCT had a larger effect on stress reduction, compared with the modified MBSR (p =.019). Conclusion: Both the modified MBSR and MBCT are acceptable to family caregivers of PWD. Their preliminary effects were improvements in stress, depressive symptoms, and subjective burden. The modified MBCT may be more suitable for caregivers of PWD than the MBSR. A future clinical trial is needed to confirm their effectiveness in improving the psychological well-being of caregivers of PWD. 

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To improve the communication between a community mental health team and its service users, their families and carers

This article describes the application of quality improvement (QI) to solve a long-standing, ongoing problem where service users or their carers felt they were not given enough information regarding diagnosis and medication during clinic assessments in a community mental health setting. Service users and carers had shared feedback that some of the information documented on clinic letters was not accurate and the service users were not given the opportunity to discuss these letters with the clinician. The aim of this QI project was to improve the communication between the community mental health team (CMHT) and service users and their carers. Wardown CMHT volunteered to take on this project. The stakeholders involved were the team manager and deputy manager, the team consultant, the team specialist registrar, team administrative manager, two carers and one service user. The project had access to QI learning and support through East London NHS Foundation Trust's QI programme. The team organised weekly meetings to brainstorm ideas, plan tests of change to review progress and to agree on the next course of action. The outcome was an increase in service user satisfaction from 59.9% to 78% over a period of 6 months, and a reduction in complaints to zero. 

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Telebehavioral Interventions for Family Caregivers of Individuals With Traumatic Brain Injury: A Systematic Review

Objective: To identify and examine research on telebehavioral interventions that support family caregivers of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Methods: A systematic review using the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. Studies published between 1999 and 2019 were identified through CINHAL, EMBASE, ERIC, PsycINFO, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. Results: Twelve studies met inclusion criteria; 3 used quasi-experimental designs, 7 were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with 1-group comparison, 1 was RCT with a 2-group comparison, and 1 was RCT with a 3-group comparison. Outcomes primarily focused on caregiver depression, distress, self-efficacy, anxiety, stress, burden, and problem solving. Eleven studies found significant differences between the intervention and control groups on at least 1 outcome indicator, and 10 of these reported effect sizes supporting clinical significance. However, studies lacked data on caregiver and injury characteristics, and most studies lacked diverse study samples that may contribute to psychosocial outcomes. Nearly all studies demonstrated methodological bias (PEDro-P M = 5.5). Conclusions: Caregiver psychosocial outcomes following telebehavioral interventions were generally positive, but caution should be used when generalizing outcomes due to lack of sample diversity. Additional research is needed to assess how caregiver demographics and injury severity moderate caregiver outcomes.

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A tale of two springs

Palliative care, which is more than just terminal care, is still unknown in most parts of India. This narrative highlights how early integration of palliative medicine can help the patient and their family to make the most of their time together. Besides, excellent clinical acumen is required while looking after the sickest and the most critical patients, proper communication skills, and an ethical and holistic approach enables a good doctor-patient relationship. Good pain relief, symptom control, attention to nursing issues, providing information sensitively to empower patients and families for joint decision making, and advance care planning can help bring about a decent death and bereavement. Healing is brought about not only for the caregivers but also for the healthcare professionals.

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A systematic review of the provision and efficacy of patient and carer information and support (PCIS) interventions for patients with dementia and their informal carers

Background: The NHS dementia strategy identifies patient and carer information and support (PCIS) as a core component of gold-standard dementia care. This is the first systematic review of PCIS, performed to analyse the literature and evidence for these interventions.; Aims: To systematically review literature evaluating the effectiveness of the provision of PCIS for people with dementia and their informal carers, in inpatient and outpatient settings.; Methods: Searches of four online biomedical databases, accessed in September 2018. Studies were selected if they were: relating to people with dementia or their informal carers, based in inpatient or outpatient settings, published in English-language peer-reviewed journals no earlier than the year 2000 and assessed dementia-related information or social support interventions, by measuring qualitative or quantitative carer or patient-reported outcomes. Standardised data extraction and quality appraisal forms were used.; Results: 7 of 43 full-text papers analysed were eligible for analysis. 3 papers were different arms of one original study. Trends were present in the quantitative results towards reduced patient and carer depression and anxiety and the themes in the qualitative analysis were in favour of the intervention.; Conclusions: The studies analysed were too heterogeneous in design, population and outcomes measured to make a conclusive opinion about the efficacy of these interventions. It is surprising that for such a common condition, a gold-standard evidence-based intervention and standardised delivery for provision of PCIS for people living with dementia in the UK does not exist. Further research is therefore vital.

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Sharing is caring: The potential of the sharing economy to support aging in place

This article explores innovative applications of sharing economy services that have the potential to support a population aging in place, especially the "oldest old," aged 85 and older, and their caregivers. A mixed-methods study conducted by the MIT AgeLab examined perceptions of and experiences with sharing economy services, ultimately finding opportunities and barriers to use. Thus, although sharing economy services have potential to support aging in place, to do so successfully will require reconstructing how older adults, family caregivers, aging service professionals, gerontology educators, and gerontology students conceptualize and deliver care to an aging population. We suggest examples for gerontology educators to integrate into their classrooms to further cultivate an appreciation among students of multiple approaches to intervention, including those that leverage sharing economy and technology-enabled platforms to support older adults and their caregivers. 

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A second chance: Experiences and outcomes of people with dementia and their families participating in a dementia reablement program

Rationale: Evidence-based reablement programs for people with dementia and their caregivers are not routinely implemented in practice. These programs have been shown to be effective in delaying functional decline and improving caregiver wellbeing. Yet, little is known about the experiences of those participating in such programs. Aim: To describe experiences and outcomes of participating in a dementia reablement program, the Care of Persons with dementia in their Environments (COPE), in Australia. Methods: Purposeful sampling was used and semi-structured interviews were completed with people with dementia and their caregivers who received the COPE program in two different states in Australia. The interviews explored the participants' experiences with the program as well as how they are managing after program completion. Thematic analysis was used to identify themes from the interviews. A Likert scale was used to rate the value of the program. Results: Ten dyads (person with dementia and/or their caregiver) were interviewed. Participation in the program was rated (mostly) very valuable. The ongoing collaboration between the therapist and caregiver was considered empowering. The program promoted participation in everyday activities for the person with dementia and appeared to give a 'second chance' to remain in their own homes and communities. Conclusion: Participation in reablement programs (such as the COPE program) has the potential to re-engage people with dementia in meaningful roles and activities in their chosen environments. A therapeutic relationship and individualized intervention approaches tailored to the participants' needs and readiness foster positive experiences and confidence. 

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Randomized Controlled Trial of the Caregiver Orientation for Mobilizing Personal Assets and Strengths for Self-Care (COMPASS) for Caregiving Journey: A National Family Caregiver Support Program in a Long-Term Care Insurance System

Objectives: To investigate the effects of a national support program on family caregivers for long-term care (LTC) recipients. Design: A single-blinded randomized controlled trial compared the 8-week Caregiver Orientation for Mobilizing Personal Assets and Strengths for Self-Care (COMPASS) program consisting of 6 individual inhome, 3 group support, and 2 telephone sessions with a multicomponent intervention, and a control group. Setting and Participants: In total, 969 caregivers who were living with LTC recipients assessed as having a high caregiving burden in 12 Korean cities. Measures: The primary outcomes were depression, burden, and stress levels of caregivers, the secondary outcomes were caregiver self-efficacy, positive aspects of caregiving, social support, social activities, and health risk behaviors. These outcomes were measured at baseline and after the 8-week program, analyzed using modified intention-to-treat, per-protocol (PP), and non-PP analyses. Results: The modified intention-to-treat analysis revealed significant improvements in burden (effect size, = 0.010, P =.008), depression (h2p = 0.012, P = .003), and health risk behaviors (h2p = 0.010, P =.012) for the experimental group compared with the control group. However, there were no significant differences between the 2 groups in improving stress (P =.997), social support (P =.234), or social activities (P =.816). The PP analysis indicated that the COMPASS program was successful in increasing positive aspects of caregiving (h2p = 0.013, P =.004) and self-efficacy (h2p = 0.010, P =.032) compared with the control group. Conclusions and Implications: The COMPASS program was effective in family caregivers of LTC recipients in critical aspects of physical and psychological outcomes, especially in demonstrating the important role of participating in group support sessions. It is feasible for the program to become a formal national support program as part of the national insurance system in Republic of Korea. (C) 2020 AMDA - The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

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A Randomised Controlled Trial of a Caregiver-Facilitated Problem-Solving Based Self-Learning Program for Family Carers of People with Early Psychosis

Facilitated self-help and problem-solving strategies can empower and support family carers to cope with caregiving for people with severe mental illnesses. This single-blind multi-site randomised controlled trial examined the effects of a five-month family-facilitated problem-solving based self-learning program (PBSP in addition to usual care), versus a family psychoeducation group program and usual psychiatric care only in recent-onset psychosis, with a six-month follow-up. In each of three study sites (integrated community centres for mental wellness), 114 people with early psychosis (≤5 years illness onset) and their family carers were randomly selected and allocated to one of three study groups ( n = 38). Caregiving burden (primary outcome) and patients' and carers' health conditions were assessed at recruitment, and one-month and six-months post-intervention. Overall, 106 (94.7%) participants completed the assigned intervention and ≥1 post-test. Generalised estimating equations and subsequent contrast tests indicated that the PBSP participants showed significantly greater improvements in carers' burden, caregiving experiences and problem-solving ability, and patients' psychotic symptoms, recovery, and duration of re-hospitalisations over the six-month follow-up, compared with the other two groups (moderate to large effect size, η 2 = 0.12-0.24). Family-assisted problem-solving based self-learning programs were found to be effective to improve both psychotic patients' and their carers' psychosocial health over a medium term, thus reducing patients' risk of relapse.

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Psychoeducational intervention on burden and emotional well-being addressed to informal caregivers of people with dementia

Background In dementia it is necessary that a family member become an informal caregiver. This labour has social, physical and emotional repercussions on the caregiver's health. The objective was to assesses the impact of the INFOSA-DEM intervention on burden and emotional well-being among caregivers of people with dementia, evaluating the effects at 3 and 6 months. Method We adopted an experimental, non-randomised design with an intervention group and a control group. The intervention group received the intervention and the control group received usual care. The study was carried out in the catchment areas of three centres specialising in the care of people with cognitive impairment in the province of Barcelona. Results At 3 months, there was an improvement with respect to burden in the intervention group with a significant worsening (P< 0.012) in the control group. Similarly, a positive effect on emotional well-being was observed in the intervention group compared with a small negative effect among controls. Conclusions Programs addressed to informal caregivers based on psychoeducational and cognitive-behavioural therapies are effective in improving quality of life and emotional well-being, and in reducing burden, with a positive effect on the quality of care provided at home.

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Postdischarge Intervention for Stroke Caregivers: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial

Background: The majority of stroke survivors return to their homes and need assistance from family caregivers to perform activities of daily living. These increased demands coupled with the lack of preparedness for their new roles lead to a high risk for caregivers developing depressive symptoms and other negative outcomes. Follow-up home support and problem-solving interventions with caregivers are crucial for maintaining stroke survivors in their homes. Problem-solving interventions are effective but are underused in practice because they require large amounts of staff time to implement and are difficult for caregivers logistically.; Objective: The aim of this study is to test a problem-solving intervention for stroke caregivers that can be delivered over the telephone during the patient's transitional care period (time when the stroke survivor is discharged to home) followed by 8 asynchronous online sessions.; Methods: The design is a two-arm parallel randomized clinical trial with repeated measures. We will enroll 240 caregivers from eight Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers. Participants randomized into the intervention arm receive a modified problem-solving intervention that uses telephone and web-based support and training with interactive modules, fact sheets, and tools on the previously developed and nationally available Resources and Education for Stroke Caregivers' Understanding and Empowerment Caregiver website. In the usual care group, no changes are made in the information, discharge planning, or care the patients who have had a stroke normally receive, and caregivers have access to existing VA resources (eg, caregiver support line, self-help materials). The primary outcome is a change in caregiver depressive symptoms at 11 and 19 weeks after baseline data collection. Secondary outcomes include changes in stroke caregivers' burden, knowledge, positive aspects of caregiving, self-efficacy, perceived stress, health-related quality of life, and satisfaction with care and changes in stroke survivors' functional abilities and health care use. The team will also determine the budgetary impact, facilitators, barriers, and best practices for implementing the intervention. Throughout all phases of the study, we will collaborate with members of an advisory panel.; Results: Study enrollment began in June 2015 and is ongoing. The first results are expected to be submitted for publication in 2021.; Conclusions: This is the first known study to test a transitional care and messaging center intervention combined with technology to decrease caregiver depressive symptoms and to improve the recovery of stroke survivors. If successful, findings will support an evidence-based model that can be transported into clinical practice to improve the quality of caregiving post stroke.; Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01600131; https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01600131.; International Registered Report Identifier (irrid): DERR1-10.2196/21799. 

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Care, Dignity and Respect - The Aged Care Royal Commission Final Report

The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was tabled in Parliament on 1 March 2021. In their Report, titled Care, Dignity and Respect, Royal Commissioners Tony Pagone QC and Lynelle Briggs AO call for fundamental reform of the aged care system.  The report is issued in 5 volumes.

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Patient and caregiver outcomes at the integrated memory care clinic

• Caregivers' distress relative to their persons' delusions decreased significantly. • Caregivers' distress relative to their persons' anxiety decreased significantly. • Severity of persons' living with dementia delusions decreased significantly. • Severity of persons' living with dementia depression decreased significantly. • Total symptom severity for persons living with dementia decreased significantly.

The purpose of this longitudinal cohort study was to explore the outcomes of persons living with dementia (PLWD) and their caregivers during their first 9 months at the Integrated Memory Care Clinic (IMCC). IMCC advanced practice registered nurses provide dementia care and primary care simultaneously and continuously to PLWD until institutionalization. Changes were examined in caregivers' psychological well-being (perceived stress, depressive symptoms, caregiver burden, and anxiety) and health status and in PLWDs' quality of life and neuropsychiatric symptoms. Data were collected at baseline, then 3 and 6 months post-baseline. Forty-two caregivers completed all 3 assessments. Most variables remained unchanged. Statistically significant improvements in 5 sub-scales of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory were observed: caregivers' distress regarding their PLWDs' delusions and anxiety, and PLWDs' severity of delusions, depression, and total symptom severity. Further testing of the IMCC is required, including in quasi-experimental studies, to determine its efficacy.

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Online resources for family caregivers of cognitively competent patients: A review of user-driven reputable health website content on caregiver communication with health professionals

Objective: Most patients want their family involved in consultations and decisions, however some family caregivers report feeling overwhelmed and unsure of their role. As caregivers are increasingly looking to medical websites for guidance, this study aimed to review reputable web-resources available to inform family caregivers on how to be involved in medical consultations and decisions. Methods: Google searches were performed using lay search strings, to imitate how a cancer caregiver may locate information. Relevant webpages were included if they were directed at caregivers and from a reputable health organisation. Qualitative content analyses were performed on the included webpages. Results: 22 webpages were included and 8 were directed at caregivers of cancer patients. Six key categories of information were identified: preparing for consultations, helping during consultations, advocating for the patient, decision-making, communicating in hospital settings, and communicating with family and friends. Conclusion: A range of online resources were found to guide family caregivers, particularly cancer caregivers, on involvement in consultations. However, few provided information to caregivers on complex situations such as treatment decision-making, advocating for patient's needs, and communicating in a hospital setting. Practice Implications: Clinicians can actively refer family caregivers to online resources that support caregiver communication in medical settings. 

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Nonpharmacological Forms of Therapy to Reduce the Burden on Caregivers of Patients with Dementia-A Pilot Intervention Study

The aim of this pilot intervention study was to assess the effectiveness of selected forms of therapy (massage and relaxation) in reducing the perceived burden and improving the emotional status of caregivers of people with dementia and to determine which form of physical intervention is most effective. The study group was made up of 45 informal caregivers, who were divided into three subgroups (the massage group, relaxation group and control group). The Caregiver Burden Scale (CBS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Berlin Social Support Scale (BSSS) and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) were used. In the study group of caregivers, an average level of perceived burden, satisfactory life satisfaction and moderate severity of depressive symptoms were found. Massage led to a reduction in perceived burden and an improvement in mood and well-being of the examined group of caregivers. Group relaxation activities had no effect on the level of burden experienced by the caregivers, but significantly improved their mood. Both massage and relaxation were equally effective in improving the well-being of caregivers. Due to the lower cost of group activities, relaxation activities seem to be more effective and easier to organize, but further studies are necessary.

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The necessity for sustainable intervention effects: lessons-learned from an experience sampling intervention for spousal carers of people with dementia

Caring for a person with dementia can be challenging over the years. To support family carers throughout their entire caregiving career, interventions with a sustained effectivity are needed. A novel 6-week mobile health (mHealth) intervention using the experience sampling method (ESM) showed positive effects on carers' well-being over a period of 2 months after the intervention. In this study, the effects after 6 months of the selfsame intervention were examined to evaluate the sustainability of positive intervention effects. The 6-week mHealth intervention consisted of an experimental group (ESM self-monitoring and personalized feedback), a pseudo-experimental group (ESM self-monitoring without feedback), and a control group (providing regular care without ESM self-monitoring or feedback). Carers' sense of competence, mastery, and psychological complaints (depression, anxiety and perceived stress) were evaluated pre- and post-intervention as well as at two follow-up time points. The present study focuses on the 6-month follow-up data (n = 50). Positive intervention effects on sense of competence, perceived stress, and depressive symptoms were not sustained over 6-month follow-up. The benefits of this mHealth intervention for carers of people living with dementia were not sustained over a long time. Similarly, other psychosocial interventions for carers of people with dementia rarely reported long-lasting effects. In order to sustainably contribute to carers' well-being, researchers and clinicians should continuously ensure flexible adjustment of the intervention and consider additional features such as ad-hoc counseling options and booster sessions. In this regard, mHealth interventions can offer ideally suited and unique opportunities.

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Managing Home Infusion Therapy

This article is part of a series, Supporting Family Caregivers: No Longer Home Alone, published in collaboration with the AARP Public Policy Institute. 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 aren't given the information they need to manage the complex care regimens of family members. 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. Nurses should read the articles first, so they understand how best to help family caregivers. Then they can refer caregivers to the informational tear sheet-Information for Family Caregivers-and instructional videos, encouraging them to ask questions. For additional information, see Resources for Nurses.

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Intervention to improve quality of sleep of palliative patient carers in the community: protocol for a multicentre randomised controlled trial

Background: Sleep disorders are commonly experienced by community caregivers for persons with cancer, with at least 72% reporting moderate to severe disorders. A consequence of this condition, which is associated with the presence of overload in the caregiver, is the increased risk of clinical depression. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of music on the sleep quality achieved by informal caregivers for cancer patients receiving home palliative care. In addition, we will assess the influence of specific variables that could modify these effects, analyse the correlates related to nocturnal wakefulness and consider the diurnal consequences according to the sleep characteristics identified. Methods: This single-blind, multicentre, randomised clinical trial will focus on informal providers of care for cancer patients. Two samples of 40 caregivers will be recruited. The first, intervention, group will receive seven music-based sessions. The control group will be masked with seven sessions of therapeutic education (reinforcing previous sessions). Outcomes will be evaluated using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, a triaxial accelerometer, EuroQol-5D-5L, the Caregiver Strain Index, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire. The caregivers' satisfaction with the intervention performed will also be examined. Discussion: This study is expected to extend our understanding of the efficacy of music therapy in enhancing the sleep quality of caregivers for patients receiving home palliative care. To our knowledge, no reliable scientific investigations of this subject have previously been undertaken. Music is believed to benefit certain aspects of sleep, but this has yet to be proven and, according to a Cochrane review, high-quality research in this field is necessary. One of the main strengths of our study, which heightens the quality of the randomised clinical trial design, is the objective assessment of physical activity by accelerometry and the use of both objective and subjective measures of sleep in caregivers. Music therapy for the caregivers addressed in this study is complementary, readily applicable, provokes no harmful side effects and may produce significant benefits.

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An integrative systematic review of creative arts interventions for older informal caregivers of people with neurological conditions

Objective We aimed to assess and synthesise the current state of quantitative and qualitative research concerning creative arts interventions for older informal caregivers of people with neurological conditions. Methods A systematic search was employed to identify studies that examined creative arts interventions for older informal caregivers, which were synthesised in this integrative review. We searched the following databases: MEDLINE, PubMed, EBSCO, CINAHL, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. We also backwards searched references of all relevant studies and inspected trials registers. Results Of the 516 studies identified, 17 were included: one was quantitative, nine were qualitative and seven used mixed methods. All included quantitative studies were pilot or feasibility studies employing pre- and post-test design with small sample sizes. Studies varied in relation to the type of creative intervention and evaluation methods, which precluded meta-analysis. Large effect sizes were detected in wellbeing measures following singing and art interventions. The qualitative synthesis highlighted that interventions created space for caregivers to make sense of, accept and adapt to their identity as a caregiver. Personal developments, such as learning new skills, were viewed positively by caregivers as well as welcoming the opportunity to gain cognitive and behavioural skills, and having opportunities to unload emotions in a safe space were important to caregivers. Group creative interventions were particularly helpful in creating social connections with their care-recipients and other caregivers. Conclusions The current review revealed all creative interventions focused on caregivers of people living with dementia; subsequently, this identified gaps in the evidence of creative interventions for informal caregivers of other neurological conditions. There are encouraging preliminary data on music and art interventions, however, little data exists on other art forms, e.g., drama, dance. Creative interventions may appeal to many caregivers, offering a range of psycho-social benefits. The findings of the current review open the way for future research to develop appropriate and creative arts programmes and to test their efficacy with robust tools.

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How Effective Are Dementia Caregiver Interventions? An Updated Comprehensive Meta-Analysis

Background and Objectives: Caring for a person with dementia places a significant burden upon informal caregivers and leads to decreased psychological and physical health, which is why dementia caregiver interventions have been developed. However, empirical evidence for the efficacy of those interventions is inconclusive and the last comprehensive meta-analysis (Pinquart & Sorensen. Helping caregivers of persons with dementia: Which interventions work and how large are their effects? International Psychogeriatrics. 2006;18(4), 577-595.) was published more than 10 years ago. Research Design and Method: This meta-analysis aims to update the meta-analysis conducted by Pinquart and Sorensen. Based on a systematic search in electronic data bases, effects of 282 controlled studies were integrated. The effectiveness of different intervention types and influences of study characteristics were evaluated. Results: Interventions had, on average, a significant, small-to-moderate effect on the improvement of ability/knowledge, subjective well-being, burden, depression, and the caregiver's anxiety as well as symptoms of the care recipient. No mean effect was found in regard to reducing the risk of institutionalization. Most intervention types had an effect on the reduction of burden as well as on other outcomes. Psychoeducation and multicomponent interventions affected most outcomes, whereas the efficacy of other intervention types was domain-specific. Discussion and Implications: There is evidence for the efficacy of dementia caregiver interventions, though due to having predominantly small effect sizes, there is still room for improvement. Interventions should be tailored to the desired outcome. More research on long-term effects, effects on anxiety and institutionalization, efficacy of respite and support interventions, care recipient training, and the intervention process is needed.

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Home Oxygen Therapy

This article is part of a series, Supporting Family Caregivers:No Longer Home Alone, published in collaboration with the AARP Public Policy Institute. 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 aren't given the information they need to manage the complex care regimens of family members. 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. Nurses should read the articles first, so they understand how best to help family caregivers. Then they can refer caregivers to the informational tear sheet-Information for Family Caregivers-and instructional videos, encouraging them to ask questions. For additional information, see Resources for Nurses.

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Group cognitive behavioural therapy for family caregivers of people with dementia: A single-arm pilot study

No abstract. Discusses a  trial in Japan to demonstrate feasibility and efficacy of a multi‐component intervention for caregivers of people with dementia comprising CBT and positive psychology.

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Feasibility and Efficacy of a Resiliency Intervention for the Prevention of Chronic Emotional Distress Among Survivor-Caregiver Dyads Admitted to the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit A Randomized Clinical Trial

IMPORTANCE To our knowledge, there are no evidence-based interventions to prevent chronic emotional distress (ie, depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress [PTS]) in critical care survivors and their informal caregivers. OBJECTIVE To determine the feasibility and preliminary effect of the novel dyadic resiliency intervention Recovering Together (RT) on reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTS among hospitalized patients and their informal caregivers. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS This single-blind, pilot randomized clinical trial of RT vs an educational control was conducted among 58 dyads in which either the survivor or caregiver endorsed clinically significant symptoms of depression, anxiety, or PTS. The study was conducted in the neuroscience intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. Data were collected from September 2019 to March 2020. INTERVENTIONS Both RT and control programs had 6 sessions (2 at bedside and 4 via live video after discharge), and both survivor and caregiver participated together. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary outcomes were feasibility of recruitment and intervention delivery, credibility, and satisfaction. The secondary outcomes included depression and anxiety (measured by the Hospital Depression and Anxiety Scale), PTS (measured by the PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version), and intervention targets (ie, mindfulness, measured by the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale-Revised; coping, measured by the Measure of Current Status-Part A; and dyadic interpersonal interactions, measured by the Dyadic Relationship Scale). Main outcomes and targets were assessed at baseline, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks. RESULTS The 58 dyads were randomized to RT (29 dyads [50.0%]; survivors: mean [SD] age, 49.3 [16.7] years; 9 [31.0%] women; caregivers: mean [SD] age, 52.4 [14.3] years; 22 [75.9%] women) or control (29 dyads [50.0%]; survivors: mean [SD] age, 50.3 [16.4] years; 12 [41.3%] women; caregivers, mean [SD] age, 52.1 [14.9], 17 [58.6%] women). Feasibility (recruitment [76%], randomization [100%], and data collection [83%-100%]), adherence (86%), fidelity (100%; kappa = 0.98), satisfaction (RT: 57 of 58 [98%] with scores >6; control: 58 of 58 [100%] with scores >6), credibility (RT: 47 of 58 [81%] with scores >6; control: 46 of 58 [80%] with scores >6), and expectancy (RT: 49 of 58 [85%] with scores >13.5; 51 of 58 [87%] with scores >13.5) exceeded benchmarks set a priori. Participation in RT was associated with statistically and clinically significant improvement between baseline and postintervention in symptoms of depression (among survivors: -4.0 vs -0.6; difference, -3.4; 95% CI, -5.6 to -1.3; P = .002; among caregivers: -3.8 vs 0.6; difference, -4.5; 95% CI, -6.7 to -2.3; P < .001), anxiety (among survivors: -6.0 vs 0.3; difference, -6.3; 95% CI, -8.8 to -3.8; P < .001; among caregivers: -5.0 vs -0.9; difference, -4.1; 95% CI, -6.7 to -1.5, P = .002), and PTS (among survivors: -11.3 vs 1.0; difference, -12.3; 95% CI, -18.1 to -6.5, P < .001; among caregivers, -11.4 vs 5.0; difference, -16.4, 95% CI, -21.8 to -10.9; P < .001). Improvements sustained through the 12-week follow-up visit. We also observed RT-dependent improvement in dyadic interpersonal interactions for survivors (0.2 vs -0.2; difference, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.0 to 0.8; P = .04). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE In this pilot randomized clinical trial, RT was feasible and potentially efficacious in preventing chronic emotional distress in dyads of survivors of the neuroscience intensive care unit and their informal caregivers.

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Feasibility and acceptability of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) or acupuncture for insomnia and related distress among cancer caregivers

Objective Insomnia is a common, distressing, and impairing psychological outcome experienced by informal caregivers (ICs) of patients with cancer. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) and acupuncture both have known benefits for patients with cancer, but such benefits have yet to be evaluated among ICs. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary effects of CBT-I and acupuncture among ICs with moderate or greater levels of insomnia. Method Participants were randomized to eight sessions of CBT-I or ten sessions of acupuncture. Results Results highlighted challenges of identifying interested and eligible ICs and the impact of perception of intervention on retention and likely ultimately outcome. Significance of the results Findings suggest preliminary support for non-pharmacological interventions to treat insomnia in ICs and emphasize the importance of matching treatment modality to the preferences and needs of ICs.

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The effects of the Fordyce's 14 fundamentals for happiness program on happiness and caregiver burden among the family caregivers of patients with epilepsy: A randomized controlled trial

Background: Caregiving to patients with epilepsy (PWE) is often very stressful for family caregivers and puts a heavy caregiver burden (CB) on them. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of Fordyce's fourteen Fundamentals for Happiness Program on happiness and CB among the family caregivers of PWE. Methods: This randomized controlled trial was conducted on seventy family caregivers of PWE. Participants were purposively recruited from the Comprehensive Health Center in Shahrekord, Iran, and randomly allocated to either an intervention or a control group. Participants in the control group received conventional health-related educations in four one-hour group sessions, while participants in the intervention group received the Fordyce's fourteen Fundamentals for Happiness Program in eight one-hour group sessions. Happiness and CB in both groups were assessed at three time points, namely before, immediately after, and two months after the intervention. Data were analyzed using the SPSS program (v. 18.0). Findings: There were no significant differences between the control and the intervention groups regarding participants' demographic characteristics and their pretest mean scores of happiness and CB (P > 0.05). The mean scores of happiness and CB in the control group did not significantly change (P > 0.05), while the mean score of happiness significantly increased and the mean score of CB significantly decreased in the intervention group across the three measurement time points (P < 0.05). Consequently, the mean score of happiness in the intervention group was significantly greater than the control group and the mean score of CB in the intervention group was significantly less than the control group at both posttests (P < 0.01). Conclusion: The Fordyce's fourteen Fundamentals for Happiness Program is effective in significantly increasing happiness and reducing CB among the family caregivers of PWE. Healthcare providers and policy makers can use this program to reduce problems among these family caregivers.

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The Young Carers ID Card

Carers Trust Wales, in partnership with local authorities from across Wales, is supporting a new Welsh Government funded ID card scheme to help young carers in Wales to be identified, feel validated, and receive the support they deserve.

There's a helpful video linked to the page.

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Effectiveness of palliative care consultation service on caregiver burden over time between terminally ill cancer and non-cancer family caregivers

Purpose: The responsibility of taking care of terminal patients is accepted as a role of family members in Taiwan. Only a few studies have focused on the effect of palliative care consultation service (PCCS) on caregiver burden between terminal cancer family caregivers (CFCs) and non-cancer family caregivers (NCFCs). Therefore, the purpose of this study is to address the effect of PCCS on caregiver burden between CFC and NCFC over time.; Methods: A prospective longitudinal study was conducted in a medical center in northern Taiwan from July to November 2017. The participants were both terminally ill cancer and non-cancer patients who were prepared to receive PCCS, as well as their family caregivers. Characteristics including family caregivers and terminal patients and Family Caregiver Burden Scale (FCBS) were recorded pre-, 7, and 14 days following PCCS. A generalized estimating equation model was used to analyze the change in the level of family caregiver burden (FCB) between CFC and NCFC.; Results: The study revealed that there were no statistically significant differences in FCB between CFC and NCFC 7 days and 14 days after PCCS (p > 0.05). However, FCB significantly decreased in both CFC and NCFC from pre-PCCS to 14 days after PCCS (β = - 12.67, p = 0.013). PPI of patients was the key predictor of FCB over time following PCCS (β = 1.14, p = 0.013).; Conclusions: This study showed that PCCS can improve FCB in not only CFC but also NCFC. We suggest that PCCS should be used more widely in supporting family caregivers of terminally ill patients to reduce caregiver burden.

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Dyadic Group Exercises for Persons with Memory Deficits and Care Partners: Mixed-Method Findings from the Paired Preventing Loss of Independence through Exercise (PLIÉ) Randomized Trial

Background: Non-pharmacological therapies for persons with dementia (PWD) are needed. Objective: To develop and test the Paired Preventing Loss of Independence through Exercise (PLIÉ) program, an integrative group movement program for PWD and care partners (CPs). Methods: Participants were randomized to immediate or delayed start to Paired PLIÉ in community-based classes (1 hour, 2 days/week, 12 weeks, 3 home visits). Co-primary outcomes included standard measures of cognition, physical function,and quality of life (PWD) and caregiver burden (CPs) assessed by blinded assessors, analyzed using linear mixed models to calculate effect sizes for outcome changes during Paired PLIÉ, controlling for randomization group. Anonymous satisfaction surveys included satisfaction ratings and thematic analysis of open-ended responses. Results: Thirty dyads enrolled, 24 (80%) completed. PWD (mean age 80; 55% female) experienced significant improvement in self-rated quality of life (Effect Size+0.23; p = 0.016) when participating in Paired PLIÉ, while CPs experienced a non-significant increase in burden (-0.23, p = 0.079). Changes in physical and cognitive function in PWD were not significant. All CPs returning the satisfaction survey (n = 20) reported being moderately-to-highly satisfied with the program. Thematic analyses identified physical (e.g., sit-to-stand, more energy), emotional (enjoyment), and social benefits (peer-to-peer interaction) for PWD and CPs; challenges were primarily related to getting to the in-person classes. Conclusion: Paired PLIÉ is a promising integrative group movement program that warrants further study. It is feasible and may improve self-rated quality of life in PWD. Although CPs may experience increased burden due to logistical challenges, most reported high satisfaction and physical, emotional, and social benefits. 

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Creating a Seat at the Table: How Family Meetings Elucidate the Palliative Care Social Work Role

Background: Palliative care social workers (PCSWs) play a crucial role in optimizing communication and family-centered care for seriously ill patients. However, PCSWs often struggle to demonstrate and receive open acknowledgment of their essential skill set within medical teams. Objective: This case discussion focuses on the care of patients and families surrounding family meetings to highlight the crucial role of the PCSW in (1) preparing the family; (2) participating in the provider meeting; (3) participating in the family meeting; and (4) following up after the meeting. The aim is to illuminate how the PCSWs can demonstrate their unique and essential skill set to medical teams and as a means of furthering the work of psychosocial clinicians throughout medical systems. Conclusion: As the medical model continues to shift toward family-centered care, it is crucial for medical teams to optimize their partnership with patients and families. PCSWs can offer a trauma-informed biopsychosocial–spiritual lens that is instructed by continuity of care and exemplary clinical and rapport-building skills. PCSWs can play a critical role in optimizing communication, support, collaboration, and family-centered whole-person care.

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A cluster randomized controlled trial on a multifaceted implementation strategy to promote integrated palliative care in COPD: study protocol of the COMPASSION study

Background: Despite the urgent need for palliative care for patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), it is not yet daily practice. Important factors influencing the provision of palliative care are adequate communication skills, knowing when to start palliative care and continuity of care. In the COMPASSION study, we address these factors by implementing an integrated palliative care approach for patients with COPD and their informal caregivers. Methods: An integrated palliative care intervention was developed based on existing guidelines, a literature review, and input from patient and professional organizations. To facilitate uptake of the intervention, a multifaceted implementation strategy was developed, comprising a toolbox, (communication) training, collaboration support, action planning and monitoring. Using a hybrid effectiveness-implementation type 2 design, this study aims to simultaneously evaluate the implementation process and effects on patient, informal caregiver and professional outcomes. In a cluster randomized controlled trial, eight hospital regions will be randomized to receive the integrated palliative care approach or to provide care as usual. Eligible patients are identified during hospitalization for an exacerbation using the Propal-COPD tool. The primary outcome is quality of life (FACIT-Pal) at 6 months. Secondary outcome measures include spiritual well-being, anxiety and depression, unplanned healthcare use, informal caregiver burden and healthcare professional's self-efficacy to provide palliative care. The implementation process will be investigated by a comprehensive mixed-methods evaluation assessing the following implementation constructs: context, reach, dose delivered, dose received, fidelity, implementation level, recruitment, maintenance and acceptability. Furthermore, determinants to implementation will be investigated using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. Discussion: The COMPASSION study will broaden knowledge on the effectiveness and process of palliative care integration into COPD-care. Furthermore, it will improve our understanding of which strategies may optimize the implementation of integrated palliative care.

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Challenges and strategies in communication with people with dementia and their informal caregivers in community pharmacies - a narrative approach

Background: People with dementia and their informal caregivers get in touch with the healthcare system predominantly via contacts with primary care providers. Among these, community pharmacists have been denominated as the health professionals most accessible to the public. Communication with and counselling people with dementia and their informal caregivers present particular challenges to pharmacists.; Aim: This study aims to research the challenges faced and strategies used by community pharmacists who deal with people living with dementia and their informal caregivers.; Methods: Within the context of two workshops with 74 participants, 15 small groups were formed, each of which generated and discussed a small story. Fourteen of those narratives were reported, tape recorded and transcribed. In these 14 narratives, community pharmacists reflected on their experiences with people with dementia or their informal caregivers. The narratives were systematically analysed and interpreted.; Findings: Among the main challenges reported by the workshop participants are the difficulty of identifying a person with dementia; the question of what appropriate communication is; the only partially successful networking with doctors, nursing personnel and support institutions; unsuccessful counselling; and the tension between the economic situation and the care for people with dementia and their informal caregivers. In general, strategies for dealing with people with dementia are characterised by uncertainty whereas communication with informal caregivers is well rehearsed and effective.; Conclusions: Community pharmacies require possibilities to retreat for counselling as well as the possibility for pharmacists to take time for people with dementia and their informal caregivers in everyday pharmacy life. Reflective spaces for narrations about difficult situations provide relief for staff in community pharmacies. 

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Canada's health care system needs to care more about caregivers

Tracy et al argue that there is a pressing need for health care to be redesigned to make it less burdensome for those it exists to serve, namely patients and caregivers. Our hospitals need to treat family caregivers as partners in care, not as visitors. And physicians, in collaboration with interprofessional teams, need to identify and engage family caregivers better to foster greater caregiver confidence and capacity.

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Caregiver engagement practices in National Cancer Institute Clinical Oncology Research Program settings: Implications for research to advance the field

Background Supportive care interventions have demonstrated benefits for both informal and/or family cancer caregivers and their patients, but uptake generally is poor. To the authors' knowledge, little is known regarding the availability of supportive care services in community oncology practices, as well as engagement practices to connect caregivers with these services. Methods Questions from the National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP)'s 2017 Landscape Survey examined caregiver engagement practices (ie, caregiver identification, needs assessment, and supportive care service availability). Logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between the caregiver engagement outcomes and practice group characteristics. Results A total of 204 practice groups responded to each of the primary outcome questions. Only 40.2% of practice groups endorsed having a process with which to systematically identify and document caregivers, although approximately 76% were routinely using assessment tools to identify caregiver needs and approximately 63.7% had supportive care services available to caregivers. Caregiver identification was more common in sites affiliated with a critical access hospital (odds ratio [OR], 2.44; P = .013), and assessments were less common in safety-net practices (OR, 0.41; P = .013). Supportive care services were more commonly available in the Western region of the United States, in practices with inpatient services (OR, 2.96; P = .012), and in practices affiliated with a critical access hospital (OR, 3.31; P = .010). Conclusions Although many practice groups provide supportive care services, fewer than one-half systematically identify and document informal cancer caregivers. Expanding fundamental engagement practices such as caregiver identification, assessment, and service provision will be critical to support recent calls to improve caregivers' well-being and skills to perform caregiving tasks.

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Can a Couples' Intervention Reduce Unmet Needs and Caregiver Burden After Brain Injury?

Objective: To examine the effectiveness of the Therapeutic Couples Intervention (TCI) on caregiver needs and burden after brain injury. Research Method: Individuals with brain injury and their intimate partners/caregivers (n = 75) participated in a 2-arm, parallel, randomized trial with a waitlist control. The TCI consisted of 5 2-hr sessions, with a sixth optional session for parents. The Family Needs Questionnaire-R (FNQ-R) and the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) were secondary outcome measures. Results: After adjusting for baseline characteristics, caregivers in the TCI group demonstrated reduction in unmet needs for 5 of the 6 FNQ-R subscales, whereas those in the waitlist control group did not. ZBI scores improved significantly for TCI caregivers but not for controls. At the 3-month follow-up, benefits were maintained for the 2B1 and 4 of the 6 FNQ-R subscales (Health Information. Emotional Support, Professional Support, and Community Support Network). Conclusions: The present investigation provided evidence that, following brain injury, a structured couples intervention can reduce unmet needs and burden in caregivers. Future multicenter research examining long-term durability of treatment gains and specific characteristics of positive responders is warranted.

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Alzheimer's disease and the challenges of nursing care towards elderly people and their family caregivers

Objective: This study meant to analyze the main challenges and the care provided by nursing teams during the process of caring for elderly people bearing Alzheimer's disease and their family caregivers. Methods: It is an integrative literature review that was performed through article searching in the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) and the Literatura Latino-americana e do Caribe em Ciencias da Saude (LILACS) [Latin-American and Caribbean Literature in Health Sciences]. There were obtained 783 studies, of which only 13 met the inclusion criteria. Results: Care strategies associated to Alzheimer-related forms of behavior were proposed, namely, forgetfulness, denial of bathing, and the acceptance of the disease by the family. The lack of training and knowledge by sonic nursing professionals was evidenced as a challenging element vis-a-vis the relationship with elderly, people and their family caregivers, Conclusion: It is important that public policies pursue to guarantee caring practices for elderly people bearing Alzheimer's disease, approaching the real needs experienced by such population, as well as family caregivers and health professionals.

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Access and Retention of Informal Dementia Caregivers in Psychosocial Interventions: A Cross-Sectional Study

Underutilization of community care services has been described for informal dementia caregivers. Most research has however examined caregivers' access to home or respite care rather than to services for themselves. The aims of this study are: to describe access and retention of informal dementia caregivers in psychosocial interventions; examine the perceived effects of interventions among users and motives for non-use among non-users; and compare caregivers with and without lifetime access and retention in psychosocial interventions across predisposing, enabling and need variables. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 179 Portuguese caregivers, who replied to a web-based survey. Participants were fairly distributed among those who have never (49.7%) and those who have ever accessed (50.3%) psychosocial interventions. Individual psychological support was the most used intervention (32.2%). Caregivers' age, time elapsed since diagnosis and the relationship with the care receiver were associated with lifetime access to various intervention types. Dropout was above 50% for most intervention types, except for psychoeducation (31.8%). Associations were found between a history of dropout/retention and caregivers' education, perceived mental health, and the number of hours spent caring. Most users of psychoeducational interventions (>80%) appraised it as beneficial to learn about the disease, provide quality care and cope with caregiving. Informational barriers were the most reported by non-users of psychoeducational interventions (45.1%). The findings show that dementia caregivers continue facing barriers to use and keep using community services for themselves. The influence of particular predisposing and need variables on access to psychosocial interventions can vary according to intervention types. 

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Traumatic brain injury patients' family members' evaluations of the social support provided by healthcare professionals in acute care hospitals

Aims and objectives: The study aimed to examine traumatic brain injury (TBI) patient family members' (FMs) experiences of the support they received from healthcare professionals in acute care hospitals. Background: The length of hospitalisation following TBI is constantly decreasing, and patients may return home with several problems. FMs care for the patients at home although they may not be prepared for the patient's medical needs or financial burden of the illness. The burden which some FMs experience can impair patient care and rehabilitation outcomes. Therefore, FMs require support during acute phases of TBI treatment. Design: A structured questionnaire was sent to 216 TBI patients FMs. The response rate was 47% (n = 102). Methods: A structured questionnaire—based on a systematic literature review and a previous questionnaire on TBI patient FMs' perceptions of support—was developed and used in the data collection. The questionnaire included 46 statements and 11 background questions. Data were collected via an electronic questionnaire. The STROBE checklist was followed in reporting the study. Results: A factor analysis identified five factors that describe the guidance of TBI patient FMs: guidance of TBI patients' symptoms and survival; benefits of guidance; needs‐based guidance; guidance for use of services; and guidance methods. Most of the FMs (51%–88%) felt that they had not received enough guidance from healthcare professionals in acute care hospitals across all five aspects of support. Conclusions: The content of guidance should be developed, and healthcare staff should be trained to consider a FM's starting point when providing guidance. A calm environment, proper timing, sufficient information in different forms and professional healthcare staff were found to be key factors to comprehensive guidance. Involving FMs in the discharge process and rehabilitation of their loved ones both supports the abilities of caregivers and promotes the outcome of the patient's rehabilitation. Relevance to clinical practice: This study provides varied information on the need for social support of TBI patients FMs in the early stages of treatment from the FMs' perspective. This research adopted the FM's perspective to identify various areas of social support that need to be developed so that the FMs of TBI patients receive enough support during the early stages of TBI treatment. 

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TALKING TIME: A pilot randomized controlled trial investigating social support for informal caregivers via the telephone

Background: Caring for people with dementia at home requires considerable time, organization and commitment. Therefore, informal caregivers of people with dementia are often overburdened. This study examined the effects of the telephone-based Talking Time intervention, which is an approach used to strengthen the psychological health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and social support of informal caregivers of people with dementia living at home. Methods: This study was a Medical Research Council framework phase two randomized controlled trial. The intervention consisted of a preliminary talk, information booklet, six structured telephone-based support group meetings and a structured written self-evaluation of each support group meeting. The control participants performed their usual individual self-organized care. After completing the data collection, the control group received the Talking Time intervention for fidelity reasons. The primary outcome was the self-rated psychological HRQoL of the informal caregivers, which was measured with the mental component summary of the General Health Survey Questionnaire Short Form 12 (SF-12). Results: Thirty-eight informal caregivers and their relatives were included and allocated to the intervention or control groups (n = 19 each). After 3 months, the Talking Time intervention group demonstrated an increase in the self-rated psychological HRQoL scores, whereas the scores decreased in the control group. However, the standardized effect size of 1.65 (95% Confidence Interval, - 0.44 - 3.75) was not significant. Additionally, the secondary outcomes demonstrated no significant results. The differences between the groups in most outcomes were in the expected direction. No adverse effects were identified due to the intervention. Conclusions: The Talking Time intervention is feasible and shows nonsignificant promising results with regard to the self-rated psychological HRQoL. After further adjustment, the intervention needs to be evaluated in a full trial. Trial Registration: Clinical Trials: NCT02806583 , June 9, 2016 (retrospectively registered).

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A systematic review of psychosocial interventions to improve quality of life of people with cancer and their family caregivers

Aims To review the characteristics and effectiveness of psychosocial interventions on quality of life of adult people with cancer and their family caregivers. Design A systematic review using PRISMA guidelines. Methods Seven databases were searched from 2009–2019 using key terms. Included studies were assessed using the Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies. Results 1909 studies were retrieved with 12 studies included, involving 3,390 patients/caregivers. Interventions aimed to improve communication, behaviour change and setting short‐term goals. Duration of interventions varied from 4–17 weeks. Highest benefit was gained from telephone interventions. Interventions based on interpersonal counselling appeared more effective than other approaches. Studies predominantly focused on psychological, physical and social domains of quality of life. Spiritual well‐being received relatively little attention. A paradigm shift is needed to develop psychosocial interventions that incorporate spiritual well‐being. More research is needed in developing countries.

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A systematic review of interventions for family caregivers who care for patients with advanced cancer at home

Objective: To examine the characteristics of interventions to support family caregivers of patients with advanced cancer. Methods: Five databases (CINAHL, Medline, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library) were searched for English language articles of intervention studies utilizing randomized controlled trials or quasi-experimental designs, reporting caregiver-related outcomes of interventions for family caregivers caring for patients with advanced cancer at home. Results: A total of 11 studies met the inclusion criteria. Based on these studies, the types of interventions were categorized into psychosocial, educational, or both. The characteristics of interventions varied. Most interventions demonstrated statistically significant results of reducing psychological distress and caregiving burden and improving quality of life, self-efficacy, and competence for caregiving. However, there was inconsistency in the use of measures. Conclusions: Most studies showed positive effects of the interventions on caregiver-specific outcomes, yet direct comparisons of the effectiveness were limited. There is a lack of research aimed to support family caregivers' physical health. Practice Implications: Given caregivers' needs to maintain their wellbeing and the positive effects of support for them, research examining long-term efficacy of interventions and measuring objective health outcomes with rigorous quality of studies is still needed for better outcomes for family caregivers of patients with advanced cancer. 

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Supporting In-Home Caregivers in Symptom Assessment of Frail Older Adults with Serious Illness: A Pilot Study (RP411)

Objectives Describe the use of a Symptom Assessment (SA) Toolkit designed to support in-home caregivers of homebound older adults with serious illness. Explore next steps in evaluation and dissemination of the Toolkit. Importance. Many older adults with serious illness who depend on others for care have symptoms that are difficult to manage. Supporting in-home caregivers in symptom assessment (SA) may improve suffering among older adults. Objective(s). To test the feasibility of a SA-Toolkit for caregivers to assess and track older adults' symptoms. Method(s). With multi-stakeholder input, we created a SA-Toolkit consisting of illustrations depicting symptoms, a validated 5-faces severity scale, and an easy-touse tracking system with phone numbers of family/ friends/clinicians to contact if symptoms worsened. We recruited English-speaking patients $65 years old and their caregivers from a home-based geriatrics program in San Francisco. Using validated questionnaires at baseline and 1-week, we assessed patients' symptoms, patients' and clients' self-efficacy with SA (5- point Likert scale), and acceptability (i.e., recommend to others). We used Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. Results. Eleven patient-caregiver dyads participated. Patients were 84.7 years old (SD 5.7), 81.8% women, and 27.3% non-white. From baseline to 1-week, the mean number of symptoms decreased (3.7 (1.5) at baseline to 2.6 (1.8) at follow-up, p¼0.03). Specifically, the number of patients with pain decreased from 63.6% to 36.4%, anxiety 54.6% to 18.2%, depression 45.5% to 27.3%, and loneliness 36.4% to 18.2%. Caregiver self-efficacy increased (4.6 (0.3) to 4.8 (0.3), p¼0.09). Patients found the symptom illustrations easy-to-use (8.7 on 10-point scale), but the faces scale less so (7.3/10) because it provided ''too many choices.'' Caregivers liked the SA-Toolkit because it was ''easy to use''; nearly all (10/11, 90%) would recommend it to others. Suggested improvements included personalizing materials according to patients' symptoms. Conclusion(s). The SA-Toolkit resulted in decreased symptom burden among patients and higher caregiver self-efficacy in symptom assessment. Acceptability of the Toolkit was high among both patients and caregivers. Impact. A SA-Toolkit is feasible and may help reduce suffering in frail, older patients.

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Supporting family carers via the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline: reflection on a case study

In the UK, the quality of post-diagnostic care and support for people with dementia and their family carers is variable and depends on the availability of services in each person's local area. This article considers the support services available for families affected by dementia and discusses how telephone helplines can assist those who may have no access to other types of support. It presents a case study describing a call to the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline, a service run by nurses with expertise in dementia care and provided by the charity Dementia UK. This is followed by a reflection on the call from the nurse's perspective. The case study-based reflection demonstrates the complexity of providing support through a helpline and the specialist knowledge and skills required to provide the appropriate level of support. 

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Strengthening the educational inclusion of young carers with additional needs: an eco-systemic understanding

This research explores the eco-systemic factors impacting on the educational inclusion of young carers (UK) that defines a young carer as anyone under the age of 18 years old who provides, or intends to provide, care for another person of any age. The literature has indicated that young carers with additional needs are a population more vulnerable to poorer outcomes in educational attainment, employment opportunities, and psychological wellbeing. The current research draws on qualitative research methods to identify the systemic factors that strengthen the educational inclusion of young carers with additional needs. Findings suggest important factors at different systemic levels around the carer, such as the role of the key person within the educational setting, the role of external support and social support in strengthening a young carer's inclusion in their educational setting. The implications for practice are discussed. 

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Service user and carer experiences of the advanced nurse practitioner role in a memory assessment team

Background: Advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs) within memory services can support prompt diagnoses of dementia. Further understanding of the role is necessary as evidence on its effectiveness is limited. Aim: To assess service user and carer satisfaction with the ANP role within Kirklees memory assessment team. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was undertaken to evaluate carer and patient perceptions of the ANP role in a local memory assessment team. The survey was developed using the Royal College of Nursing's four pillars as a structure: clinical/direct care practice, leadership and collaborative practice, improving quality and developing practice, and developing self and others. Results: One hundred and fifteen surveys were sent out, and 85 were completed, a response rate of 73.9%. Patients expressed significant satisfaction with the ANP, in particular in the areas of direct clinical practice (84%) and quality of care received (87%). Conclusion: Patients and families are highly satisfied with the service provided by the ANP. High-quality research is needed on the cost effectiveness and outcomes of ANP interventions. 

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Self‐Administered Acupressure for Caregivers of Older Family Members: A Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVE To test whether self‐administered acupressure reduces stress and stress‐related symptoms in caregivers of older family members. DESIGN In this randomized, assessor‐blind, controlled trial, 207 participants were randomized (1:1) to an acupressure intervention or a wait‐list control group. SETTING Community centers in Hong Kong, China. PARTICIPANTS Primary caregivers of an older family member who screened positive for caregiver stress with symptoms of fatigue, insomnia, or depression. INTERVENTION The 8‐week intervention comprised four training sessions on self‐administered acupressure, two follow‐up sessions for learning reinforcement, and daily self‐practice of self‐administered acupressure. MEASUREMENTS The primary outcome was caregiver stress (Caregiver Burden Inventory). Secondary outcomes included fatigue (Piper Fatigue Scale), insomnia (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), depression (Patient Health Questionnaire), and health‐related quality of life (QoL) (12‐item Short‐Form Health Survey version 2). An intention‐to‐treat analysis was adopted. RESULTS: Of 207 participants, 201 completed the study. Caregiver stress in the intervention group was significantly lower than that in the control group after 8 weeks (difference = −8.12; 95% confidence interval [CI] = −13.20 to −3.04; P =.002) and at 12‐week follow‐up (difference = −8.52; 95% CI = −13.91 to −3.12; P =.002). The intervention group, relative to the control group, also had significantly improved secondary outcomes of fatigue (difference = −0.84; 95% CI = −1.59 to −0.08; P =.031), insomnia (difference = −1.34; 95% CI = −2.40 to −0.27; P =.014), depression (difference = −1.76; 95% CI = −3.30 to −0.23; P =.025), and physical health‐related QoL (difference = 3.08; 95% CI = 0.28‐5.88; P =.032) after 8 weeks. CONCLUSION: Self‐administered acupressure intervention significantly relieves self‐reported caregiver stress and co‐occurring symptoms in those caring for older family members. Further studies are needed to measure the symptoms objectively and to examine the clinical importance of the observed improvement in caregiver stress. 

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The role and value of family therapy for people living with cancer: a rapid review of recent evidence

Purpose of Review: Cancer impacts the whole family and relational system, not just the individual with the diagnosis. The present article identifies and reviews publications in the field of family therapy and cancer since 2019, to describe the theoretical models and techniques applied, and the outcomes achieved.; Recent Findings: A search of databases and grey literature led to the identification of five articles from four studies. Four papers described primary research and one summarized a case example. Papers were published by teams in the USA, Sweden and Iceland. Each article described the benefits of adopting a family therapy approach on outcomes such as family communication, bereavement and decreased carer burden. Four papers described specialist family therapists delivering the interventions, and one used oncology nurses drawing on the theories and techniques of family therapy.; Summary: The rarity of family therapy publications in the past year reflects the individual-level approach to cancer which permeates both medicine and talking therapies. The utility of family therapy could be further surfaced through more large-scale studies which thoroughly describe the unique theoretical basis and techniques, alongside outcomes for multiple people within the family system.

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Review and Selection of Online Resources for Carers of Frail Adults or Older People in Five European Countries: Mixed-Methods Study

Background: Informal carers have a crucial role in the care of older people, but they are at risk of social isolation and psychological exhaustion. Web-based services like apps and websites are increasingly used to support informal carers in addressing some of their needs and tasks, such as health monitoring of their loved ones, information and communication, and stress management. Despite the growing number of available solutions, the lack of knowledge or skills of carers about the solutions often prevent their usage.; Objective: This study aimed to review and select apps and websites offering functionalities useful for informal carers of frail adults or older people in 5 European countries (Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Sweden).; Methods: A systematic online search was conducted from January 2017 to mid-March 2017 using selected keywords, followed by an assessment based on a set of commonly agreed criteria and standardized tools. Selected resources were rated and classified in terms of scope. Focus groups with informal carers were conducted to validate the list and the classification of resources. The activities were conducted in parallel in the participating countries using common protocols and guidelines, a standardization process, and scheduled group discussions.; Results: From a total of 406 eligible resources retrieved, 138 apps and 86 websites met the inclusion criteria. Half of the selected resources (109/224, 48.7%) were disease-specific, and the remaining resources included information and utilities on a variety of themes. Only 38 resources (38/224, 17.0%) were devoted specifically to carers, addressing the management of health disturbances and diseases of the care recipient and focusing primarily on neurodegenerative diseases. Focus groups with the carers showed that almost all participants had no previous knowledge of any resource specifically targeting carers, even if interest was expressed towards carer-focused resources. The main barriers for using the resources were low digital skills of the carers and reliability of health-related apps and websites. Results of the focus groups led to a new taxonomy of the resources, comprising 4 categories: carer's wellbeing, managing health and diseases of the care recipient, useful contacts, and technologies for eldercare.; Conclusions: The review process allowed the identification of online resources of good quality. However, these resources are still scarce due to a lack of reliability and usability that prevent users from properly benefiting from most of the resources. The involvement of end users provided added value to the resource classification and highlighted the gap between the potential benefits from using information and communication technologies and the real use of online resources by carers.

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Psychosocial support interventions for cancer caregivers: reducing caregiver burden

Purpose of Review: Informal caregivers of individuals affected by cancer undertake a range of activities and responsibilities throughout the course of the cancer care trajectory. This role is often undertaken alongside employment and other caring roles and can contribute to caregiver burden, which may be ameliorated through psychosocial intervention.; Recent Findings: Fifteen new studies investigating the potential of psychosocial interventions for reducing caregiver burden were identified from the period January 2019 to February 2020. Studies were mostly quasi-experimental or randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Psychoeducation was the main intervention identified, though content varied, psychoeducation was associated with improvements in burden, quality of life (QoL) domains and psychological symptoms for caregivers. A small number of counselling/therapeutic interventions suggest that caregivers supporting patients with advanced cancer or cancers with high symptom burden may experience reduced psychological symptoms and QoL benefits. There was a paucity of evidence for other psychosocial interventions (e.g. mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy) and methodological quality was variable across all intervention types.; Summary: Psychosocial interventions may help to reduce burden for informal caregivers of individuals affected by cancer, though there remains a need for rigorously designed, multicentred RCTs and to examine the long-term impact of psychosocial interventions for caregivers.

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Psychosocial resources developed and trialled for Indigenous people with autism spectrum disorder and their caregivers: a systematic review and catalogue

Background: People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face many psychosocial challenges throughout life, highlighting the need for programs and resources promoting psychosocial wellbeing. Indigenous peoples with ASD and/or other neurodevelopmental disorders must overcome cultural and social barriers to access such supports. This study aimed to identify psychosocial programs and resources developed world-wide for this population by systematically reviewing research evaluating programs aiming to promote the psychosocial wellbeing of this population and/or their caregivers; and collating and reviewing resources developed to promote their psychosocial wellbeing. Methods: Searches were last conducted in December 2019. The systematic review searched 28 electronic databases, and 25 electronic databases were searched for resources promoting psychosocial wellbeing. Additional published and unpublished studies were identified from relevant reviews, authors of eligible articles, and experts working in Indigenous Health. Articles and resources were screened for inclusion using pre-defined criteria. Articles included in the systematic review were assessed for quality using the Mixed Methods Assessment Tool. The diversity and paucity of outcomes reported precluded pooling of study findings for meta-analysis. Results: Seven articles situated in the USA (2), Canada (3) and Australia (2); and eleven resources developed in Australia (9), Canada (1) and New Zealand (1) met inclusion criteria. All articles showed some promising findings for improving psychosocial wellbeing for Indigenous children with ASD and/or another neurodevelopmental disorder, and 5 of 7 evaluated the cultural adaptation of an existing evidence-based program for an Indigenous population. However, methodological quality was moderate or low (57% and 43% of articles respectively) and no studies had adult participants. The psychosocial wellbeing supports provided by the 11 resources included psychoeducation, community support, and services/workshops. Conclusions: Despite the paucity of research and resources found, important exemplars demonstrate that existing programs can be adapted to support Indigenous people with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders. While future policy should endeavour to facilitate Indigenous people's access to support services, and encourage researchers to develop and evaluate programs promoting psychosocial wellbeing for this population, given complexities of designing and evaluating new programs, careful and appropriate cultural adaptations of existing evidence-based programs would increase feasibility of ongoing research without compromising outcomes. 

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Promoting family inclusive practice in home treatment teams

Purpose Families play an instrumental role in helping relatives experiencing mental health issues to stay well. In the context of wider initiatives promoting family and carer needs, this study aims to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and potential benefits of bespoke training to develop clinicians’ skills in working with families in crisis. Design/methodology/approach The study was an uncontrolled evaluation of a one-day workshop for home treatment team staff using pre- and post-questionnaires. Findings In total, 83 staff members participated. Overall, there was a strong agreement for the involvement of families, which increased marginally after training. There were significant changes in views about talking to family members without service user consent (p = 0.001) and keeping them informed of their relative’s well-being (p = 0.02). Qualitative feedback indicated that participants enjoyed the interactive elements, particularly role-playing. Training provided an opportunity to practice skills, share knowledge and facilitate the integration of family work into their professional role. Research limitations/implications Confident support for families contributes to effective mediation of crisis and continuation of care; factors important in reducing admission rates and protecting interpersonal relationships. Overall, the consistency of responses obtained from participants suggests that this workshop offers a helpful introduction to a family approach at times of a mental health crisis. Originality/value This pilot evaluation suggests this new one-day workshop, is a feasible and acceptable training program, which is beneficial in developing clinicians’ skills in working with families in a crisis.

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A Personalized Voice-Based Diet Assistant for Caregivers of Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementias: System Development and Validation

Background: The world's aging population is increasing, with an expected increase in the prevalence of Alzheimer disease and related dementias (ADRD). Proper nutrition and good eating behavior show promise for preventing and slowing the progression of ADRD and consequently improving patients with ADRD's health status and quality of life. Most ADRD care is provided by informal caregivers, so assisting caregivers to manage patients with ADRD's diet is important. Objective: This study aims to design, develop, and test an artificial intelligence-powered voice assistant to help informal caregivers manage the daily diet of patients with ADRD and learn food and nutrition-related knowledge. Methods: The voice assistant is being implemented in several steps: construction of a comprehensive knowledge base with ontologies that define ADRD diet care and user profiles, and is extended with external knowledge graphs; management of conversation between users and the voice assistant; personalized ADRD diet services provided through a semantics-based knowledge graph search and reasoning engine; and system evaluation in use cases with additional qualitative evaluations. Results: A prototype voice assistant was evaluated in the lab using various use cases. Preliminary qualitative test results demonstrate reasonable rates of dialogue success and recommendation correctness. Conclusions: The voice assistant provides a natural, interactive interface for users, and it does not require the user to have a technical background, which may facilitate senior caregivers' use in their daily care tasks. This study suggests the feasibility of using the intelligent voice assistant to help caregivers manage patients with ADRD's diet.

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Experiences of relatives with outpatient palliative care: a cross-sectional study

Aim: The authors aimed to evaluate the experiences of the relatives of dying people, both in regard to benefits and special needs, when supported by a mobile palliative care bridging service (MPCBS), which exists to enable dying people to stay at home and to support patients' relatives. Design: A cross-sectional survey. Methods: A standardised survey was performed, asking 106 relatives of dying people about their experiences with the MPCBS (response rate=47.3%). Descriptive statistics were analysed using SPSS 23. Findings: Many relatives (62.5%) reported that their dying relations when discharged from a facility to stay at home were not symptom-free. The MPCBS helped relatives maintain home care, and this was reported to be helpful. Support provided by the MPCBS made it easier for 77.6% of relatives to adjust care as soon as situations changed, and helped ensure that symptoms could be better controlled, at least for 68.2% of relatives. Younger relatives felt more encouraged by the MPCBS to care for their relatives dying at home.

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The "PalliActive Caregivers" Intervention for Caregivers of Patients With Cancer in Palliative Care: A Feasibility Pilot Study

This pilot study aimed to assess the feasibility and possible effects of the "PalliActive Caregivers," nursing intervention, on the uncertainty in illness and quality of life of family caregivers of patients with cancer receiving palliative care. This pilot study used a randomized controlled design. The participants were 80 family caregivers. The experimental group received the novel "PalliActive Caregivers" intervention. Data were collected using a sociodemographic form, the Uncertainty in Illness Scale, the Quality of Life scale, and an Intervention satisfaction questionnaire. The caregivers who received the intervention "PalliActive Caregivers" reported a high degree of satisfaction (9.74 on a 10-point scale). The intervention showed a significant decrease in uncertainty regarding illness in the experimental group (P = .009), as well as a significant decrease in the psychological well-being of quality of life within the experimental and control groups, before and after the intervention (P = .013, P = .010). It is recommended that future studies using the "PalliActive Caregivers" intervention examine the effects on other variables such as the burden of patient's symptoms, caregiver burden and rewards, self-efficacy in symptom management, competence, unmet needs, and satisfaction with care.

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One size fits all? Contextualizing family-supportive supervision to help employees with eldercare responsibilities

Eldercare can pose significant challenges for both employees and organizations wherein supervisors serve as critical linchpins. To better inform practitioners on how to assist employees with eldercare responsibilities, we investigated important work outcomes of eldercare-supportive supervision (ESS), a specific form of family-supportive supervision. Drawing on the job demands-resources model and social information processing theory, we framed ESS as a critical informational cue and an important job resource in employees' immediate work environment that shapes employee work attitudes and behaviors. For this important segment of the workforce, we hypothesized that ESS could relate to employees' job performance and time banditry through work engagement, and that caregiver burden would moderate these relationships such that the beneficial effects of ESS would be stronger for employees with high caregiver burden. Using a vignette-based experimental (between-person) design, Study 1 (N = 70) found that employees reported significantly higher work engagement in the high (vs. low) ESS condition. Study 2 supported the indirect effects of ESS on employee job performance and time banditry via work engagement in a field sample (N = 162) of nurses with eldercare responsibilities. In Study 3 (N = 257), using a 3-wave time-lagged design, we replicated our findings and further demonstrated the incremental validity of ESS above and beyond other relevant supports. Finally, we demonstrated that the effect of ESS on work engagement and the indirect effects of ESS on job performance and time banditry were stronger for employees with high (vs. low) caregiver burden. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed. 

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Mobile applications for managing symptoms of patients with cancer at home: A scoping review

Background Education plays an important role in cancer symptom management for patients and their families. With the advancement of information and communication technology, there may be additional evidence for the use of mobile apps to support patient and family education. Purpose The purpose of this review was to explore and synthesize scientific literature about cancer symptom management mobile apps that can be used by patients and their families. Methods This review adopted a scoping review study framework, using electronic databases including EBSCO, PubMed, ProQuest, Science Direct, and Google Scholar using search keywords: ‘caregiver family’, ‘mobile application’, ‘symptom management’ and ‘palliative care’. Of a total of 2633 papers found, 11 papers were selected. Findings Assessment tools are a major component of mobile apps in reporting and assessing symptoms to provide appropriate education. The information in mobile apps is delivered through various mediums that include modules, videos, avatars and cultural integration features. Conclusion Mobile apps can improve provision of palliative care in several ways, most importantly by increasing the knowledge of the patient's family to manage cancer symptoms. Nurses are expected to play an active role in finding and utilizing appropriate mobile apps to assist families in managing a patient's symptoms at home.

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Irish Health Survey 2019 - Carers and Social Supports

This publication relating to “Carers and Social Supports” provides data and insights on Carers in Ireland (who they are, how many hours of caring they provide, etc.) and the extent to which people in Ireland can rely on informal social supports (assistance from neighbours for example). The publication also outlines, for those aged 65 years and older, the extent to which they experience difficulties with certain personal care and household activities.

The data in this publication was collected as part of the “Irish Health Survey” in 2019 and early 2020. The first health survey was collected for reference year 2015, but in a different way to how the data was collected for this publication – more detail on this follows. The detail in this publication is a subset of the broader data collected, and the “Main Results” publication is to be published on December 11th. This publication will outline various aspects of health in Ireland (health status of people in Ireland, their engagement with the health system and health determinants). Finally, on December 14th there will be a publication on the health experience of persons with disabilities. Again, this last publication is a subset of the main data collection for the Irish Health Survey.

The survey is based on self-reported data from persons aged 15 years and over, and outlines their view of their health status, the informal social supports available to them, and the extent to which they encounter (for persons aged 65 years and over) difficulties in performing personal care (for example, eating, dressing themselves, showering) or household activities (for example, performing housework or shopping). The data collection for this publication was conducted between July 2019 and February 2020 and accordingly relates to the pre-pandemic health and other experiences of respondents.

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The key aspects of online support that older family carers of people with dementia want at the end of life: A qualitative study

Objectives: Family carers towards the end of life face a range of difficult challenges and have high levels of support needs. The aim of this study was to explore the challenges carers of people with dementia face towards the end of life and the support needs which could be addressed by online support. Methods: Qualitative study using semi-structured interviews with 23 current and former family carers of people with dementia in England in 2016–2017. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis methods. Results: Most carers interviewed had positive views of receiving support online via a website. Participants described a series of challenges they felt online support could address and help support them with when caring for someone with dementia towards the end of life: 1) feeling prepared and equipped; 2) feeling connected and supported; 3) balancing their own needs with those of the individual; and 4) maintaining control and being the co-ordinator of care. However many valued a mix of technology and human interaction in receiving support. Conclusions: This study has identified the key challenges for carers at the end of life that could be met by online support. Online support offers a source of support to supplement face-to-face contact, as many carers still wish to talk to someone in person. This could help alleviate pressures which health and social care systems currently face.

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"It's Feasible to Write a Song": A Feasibility Study Examining Group Therapeutic Songwriting for People Living With Dementia and Their Family Caregivers

Background: Psychosocial interventions for people with dementia and their family caregivers together may sustain relationship quality and social connection. No previous music therapy research has examined the effects of group therapeutic songwriting (TSW) attended by people with dementia/family caregiver dyads.; Methods: This pre-post feasibility study aimed to examine the acceptability of a group TSW intervention for people with dementia/family caregiver dyads and test the sensitivity of the following outcomes: Quality of the Caregiver-Patient Relationship (QCPR, primary); Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD) and Quality of Life-Alzheimer's Dementia for people with dementia, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, Assessment of Quality of Life-8 Dimensions (AQoL-8D); and Zarit Burden Interview for family caregivers. Six weekly 1 h sessions guided participants to identify preferred music, brainstorm ideas, create lyrics, and record songs. Qualitative interviews were conducted with dyads who completed the intervention.; Results: Fourteen dyads were recruited and completed baseline assessments. Participants with dementia were aged 62-92 years ( M = 77, SD = 11). Caregiver participants (11 spouses, two daughters, one son) were aged 54-92 years ( M = 67, SD = 10.1). Four dyads withdrew owing to declining health or inconvenience before the program commenced ( n = 2) and after attending 1-2 sessions ( n = 2). Ten dyads formed four homogeneous TSW groups (71% completion). No statistically significant changes were detected for any measure. High QCPR ratings at baseline ( M = 57.1) and follow-up ( M = 57.4) demonstrated sustained relationship quality. For participants with dementia, large effect sizes for the CSDD suggested trends toward decreased depression ( d = -0.83) and improved mood ( d = -0.88). For family caregivers, a large effect size suggested a trend toward improvement for the AQoL-8D sub-domain examining independent living ( d = -0.93). Qualitative data indicated that session design and delivery were acceptable, and TSW was a positive shared experience with personal benefits, which supported rather than changed relationship quality.; Conclusion: High retention and qualitative data indicate that TSW was well received by participants. Effect sizes suggest that group TSW for dyads may have beneficial impacts on depression for people with dementia and quality of life for family caregivers. Future research with a fully powered sample is recommended to further examine the psychosocial impacts of group TSW for people living with dementia/family caregiver dyads. (Copyright © 2020 Clark, Stretton-Smith, Baker, Lee and Tamplin.)

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Is preparation for end of life associated with pre-death grief in caregivers of people with dementia?

Objectives: Family caregivers of people with dementia can experience loss and grief before death. We hypothesized that modifiable factors indicating preparation for end of life are associated with lower pre-death grief in caregivers. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Caregivers of people with dementia living at home or in a care home. Participants: In total, 150 caregivers, 77% female, mean age 63.0 (SD = 12.1). Participants cared for people with mild (25%), moderate (43%), or severe dementia (32%). Measurements: Primary outcome: Marwit-Meuser Caregiver Grief Inventory Short Form (MMCGI-SF). We included five factors reflecting preparation for end of life: (1) knowledge of dementia, (2) social support, (3) feeling supported by healthcare providers, (4) formalized end of life documents, and (5) end-of-life discussions with the person with dementia. We used multiple regression to assess associations between pre-death grief and preparation for end of life while controlling for confounders. We repeated this analysis with MMCGI-SF subscales ("personal sacrifice burden"; "heartfelt sadness"; "worry and felt isolation"). Results: Only one hypothesized factor (reduced social support) was strongly associated with higher grief intensity along with the confounders of female gender, spouse, or adult child relationship type and reduced relationship closeness. In exploratory analyses of MMCGI-SF subscales, one additional hypothesized factor was statistically significant; higher dementia knowledge was associated with lower "heartfelt sadness." Conclusion: We found limited support for our hypothesis. Future research may benefit from exploring strategies for enhancing caregivers' social support and networks as well as the effectiveness of educational interventions about the progression of dementia (ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT03332979).

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Internet-Based Supportive Interventions for Family Caregivers of People With Dementia: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Background: Caring for people with dementia is perceived as one of the most stressful and difficult forms of caring. Family caregivers always experience high levels of psychological burden and physical strain, so effective and practical support is essential. Internet-based supportive interventions can provide convenient and efficient support and education to potentially reduce the physical and psychological burden associated with providing care. Objective: This review aimed to (1) assess the efficacy of internet-based supportive interventions in ameliorating health outcomes for family caregivers of people with dementia, and (2) evaluate the potential effects of internet-based supportive intervention access by caregivers on their care recipients. Methods: An electronic literature search of the PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, and PsycINFO databases was conducted up to January 2020. Two reviewers (ML and YZ) worked independently to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that met the inclusion criteria and independently extracted data. The quality of the included RCTs was evaluated using the approach recommended by the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Standardized mean differences (SMDs) with 95% CIs were applied to calculate the pooled effect sizes. Results: In total, 17 RCTs met the eligibility criteria and were included in this systematic review. The meta-analysis showed that internet-based supportive interventions significantly ameliorated depressive symptoms (SMD=-0.21; 95% CI -0.31 to -0.10; P<.001), perceived stress (SMD=-0.40; 95% CI -0.55 to -0.24; P<.001), anxiety (SMD=-0.33; 95% CI -0.51 to -0.16; P<.001), and self-efficacy (SMD=0.19; 95% CI 0.05-0.33; P=.007) in dementia caregivers. No significant improvements were found in caregiver burden, coping competence, caregiver reactions to behavioral symptoms, or quality of life. Six studies assessed the unintended effects of internet-based supportive intervention access by caregivers on their care recipients. The results showed that internet-based supportive interventions had potential benefits on the quality of life and neuropsychiatric symptoms in care recipients. Conclusions: Internet-based supportive interventions are generally effective at ameliorating depressive symptoms, perceived stress, anxiety, and self-efficacy in dementia caregivers and have potential benefits on care recipients. Future studies are encouraged to adopt personalized internet-based supportive interventions to improve the health of family caregivers and their care recipients. Trial Registration: PROSPERO CRD42020162434; https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?RecordID=162434.

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An international systematic review of dementia caregiving interventions for Chinese families

Objectives: Older Asians and Chinese are among the least studied populations in the dementia caregiving literature. This review seeks to critically synthesize the literature on intervention characteristics, components and tailoring strategies for dementia family caregivers in Chinese communities globally. Methods: Five electronic databases (PsychINFO, PubMed, CINAHL, ScienceDirect and Google Scholar) were searched for articles published between 1980 and July 2018. The protocol of this review was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42019132800). Results: Twenty‐nine unique interventions across 39 papers met inclusion criteria. Results from descriptive and thematic syntheses revealed that most interventions were psychoeducational, CBT‐based, multicomponent, structured, and less than a year in duration. Disease education, management of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, stress coping techniques, and referral to community resources were frequently included in interventions. Community‐, culture‐ and language‐focused strategies were used to tailor interventions. The most common tailoring strategies were: (a) using community networks and media for outreach and recruitment; (b) making translations and language adaptations to the intervention materials; and (c) focusing on trust and therapeutic alliance. Most interventions produced desired outcomes, particularly reducing caregiver burden and increasing self‐efficacy. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first review to date that systematically synthesized the characteristics and tailoring of dementia caregiving interventions for Chinese families globally. Current findings suggest that most interventions are effective, although many only superficially address Chinese culture. Future research should incorporate Chinese values and cross‐cultural challenges into caregiving interventions for deep‐level adaptations that could potentially be more effective to engage and support Chinese caregivers.

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An integrative group movement program for people with dementia and care partners together (Paired PLIÉ): initial process evaluation

Objectives: To understand feedback from participants in Paired PLIÉ (Preventing Loss of Independence through Exercise), a novel, integrative group movement program for people with dementia and their care partners, in order to refine the intervention and study procedures. Method: Data sources included daily logs from the first Paired PLIÉ RCT group, final reflections from the second Paired PLIÉ RCT group, and responses to requests for feedback and letters of support from Paired PLIÉ community class participants. All data are reports from care partners. The qualitative coding process was iterative and conducted with a multidisciplinary team. The coding team began with a previously established framework that was modified and expanded to reflect emerging themes. Regular team meetings were held to confirm validity and to reach consensus around the coding system as it was developed and applied. Reliability was checked by having a second team member apply the coding system to a subset of the data. Results: Key themes that emerged included care partner-reported improvements in physical functioning, cognitive functioning, social/emotional functioning, and relationship quality that were attributed to participation in Paired PLIÉ. Opportunities to improve the intervention and reduce study burden were identified. Care partners who transitioned to the community class after participating in the Paired PLIÉ study reported ongoing benefits. Conclusion: These qualitative results show that people with dementia and their care partners can participate in and benefit from community-based programs like Paired PLIÉ that include both partners, and focus on building skills to maintain function and quality of life. 

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Informal carers

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

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Impact of receiving recorded mental health recovery narratives on quality of life in people experiencing psychosis, people experiencing other mental health problems and for informal carers: Narrative Experiences Online (NEON) study protocol for three rand

Background: Mental health recovery narratives have been defined as first-person lived experience accounts of recovery from mental health problems which refer to events or actions over a period of time and which include elements of adversity or struggle, and also self-defined strengths, successes or survival. They are readily available in invariant recorded form, including text, audio or video. Previous studies have provided evidence that receiving recorded recovery narratives can provide benefits to recipients. This protocol describes three pragmatic trials that will be conducted by the Narrative Experiences Online (NEON) study using the NEON Intervention, a web application that delivers recorded recovery narratives to its users. The aim of the NEON Trial is to understand whether receiving online recorded recovery narratives through the NEON Intervention benefits people with experience of psychosis. The aim of the NEON-O and NEON-C trials is to evaluate the feasibility of conducting a definitive trial on the use of the NEON Intervention with people experiencing non-psychosis mental health problems and those who care for others experiencing mental health problems respectively. Methods: The NEON Trial will recruit 683 participants with experience of psychosis. The NEON-O Trial will recruit at least 100 participants with experience of non-psychosis mental health problems. The NEON-C Trial will recruit at least 100 participants with experience of caring for others who have experienced mental health problems. In all three trials, participants will be randomly allocated into one of two arms. Intervention arm participants will receive treatment as usual plus immediate access to the NEON Intervention for 1 year. Control arm participants will receive treatment as usual plus access to the NEON Intervention after 1 year. All participants will complete demographics and outcome measures at baseline, 1 week, 12 weeks and 52 weeks. For the NEON Trial, the primary outcome measure is the Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life at 52 weeks, and secondary outcome measures are the CORE-10, Herth Hope Index, Mental Health Confidence Scale and Meaning in Life Questionnaire. A cost-effectiveness analysis will be conducted using data collected through the EQ-5D-5 L and the Client Service Receipt Inventory. Discussion:  NEON Trial analyses will establish both effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the NEON Intervention for people with experience of psychosis, and hence inform future clinical recommendations for this population. Trial Registration: All trials were prospectively registered with ISRCTN. NEON Trial: ISRCTN11152837 . Registered on 13 August 2018. NEON-C Trial: ISRCTN76355273 . Registered on 9 January 2020. NEON-O Trial: ISRCTN63197153 . Registered on 9 January 2020. 

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The Impact of Receiving a Family-Oriented Therapeutic Conversation Intervention Before and During Bereavement Among Family Cancer Caregivers: A Nonrandomized Trial

Effective communication is the foundation of quality care in palliative nursing. As frontline palliative home care providers, nurses could foster more effective bereavement coping skills through therapeutic conversations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a nursing intervention offered to bereaved family cancer caregivers. This was a quasi-experimental design, with a posttest-only comparison of the intervention and control groups receiving usual care. Bereaved caregivers (n = 51) receiving services from a specialized palliative home care unit participated and completed measures of depression, anxiety, stress, and grief reactions 3, 5, and 6 months after their close relative had died.There was a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms in the intervention group compared with the control group across all 3 time points. Anxiety and stress symptoms also decreased over time in the 2 groups combined, but this decrease was not observed for depression. When evaluating grief reactions, the intervention group had a lower mean of controlled grief responses, across the posttest period, than the control group. Results demonstrate that providing bereaved family caregivers the opportunity to participate in a therapeutic conversation intervention might reduce distressing symptoms in early bereavement.

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Hospice Family Caregivers' Use of Audio Diaries: Preliminary Findings (GP793)

Objectives: • Describe the implications of emotional processing of stressful events for hospice family caregivers. • Interpret preliminary findings from textual data analysis of hospice family caregiver diaries.  Importance: Evidence suggests that meaning-making and emotional processing can improve home hospice family caregivers' (HFCs) well-being. Previous work has used diary writing to process stressful events; in the current study, HFCs were asked to record brief daily audio diaries.  Objective(s): To determine the feasibility of capturing audio diaries and describe diary content.  Method(s): In an ongoing multi-site, multi-method prospective longitudinal study, HFCs of cancer patients report daily fluctuation of patient and their own symptoms via an automated telephone system. Additionally they are randomly assigned to: discuss additional symptoms or to discuss their thoughts/feelings. Thirty-six (85.7%) participants to date have completed at least one audio diary. For this preliminary analysis, we selected 14 diary recordings/condition (n=28) to describe and compare.  Results: Participants are 78.6% female, on average 53.0 years old, and most are a spouse/partner (46.4%) or a child (35.7%) caregiver. Audio data were transcribed and aggregated by condition. Both Linguistic Inquiry Word Count (LIWC) and NVivo 12 were used to analyze word use. Time was the most common theme in both conditions, but was more common in the symptom condition (p=.08). There was no difference in overall negative/positive word valence use, with 23% positivity and 77% negativity across both groups. However, a significant difference in the use of specific emotion words was found; the thoughts/feeling condition used more anger-related words (p=.04), while the symptom condition used more anxiety words (p=.003).  Conclusion(s): Our preliminary findings suggest that most HFCs will use audio diaries to express concerns and that the focus of open-ended prompts may facilitate different emotional expression.  Impact: Low-cost, easy-to-use audio diaries may be a useful emotional processing tool for HFCs. Future research is warranted of a larger HFC sample examining their repeated daily use of audio diaries to assess for impact on emotional well-being and bereavement adjustment.

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Home First: Exploring the Impact of Community-based Home Care for Older Adults and Their Family Caregivers

Given the rapidly expanding older adult population, finding health care approaches that support older adults to age in their choice of place, with an accompanying philosophical re-orientation of health services, is becoming more urgent. We studied the Home Care Home First – Quick Response Project to understand how clients over age 75 and their family caregivers perceived the enhanced community-based services delivered through Home First. Using interpretive description as the methodological design, we explored the experiences of eight older adults and 11 family caregivers; all older adults were enrolled in Home First due to a significant change in their health status. We identified four themes: growing older in chosen places with support, philosophy of care, processes of Home First, and the significance of Home First for clients. Overall, clients and family caregivers responded positively to the Home First services. Clients valued their independence and growing older in places they had specifically chosen.

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Group acceptance and commitment therapy for patients and caregivers in psychosis services: Feasibility of training and a preliminary randomized controlled evaluation

Objective: Psychological interventions reduce the impact of psychosis, but widescale implementation is problematic. We tested the feasibility of group acceptance and commitment therapy for Psychosis (G‐ACTp), delivered by frontline staff, and co‐facilitated by service‐user experts‐by‐experience (SU‐EbyE), for service‐users and informal caregivers (ISRCTN: 68540929). We estimated recruitment/retention rates and outcome variability for future evaluation. Methods: Staff and SU‐EbyE facilitators completed 1‐day workshops, then delivered closely supervised G‐ACTp, comprising four sessions (weeks 1–4) and two boosters (10 and 12 weeks). Participants recruited from adult community psychosis services were randomized to receive G‐ACTp immediately or after 12 weeks, completing outcome assessments at 0, 4, and 12 weeks. Service‐use/month was calculated for 1‐year pre‐randomization, weeks 0–12, and 5‐year uncontrolled follow‐up. Results: Of 41 facilitators trained (29 staff, 12 SU‐EbyE), 29 (71%; 17 staff, 12 SU‐EbyE) delivered 18 G‐ACTp courses. Participant refusal rates were low (9% of service‐users [10/112]; 5% of caregivers [4/79]); 60% of those invited to participate attended ≥1 G‐ACTp session (64% of service‐users [39/61]; 56% of caregivers [35/63]). Randomization of facilitators and participants proved problematic and participant follow‐up was incomplete (78% [66/85]; 82% of service‐users [36/44]; 73% of caregivers [30/41]). Effect sizes ranged from very small to large mostly favouring treatment. Service‐use reductions require cautious interpretation, as very few participants incurred costs. Conclusions: Implementation appears feasible for service‐users; for caregivers, retention needs improving. Outcome variability indicated n = 100–300/arm followed up (α = 0.05, 90% power). Methodological limitations' mean replication is needed: identified sources of potential bias may be reduced in a cluster randomized design with sessional outcome completion. Practitioner points: Group acceptance and commitment therapy can be successfully adapted for people with psychosis and their caregivers.Implementation (training and delivery) is possible in routine community mental health care settings.Clinical and economic outcomes are promising, but replication is needed.Recommendations are made for future studies. 

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Feasibility of ActivABLES to promote home-based exercise and physical activity of community-dwelling stroke survivors with support from caregivers: A mixed methods study

Background: Technical applications can promote home-based exercise and physical activity of community-dwelling stroke survivors. Caregivers are often able and willing to assist with home-based exercise and physical activity but lack the knowledge and resources to do so. ActivABLES was established to promote home-based exercise and physical activity among community-dwelling stroke survivors, with support from their caregivers. The aim of our study is to investigate the feasibility of ActivABLES in terms of acceptability, demand, implementation and practicality. Methods: A convergent design of mixed methods research in which quantitative results were combined with personal experiences of a four-week use of ActivABLES by community-dwelling stroke survivors with support from their caregivers. Data collection before, during and after the four-week period included the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale (ABC), Timed-Up-and-Go (TUG) and Five Times Sit to Stand Test (5xSST) and data from motion detectors. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with stroke survivors and caregivers after the four-week period. Descriptive statistics were used for quantitative data. Qualitative data was analysed with direct content analysis. Themes were identified related to the domains of feasibility: acceptability, demand, implementation and practicality. Data was integrated by examining any (dis)congruence in the quantitative and qualitative findings. Results: Ten stroke survivors aged 55-79 years participated with their informal caregivers. Functional improvements were shown in BBS (+ 2.5), ABC (+ 0.9), TUG (- 4.2) and 5xSST (- 2.7). More physical activity was detected with motion detectors (stand up/sit down + 2, number of steps + 227, standing + 0.3 h, hours sitting/lying - 0.3 h). The qualitative interviews identified themes for each feasibility domain: (i) acceptability: appreciation, functional improvements, self-initiated activities and expressed potential for future stroke survivors; (2) demand: reported use, interest in further use and need for follow-up; (3) implementation: importance of feedback, variety of exercises and progression of exercises and (4) practicality: need for support and technical problems. The quantitative and qualitative findings converged well with each other and supported the feasibility of ActivABLES. Conclusions: ActivABLES is feasible and can be a good asset for stroke survivors with slight or moderate disability to use in their homes. Further studies are needed with larger samples.

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The Feasibility and Utility of a Personal Health Record for Persons With Dementia and Their Family Caregivers for Web-Based Care Coordination: Mixed Methods Study

Background: Managing the complex and long-term care needs of persons living with Alzheimer disease and related dementias (ADRD) can adversely impact the health of informal caregivers and their care recipients. Web-based personal health records (PHRs) are one way to potentially alleviate a caregiver's burden by simplifying ADRD health care management.; Objective: This study aimed to evaluate Personal Health Record for Persons with Dementia and Their Family Caregivers (PHR-ADRD), a free web-based information exchange tool, using a multiphase mixed methods approach.; Methods: Dementia caregivers (N=34) were surveyed for their well-being and perceptions of PHR-ADRD feasibility and utility at 6 and 12 months using close- and open-ended questions as well as a semistructured interview (n=8). Exploratory analyses compared participants' characteristics as well as PHR-ADRD use and experiences based on overall favorability status.; Results: Feasibility and utility scores decreased over time, but a subset of participants indicated that the system was helpful. Quantitative comparisons could not explain why some participants indicated favorable, neutral, or unfavorable views of the system overall or had not engaged with PHR-ADRD. Qualitative findings suggested that technology literacy and primary care provider buy-in were barriers. Both qualitative and qualitative findings indicated that time constraints to learn and use the system affected most participants.; Conclusions: Development and dissemination of PHRs for family caregivers of persons with ADRD should aim to make systems user-friendly for persons with limited time and technological literacy. Establishing health care provider buy-in may be essential to the future success of any PHR system. 

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Family carers' perspectives of the Alzheimer Café in Ireland

Background: The Alzheimer Café is a psychosocial intervention shown to have benefits for family carers of people with dementia. Family carers experience a period of change across all aspects of their lives following the dementia diagnosis, and require new skills and tools to navigate these new landscapes. The objective of this research was to investigate family carers' perspectives of the Alzheimer Café in Ireland, and explore how attendance may translate into broader benefits in their lives. This paper also provides an overview of Alzheimer Café models, which exist internationally. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine family carers of people with dementia who were currently attending or had attended an Alzheimer Café in the preceding six months. The research was conducted in three Alzheimer Cafés in Ireland. Data analysis was conducted using Braun and Clarke's six step thematic analysis framework. Results: Community, atmosphere, activity and information were described as core features of the Alzheimer Café in Ireland. The Alzheimer Café was described as a community with a good atmosphere encompassing emotional support, friendship, equality and inclusion. Family carer also highlighted Alzheimer Cafés could potentially facilitate wider community awareness and engagement. The Alzheimer Café was shown to provide an activity which facilitated relationship building within care dyads as well as with other attendees. Several information streams were identified, including guest speaker input, attendees' shared experiences, and specific advice from healthcare professionals. Conclusion: The Alzheimer Café offers strong personal support to family carers of people with dementia. Our findings suggest that Alzheimer Cafés can build family carers' capacity to manage new social, environmental and cultural challenges associated with dementia. While it is important the Alzheimer Café is enjoyable, has useful information and is supportive, it is equally important that these features generate sustained improvements for family carers external to the Alzheimer Café. 

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Exploring the Impact of a Peer-Led Education Group for Loved Ones of Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder: A Pilot Study

Clinicians have long identified the psychological impacts and objective burdens on family members and caregivers who support loved ones with psychiatric conditions. However, there is a lack of programming available to support families with relatives who have been diagnosed with a personality disorder, and research in this area is scant. The current pilot study evaluated the impact of providing a peer-led education group for loved ones of individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). A mixed-methods study design was implemented: quantitative self-report scales were used to derive scores of mastery and burden and focus groups gathered qualitative narratives. Data were collected from participants (N = 15) before and after the group intervention, as well as 4 months later. Quantitative results indicated that while participants initially reported a sense of burden in their caregiving role, their self-report of this phenomenon reduced over time following engagement with the group. The focus groups revealed that participants found the group had a positive impact on their well-being as a result of the information, skills acquisition, and support/validation they received. They also noted clinical improvements for their relatives with BPD. This study provides preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of the peer-led education group in supporting families. The results suggest that particular variables such as peer leadership, skills-based learning, and focus on caregiver wellness—rather than on the person with a diagnosis – may explain improved outcomes of this family intervention.

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Evaluation of START (STrAtegies for RelaTives) adapted for carers of people with Lewy body dementia

Family carers of people with Lewy body dementia (LBD) have a particularly high burden of care, as LBD has a faster rate of decline, greater physical dependence and additional neuropsychiatric disturbances compared with other dementias. Despite this, there are no evidence-based support services designed specifically for LBD carers. STrAtegies for RelaTives (START) is an eight-session, individually delivered coping therapy that has been shown in a randomised controlled trial to reduce depression and anxiety symptoms and increase quality of life in carers of people with dementia, with effects lasting several years. We adapted START for LBD, and piloted its use both face-to-face and on the phone with 10 carers to test acceptability and indications of similar effects in this group. Our findings suggest that the therapy was acceptable and feasible using either delivery mode, providing much appreciated and needed strategies, education and support for carers of people with LBD. Trials of effectiveness are now needed. 

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Ensemble programme for early intervention in informal caregivers of psychiatric adult patients: a protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Introduction: Informal caregivers play a major role in the support and maintenance of community patients with severe psychiatric disorders. A pilot study showed that an individualised brief intervention such as the Ensemble programme leads to significant improvements in psychological health state and optimism.; Methods and Analysis: This randomised controlled trial aims to compare the efficacy of using Ensemble in improving informal caregivers' psychological health states and the ability to play an active role in their situations with that of support as usual. Improvements on the psychological health global index will be measured three times (T0-pre, T1-post and T3 2 months follow) with standardised questionnaires (the Global Severity Index of Brief Inventory Symptoms, the Life Orientation Test-Revised, the 36-item Medical Outcome Study Short-Form Health Survey and the French Zarit Burden Interview). Differences between groups in post-test and pretest values will be examined using an analysis of covariance for each outcome variable. The severity of illness measured by the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale will also be collected at T0 and T2 to compare eventual patient improvements. At the end of the programme, the experiences of the 20 patients participating in the Ensemble programme will be evaluated qualitatively.; Ethics and Dissemination: The research protocol received full authorisation from the Human Research Ethics Committee of the Vaud state, Switzerland. The principal paper will concern the results of the experimental design used to test the Ensemble programme. The research team will prioritise open access publications.; Trial Registration Number: NCT04020497. 

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Elements of Family, Social Relationships, and Caregiving in Palliative Care mHealth: A Scoping Review (GP781)

Objectives: • Identify research-based and commercial mobile applications currently available to support palliative and end of life care. • Evaluate the utility of current palliative care and end of life mobile applications for families and caregiving support among diverse populations.  Importance: Mobile health (mHealth) can increase access to and awareness of palliative and end of life (PCEOL) care among patients, families, and caregivers from diverse backgrounds.  Objective(s): The objective of this scoping review is to describe the inclusion and features for family, social relationships, and caregivers in PCEOL-specific mHealth.  Method(s): We conducted a systematic search of PCEOL mHealth that included: 1) research-based mobile applications (apps) from PubMed, PsycINFO, and Web of Science published between 1/1/10-3/31/19, and 2) commercially available apps for iPhone, Google Play, and Amazon Appstore in April 2019. Apps were included if they focused on at least one element of PCEOL and targeted adults with serious life-limiting illness and/or their family and caregivers. Two reviewers independently assessed abstracts, app titles, and descriptions against the inclusion and exclusion criteria.  Findings: Overall, 10 articles describing 9 individual research-based apps and 22 commercially available apps were identified (N=32). Apps targeted symptom management (74.2%) followed by decision support (19.4%) and bereavement or grief (16.1%). Commercially available apps were designed for both patients and family caregivers (n=9/22, 40.9%), while research apps were designed for patient use (n=8/9, 88.9%). Features allowing the patient to share app-generated materials, e.g., advanced care directives or legacy projects, via email or text were the most common patient-caregiver features (n=10/22, 45.5%). Only 2/32 (6.3%) of apps considered contextual factors such as marriage, social isolation, or socioeconomic status of the patient or family caregivers.  Conclusion(s): Results suggest there is an emerging presence of apps for patients and caregivers dealing with serious illness, yet there are many needs for developers and researchers to address.  Impact: Additional research is needed for apps that embrace a team approach to information sharing, target family and caregiver specific issues, promote access to palliative care, and comprehensively address palliative needs.

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Efficacy of a Smartphone App Intervention for Reducing Caregiver Stress: Randomized Controlled Trial

Background: Caregivers play a pivotal role in maintaining an economically viable health care system, yet they are characterized by low levels of psychological well-being and consistently report unmet needs for psychological support. Mobile app-based (mobile health [mHealth]) interventions present a novel approach to both reducing stress and improving well-being.; Objective: This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a self-guided mobile app-based psychological intervention for people providing care to family or friends with a physical or mental disability.; Methods: In a randomized, single-blind, controlled trial, 183 caregivers recruited through the web were randomly allocated to either an intervention (n=73) or active control (n=110) condition. The intervention app contained treatment modules combining daily self-monitoring with third-wave (mindfulness-based) cognitive-behavioral therapies, whereas the active control app contained only self-monitoring features. Both programs were completed over a 5-week period. It was hypothesized that intervention app exposure would be associated with decreases in depression, anxiety, and stress, and increases in well-being, self-esteem, optimism, primary and secondary control, and social support. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, postintervention, and 3-4 months postintervention. App quality was also assessed.; Results: In total, 25% (18/73) of the intervention participants were lost to follow-up at 3 months, and 30.9% (34/110) of the participants from the wait-list control group dropped out before the postintervention survey. The intervention group experienced reductions in stress (b=-2.07; P=.04) and depressive symptoms (b=-1.36; P=.05) from baseline to postintervention. These changes were further enhanced from postintervention to follow-up, with the intervention group continuing to report lower levels of depression (b=-1.82; P=.03) and higher levels of emotional well-being (b=6.13; P<.001), optimism (b=0.78; P=.007), self-esteem (b=-0.84; P=.005), support from family (b=2.15; P=.001), support from significant others (b=2.66; P<.001), and subjective well-being (b=4.82; P<.001). On average, participants completed 2.5 (SD 1.05) out of 5 treatment modules. The overall quality of the app was also rated highly, with a mean score of 3.94 out of a maximum score of 5 (SD 0.58).; Conclusions: This study demonstrates that mHealth psychological interventions are an effective treatment option for caregivers experiencing high levels of stress. Recommendations for improving mHealth interventions for caregivers include offering flexibility and customization in the treatment design.; Trial Registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry ACTRN12616000996460; https://www.anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?id=371170. 

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The effects of offering flexible work practices to employees with unpaid caregiving responsibilities for elderly or disabled family members

Approximately one in 10 employees in Australia, the United States, and Europe have unpaid caregiving responsibilities for elderly or disabled family members. This combination of employment and caregiving roles is problematic when there is conflict between their simultaneous demands. Flexible work practices can be an important mechanism for assisting these employees. However, limited attention has been given to determining the benefits of flexible work practices for these employees, or the process by which these effects arise. We address these gaps via a survey of employees with unpaid caregiving responsibilities for family who are elderly or disabled. Results indicate that greater availability of flexible work practices improves perceptions of workplace support for combining caregiving and employment. This effect was partially and sequentially mediated by disclosure, practice utilization, and practice helpfulness. Additionally, practice availability had a direct positive effect on practice utilization, while disclosure had a direct positive effect on perceived support. Overall, the findings demonstrate the benefits of flexible work practices for employees with caregiving responsibilities. The study also points the way to interventions that can improve the effectiveness of flexible work practices by demonstrating how the potential benefits of these practices are translated into actual improvements in perceived support.

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Effects of a Video-based Intervention on Caregiver Confidence for Managing Dementia Care Challenges: Findings from the FamTechCare Clinical Trial

The Supporting Family Caregivers with Technology trial tested the FamTechCare video support intervention against telephone support. Dementia caregivers' video-recorded challenging care encounters and an interdisciplinary team provided tailored feedback. This paper reports on the effects of the intervention on caregiver confidence in managing priority challenges, a secondary outcome of this non-blinded parallel randomized controlled trial. Caregiver/person living with dementia dyads were randomized to the experimental FamTechCare video support (n = 43) or attention control telephone support (n = 41) groups. Caregivers providing in-home care to a person living with mild or more severe dementia were eligible. Caregivers identified three priority challenges using the Caregiver Target Problems Questionnaire and rated the frequency and severity of each challenge and their confidence managing the challenge at baseline and 3-months. Challenges were classified using the FamTechCare Technology-supported Dementia Care Typology. Effects on confidence were compared between groups using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test and within groups using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Caregiver priority challenges included managing dementia behaviors, understanding disease expectations, and performing activity of daily living care. Improvements were observed across the three categories in both groups; however, not all changes were statistically significant. No significant differences were identified between groups. Caregivers in the FamTechCare group reported benefit across all priority challenges including managing dementia behaviors, understanding disease expectations, and performing activity of daily living care. Innovative technology provides new opportunities to support family caregivers in dementia home care. Video-recording can be used to enhance support for family caregivers facing care challenges.

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Effectiveness of a Physical Therapeutic Exercise Programme for Caregivers of Dependent Patients: A Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial from Spanish Primary Care

Female family caregivers (FFCs) constitute one of the basic supports of socio-health care for dependence in developed countries. The care provided by FFCs may impact their physical and mental health, negatively affecting their quality of life. In order to alleviate the consequences of providing care on FFCs, the Spanish Public Health System has developed the family caregiver care programme (FCCP) to be applied in primary care (PC) centres. The effectiveness of this programme is limited. To date, the addition of a physical therapeutic exercise (PTE) programme to FCCP has not been evaluated. A randomised multicentre clinical trial was carried out in two PC centres of the Spanish Public Health System. In total, 68 FFCs were recruited. The experimental group (EG) performed the usual FCCP (4 sessions, 6 h) added to a PTE programme (36 sessions in 12 weeks) whereas the control group performed the usual FCCP performed in PC. The experimental treatment improved quality of life (d = 1.17 in physical component summary), subjective burden (d = 2.38), anxiety (d = 1.52), depression (d = 1.37) and health-related physical condition (d = 2.44 in endurance). Differences between the groups ( p < 0.05) were clinically relevant in favour of the EG. The experimental treatment generates high levels of satisfaction.

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The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of hospital-based specialist palliative care for adults with advanced illness and their caregivers

Background: Serious illness is often characterised by physical/psychological problems, family support needs, and high healthcare resource use. Hospital-based specialist palliative care (HSPC) has developed to assist in better meeting the needs of patients and their families and potentially reducing hospital care expenditure. There is a need for clarity on the effectiveness and optimal models of HSPC, given that most people still die in hospital and also to allocate scarce resources judiciously.; Objectives: To assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of HSPC compared to usual care for adults with advanced illness (hereafter patients) and their unpaid caregivers/families.; Search Methods: We searched CENTRAL, CDSR, DARE and HTA database via the Cochrane Library; MEDLINE; Embase; CINAHL; PsycINFO; CareSearch; National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database (NHS EED) and two trial registers to August 2019, together with checking of reference lists and relevant systematic reviews, citation searching and contact with experts to identify additional studies.; Selection Criteria: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the impact of HSPC on outcomes for patients or their unpaid caregivers/families, or both. HSPC was defined as specialist palliative care delivered by a palliative care team that is based in a hospital providing holistic care, co-ordination by a multidisciplinary team, and collaboration between HSPC providers and generalists. HSPC was provided to patients while they were admitted as inpatients to acute care hospitals, outpatients or patients receiving care from hospital outreach teams at home. The comparator was usual care, defined as inpatient or outpatient hospital care without specialist palliative care input at the point of entry into the study, community care or hospice care provided outside of the hospital setting.; Data Collection and Analysis: We used standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. We assessed risk of bias and extracted data. To account for use of different scales across studies, we calculated standardised mean differences (SMDs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for continuous data. We used an inverse variance random-effects model. For binary data, we calculated odds ratio (ORs) with 95% CIs. We assessed the evidence using GRADE and created a 'Summary of findings' table. Our primary outcomes were patient health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and symptom burden (a collection of two or more symptoms). Key secondary outcomes were pain, depression, satisfaction with care, achieving preferred place of death, mortality/survival, unpaid caregiver burden, and cost-effectiveness. Qualitative data was analysed where available.;

Main Results: We identified 42 RCTs involving 7779 participants (6678 patients and 1101 caregivers/family members). Twenty-one studies were with cancer populations, 14 were with non-cancer populations (of which six were with heart failure patients), and seven with mixed cancer and non-cancer populations (mixed diagnoses). HSPC was offered in different ways and included the following models: ward-based, inpatient consult, outpatient, hospital-at-home or hospital outreach, and service provision across multiple settings which included hospital. For our main analyses, we pooled data from studies reporting adjusted endpoint values. Forty studies had a high risk of bias in at least one domain. Compared with usual care, HSPC improved patient HRQoL with a small effect size of 0.26 SMD over usual care (95% CI 0.15 to 0.37; I 2 = 3%, 10 studies, 1344 participants, low-quality evidence, higher scores indicate better patient HRQoL). HSPC also improved other person-centred outcomes. It reduced patient symptom burden with a small effect size of -0.26 SMD over usual care (95% CI -0.41 to -0.12; I 2 = 0%, 6 studies, 761 participants, very low-quality evidence, lower scores indicate lower symptom burden). HSPC improved patient satisfaction with care with a small effect size of 0.36 SMD over usual care (95% CI 0.41 to 0.57; I 2 = 0%, 2 studies, 37 participants, low-quality evidence, higher scores indicate better patient satisfaction with care). Using home death as a proxy measure for achieving patient's preferred place of death, patients were more likely to die at home with HSPC compared to usual care (OR 1.63, 95% CI 1.23 to 2.16; I 2 = 0%, 7 studies, 861 participants, low-quality evidence). Data on pain (4 studies, 525 participants) showed no evidence of a difference between HSPC and usual care (SMD -0.16, 95% CI -0.33 to 0.01; I 2 = 0%, very low-quality evidence). Eight studies (N = 1252 participants) reported on adverse events and very low-quality evidence did not demonstrate an effect of HSPC on serious harms. Two studies (170 participants) presented data on caregiver burden and both found no evidence of effect of HSPC (very low-quality evidence). We included 13 economic studies (2103 participants). Overall, the evidence on cost-effectiveness of HSPC compared to usual care was inconsistent among the four full economic studies. Other studies that used only partial economic analysis and those that presented more limited resource use and cost information also had inconsistent results (very low-quality evidence). Quality of the evidence The quality of the evidence assessed using GRADE was very low to low, downgraded due to a high risk of bias, inconsistency and imprecision.; Authors' Conclusions: Very low- to low-quality evidence suggests that when compared to usual care, HSPC may offer small benefits for several person-centred outcomes including patient HRQoL, symptom burden and patient satisfaction with care, while also increasing the chances of patients dying in their preferred place (measured by home death). While we found no evidence that HSPC causes serious harms, the evidence was insufficient to draw strong conclusions. Although these are only small effect sizes, they may be clinically relevant at an advanced stage of disease with limited prognosis, and are person-centred outcomes important to many patients and families. More well conducted studies are needed to study populations with non-malignant diseases and mixed diagnoses, ward-based models of HSPC, 24 hours access (out-of-hours care) as part of HSPC, pain, achieving patient preferred place of care, patient satisfaction with care, caregiver outcomes (satisfaction with care, burden, depression, anxiety, grief, quality of life), and cost-effectiveness of HSPC. In addition, research is needed to provide validated person-centred outcomes to be used across studies and populations. 

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

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

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The role of formal care services in supporting young people who provide unpaid care in England

A large proportion of long-term care for people with disabilities and/or long-term health conditions is provided by unpaid carers, including young people, with potential impacts on their education, employment and health. Supporting carers is a focus of long-term care practice and policy in many countries. A key part of this support in England is through provision of services to the person with care needs (often called 'replacement' care). We aimed to explore the role of replacement care services in supporting young adult carers' health, education, and employment. We used a mixed-methods approach: self-completed questionnaires and in-depth follow-on interviews. We found ways in which services supported young adult carers but, contrary to previous research, receipt of services by the person with care needs was not associated with better reported carer outcomes in our survey. One key reason for this finding was that not enough services were received to meet care needs and alleviate unpaid caring to a level or type compatible with better outcomes. The wider economic and political context of our study, during fiscal austerity and cuts to social care budgets, and the particular circumstances of young adult carers may offer further explanations.

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The Effect of Medicaid Expansion on Caregiver's Quality of Life

Medicaid expansion has been shown to improve access to care, health, and finances in general populations. Until now no studies have considered how Medicaid expansion may affect informal family caregivers who are the backbone of the long term supports and services infrastructure. Family caregivers provide substantial cost savings to Medicare and Medicaid. Yet, they sustain financial, physical, and mental health strain from their caregiving role which Medicaid expansion may offset. This study evaluated the impact of Medicaid expansion on caregivers' mental health using 2015–2018 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. After adjusting for demographics, socioeconomic status, and health behaviors, caregivers in Medicaid expansion states had a significantly fewer number of poor mental health days in the previous month than caregivers in non-expansion states (ß = −0.528, CI −1.019, −0.036, p <.01). Study findings indicate that Medicaid expansion state status was protective for caregiver's mental health.

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Effect of Informational Support on Anxiety in Family Caregivers of Patients with Hemiplegic Stroke

Background: Brain stroke causes physical and mental disabilities, as well as dependence on one's family. In such cases, the families suffer from severe crisis and anxiety due to the unexpected incidence of the disease and unawareness of the associated consequences.; Objectives: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of informational support on the level of anxiety in family caregivers of hemiplegic stroke patients.; Methods: This quasi-experimental study was performed on 78 family caregivers of hemiplegic stroke patients admitted to the Neurology Department of Farshchian Hospital in Hamadan, Iran, over 8 months. The subjects were selected through convenience sampling method and divided into two groups of intervention (n = 40) and control (n = 38). Intervention started from the third day of hospitalization and continued until the eleventh day. During this period, information about the ward, equipment, patient status, and care procedure at home, was provided for the intervention group individually and in groups. On the other hand, the control group only received the routine care. Anxiety level of caregivers was measured through the Spielberger scale both before and after the intervention. Data analysis was performed in SPSS software (version 16).; Results: Based on the results, both groups were similar in terms of demographic variables (P > 0.05). Moreover, there was no significant difference between the two groups regarding the mean level of state and trait anxiety before the intervention (P > 0.05). However, after intervention, the mean level of state and trait anxiety of the intervention group showed a significant reduction in comparison to that of the control group (P < 0.05).; Conclusions: According to the findings, it can be concluded that informational support is effective in reducing the state and trait anxiety in family caregivers of stroke patients. Therefore, it is suggested that nurses consider informational support as an important nursing intervention during hospitalization. 

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The effect of a purpose-built memory support unit on the transition to high level dementia care; Perspectives of multiple participants

Australia faces the challenge of an ageing population. The incidence of people with dementia unable to live in the community is expected to rise leading to demands on care facilities to provide specialised care. This paper reports on the effect a purpose-built Memory Support Unit has on multiple participants during the transition from home, or an aged care residence, to high level dementia care. The aim of this research was to understand the effect of a purpose-built Memory Support Unit on the experiences of those with dementia who are transitioning into this environment, their family or carers and staff. A qualitative descriptive methodology was adopted to frame the research. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with nine family members, two residents and three Registered Nurses. A purpose-built Memory Support Unit may have a positive effect on the older person, their families, carers and staff, thus improving the experience of all participants as the older person transitions into dementia care. Optimising design of the physical environment may foster a more person-centered orientation to care and positive outcomes for residents, family members or carers and staff. Purpose built environments may have a meaningful subjective effect on the wellbeing of older people during the transition from their residence to permanent dementia care, their family, carers and staff. It is recommended that architects, funding agencies and aged care providers engage with the growing body of evidence that purpose-built environments, such as the Memory Support Unit, to enhance the quality of the experience of those transitioning to high level dementia care, their family or carers and staff.

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The effect of a comprehensive mobile application program (CMAP) for family caregivers of home‐dwelling patients with dementia: A preliminary research

Aim: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a comprehensive mobile application program in managing behavior and psychological symptoms of home‐dwelling patients with dementia in South Korea. Methods: A nonequivalent control group pretest‐posttest design was conducted. A total of 26 family caregivers participated in this study. The application program consists of understanding of dementia, interventions, communication skills, coping methods, and bulletin boards. Data collection was performed from July 9, 2018, to October 4, 2018. Family caregivers' fatigue, sleep, and burden and patients with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia were measured. For data analysis, descriptive statistics, independent t tests, Mann–Whitney U test, repeated measures analysis of variance, and Friedman test were used. Results: The application program offered environmental management in an intervention using communication skills and coping methods, depending on the behavioral and psychological symptom type. The results showed significant differences between the two groups in family caregivers' fatigue (F = 11.24, p =.003) and burden (χ2 = 10.55, p =.005). Conclusion: The findings showed the application program improved family caregivers' fatigue and burden. It also suggested there is a need to develop a wandering persons location program to improve family caregivers' stress and patients' behavioral problems in future studies.

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The Effect of 20-Minute Mindful Breathing on the Perception of Suffering and Changes in Bispectral Index Score (BIS) in Palliative Care Informal Caregivers: A Randomized Controlled Study

Informal caregivers are at risk of being overwhelmed by various sources of suffering while caring for their significant others. It is, therefore, important for caregivers to take care of themselves. In the self-care context, mindfulness has the potential to reduce caregiver suffering. We studied the effect of a single session of 20-minute mindful breathing on the perceived level of suffering, together with the changes in bispectral index score (BIS) among palliative care informal caregivers. This was a randomized controlled study conducted at the University of Malaya Medical Centre, Malaysia. Forty adult palliative care informal caregivers were recruited and randomly assigned to either 20-minute mindful breathing or 20-minute supportive listening. The changes in perceived suffering and BIS were measured preintervention and postintervention. The reduction in suffering score in the intervention group was significantly more than the control group at minute 20 (U = 124.0, n1 = n2 = 20, mean rank1 = 24.30, mean rank2 = 16.70, z = −2.095, P =.036). The reduction in BIS in the intervention group was also significantly greater than the control group at minute 20 (U = 19.5, n1 = n2 = 20, mean rank1 = 29.52, mean rank2 = 11.48, z = −4.900, P <.0001). Twenty minutes of mindful breathing was more efficacious than 20 minutes of supportive listening in the reduction in suffering among palliative care informal caregivers.

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Evaluation of a Collaborative Advance Care Planning Intervention among Older Adult Home Health Patients and Their Caregivers

Background: Caregivers are decision stakeholders; yet, few interventions have been developed to help patients and caregivers collaborate on advance care planning (ACP). Objective: To evaluate a theory-based ACP pilot intervention, Deciding Together, to improve decisional quality, readiness, collaboration, and concordance in ACP decisions for older adult home health (HH) patients and caregivers. Design: A one-group, pre- and posttest study using matched questionnaires was conducted. The intervention consisted of a clinical vignette, theoretically guided conversation prompts, and a shared decision-making activity. Setting/Subjects:N = 36 participants (n = 18 HH patients; n = 18 family and nonfamily caregivers) were purposively recruited from a HH agency to participate in the intervention at patients' homes. Measurements: Demographic and baseline measures were collected for relationship quality, health status, and previous ACP engagement. Outcome measures included perceptions of collaboration, readiness for ACP, concordance in life-sustaining treatment preferences (cardiopulmonary resuscitation, antibiotics, artificial nutrition and hydration, and mechanical ventilation), and decisional conflict. Descriptive statistics, Cohen's κ coefficients, paired t tests, McNemar's tests, and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests (and effect size estimates, r = z/√N) were calculated using R-3.5.1 (p < 0.05). Single value imputation was used for missing values. Results: While no significant differences were found for perceptions of collaboration, and readiness for ACP, patients (r = 0.38, p = 0.02) and caregivers (r = 0.38, p = 0.02) had reduced decisional conflict at posttest. Patients' and caregivers' agreement increased by 27.7% for an item assessing patients' preference for artificial nutrition and hydration (p = 0.03). Conclusions: This study suggests that collaborative ACP decision making may improve decisional conflict for older adult HH patients and their caregivers.

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Development and Field Testing of a Long-Term Care Decision Aid Website for Older Adults: Engaging Patients and Caregivers in User-Centered Design

Background and Objectives Decisions about long-term care and financing can be difficult to comprehend, consider, and communicate. In a previous needs assessment, families in rural areas requested a patient-facing website; however, questions arose about the acceptability of an online tool for older adults. This study engaged older adults and family caregivers in (a) designing and refining an interactive, tailored decision aid website, and (b) field testing its utility, feasibility, and acceptability. Research Design and Methods Based on formative work, the research team engaged families in designing and iteratively revising paper drafts, then programmed a tailored website. The field test used the ThinkAloud approach and pre-/postquestionnaires to assess participants' knowledge, decisional conflict, usage, and acceptability ratings. Results Forty-five older adults, family members, and stakeholders codesigned and tested the decision aid, yielding four decision-making steps: Get the Facts , What Matters Most, Consider Your Resources, and Make an Action Plan. User-based design and iterative storyboarding enhanced the content, personal decision-making activities, and user-generated resources. Field-testing participants scored 83.3% correct on knowledge items and reported moderate/low decisional conflict. All (100%) were able to use the website, spent an average of 26.3 min, and provided an average 87.5% acceptability rating. Discussion and Implications A decision aid website can educate and support older adults and their family members in beginning a long-term care plan. Codesign and in-depth interviews improved usability, and lessons learned may guide the development of other aging decision aid websites. 

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A country-wide support network for people with memory-related diseases and their families

Memory-related diseases often have a profound effect not only on the lives of individual people, but also on the lives of their families and others close to them. In this article, we introduce one national solution developed to help people who encounter such a situation. Regional ‘Muistiluotsi’ (memory pilot) centres provide expert assistance and support to people with memory-related diseases and their families. With its population of 5.5 million people, Finland has an estimated 193,000 people with a memory-related disease. Annually, approximately 14,500 people receive the diagnosis....

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Cost-effectiveness analysis of systematic fast-track transition from oncological treatment to specialised palliative care at home for patients and their caregivers: the DOMUS trial

Background: While hospitals remain the most common place of death in many western countries, specialised palliative care (SPC) at home is an alternative to improve the quality of life for patients with incurable cancer. We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of a systematic fast-track transition process from oncological treatment to SPC enriched with a psychological intervention at home for patients with incurable cancer and their caregivers. Methods: A full economic evaluation with a time horizon of six months was performed from a societal perspective within a randomised controlled trial, the DOMUS trial (Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01885637). The primary outcome of the health economic analysis was a incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER), which is obtained by comparing costs required per gain in Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALY). The costs included primary and secondary healthcare costs, cost of intervention and informal care from caregivers. Public transfers were analysed in seperate analysis. QALYs were measured using EORTC QLQ-C30 for patients and SF-36 for caregivers. Bootstrap simulations were performed to obtain the ICER estimate. Results: In total, 321 patients (162 in intervention group, 159 in control group) and 235 caregivers (126 in intervention group, 109 in control group) completed the study. The intervention resulted in significantly higher QALYs for patients when compared to usual care (p-value = 0.026), while being more expensive as well. In the 6 months observation period, the average incremental cost of intervention compared to usual care was €2015 per patient (p value < 0.000). The mean incremental gain was 0.01678 QALY (p-value = 0.026). Thereby, the ICER was €118,292/QALY when adjusting for baseline costs and quality of life. For the caregivers, we found no significant differences in QALYs between the intervention and control group (p-value = 0.630). At a willingness to pay of €80,000 per QALY, the probability that the intervention is cost-effective lies at 15% in the base case scenario. Conclusion: This model of fast-track SPC enriched with a psychological intervention yields better QALYs than usual care with a large increase in costs. Trial registration: The trial was prospectively registered 25.6.2013. Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01885637. 

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Care of family caregivers of persons with dementia (CaFCa) through a tailor-made mobile app: study protocol of a complex intervention study

Background: Globally, family members account for the main source of caregiving of persons with dementia living at home. Providing care to family members with dementia often has negative health consequences for caregivers such as stress, depression and low quality of life. Yet, formal support for family caregivers (FCs) is limited. Telehealth technology has the potential to provide health care and social support to FCs. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of providing support by healthcare professionals (HPs) through a mobile app in reducing stress, depressive symptoms and loneliness, and improving mental health and quality of life of FCs of persons with dementia. Methods: Using a pragmatic intervention design, this study will use pre- and post-intervention assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed intervention in a sample of 78 FCs of persons with dementia (PWD). The intervention will be implemented by approximately 5 HPs specialized in dementia care based in the municipalities in Sweden. The main thrust of the intervention is to provide professional support, with help of an interactive mobile app, to family members in their caregiving role for PWDs. Qualitative interviews with HPs and FCs form the groundwork of the development of the mobile app. By using the app on smart phone or tablet, the FC, in groups of 8-10, will communicate with peers and a HP exchanging ideas on how to deal with PWD's behavioral and cognitive changes and get support. They will also be able to discuss stressful events and access mindfulness exercises focused on themselves. Quantitative data will be collected before and at three time points after the 8-week intervention to assess changes in the health outcomes of the FCs. In-depth interviews will be conducted after the intervention to capture the experiences of FCs and HPs regarding the ease of use and acceptability of the app.Discussion: This tailor-made mobile app has the high potential to be a practical platform for supporting FCs to alleviate stress and improve mental health irrespective of distance to the nearest health care or social service center.Trial Registration: ISRCTN, ISRCTN46137262 . Registered 10 October 2019.

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The Care Ecosystem: Promoting self-efficacy among dementia family caregivers

Objectives: To illustrate specific psychosocial interventions aimed at improving self-efficacy among family caregivers enrolled in the Care Ecosystem, a model of navigated care designed to support persons with dementia and their primary caregivers. Enrolled family caregivers work with unlicensed care team navigators who are trained in dementia care and provide information, linkages to community resources, and emotional support by phone and email. Method: We conducted focus groups and interviews with the care team navigators to identify the approaches they used to target caregiver self-efficacy. We assessed mean self-efficacy scores in a sample of 780 family caregivers and selected three exemplary cases in which the caregivers had low self-efficacy scores at baseline with significantly higher scores after six months of participation in the Care Ecosystem intervention. Results: Multiple psychosocial strategies were utilized by care team navigators working with patients with dementia and their family caregivers. Using thematic coding we identified three categories of Care Team Navigator intervention: emotional, informational, and instrumental support. These are consistent with a psychosocial approach to building self-efficacy. Discussion: Self-efficacy represents a family caregiver's knowledge and preparedness in managing the challenges of care. Psychosocial support shows benefit in improving caregiver self-efficacy that in turn, may positively influence caregiver health and well-being. The findings in this manuscript demonstrate how a model of navigated care can positively impact self-efficacy among dementia family caregivers.

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Building Resources in Caregivers: Feasibility of a Brief Writing Intervention to Increase Benefit Finding in Caregivers

The Building Resources in Caregivers (BRiC) is a pilot feasibility trial that compared the effects of a 2‐week benefit finding writing expressive intervention to a control intervention, who wrote about the weather. Caregivers completed primary (benefit finding) and secondary (quality of life, depression and anxiety) outcome measures at pre (t1), immediately post‐test (t2) and 1 month later (t3). They also completed measures relating to trial feasibility, difficulty, and acceptance. Using complete case analysis only, analysis revealed no effect of the intervention for primary or secondary outcomes. Despite this, there were no differences between the intervention and control groups on key feasibility measures. Caregivers in the control condition were less likely to recommend this to other caregivers. Moreover, qualitative commentary provided by caregivers suggested that not everyone enjoyed the writing, some found it stressful, offering up some explanation for our findings. Our pilot trial suggests that any future benefit‐finding writing intervention would require several procedure modifications including tailoring to a specific cohort of caregivers, in particular those who like writing, before it has some utility as a psychosocial intervention. 

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Behavioural activation for family dementia caregivers: A systematic review and meta-analysis

• BA had a moderate effect on reducing depression in family dementia caregivers. • Other psychological and cardiovascular health can be improved by BA. • Maintaining a log and subsequent checks might enhance the effectiveness of BA. • More studies of BA are needed in family dementia caregivers. 

The current study aims to investigate the effectiveness of behavioral activation (BA) for family dementia caregivers. A systematic literature search was conducted through PubMed, Medline, CINAHL, Cochrane, Embase and PsycINFO for studies published from March 1988 to September 2019. Standardized mean differences (SMDs) were combined to synthesize pooled effect measures using random effects. The review was based on ten randomized controlled trials. Depression was significantly reduced after participants received BA (n = 9; 786 participants; SMD = −0.69; 95% CI: −1.12 to −0.25; p = 0.002). BA also has a positive impact on other areas of psychological health (e.g., self-efficacy, anxiety, and distress) and physical health (e.g., interleukin-6) in family dementia caregivers. In conclusion, BA not only has a moderate effect on reducing depression but also has the potential to improve other areas of psychological and cardiovascular health in family caregivers. However, more interventional studies of BA for family dementia caregivers are needed.

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Behavioural Activation for Depression in Informal Caregivers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Clinical Trials

Background: Carers experience significant physical and psychological burden and are at increased risk of experiencing clinical depression. Although several psychological treatments have been shown to be effective for preventing and treating depression in carers, most are complex, costly, and not easily accessible to family carers. In this paper, we review evidence of effectiveness of Behavioural Activation (BA) for depressive symptoms in informal caregivers and report on its quality. Methods: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, CENTRAL and Online trial registers for randomised controlled clinical trials of BA for carers. Results: Twelve trials met inclusion criteria and eleven were included in the meta-analyses. BA reduced depressive symptoms for carers (standardised mean difference (SMD) -0.68; confidence interval (CI) -1.14 to -0.22) at post intervention (4-14 weeks) and in the long term (l year; SMD -0.99; CI -1.26 to -0.71). BA decreased risk of a diagnosis of major depression (Odds Ratio 0.35; CI 0.19 to 0.67), and reduced negative affect (SMD -0.53; 95% CI -0.83 to -0.23), and caregiver burden (SMD -0.32; CI -0.55 to -0.09) at post-treatment. Quality of evidence was moderate and there was no evidence of publication bias. Limitations: There was high heterogeneity in the studies included. Conclusion: BA is effective in reducing depressive symptoms post-treatment and long-term (1 year) and decreases odds of a diagnosis of major depression in informal caregivers. Our review provides further evidence that BA is an effective psychological intervention, which is potentially highly scalable across many settings, populations and cultures (Registration: PROSPERO-CRD42019138860). 

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The awareness, visibility and support for young carers across Europe: a Delphi study

Background: Across Europe, young carers (YCs) and their need for support receive limited attention in the media, policy and empirical research, even though, similar to adult carers, they also provide care to ill family members. The Delphi study, a qualitative research methodology, which provides the focus for this article, had the overall aim of exploring existing successful strategies to support YCs. Compared to YCs, even less is known about adolescent young carers (AYCs), a group that is in a critical life transition phase. The study forms part of an EU Horizon 2020 funded research project on AYCs aged 15-17 years old. Methods: A two-round Delphi study was conducted with 66 experts on YCs from 10 European countries. Topics included: (i) visibility and awareness-raising of YCs at local, regional, and national levels, (ii) current interventions to support YCs, and (iii) future strategies to support YCs. Results: Experts reported a lack of visibility and awareness about YCs in general, and AYCs in particular. Although awareness is slowly increasing in most countries, with the UK ranked highest, experts acknowledged that it remains challenging to identify YCs in many countries. Furthermore, the level and type of support available for YCs differs, with most countries mainly offering support on a local level. Diverse views were expressed regarding future strategies to support YCs. Experts highlighted the importance of specific legislation to formalise the rights of YCs, and the issue of whether young people should be safeguarded from caregiving or if this should be considered part of regular family life. They also emphasised the relevance of available integrated support services for YCs, including schools, family, health and social care. Conclusions: In most European countries, there is a lack of awareness and visibility on YCs. Identification of YCs is a crucial first step and there is need for a common definition of YCs, together with greater opportunities for young adults to identify themselves as YCs.

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Assessing a WeChat-Based Integrative Family Intervention (WIFI) for Schizophrenia: Protocol for a Stepped-Wedge Cluster Randomized Trial

Background: Schizophrenia is a persistent and debilitating mental illness, and its prognosis depends largely on supportive care and systematic treatment. In developing countries like China, families constitute the major caregiving force for schizophrenia and are faced with many challenges, such as lack of knowledge, skills, and resources. The approach to support family caregiving in an accessible, affordable, feasible, and cost-effective way remains unclear. The wide-spread use of WeChat provides a promising and cost-effective medium for support.; Objective: We aim to present a protocol for assessing a WeChat-based integrative family intervention (WIFI) to support family caregiving for schizophrenia.; Methods: We will develop a WIFI program that includes the following three core components: (1) psychoeducation (WeChat official account), (2) peer support (WeChat chat group), and (3) professional support (WeChat video chat). A rigorous stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial will be used to evaluate the implementation, effectiveness, and cost of the WIFI program. The WIFI program will be implemented in 12 communities affiliated with Changsha Psychiatric Hospital through the free medicine delivery process in the 686 Program. The 12 communities will be randomized to one of four fixed sequences every 2 months during an 8-month intervention period in four clusters of three communities each. Outcomes will be assessed for both family caregivers and people with schizophrenia. Family caregivers will be assessed for their knowledge and skills about caregiving, social support, coping, perceived stigma, caregiver burden, family functioning, positive feelings, and psychological distress. People with schizophrenia will be assessed for their symptoms, functioning, quality of life, recovery, and rehospitalization. Cost data, such as intervention costs, health care utilization costs, and costs associated with lost productivity, will be collected. Moreover, we will collect process data, including fidelity and quality of program implementation, as well as user attitude data. Treatment effects will be estimated using generalized linear maximum likelihood mixed modeling with clusters as a random effect and time as a fixed effect. Cost-effectiveness analysis will be performed from the societal perspective using incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. Qualitative analysis will use the grounded theory approach and immersion-crystallization process.; Results: The study was funded in August 2018 and approved by the institutional review board on January 15, 2019. Preliminary baseline data collection was conducted in May 2019 and completed in September 2019. The WIFI program is expected to start in September 2020.; Conclusions: This is the first study to assess a WeChat-based mHealth intervention to support family caregiving for schizophrenia in China. The innovative study will contribute to the development of a more cost-effective and evidence-based family management model in the community for people with schizophrenia, and the approach could potentially be integrated into national policy and adapted for use in other populations.; Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04393896; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04393896.; International Registered Report Identifier (irrid): PRR1-10.2196/18538. (©Yu Yu, Tongxin Li, Shijun Xi, Yilu Li, Xi Xiao, Min Yang, Xiaoping Ge, Shuiyuan Xiao, Jacob Tebes. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (http://www.researchprotocols.org), 25.08.2020.)

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Applying Relational Turbulence Theory to Adult Caregiving Relationships

Although the quality of the relationship between caregivers and care recipients predicts the well-being of both people, gaps exist in understanding the interpersonal dynamics of adult caregiving. We introduce relational turbulence theory as a conceptual framework for understanding how caregivers and care recipients relate to each other. We searched for research on relational turbulence theory as well as research on the relationships of adult care partners. Then, we integrated the two bodies of work. Our review suggests initial support for the theory's three central tenets: (a) transitions, including the transition to caregiving, are key periods within relationships; (b) relational uncertainty and interdependence are relationship parameters that complicate relating during transitions; and (c) relational turbulence predicts outcomes. Recommendations for practice include (a) helping care partners focus on relationship continuity, (b) gearing clinical services toward both people, (c) educating them about relational uncertainty and interdependence, and (d) teaching them communication strategies for diminishing relational turbulence. Making care partners aware of interpersonal challenges may bolster relationship satisfaction. 

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Introducing the Video call to facilitate the communication between health care providers and families of patients in the intensive care unit during COVID-19 pandemia

Effective communication improves family satisfaction, trust in ICU physicians, clinical decision-making and psychological well-being being of family members (Lilly et al., 2000; Wood, 2018). Complete isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions disables clinician-family meetings and the limitations of hospital visitation policies do not permit caregivers to be near their loved ones, with the risk of leaving them without any form of trusted representation and advocacy. Always be open minded to new ways of acting your mission.

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A Systematic Review of Home-Setting Psychoeducation Interventions for Behavioral Changes in Dementia: Some Lessons for the COVID-19 Pandemic and Post-Pandemic Assistance

Background Impacts of social isolation measures imposed by COVID-19 Pandemic on mental health and quality of life of older adults living with dementia and their caregivers remain unexplored. Studies have shown that psychoeducational and psychosocial interventions can manage behavioral and psychological symptoms in dementia (BPSD) and reduce the emotional burden on family members when applied in home-setting scenarios. Method a comprehensive systematic review of useful interventions for easing the BPSD burden in patients with dementia (PwD) and their caregivers in the context of COVID-19 quarantine was performed from January 2010 to March 2020. Results From a total of 187 articles retrieved from electronic databases (MEDLINE, LILACS, Cochrane and SCOPUS), 43 studies were eligible for this review. Most of the psychosocial and psychoeducational interventions described were person-centered strategies based on the cognitive-behavioral approach or informational tools to enhance care providers' knowledge of dementia. Most studies achieved successful results in handling BPSD and mood-anxiety symptoms of care providers, contributing to an overall improvement in dyad life quality. Conclusion Evidence from the last few years suggest that low-cost techniques, tailored to the dyad well-being, with increasing use of technology through friendly online platforms and application robots, can be an alternative to conventional assistance during COVID-19 Pandemic. Nevertheless, the world's current experience regarding the duration of the COVID-19 Pandemic and its effects on the cognition, behavior, and life quality of PwD will demand research on preventive and protective factors of dementia and the pursue of efficient interventions in different scenarios.

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Guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends or family

Guidance for anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who cannot cope without their support. This may be because they have a lifelong condition, illness, disability, serious injury, mental health condition or an addiction. 

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Caring for loved ones with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic: A double hit risk for social isolation and need for action

Key Points

  • With social distancing and visitors limited in healthcare, caregivers of cancer patients are at increased risk for isolation.
  • Caregivers may have learned particular lessons that can foster resilience from isolation.
  • Telehealth and phone check‐ins offer opportunities to support caregivers.
  • Policy initiatives have the potential to continue support for caregivers post‐COVID.
  • Supporting caregivers is a community effort, and its importance should not be forgotten post‐COVID.
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Advance care planning information intervention for persons with mild dementia and their family caregivers: Impact on end-of-life care decision conflicts

Persons with dementia are at high risk for loss of decision-making ability due to increased cognitive decline as the disease progresses. Participation in advance care planning (ACP) discussions in the early stages of dementia is crucial for end-of-life (EoL) decision-making to ensure quality of EoL care. A lack of discussions about ACP and EoL care between persons with dementia and family caregivers (FCGs), can lead to decisional conflicts when persons with dementia are in the later stages of the disease. This study explored the effects of a family-centered ACP information intervention among persons with dementia and FCGs. The study was conducted in outpatient clinics in Taiwan. Participants were dyads (n = 40) consisting of persons diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia and their FCGs. A one-group, pretest–posttest, pre-experimental design was employed. The intervention was provided by an ACP-trained senior registered nurse and was guided by ACP manuals and family-centered strategies. Outcome data were collected with four structured questionnaires regarding knowledge of end-stage dementia treatment, knowledge of ACP, attitude towards ACP, and EoL decisional conflict about acceptance or refusal of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, ventilators, and tracheostomy. Paired t tests compared differences between pre-intervention data and 4-weeks' post-intervention data. The intervention resulted in significant improvements among persons with dementia and FCGs for knowledge of end-stage dementia treatment (p =.008 and p <.001, respectively), knowledge of ACP (both p <.001), and significant reductions in decisional conflicts (both p <.001). Scores for positive and negative attitude toward ACP did not change for persons with dementia; however, there was a reduction in negative attitude for FCGs (p =.001). Clinical care for persons with dementia should incorporate ACP interventions that provide knowledge about EoL dementia care using family-centered care strategies that facilitate regular and continuous communication between FCGs, persons with dementia, and medical personnel to reduce decisional conflicts for EoL care. 

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Adapting a Palliative Care Literacy Intervention for Use in Israel (GP787)

Objectives Describe growth of palliative care in Israel and the need to increased palliative care literacy among patients and family caregivers. Describe the process of adapting the Managing Cancer Care intervention for use in Israel. Summarize recommended expert panel, patient, and family caregiver edits to the Managing Cancer Care intervention. Importance. Although palliative care (PC) is growing in Israel, few receive PC due to lack of knowledge and availability of services. Increased PC literacy and use is needed to improve health outcomes. Objective(s). Adapt a PC-focused cancer self-management intervention to improve PC literacy and use in Israel. Method(s). Managing Cancer Care (MCC) consists of two interventions, MCC-PTfor patients and MCCCGfor family caregivers. Both have improved knowledge of PC and its integration into cancer self-management among users in Connecticut. To adapt MCC for use in Israel, we professionally translated MCC from English to Hebrew. An expert panel of Israeli clinicians (n¼3) edited modules for cultural relevance. We conducted cognitive interviews with patients and family caregivers at an oncology center in northern Israel to inform further edits. Inclusion criteria were patients and family caregivers managing Stage III/IV breast cancer, aged 18+, Hebrew- or English-speaking, and receiving any type of treatment. Participants provided demographic/clinical information and received the appropriate version of MCC. Interviews on intervention content and format occurred 2-4 weeks later. We analyzed interview data using content analysis. Results. Following expert review, we revised MCC content specific to the U.S. health care system (e.g., hospice benefit) and American culture/language (e.g., no Hebrew word for ''multidisciplinary''). Patients' (n¼13) mean age was 49 (range 36-69). 85% had Stage IV disease with an average 6 years since diagnosis. Caregivers' (n¼10) mean age was 57 (range 47-66) with 60% male. 23% of patients and 30% of caregivers correctly defined PC. 30% of patients had seen a PC physician. MCC was reported by patients and caregivers as topically relevant (80%,70%), attractive (70%,80%), and culturally appropriate, and suggested more Israel-specific content on PC resources. Conclusion(s). MCC appears acceptable to Israeli users and warrants pilot-testing. Impact. PC infrastructure in Israel may grow in response to increased PC literacy and requests for PC. We are collaborating with Israel's Ministry of Health to further study objectives.

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Worst hit: dementia during coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating impact around the world. In the UK, people affected by dementia have been hardest hit and our fragmented social care system has been exposed for all to see.

Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia charity, and in this report we bring together evidence from a wide range of sources to shine a light on the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on people who have dementia and those who care for them

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Value and learning from carer involvement in a cluster randomised controlled trial and process evaluation - Organising Support for Carers of Stroke Survivors (OSCARSS)

Background: Patient, Carer and Public Involvement (PCPI) should be embedded in health care research. Delivering PCPI can be challenging, but even when PCPI is carried out it is rarely reported resulting in lost opportunities for learning. This paper aims to describe PCPI in the OSCARSS study, a pragmatic-cluster randomised controlled trial with an embedded economic and process evaluation. Methods: A carer research user group (RUG) co-developed OSCARSS to evaluate how to best deliver support to caregivers of stroke survivors. The PCPI activity involved regular meetings and preparatory work, from the initial conceptualisation of the study through to dissemination. Written reports, structured group discussions and individual interviews were carried out with the RUG and researchers to capture the added value and learning. This paper was co-authored by two of the RUG members with contributions from the wider RUG and researchers. Results: The core six members of the caregiver RUG attended the majority of the meetings alongside three researchers, one of whom was the co-chief investigator. PCPI was instrumental in changing many aspects of the research protocol, design and delivery and contributed to dissemination and sharing of good practice. There were challenges due to the emotional toll when PCPI members shared their stories and the extensive time commitment. Positive experiences of learning and fulfilment were reported by the individual researchers and PCPI members. Wider organisational administrative and financial support facilitated the PCPI. The researchers’ existing positive regard for PCPI and the clear focus of the group were key to the successful co-design of this research. Conclusions: The value and learning from the PCPI collaborative work with the researchers was of benefit to the study and the individuals involved. Specific PCPI influences were a challenge to pinpoint as successful co-design meant the researchers’ and carers’ contributions were intertwined and decision-making shared.

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Analysis of the Components of a Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention for the prevention of Depression Administered via Conference Call to Nonprofessional Caregivers: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Effective and accessible interventions for indicated prevention of depression are necessary and lacking, especially for informal caregivers. Although telephone-based interventions could increase the accessibility for caregivers, randomized controlled trials are scarce, with no examination of prevention to date. Moreover, the efficacy of specific therapeutic components in preventive cognitive-behavioral programs is unknown. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a telephone-administered psychological preventive intervention in informal caregivers with high depressive symptoms. A total of 219 caregivers were randomized to a cognitive-behavioral conference call intervention (CBCC, n = 69), a behavioral-activation conference call intervention (BACC, n = 70), or a usual care control group (CG, n = 80). Both interventions consisted of five 90-minute group sessions. At the post-intervention, incidence of depression was lower in CBCC and BACC compared to CG (1.5% and 1.4% vs. 8.8%). Relative risk was 0.17 for the CBCC and 0.16 for the BACC, and the number-needed-to-treat was 14 in both groups. Depressive symptoms were significantly lower in BACC and BACC groups compared to CG (d = 1.16 and 1.29), with no significant differences between CBCC and BACC groups. The conference call intervention was effective in preventing depression and the behavioral-activation component (BACC) was comparable to the CBCC intervention.

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Translating an Evidence-based Multicomponent Intervention for Older Adults With Dementia and Caregivers

Background and Objectives Effective community-based programs to maintain health and well-being of adults with dementia are needed. This article describes the translation, implementation, and effectiveness of a multicomponent exercise plus behavioral/psychosocial intervention (Reducing Disability in Alzheimer's Disease-NorthWest [RDAD-NW]) conducted by staff in regional Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). Research Design and Methods Staggered multiple baseline design was used; 10 AAAs, 20 case managers, and 255 community-residing persons with dementia (PWDs), and family caregivers were enrolled. RDAD-NW was conducted in-home over 6 weeks with aerobic/endurance, strength, and balance/flexibility exercises, dementia education, training to increase pleasant events, and activator-behavior-consequence problem-solving approach. Outcomes included case manager treatment fidelity, and caregiver/PWD physical activity, restricted activity days, physical functioning, quality of life, and affect. Results RDAD-NW was successfully translated and implemented by AAA agency staff through their usual service provision mechanisms. Staff responded positively and delivered the program with a high degree of fidelity. Caregiver/PWD dyads also responded favorably engaging in both exercise and behavioral/psychosocial portions of the program. A total of 207 dyads (81%) completed the intervention and 140 (55%) completed the 13-month follow-up. PWD physical activity increased significantly pre- to posttreatment (p < .001, ES = .54), and 13 months (p < .01, ES = .21). Quality of life of PWD increased significantly pre- to posttreatment (p < .001, ES = .29); caregiver depression improved pre- to posttreatment (p = .01, ES = −.18). Discussion and Implications RDAD-NW was successfully translated and implemented by AAA case managers and resulted in increased physical activity and improved behavioral and emotional outcomes of caregiver/PWDs. Results support continued dissemination and implementation of RDAD-NW.

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Support, interventions and outcomes for families/carers of people with borderline personality disorder: A systematic review

It is clear from existent literature that families and carers of relatives and friends with borderline personality disorder (BPD) experience high levels of burden. Whilst family interventions are considered vital to improving the outcomes of those with a range of mental health difficulties, there has been limited development of direct interventions for carers of people with BPD, despite a high level of need. This systematic review aimed to appraise and synthesize the existing research evidence for interventions for carers of people with BPD. Ten studies were included that were directly related to six interventions for families and carers of people with personality disorder. The findings of these studies, whilst limited, do provide some initial evidence that interventions for carers may lead to significant outcomes for the participants, particularly in improving carer well-being and reducing carer burden. 

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Development and testing of an informative guide about palliative care for family caregivers of people with advanced dementia

Background: Since people with advanced dementia are usually not able to make complex decisions, it is usually the family caregivers, as proxies, who have to decide on treatments and their termination. However, these decisions are difficult for the caregivers to make, as they are often inadequately informed and cannot properly assess the consequences; moreover, they are concerned about harming the sick person. We aimed to first develop an informative booklet about palliative care issues for caregivers of people with advanced dementia. Secondly, we aimed to investigate a change in family caregivers' knowledge regarding palliative care issues and caregivers' involvement in medical and care decisions before and after studying this booklet. Methods: A first version of the booklet was drafted by an experienced psychiatrist and palliative care specialist based on existing booklets and guidelines; necessary cultural adaptions were taken into consideration. A nominal group process was conducted to develop the informative guide. In order to investigate the acceptance of the booklet and the possibility to implement it, 38 patient-caregiver dyads were recruited, and caregivers were interviewed both before receiving the booklet and after 3 months of receiving the booklet. Results: Experts from various disciplines collaborated on a German booklet for family caregivers of people with advanced dementia as an information aid regarding issues of palliative care. The subsequent test showed that all caregivers had experienced a personal benefit from the booklet. Caregivers had a significant gain of knowledge after provision of the booklet. A large proportion of caregivers who had not previously considered and/or discussed medical topics reported that they had done so within 3 months after obtaining the booklet, or planned to do so in the near future. Conclusions: The caregivers valued the comprehensible, concise and well-structured information guide on palliative care issues in advanced dementia. They agreed it increases knowledge and prompts decision making and therefore should be developed in many languages and disseminated among family caregivers of people with dementia. Trial registration: Clinicaltrial.gov, NCT03548142. Retrospectively registered 7 June 2018. 

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Action Research as a Method to Find Solutions for the Burden of Caregiving at Hospital Discharge

The role played by family caregivers in delivering long-term care is crucial: they enhance the quality of care perceived by the patients and support the shift to out-of-hospital care. However, taking care of a relative entails a huge burden that usually begins with the patient’s hospital discharge and may mean that caregivers become patients in need of care as well. Owing to socio-demographic trends, informal caregiving is the most important source of care in community settings; hence targeting the caregivers’ burden properly is crucial. This study explores how action research (AR) can be used to develop new hospital practices to manage the burden borne by family caregivers when patients are discharged from hospital. The 7-month-long action research reported in this paper consisted of three stages (burden identification, burden sharing, and burden management) and it was conducted in a teaching hospital in Rome (Italy). Both quantitative (surveys) and qualitative (focus groups and simulation sessions) techniques were used to engage participants. The AR demonstrates that there is a feasible way in which hospital managers can address proactively the caregivers’ needs in the hospital discharge process, to the advantage of the patients and the entire community.

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Massive Open Online Courses: enhancing caregiver education and support about dementia care towards and at end of life

As the ageing population grows globally, the need for informal care-usually provided by family and friends-will continue to increase. Numbers of people with dementia also continue to rise, and much of their care will be provided by relatives. As such, more people who may themselves be older, will take on such caring roles. Consequently, more carers are likely to have education and support needs. Amidst government recognition of the need to provide good quality, person-centred education and support to carers, there are tensions between the potential for such provision to be resource intensive and whether existing services have the capacity to meet the needs of carers. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are a resource with scope to meet some of these educational and support needs. MOOCs enable flexible learning, are often free, and can be accessed anywhere in the world. Providing supportive dementia care requires carers to have an understanding of the condition, assistance to cope with the responsibilities of caring, and recognition of the importance of their own health and wellbeing as well as the person they support. In response to the needs of family carers of people with advancing dementia identified through a 5 year programme of research, we developed a MOOC-dementia care: living well as dementia progresses. This is an accessible source of relevant and engaging information; which enables carers to learn about advancing dementia, consider their own needs and create an interactive global forum of peer support. 

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Digital Mental Health Tools for Caregivers of Older Adults-A Scoping Review

Aim: Informal caregivers have an important role in bridging the gap between the assistance care recipients need and what can be provided by the health care systems across Europe. The burden of the caregiving role places a significant threat to caregiver health, and the vast majority of caregiver's report stress and emotional strain, depression, and increased rates of chronic diseases. In line with this, strengthening the caregiver's mental health is one of the main goals for optimal caregiving. Caregivers already struggle with the demand of their role while coping with health problems, social, family, and work obligations. The solution for the caregiver's mental health needs to be accessible, low cost, and time-effective. This scoping review investigates digital mental health tools available as a mean of supporting the mental health of caregivers. Method: Databases searched include Summon search box, the Cochrane Library, and PubMed. Three groups of keywords were combined: relating to digital mental health interventions for caregivers, digital mental health interventions and stress in elderly care, and digital mental health interventions and burden in elderly care. Results: Caregivers reported that digital mental health tools have an overall positive role in their health. Coping skills, emotion regulation, skill building, and education are found to be important aspects of digital mental health tools. There was a noted lack of digital mental health apps available specifically for the caregiver of older adults. Furthermore, the digital mental health tools, divided into three categories in this review, focused either on building skills or educating caregivers and assisting with the duties rather than the mental health of the caregiver itself. As repeatedly suggested in the reviewed studies, digital mental health interventions overall contribute to reducing the caregiver burden with a limitation of addressing one aspect of caregiver needs -i.e., specific coping skills or education regarding illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease and Dementia. The lack of all-encompassing, data and theory-driven digital mental health tools for addressing and supporting the caregiver's mental health is evident.

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Enhancing primary care support for informal carers: A scoping study with professional stakeholders

Informal carers (i.e. people who provide unpaid care to family and/or friends) are crucial in supporting people with long-term conditions. Caring negatively impacts on carers’ health and experiences of health services. Internationally and nationally, policies, legislation, professional guidance and research advocate for health and care services to do more to support carers. This study explored the views of health and social care providers, commissioners and policy makers about the role and scope for strengthening health service support for carers. Twenty-four semi-structured interviews, with 25 participants were conducted, audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed by thematic analysis. Three main themes emerged: (a) identifying carers, (b) carer support, and (c) assessing and addressing carer needs. Primary care, and other services, were seen as not doing enough for carers but having an important role in identifying and supporting carers. Two issues with carer identification were described, first people not self-identifying as carers and second most services not being proactive in identifying carers. Participants thought that carer needs should be supported by primary care in collaboration with other health services, social care and the voluntary sector. Concerns were raised about primary care, which is under enormous strain, being asked to take on yet another task. There was a clear message that it was only useful to involve primary care in identifying carers and their needs, if benefit could be achieved through direct benefits such as better provision of support to the carer or indirect benefit such as better recognition of the carer role. This study highlights that more could be done to address carers’ needs through primary care in close collaboration with other health and care services. The findings indicate the need for pilots and experiments to develop the evidence base. Given the crucial importance of carers, such studies should be a high priority. 

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Support for family caregivers: A scoping review of family physician’s perspectives on their role in supporting family caregivers

What is known about this topic Family caregiving has become more onerous in the last two decades.Family physicians have the potential to reach the majority of caregivers throughout the care trajectory.The demand for primary care to support caregivers comes primarily from researchers or advocacy organisations. What this paper adds There is little literature on family physicians’ perspectives on their roles in supporting family caregivers.Collaborative integrated primary care models are recommended as the most feasible model for supporting family caregivers.Research to understand family physicians’ perspectives of their role in supporting family caregivers is warranted.

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Development of a mobile app for family members of Veterans with PTSD: identifying needs and modifiable factors associated with burden, depression, and anxiety

Family members of Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) face high levels of burden that are poorly addressed by existing mental health services. Widely distributed mobile interventions could play a role in addressing these unmet needs. The purpose of this study was to characterize caregiver burden in those seeking a mobile app for self-management of stress symptoms and to develop a model to guide mobile interventions for family members. Those living with a Veteran with PTSD (n = 212) and interested in using a mobile intervention agreed to participate. The majority reported moderate-to-severe levels of depression (60%) and/or caregiver burden (59%). Relationship quality, communication, and self-efficacy for caregiving were the strongest predictors of negative outcomes (p’s <.001), and qualitative results identified several additional unmet needs (e.g. relationship concerns, safety concerns). This study identifies potential mechanisms by which a mobile app could improve family functioning in the context of PTSD.

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A Randomized Controlled Trial of Emotion Regulation Therapy for Psychologically Distressed Caregivers of Cancer Patients

Background: Previous cognitive behavioral therapies for informal caregivers (ICs) have produced negligible effects. The purpose of this study was to evaluate, in a randomized controlled trial, the efficacy of Emotion Regulation Therapy adapted for caregivers (ERT-C) on psychological and inflammatory outcomes in psychologically distressed ICs and the cancer patients cared for. Methods: A total of 81 ICs with elevated psychological distress were randomly assigned to ERT-C or a waitlist condition and assessed pre-, mid-, and post-treatment. In 52 cases, the patient cared for by the IC was included. Patients did not receive ERT-C. Both the ERT-C and waitlist groups were followed 3 and 6 months post-treatment. Data were analyzed with multilevel models, and P values were two-sided. Results: Compared with ICs in the waitlist condition, ICs in the ERT-C condition experienced medium to large statistically significant reductions in psychological distress (Hedge's g = 0.86, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.40 to 1.32, P < .001), worry (g = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.50 to 1.42, P < .001), and caregiver burden (g = 0.53, 95% CI = 0.10 to 1.99, P = .007) post-treatment. No statistically significant effects were found for rumination (g = 0.24, 95% CI = -0.20 to 0.68, P = .220). Results concerning caregiver burden were maintained through 6 months follow-up. Although the effects on psychological distress and worry diminished, their end-point effects remained medium to large. No statistically significant effects on systemic inflammation were detected (C-reactive protein: g = .17, 95% CI = 0.27 to 0.61, P = .570; interleukin-6: g = .35, 95% CI = -0.09 to 0.79, P = .205; tumor necrosis factor-alpha: g = .11, 95% CI = 0.33 to 0.55, P = .686). Patients whose ICs attended ERT-C experienced a large increase in quality of life post-treatment (g = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.18 to 1.58, P = .017). Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first randomized controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of ERT-C for ICs. Given the previous disappointing effects of other cognitive behavioral therapies for this population, the present findings are very encouraging. Identifying ICs with elevated psychological distress and providing them with relevant psychotherapy appears an important element of comprehensive cancer care.

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Telepresence robots: Encouraging interactive communication between family carers and people with dementia

Objective: The aim of the study was to explore the feasibility of using telepresence robots to encourage interactive communication in dementia care, from the perspective of family carers. Methods: Qualitative findings from semi-structured interviews with six family carers. Results: Generally, family carers reported a feeling of presence and connectedness when talking to their family member via the telepresence robots. They reported the robots as helping to enhance longer conversations and social connection with their family member. Conclusion: Telepresence may offer potential to encourage social connection, in particular where families are unable to make regular visits to the nursing home.

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Dementia caregiver intervention development and adaptation in the Vietnamese American community: A qualitative study

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to obtain input and feedback on a proposed intervention to reduce stress and enhance the health of Vietnamese dementia caregivers. Methods: Sixteen semi-structured, in-depth interviews and two focus groups were conducted with a total of 21 key stakeholders (i.e., family caregivers, professionals, and community leaders). Results: Several themes emerged from the data, and these themes fell into two major domains: the first domain was recruitment and engagement into the intervention: (1) importance of faith-based institutions, (2) inclusion of multiple family members in the intervention, (3) community empowerment/ownership, and (4) importance of credibility and trust. The second domain included themes on intervention content: (1) education about Alzheimer’s disease and dementias and (2) tailoring the intervention to caregivers’ needs. Conclusions: Findings indicate that the proposed intervention could be very beneficial to caregivers, but slight modifications needed to be made. 

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Cost-Effectiveness and Effects of a Home-Based Exercise Intervention for Female Caregivers of Relatives with Dementia: Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial

Previous research has proposed a range of support interventions to mitigate the adverse impact of caregiving on the daily life of caregivers of relatives with dementia. However, the effectiveness of these interventions shows a high variability. Informal caregivers usually lack the time and/or live too far from conventional facilities to do physical exercise, especially those who live in rural areas. Thus, home-based interventions may be more efficacious due to their greater convenience for this population. The present work proposes and describes a study protocol for a randomized control trial that will analyze the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a home-based, structured individual physical exercise intervention to improve the health-related quality of life and the mental health of female informal caregivers of relatives with dementia. The nine-month-long intervention will comprise participation in two supervised physical exercise sessions per week at the caregiver's home. The proposed study outcomes will be: (1) feasibility of and adherence to the home-based provision of the intervention; (2) improvement in physical fitness and quality of life; and (3) reduction in subjective burden, psychological symptomatology and depression. Analyses will also be performed to determine the cost-effectiveness after the intervention. In conclusion, this intervention might thus represent a tailored and feasible strategy to help caregivers cope with the physical and psychological stress resulting from caregiving-related responsibilities, and it could represent a novel cost-effective support home-based intervention for caregivers.

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Cognitive behavioural family intervention for people diagnosed with severe mental illness and their families: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Introduction Cognitive behavioural family intervention (CBFI) may be an effective brief psychosocial intervention for people diagnosed with severe mental illness (SMI) and their families. No systematic review has summarized the effectiveness of CBFI. Aim This review aimed to systematically examine the trial evidence of the effectiveness of CBFI versus treatment as usual (TAU) on improving the outcomes of people diagnosed with SMI and their families. Method Eligible randomized controlled trials were identified from nine databases. Three investigators independently took part in selection of articles, data extraction and risk assessment. Pooled treatment effects were computed using random-effects models. Results Four studies consisting of 524 participants were included. The risk of bias was low–unclear in most areas. The pooled CBFI effect on four service user outcomes including overall positive symptoms, delusions, overall negative symptoms and general psychopathology was significantly improved at post-treatment, compared with TAU, whereas effects on hallucinations and insight were equivocal. Discussion The findings reveal that CBFI is superior to TAU in treating positive and negative symptoms immediately following the intervention. Implications for Practice Mental health nurses may practise CBFI to enrich the psychiatric nursing service and promote nurse-led intervention. However, there is currently no substantial evidence that the intervention is effective over the longer term. 

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Technology and Caregiving: Emerging Interventions and Directions for Research

An array of technology-based interventions has increasingly become available to support family caregivers, primarily focusing on health and well-being, social isolation, financial, and psychological support. More recently the emergence of new technologies such as mobile and cloud, robotics, connected sensors, virtual/augmented/mixed reality, voice, and the evermore ubiquitous tools supported by advanced data analytics, coupled with the integration of multiple technologies through platform solutions, have opened a new era of technology-enabled interventions that can empower and support family caregivers. This paper proposes a conceptual framework for identifying and addressing the challenges that may need to be overcome to effectively apply technology-enabled solutions for family caregivers. The paper identifies a number of challenges that either moderate or mediate the full use of technologies for the benefit of caregivers. The challenges include issues related to equity, inclusion, and access; ethical concerns related to privacy and security; political and regulatory factors affecting interoperability and lack of standards; inclusive/human-centric design and issues; and inherent economic and distribution channel difficulties. The paper concludes with a summary of research questions and issues that form a framework for global research priorities.

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How short is too short? A randomised controlled trial evaluating short-term existential behavioural therapy for informal caregivers of palliative patients

Background: Informal caregivers of palliative patients show higher levels of depression and distress compared with the general population. Fegg’s (2013) existential behavioural therapy was shortened to two individual 1-h sessions (short-term existential behavioural therapy). Aim: Testing the effectiveness of sEBT on psychological symptoms of informal caregivers in comparison with active control. Design: Randomised controlled trial. Setting/participants: Informal caregivers of palliative in-patients. Methods: The primary outcome was depression; secondary outcomes were anxiety, subjective distress and minor mental disorders, positive and negative affect, satisfaction with life, quality of life and direct health care costs. General linear mixed models allow several measurements per participant and change over time. Reasons for declining the intervention were investigated by Rosenstock’s Health Belief Model. Results: Overall inclusion rate was 41.0%. Data of 157 caregivers were available (63.1% females; mean age: 54.6 years, standard deviation (SD): 14.1); 127 participants were included in the main analysis. Participation in sEBT or active control was not significantly associated with post-treatment depression. Outcomes showed prevailingly significant association with time of investigation. Self-efficacy, scepticism of benefit of the intervention, belief of better coping alone and support by family and friends were significant factors in declining participation in the randomised controlled trial. Conclusion: Inclusion rate was tripled compared with a previously evaluated longer EBT group intervention. By shortening the intervention, inclusion rate was traded for effectiveness and the intervention could not impact caregivers’ psychological state. Early integration of sEBT and combination of individual and group setting and further study of the optimal length for caregiver interventions are suggested.

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Online Self-Management Support for Family Caregivers Dealing With Behavior Changes in Relatives With Dementia (Part 2): Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: Online contacts with a health professional have the potential to support family caregivers of people with dementia. OBJECTIVE: The goal of the research was to study the effects of an online self-management support intervention in helping family caregivers deal with behavior changes of a relative with dementia. The intervention-involving among others personal email contacts with a dementia nurse-was compared with online interventions without these email contacts. METHODS: A randomized controlled trial was conducted with 81 family caregivers of people with dementia who live at home. Participants were randomly assigned to a (1) major self-management support intervention consisting of personal email contacts with a specialist dementia nurse, online videos, and e-bulletins; (2) medium intervention consisting only of online videos and e-bulletins; or (3) minor intervention consisting of only the e-bulletins. The primary outcome was family caregivers' self-efficacy in dealing with behavior changes of the relative with dementia. Secondary outcomes were family caregivers' reports of behavior problems in the people with dementia and the quality of the relationship between the family caregiver and the person with dementia. Measurements were performed at the baseline and at 6 (T1) and 12 weeks (T2) after the baseline. A mixed-model analysis was conducted to compare the outcomes of the 3 intervention arms. RESULTS: Family caregivers participating in the major intervention involving email contacts showed no statistically significant differences in self-efficacy after the intervention compared with the minor intervention involving only e-bulletins (difference -0.02, P=.99). In the adjusted analysis, the medium intervention (involving videos and e-bulletins) showed a negative trend over time (difference -4.21, P=.09) and at T1 (difference -4.71, P=.07) compared with the minor intervention involving only e-bulletins. No statistical differences were found between the intervention arms in terms of the reported behavior problems and the quality of the relationship between the family caregiver and the person with dementia. CONCLUSIONS: The expectation that an online self-management support intervention involving email contacts would lead to positive effects and be more effective than online interventions without personal email contacts was not borne out. One explanation might be related to the fact that not all family caregivers who were assigned to that intervention actually made use of the opportunity for personal email contact. The online videos were also not always viewed. To obtain more definite conclusions, future research involving extra efforts to reach higher use rates is required. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Netherlands Trial Registry NTR6237; http://www.trialregister.nl/trialreg/admin/rctview.asp?TC=6237 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6v0S4fxTC). INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): RR2-10.2196/resprot.8365. ©Judith G Huis in het Veld, Bernadette M Willemse, Iris FM van Asch, Rob BM Groot Zwaaftink, Paul-Jeroen Verkade, Jos WR Twisk, Renate Verkaik, Marco M Blom, Berno van Meijel, Anneke L Francke. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org), 25.02.2020.

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An Environmental Scan of Caregiver Support Resources Provided by Hospice Organizations

Background: Informal caregiver support programs offered by hospice organizations support the health and wellbeing of clients and caregivers. However, an understanding of the best practices for informal caregiver support programs currently undertaken across Canada remains unknown, particularly across the province of British Columbia. Aim: The aim of the present study was to describe what existing resources and supports are provided by hospice organizations for informal caregivers of persons who are nearing end of life or who are recently bereaved in British Columbia, Canada. Methods: In this descriptive study, two thirds of hospice organizations (N = 42/66; 26 urban, 16 rural) participated in a semi-structured telephone interview focused on informal caregiver support programs. All interviews were recorded, transcribed and analyzed thematically and descriptive statistics were employed. Findings: While no one-size-fit-all caregiver support program emerged as a gold standard across all hospice organizations, nearly two thirds (n = 26/42) offered one or more informal caregiver support programs. Four categories of caregiver support programs emerged from the data analysis, including companioning, bereavement and grief supports, education and service supports, and respite for caregivers. Conclusion: Caregiver support programs are a valuable service provided by some but not all hospice organizations across British Columbia, Canada. Future studies are needed to determine best methods for hospice organizations to formally assess caregivers’ needs and to determine the success and effectiveness of such programs in support of program expansion and evaluation.

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Cost–Utility Analyses of Interventions for Informal Carers: A Systematic and Critical Review

Background: Demographic and epidemiological changes place an increasing reliance on informal carers. Some support programmes exist, but funding is often limited. There is a need for economic evaluation of interventions for carers to assist policymakers in prioritizing carer support. Objective: Our aim was to systematically review and critically appraise cost–utility analyses of interventions for informal carers, in order to assess the methods employed and the quality of the reporting. Methods: A systematic review of databases was conducted using MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, and EconLit of items published between 1950 and February 2019. Published studies were selected if they involved a cost–utility analysis of an intervention mainly or jointly targeting informal carers. The reporting quality of economic analyses was evaluated using the Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS) statement. Results: An initial set of 1364 potentially relevant studies was identified. The titles and the abstracts were then screened, resulting in the identification of 62 full-text articles that warranted further assessment of their eligibility. Of these, 20 economic evaluations of informal carer interventions met the inclusion criteria. The main geographical area was the UK (n = 11). These studies were conducted in mental and/or behavioural (n = 15), cardiovascular (n = 3) or cancer (n = 2) clinical fields. These cost–utility analyses were based on randomized clinical trials (n = 16) and on observational studies (n = 4), of which only one presented a Markov model-based economic evaluation. Four of the six psychological interventions were deemed to be cost effective versus two of the four education/support interventions, and four of the nine training/support interventions. Two articles achieved a CHEERS score of 100% and nine of the economic evaluations achieved a score of 85% in terms of the CHEERS criteria for high-quality economic studies. Conclusions: Our critical review highlights the lack of cost–utility analyses of interventions to support informal carers. However, it also shows the relative prominence of good reporting practices in these analyses that other studies might be able to build on. 

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Protecting the elderly through and beyond the Covid-19 lockdown

Extract: ...Add to this the knowledge that assaults and domestic murders surge by as much as 25% during a festive season - a time of increased financial strain and closer proximity of family members - and the present Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, the current environment for older people looks deeply concerning. Caregiver support interventions Stemming from the theoretical risk model of 'caregiver stress theory', caregiver support interventions seek to alleviate the stress and burden of caring for an older person by providing key services (including meal preparation, housekeeping help or day care, or broader caregiving help through educational, teaching coping strategies or support groups). There is help and support available for informal carers from Citizens Advice, and from local councils on a range of issues from making daily life easier to benefit claims * Have a conversation about practical arrangements for the future, e.g. 'Have you thought about future decision-making for health and financial matters?'; 'Do you feel confident managing your money?' Empowering older people to seek out knowledge to help plan their future can safeguard from abuse.

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Effect of education and telephone counseling on caregiver strain and unmet needs in family caregivers and self-care behaviors in patients with cancer: A randomized clinical trial

Background: Cancer treatment has been increasingly fulfilled on an outpatient basis by family caregivers. The variety and severity of caregivers' responsibilities expose them to physical and mental risks. Investigating the effect of education and telephone counseling on patient and family outcomes requires performing further studies. Aim: This study aimed to determine the effect of education and telephone counseling on caregiver strain and unmet needs in family caregivers and self-care behaviors in cancer patients. Method: The present randomized controlled trial was conducted on 60 caregivers-cancer patients referred to urban health education clinics in northeastern Iran within 2018-2019. A 20-minute face-to-face training session was held for the caregivers of cancer patients, and seven training pamphlets were given to the caregivers. Moreover, the intervention group received four telephone counseling sessions during three courses of chemotherapy. The strain and unmet needs of caregivers were measured by the Zarit Burden Interview and Supportive Care Needs Survey-Partners and Caregivers questionnaires, respectively. The patient self-care was assessed by the Nail Self-care Diary questionnaire. The data were analyzed by SPSS software (version 16) using an independent t-test and paired t-test. Results: The mean values of caregivers' age were 38.9±12.7 and 37.7±8.6 years in the intervention and control groups, respectively. The results of the independent t-test showed no statistically significant difference between the two groups (P=0.42). The results also revealed that the mean scores of caregiver strain and unmet needs decreased following the intervention, and the mean scores of self-care behaviors increased in the intervention group after the intervention (P=0.001). Implications for Practice: Education and telephone counseling can simultaneously help to follow up problems, improve self-care behaviors in cancer patients, alleviate the caregiver strain, and meet the needs of family caregivers. 

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The ResidentialCare Transition Module: A single-blinded randomized controlled evaluation of a telehealth support intervention for family caregivers of persons with dementia living in residential long-term care

Background: Families do not fully disengage from care responsibilities following relatives' admissions to residential long-term (RLTC) care settings such as nursing homes. Caregiver stress, depression, or other key outcomes remain stable or sometimes increase following a relative's RLTC entry. Some interventions have attempted to increase family involvement after institutionalization, but few rigorous studies have demonstrated whether these interventions are effective in helping families navigate the potential emotional and psychological upheaval presented by relatives' transitions to RLTC environments. The Residential Care Transition Module (RCTM) provides six formal sessions of consultation (one-to-one and family sessions) over a 4-month period to family caregivers who have admitted a relative to a RLTC setting. Methods: In this embedded mixed methods randomized controlled evaluation, family members who have admitted a cognitively impaired relative to a RLTC setting are randomly assigned to the RCTM (n = 120) or a usual care control condition (n = 120). Primary outcomes include reductions in family members' primary subjective stress and negative mental health outcomes; secondary role strains; and residential care stress. The mixed methods design will allow for an analysis of intervention action mechanisms by "embedding" qualitative components (up to 30 semi-structured interviews) at the conclusion of the 12-month evaluation. Discussion: This evaluation will fill an important clinical and research gap by evaluating a psychosocial intervention designed for families following RLTC admission that determines whether and how the RCTM can help families better navigate the emotional and psychological challenges of residential care transitions. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02915939, prospectively registered). 

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Potential for Digital Monitoring to Enhance Wellbeing at Home for People with Mild Dementia and Their Family Carers

Digital technologies have the potential to assist people with dementia to monitor day to day activities and mitigate the risks of living independently. This purposive pilot study surveyed participants for frailty, wellbeing, and perceived carer burden using the 3Rings(TM) digital plug. 30 paired participants used the digital device for four months. People with dementia reported a decline in wellbeing and increased frailty. Family carers reported a decline in wellbeing but 18 reported a reduction in burden. The use of digital monitoring by family carers demonstrated a reduction in their perceived burden and the device was acceptable to people with mild dementia living alone.

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Paid family leave in a large urban center academic radiology department: How we do it

No abstract. Extract:

'Looking ahead to the next generation of radiology trainees, and recognizing that radiology residency typically overlaps with prime child-bearing years and the challenges associated with balancing rigorous call and rotation schedules with a newborn, we sought to establish a parental leave policy for our radiology residents of both genders. Residents are considered employees, as per the 2011 supreme court ruling [16], and as such are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave under FMLA [17]. Unfortunately, due to time constraints associated with Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requirements for graduation, as well as American Board of Medical Specialities (ABMS) board eligibility requirements, which are in part dependent on duration of training, residency programs' parental leave policies are variable, with majority providing little to no leave [18–20].'

... 'All eligible, as defined by FMLA [17], faculty in our academic radiology department of 135 faculty in NYC, are allotted up to 14 weeks of paid family leave, to be taken within the first year of having or adopting a child or whenever needed to care for a spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition.'

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Effects of a Telehealth Early Palliative Care Intervention for Family Caregivers of Persons With Advanced Heart Failure: The ENABLE CHF-PC Randomized Clinical Trial

Importance: Family caregivers of persons with advanced heart failure perform numerous daily tasks to assist their relatives and are at high risk for distress and poor quality of life. Objective: To determine the effect of a nurse-led palliative care telehealth intervention (Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends Comprehensive Heart Failure for Patients and Caregivers [ENABLE CHF-PC]) on quality of life and mood of family caregivers of persons with New York Heart Association Class III/IV heart failure over 16 weeks. Design, Setting, and Participants: This single-blind randomized clinical trial enrolled caregivers aged 18 years and older who self-identified as an unpaid close friend or family member who knew the patient well and who was involved with their day-to-day medical care. Participants were recruited from outpatient heart failure clinics at a large academic tertiary care medical center and a Veterans Affairs medical center from August 2016 to October 2018. Intervention: Four weekly psychosocial and problem-solving support telephonic sessions lasting between 20 and 60 minutes facilitated by a trained nurse coach plus monthly follow-up for 48 weeks. The usual care group received no additional intervention. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcomes were quality of life (measured using the Bakas Caregiver Outcomes Scale), mood (anxiety and/or depressive symptoms measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), and burden (measured using the Montgomery-Borgatta Caregiver Burden scales) over 16 weeks. Secondary outcomes were global health (measured using the PROMIS Global Health instrument) and positive aspects of caregiving. Results: A total of 158 family caregivers were randomized, 82 to the intervention and 76 to usual care. The mean (SD) age was 57.9 (11.6) years, 135 (85.4%) were female, 82 (51.9%) were African American, and 103 (65.2%) were the patient's spouse or partner. At week 16, the mean (SE) Bakas Caregiver Outcomes Scale score was 66.9 (2.1) in the intervention group and 63.9 (1.7) in the usual care group; over 16 weeks, the mean (SE) Bakas Caregiver Outcomes Scale score improved 0.7 (1.7) points in the intervention group and 1.1 (1.6) points in the usual care group (difference, -0.4; 95% CI, -5.1 to 4.3; Cohen d = -0.03). At week 16, no relevant between-group differences were observed between the intervention and usual care groups for the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale anxiety measure (mean [SE] improvement from baseline, 0.3 [0.3] vs 0.4 [0.3]; difference, -0.1 [0.5]; d = -0.02) or depression measure (mean [SE] improvement from baseline, -0.2 [0.4] vs -0.3 [0.3]; difference, 0.1 [0.5]; d = 0.03). No between-group differences were observed in the Montgomery-Borgatta Caregiver Burden scales (d range, -0.18 to 0.0). Differences in secondary outcomes were also not significant (d range, -0.22 to 0.0). Conclusions and Relevance: This 2-site randomized clinical trial of a telehealth intervention for family caregivers of patients with advanced heart failure, more than half of whom were African American and most of whom were not distressed at baseline, did not demonstrate clinically better quality of life, mood, or burden compared with usual care over 16 weeks. Future interventions should target distressed caregivers and assess caregiver effects on patient outcomes. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02505425.

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Public policy for supporting employed family caregivers of the elderly: the Israeli case

The demographic processes that have  been avolving in recent years around the world and Israeli society in particular, associated with the rise in life expectancy and the aging of population, are rasing the depedency ratio  and increasing public policy  makers' interest in issues related to caring for the elderly and thier support. These  circumstances have a considerable effect on family member required to  assist  thier aging parents, as they raise the potential support ratio and have an even greater impact on employed family caregivers. This article examined the policy implemented in Israel for providing support and assistance to employed family caregivers assisting ageing parents. It shows that the current policy is relatively limited compared to that of other liberal countries and not compatible with caregivers’ demands and needs. The article calls for implementing an effective public policy for employed family caregivers and suggests ways of formulating such a policy. 

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Systematic review: Influence of self-help groups on family caregivers

Introduction: Since the incorporation of women into the world of work, together with the progressive ageing of the population and the increase of chronic diseases, there is an alteration in the role of the caregiver, due to the physical, work and family burden it bears, emotional conflicts and with other family members. Mutual aid can be an effective alternative to promoting the well-being of caregivers, as well as their families and dependents. Objective: To know the characteristics of self-help groups for family caregivers and their influence on caregivers, the dependent and family health. Methodology: Systematic review. The search strategy included the Pubmed, Scopus, Psycinfo, Eric, Cochrane plus and CSIC databases; selecting scientific articles in either Spanish, Catalan, English, Portuguese or French, for the last 10 years. Results: 12 articles related to the study topic were selected. All studies show that participation in these groups can improve the physical-psychological well-being, the health of caregivers and, at the same time, reinforce their sense of social support, although there is a lack of studies in our environment, with a size higher quality sample. Conclusions: Caregivers benefit from participating in self-help groups. Therefore, they should become a routine component of the family caregiver. 

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Supporting patients and carers affected by pancreatic cancer: A feasibility study of a counselling intervention

Purpose: Patients with pancreatic cancer have extremely high unmet psychological and physical needs. Family carers of these patients have even higher levels of distress than patients. Our purpose was to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a counselling intervention in patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and their carers. Methods: We conducted a single-arm feasibility study of the PREPARES (Patients and RElatives affected by PAncreatic cancer: Referral, Education and Support) pilot intervention. Patient and carer participants received up to nine counselling sessions delivered by a trained nurse via telephone and/or telehealth technology. The intervention, informed by self-efficacy theory, involved components to assess and address care needs, and provide feedback to clinicians. Feasibility was measured using participation and retention rates. Participants completed semi-structured interviews at the end of the intervention about acceptability. These were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Twelve people participated: five patients and seven carers (38% and 50% participation rates respectively). Most participants (eight) completed all nine counselling sessions; two chose to receive fewer sessions and two were discontinued requiring more intensive psychiatric support. The intervention was highly acceptable. Participants unanimously preferred the telephone over video-conferencing and to receive counselling separately from their carer/patient. The main perceived benefits were emotional support, the nurse-counsellors’ knowledge, care coordination and personalised care. Suggested improvements included a welcome pack about their nurse-counsellor and that sessions should continue beyond nine sessions if required. Conclusions: The PREPARES intervention was feasible and highly acceptable. This low-cost intervention provided much-needed support to people affected by this devastating disease.

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The effectiveness of a nurse‐led intervention to support family caregivers in end‐of‐life care: Study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial

Aim To evaluate the feasibility of a structured nurse‐led supportive intervention and its effects on family caregivers in end‐of‐life care at home.Background Family caregivers are crucial in end‐of‐life care. They may experience burden due to the responsibilities associated with caregiving. Some family caregivers feel insufficiently prepared for their caregiver role. Nurses have a unique position to provide supportive interventions at home to reduce caregivers’ burden and improve preparedness. However, few nurse‐led interventions are available to support family caregivers in end‐of‐life care at home. Design We will perform a cluster randomized controlled trial. The clusters consist of twelve home care services, randomly assigned to the intervention group or the control group. Methods The study population consists of family caregivers of patients in the last phase of life. In the intervention group, nurses will systematically assess the supportive needs of family caregivers, using an assessment tool and the method of clinical reasoning. Family members of the control group receive care as usual. Primary outcome is burden measured by the Self‐Rated Burden Scale. Secondary outcomes are preparedness for caregiving, caregiving reactions and acute (hospital) admissions of the patient. In addition, the feasibility of the intervention will be evaluated. The study was funded in October 2016 and was ethically approved in April 2019. Impact Findings from this study will contribute to the scientific and practical knowledge of nursing interventions to support family caregivers in end‐of‐life care. Trial registration The Netherlands Trial Register (NL7702)

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Recovering together: Building resiliency in dyads of stroke patients and their caregivers at risk for chronic emotional distress; A feasibility study

Background: A stroke is a sudden, life-altering event with potentially devastating consequences for survivors and their loved ones. Despite advances in endovascular and neurocritical care approaches to stroke treatment and recovery, there remains a considerable unmet need for interventions targeting the emotional impact of stroke for both patients and their informal caregivers. This is important because untreated emotional distress becomes chronic and negatively impacts quality of life in both patients and caregivers. Our team previously used mixed methods to iteratively develop a six-session modular dyadic intervention to prevent chronic emotional distress in patients with stroke and their informal caregivers called "Recovering Together" (RT) using feedback from dyads and the medical team. The aim of the current study is to test the feasibility of recruitment, acceptability of screening and randomization methods, acceptability of RT, satisfaction with RT, feasibility of the assessment process at all time points, and acceptability of outcome measures. Secondarily, we aimed to explore within-treatment effect sizes and change in clinically significant symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress (PTS). The larger goal was to strengthen methodological rigor before a subsequent efficacy trial. Methods: We conducted a feasibility randomized controlled trial to evaluate the RT intervention relative to minimally enhanced usual care (MEUC) in stroke patients admitted to a Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit (Neuro-ICU). Dyads were enrolled within 1 week of hospitalization if they met specific eligibility criteria. Assessments were done via paper and pencil at baseline, and electronically via REDCap or over the phone at post-intervention (approximately 6 weeks after baseline), and 3 months later. Assessments included demographics, resiliency intervention targets (mindfulness, coping, self-efficacy, and interpersonal bond), and emotional distress (depression, anxiety, and PTS). Primary outcomes were feasibility and acceptability markers. Secondary outcomes were depression, anxiety, PTS, mindfulness, coping, self-efficacy, and interpersonal bond. Results: We consented 20 dyads, enrolled 17, and retained 16. Although many patients were missed before we could approach them, very few declined to participate or dropped out once study staff made initial contact. Feasibility of enrollment (87% of eligible dyads enrolled), acceptability of screening, and randomization (all RT dyads retained after randomization) were excellent. Program satisfaction (RT post-test M = 11.33/12 for patients M = 12/12 for caregivers), and adherence to treatment sessions (six of seven RT dyads attending 4/6 sessions) were high. There were no technical difficulties that affected the delivery of the intervention. There was minimal missing data. For both patients and caregivers, participation in RT was generally associated with clinically significant improvement in emotional distress symptoms from baseline to post-test. Participation in MEUC was associated with clinically significant worsening in emotional distress. Although some of the improvement in emotional distress symptoms decreased in the RT group between post-test to 3 months, these changes were not clinically significant. RT was also associated with substantial decrease in frequency of individuals who met criteria for clinically significant symptoms, while the opposite was true for MEUC. There were many lessons that informed current and future research. Conclusions: This study provided evidence of feasibility and signal of improvement in RT, as well as necessary methodological changes to increase recruitment efficiency before the future hybrid efficacy-effectiveness trial. Trial registration: NCT02797509. © 2020 The Author(s).

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Emotion regulation therapy for cancer caregivers-an open trial of a mechanism-targeted approach to addressing caregiver distress

Informal caregivers (ICs) are integral to care provided to patients facing life-threatening or incurable illnesses. This responsibility causes considerable burden, as approximately one half of ICs report clinically significant symptoms of depression and/or anxiety that persist when left untreated. Psychosocial interventions containing efficacious treatment principles (e.g., cognitive behavior therapy [CBT]) show disappointing results in reducing anxiety and depression in ICs. This may reflect failure of these interventions to specifically target crucial mechanisms underlying the central feature of distress caused by the patient's illness-notably, perseverative negative thinking (PNT). Emotion Regulation Therapy (ERT) is an efficacious CBT developed to explicitly target mechanisms underlying PNT and the emotional concomitants that arise in response to stressful situations. This open trial was conducted to evaluate the acceptability and initial efficacy of ERT adapted to the experience of cancer ICs (ERT-C). Thirty-one ICs provided informed consent and completed eight weekly individual sessions of ERT-C. Participants completed self-report measures of depression and anxiety symptoms, PNT, emotion regulation deficits, and caregiver burden before and after treatment. ERT-C was well tolerated as indicated by 22 treatment completers and feedback provided in exit interviews. ICs demonstrated reduced depression and anxiety symptoms, PNT, and emotion regulation deficits with moderate to large effect sizes (Hedge's g range: 0.36-0.92). Notably, caregiver burden was not reduced but ICs expressed more ability to confront caregiving-related challenges. Findings offer promising but preliminary support for ERT-C as a conceptual model and treatment modality for distressed cancer ICs. 

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Mindfulness-based stress reduction for family carers of people with dementia

Mindfulness‐based stress reduction (MBSR) developed by Jon Kabat‐Zinn has shown to assist carers cope with their stress when they feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of care.  The authors in this Cochrane review aimed to evaluate the evidence supporting the use of MBSR for reducing the psychological distress among carers looking after their family members with dementia.

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Increasing preparedness for caregiving and death in family caregivers of patients with severe illness who are cared for at home - study protocol for a web-based intervention

Background Family caregivers of patients with severe illness and in need for a palliative care approach, face numerous challenges and report having insufficient preparedness for the caregiver role as well as a need for information and psychosocial support. Preparing to care for a severely ill family members also means becoming aware of death. Feelings of being prepared are associated with positive aspects and regarded protective against negative health consequences. Methods The study adheres to the SPIRIT-guidelines (Supplementary 1), uses a pre-post design and include a web-based intervention. Inclusion criteria are; being a family caregiver of a patient with severe illness and in need of a palliative care approach. The intervention which aims to increase preparedness for caregiving and death is grounded in theory, research and clinical experience. The topics cover: medical issues, symptoms and symptom relief; communication within the couple, how to spend the time before death, being a caregiver, planning for the moment of death and; considerations of the future. The intervention is presented through videos and informative texts. The website also holds an online peer-support discussion forum. Study aims are to: evaluate feasibility in terms of framework, content, usage and partners' experiences; explore how the use of the website, influences family caregivers' preparedness for caregiving and death; explore how the use of the website influences family caregivers' knowledge about medical issues, their communication with the patient and their considerations of the future; and to investigate how the family caregivers' preparedness for caregiving and death influences their physical and psychological health and quality of life 1 year after the patient's death. Data will be collected through qualitative interviews and a study-specific questionnaire at four time-points. Discussion This project will provide information about whether support via a website has the potential to increase preparedness for caregiving and death and thereby decrease negative health consequences for family caregivers of patients affected by severe illness. It will provide new knowledge about intervention development, delivery, and evaluation in a palliative care context. Identification of factors before death and their association with family caregivers' preparedness and long-term health may change future clinical work.

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Supporting working carers: How employers and employees can benefit

  • This report examines the ability of working carers to combine caring responsibilities with paid employment and the difference that employer support can make. The report focuses on employees and does not cover the self-employed.
  • Three research questions are addressed: What are the challenges that working carers face? What forms of support do employers provide to working carers, and how does this vary across sectors and types of organisation? How do these forms of support benefit working carers and the organisations for which they work?
  • Findings are based on data from a representative survey of working carers in England and Wales. The survey was commissioned by the CIPD and used a questionnaire developed by the Sustainable Care team administered by YouGov. It was conducted online in July/August 2019 and completed by 970 unpaid carers in paid employment (excluding self-employed workers).
  • The research report is an output from a large research programme – the Sustainable Care: Connecting people and systems programme – based at the University of Sheffield, UK. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the programme is a multidisciplinary project exploring social care arrangements in the UK and around the world.
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The impact of social care services on carers' quality of life

Unpaid care is an important part of long-term care systems. It is increasingly recognised that carers have their own health and well-being needs. Carer-specific interventions, as well as support for the care-recipient, may enable carers to maintain their own health and well-being alongside caring. This study seeks to establish whether and how community-based care services affect carers' quality of life. The Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit for Carers was used to capture carers' social care-related quality of life through qualitative interviews and a survey of carers in England in order to provide insights into the impact of community-based care services on carers' quality of life outcomes.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) and carers: Carers NSW Position statement, 7 May 2020

As the peak non-government organisation for carers in NSW, Carers NSW has been closely monitoring related policy developments that may directly impact carers and the people they care for, and has been in continual contact with carers across the state to understand and respond to their changing support needs. This position statement draws on ongoing policy and media analysis, more than 50 carer case studies, and 5 consultations held with 30 carers and other stakeholders.

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Caring Through COVID: Life in Lockdown

This report sets out the findings of a national survey undertaken by Family Carers Ireland between April 14th and May 5th 2020 which examined family carers’ experience of caring during the COVID-19 pandemic. The online survey was completed by 1,307 current family carers representing a range of caring situations – parents caring for children with a disability, those caring for an adult, carers of older people and those caring for multiple people. The survey was open to respondents 18 years and older. As not all respondents completed every question in the survey, a number of the figures given in this report, including those presented here, are based upon responses from fewer than 1,307 carers. A family carer is someone who is providing an ongoing significant level of care to a person who is in need of that care in the home due to illness, disability or frailty.

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What is known from the existing literature about peer support interventions for carers of individuals living with dementia: A scoping review

This scoping review comprehensively describes evidence of using peer support to assist informal carers of individuals with dementia (any type). A systematic search of 11 databases (CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Medline, Embase, PsychInfo, Web of Science, Scopus, Science Direct, ProQuest, TRIP and PubMed) was conducted for research published between 2007-2017 focussing on informal dementia carers, and research designs with interventions incorporating or consisting exclusively of peer support. Authors worked independently to screen retrieved articles, review applicability and extract data. Thirty-six research papers (representing 28 original studies) were identified, from these, two modes of delivery were demonstrated: 12 studies provided the intervention online, and the remainder face-to-face. The review indicated that peer support is of potential benefit to carers if it is delivered via either mode. It is not clear what components may or may not be effective as results provided a mixed landscape of differing intervention effectiveness due to the wide variation in outcome measurements. Trial design using a multi-component intervention was the predominant choice, with the most common components being Information Sharing and Non-Healthcare Professional Support for both delivery modes. The burden/anxiety/depression compendium and health and well-being were the most frequently measured outcomes; perceived level of support was one of the least. The peer support interventions identified included various components, demonstrating no true best practice model. Nonetheless, they can be offered successfully online or face-to-face. This provides a unique opportunity to develop and supply tailored peer support interventions for informal dementia carers to ensure their specific needs are met. Further work is required to construct and evaluate the effectiveness of targeted peer-led support whether online or face-to-face to meet the individual needs of dementia carers.

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Using a Nursing Salon to Identify and Develop an Initiative for Family Caregivers of Older Adults

The purpose of the Aging Well Nursing-Interprofessional Salon was to explore current local community healthcare issues for older adults and to develop innovative strategies that support and enhance their health. An initiative emerged from the salon that focuses on identifying caregivers to ensure their awareness of available support resources. We are in the process of developing a pilot plan that includes collaboration of PhD and doctorate of nursing practice students, nursing faculty, and community agencies that support older adults.

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A Tablet App Supporting Self-Management for People With Dementia: Explorative Study of Adoption and Use Patterns

Background: Assistive technology (AT) is rapidly emerging within dementia care and support. One area of AT application is support of people with dementia in compensating for cognitive symptoms and thereby promoting their self-management. There is, however, little evidence for the applicability, usability, and effectiveness of AT for people with dementia, and there is a need to identify factors that can promote adoption.; Objective: This study aimed to (1) evaluate the applicability and usability of an app, tailor-made for people with dementia; (2) explore factors affecting adoption; (3) explore the possible influence of caregiver involvement; and (4) contribute to process evaluation of the intervention.; Methods: The ReACT (Rehabilitation in Alzheimer's disease using Cognitive support Technology) app was designed as a holistic solution to support memory and structure in daily living. Persons with dementia had access to a personal user account, and family caregivers were given a parallel login. Written and Web-based materials were provided to support self-applied implementation. A mixed methods design was applied to explore adoption and use patterns, including background and disease-related data, qualitative data from a survey, and log data. Adoption was defined as the use of the app over a period of ≥90 days.; Results: Data from 112 participants and 98 caregivers were included. Shorter time from diagnosis (U=595; P=.046; r=0.19) and caregiver activating the app (P=.02) had a significant impact on the participant adoption status. Logistic regression analysis showed that if caregivers had activated the app, the participant was five times more likely to become an adopter (odds ratio 5.1, 95% CI 1.29-19.99; P=.02). However, the overall predictive power was low, and there was a wide variation in background and disease-related characteristics among adopters. The level of experience and skills in tablet use were not significantly different between adopters and nonadopters. Adopters generally rated the app high on usefulness, satisfaction, and ease of use (rated on the USEdem questionnaire). Their scores were significantly higher compared with nonadopters (U=5.5; P=.02; r=0.64). Analysis of use patterns showed that all functionalities of the app were used among adopters.; Conclusions: For participants who became adopters, the ReACT app and the methods for self-applied implementation were applicable. However, the results were also in accordance with the well-known challenges of nonadoption and nonadherence to digital health interventions. The study provided insight into the importance of timely introduction and caregiver support for adoption of AT among people with dementia. It also underlined the high complexity of personal and contextual factors that influence adoption. These complex factors need to be considered when designing and implementing AT for people with dementia.

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Systematic Review of Technology-Based Interventions Targeting Chronically Ill Adults and Their Caregivers

The purpose of this systematic review is to synthesize the study design features as well as the attributes and outcomes of technology-based health interventions targeting chronically ill adults and their family caregivers. Twenty papers representing 19 studies met the inclusion criteria. Various theoretical foundations or approaches guided the interventions in 11 studies. Interventions either aimed to support patient self-management and improve patient outcomes or enhance shared illness management and improve patient and caregiver outcomes. The interventions included educational, behavioral, and support components and were delivered using various technologies ranging from text messaging to using the Internet. Overall, patients and caregivers expressed improvements in self-management outcomes (or support) and quality of life. Interventions with a dyadic focus reported on interpersonal outcomes, with improvements noted mostly in patients. This review captures an emerging area of science, and findings should be interpreted in light of the methodological limitations of the included studies.

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A systematic review of online interventions for families of patients with severe mental disorders

Background: Several studies show the effectiveness of face-to-face interventions with families in improving the prognosis of patients with severe psychiatric disorders and their relatives; however, the effectiveness of online interventions is poorly understood. The current study aims to provide an overview of evidence for the effectiveness of online treatments (web/app) for patients with severe psychiatric disorders and their families.; Method: We performed a systematic review of online treatments for informal family caregivers of patients with a severe psychiatric disorder. The study psychological interventions had to have been administered in an exclusively online format (app, internet) and aimed at families of patients with severe mental disorder (at least one of first episode psychosis, schizophrenia, schizoaffective, bipolar disorder, and psychotic disorder).; Results: Of a total of 1331 articles, we identified 9 viable studies; 4 randomized clinical trials, and 5 nonrandomized clinical studies. The present study is the first systematic review in this area. Online interventions were well accepted, with good adherence and satisfaction among the caregivers and patients and improved the symptoms of both caregivers and patients.; Limitations: Clinical and methodological diversity of the studies.; Conclusions: Burden improved, and perceived stress decreased in families. Moreover, the severity of positive symptoms decreased and fewer hospitalizations were recorded in patients than in the control group. Therefore, online interventions are a promising therapeutic approach for patients with severe mental disorder and their families. However, more studies-particularly randomized clinical trials-are needed in this area.

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A systematic meta-review of self-management support for people with dementia

Self-management support for people with dementia is important to help them and their family caregivers to cope with challenges in daily live. Insight into the effects of self-management support interventions on people with dementia is however lacking, despite existing relevant systematic reviews. We therefore conducted a meta-review of relevant systematic reviews, following the PRISMA statement. Systematic literature searches were conducted in PubMed, CINAHL, the Cochrane Library, Embase and PsycINFO. The searches were done in December 2015, and all relevant references until then were taken into consideration. No conclusions about the effects of self-management support interventions on people with dementia could be drawn. Recommendations for future research and practice include that self-management support interventions and effect measurements should be wider in scope than psychological well-being.

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Staging dementia based on caregiver reported patient symptoms: Implications from a latent class analysis

Background: Tailoring interventions to the needs of caregivers is an important feature of successful caregiver support programs. To improve cost-effectiveness, group tailoring based on the stage of dementia could be a good alternative. However, existing staging strategies mostly depend on trained professionals. Objective: This study aims to stage dementia based on caregiver reported symptoms of persons with dementia. Methods: Latent class analysis was used. The classes derived were then mapped with disease duration to define the stages. Logistic regression with receiver operating characteristic curve was used to generate the optimal cut-offs. Results: Latent class analysis suggested a 4-class solution, these four classes were named as early (25.9%), mild (25.2%), moderate (16.7%) and severe stage (32.3%). The stages based on the cut-offs generated achieved an overall accuracy of 90.8% compared to stages derived from latent class analysis. Conclusion: The current study confirmed that caregiver reported patient symptoms could be used to classify persons with dementia into different stages. The new staging strategy is a good complement of existing dementia clinical assessment tools in terms of better supporting informal caregivers. 

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Service users' and carers' experiences of engaging with early intervention services: A meta-synthesis review

Aim: The provision and implementation of early intervention for psychosis services (early intervention services [EIS]) has received increasing attention over recent years. Maximizing engagement with EIS is of clinical and economic importance, and exploring the experiences of those who access EIS is vital. Although research has been conducted exploring the experiences of engaging with EIS from both a service user and carer/family member point of view, these data have not been systematically collated to generate new understanding. The primary aim of this study is to review, critically appraise and synthesize qualitative findings relating to the experiences of service users and/or carers and family members engaging with EIS.; Methods: Four databases were systematically searched. Studies were analysed using an inductive thematic analysis approach, within a critical realist epistemological framework. Studies were critically appraised using the critical appraisal skills programme tool.; Results: Fourteen papers were identified for inclusion. Three main themes were identified: the importance of a personal relationship with an EIS staff member, the impact of this relationship and consideration of life after EIS. The importance of a strong relationship with EIS staff was the most prominent theme throughout the papers reviewed.; Conclusions: The quality of the therapeutic relationship with at least one EIS staff member was the single most important factor in determining whether the experience of accessing EIS was a positive or negative one. The majority of the studies reviewed were conducted in the United Kingdom or Australia. Therefore, more research across countries is needed to understand transferability of findings.

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The role of the clinical nurse specialist multiple sclerosis, the patients' and families' and carers' perspective: An integrative review

Background: MS is a common, neurological disease and it's unpredictable, progressive disabling nature can have a devastating effect on patients, their families' and carers. It is therefore important that the MS Clinical Nurse Specialist develops appropriate skills, services and professional expertise to support individuals along the disease trajectory.; Design: An integrative literature review.; Method: A systematic search of nine databases; Cinahl, Medline, Scopus, Embase, Ovid, AMED, Academic Search Complete, Web of Science, PsycINFO up to January 31, 2018. Hand searching and review of secondary references also undertaken. Reporting using the PRISMA guidelines, quality appraised (Crowe Critical Appraisal Tool) and thematic data analysis approach (Braun and Clarke 2006).; Results: Findings from the 17 studies were extracted, synthesised and analysed thematically. Three themes emerged; the MS CNS as a longitudinal care co-ordinator, a bespoke care provider, and an expert resource. The findings suggest a strong desire for the MS CNS to be a leading health care professional to meet the needs of patient, family, and carer.; Conclusion: It can be argued that MS CNSs are best placed to meet the complex, variable needs individuals with MS, their families and carers. Further evidence is required to explore the variability of the disease and the progressive effect and impact of cognitive decline on MS patient, families' and carers' in order to meet their fluctuating and often complex needs. Findings from the review suggest a multifaceted role, and additionally, the needs of patients, families and carers are difficult to define as they vary over time as the disease progresses.

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Randomized controlled trial of supportive care interventions to manage psychological distress and symptoms in Latinas with breast cancer and their informal caregivers

Objective: The purpose of this study was to test two 2-month psychosocial interventions (Telephone Interpersonal Counseling [TIPC] and Supportive Health Education [SHE]) to improve quality of life (QOL) outcomes for Latinas with breast cancer and their informal caregivers. Methods: Two hundred and forty-one Latinas with breast cancer and their caregivers were assessed at baseline, immediately after the 2-month intervention, at 4 and 6 months after baseline. QOL outcomes were psychological distress, symptoms and social support. Results: Linear mixed effects models showed that for cancer survivors at 2 months, TIPC produced lower adjusted mean depression scores compared to SHE. At 4 months, SHE had reduced total number of symptoms, global symptom distress, and social isolation compared to TIPC. Only total number of symptoms was lower in SHE than in TIPC at 6 months. Among caregivers at 2 months, total number of symptoms, global symptom distress, and anxiety were lower, and self-efficacy for symptom management was higher in SHE compared to TIPC. Caregiver depression was lower in TIPC compared to SHE at 4 months. Conclusions: These telephone delivered interventions improved different outcomes. TIPC demonstrated superior benefits for depression management and SHE was more successful in anxiety and cancer-related symptom management. 

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Psychosocial Interventions for Family Carers of People With Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Objective:This study aimed to review and synthesize findings of the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions aimed at improving outcomes for family carers of people with dementia. Method: A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. We systematically searched the following databases: Cochrane, PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), PsycInfo, Excerpta Medica Database (EMBASE), and Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts (ASSIA). RevMan 5 software was used to conduct meta-analysis and subgroup analysis using a random-effects model. Results: The search yielded 22 high-quality intervention articles that were suitable for further meta-analysis. Meta-analysis revealed that psychosocial interventions have a small to moderate significant effect on carer burden (standardized mean difference [SMD] = -0.34, confidence interval [CI] = [-0.59, -0.09]), depression (SMD = -0.36, CI = [-0.60, -0.13]), and general health (SMD = 0.34, CI = [0.18, 0.51]). Discussion: Psychosocial interventions had a positive impact on carer outcomes; however, these results should be interpreted with caution, given the significant level of heterogeneity in study designs. Future research could examine contextual and implementation mechanisms underlying psychosocial interventions to develop effective support systems for family carers of people with dementia.

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Why do family dementia caregivers reject caregiver support services? Analyzing types of rejection and associated health-impairments in a cluster-randomized controlled intervention trial

Although there are a number of support services accessible for most family dementia caregivers, many caregivers reject available and affordable support. Previous research suggests that rejections of support services may result from insufficient fit of available services with caregivers’ unmet needs and a lack of acknowledgement of caregivers’ unmet needs and associated support services. The present study investigates (a) the number, proportion and types of caregivers’ rejection on recommended tailored support, (b) socio-demographic and clinical determinants of caregiver’s rejection of both people with dementia (PwD) and caregivers, and (c) caregivers’ health-related variables related to caregivers’ rejection.

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Online training and support program (iSupport) for informal dementia caregivers: protocol for an intervention study in Portugal

Background: Informal caregivers (IC) of people with dementia (PwD) are at greater risk of developing physical and mental health problems when compared to the general population and to IC of people with other chronic diseases. Internet-based interventions have been explored for their potential to minimize the negative effects of caring, accounting for their ubiquitous nature, convenient delivery, potential scalability and presumed (cost) effectiveness. iSupport is a self-help online program developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide education, skills training and support to IC of PwD. This paper describes the design of an intervention study aimed at determining the effectiveness of a Portuguese culturally adapted version of iSupport on mental health and other well-being outcomes.; Methods: The study follows an experimental parallel between-group design with two arms: access to the five modules and twenty-three lessons of "iSupport" for three months (intervention group); or access to an education-only e-book (comparison group). One hundred and eighty four participants will be recruited by referral from national associations. Inclusion criteria are: being 18 years or older and provide e-consent; being a self-reported non-paid caregiver for at least six months; of a person with a formal diagnosis of dementia; being skilled to use internet; and experience a clinically relevant level of burden (≥ 21 on Zarit Burden Interview) or depression or anxiety symptoms (≥ 8 on Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale). Data is collected online, resorting to self-administered instruments, at baseline, 3 and 6 months after baseline. The primary outcome is caregiver burden, measured by the Zarit Burden Interview. Symptoms of depression and anxiety, quality of life, positive aspects of caregiving and general self-efficacy are secondary study outcomes. The data analysis will follow an Intention-to-treat (ITT) protocol.; Discussion: This protocol is an important resource for the many organizations in several countries aiming to replicate iSupport. Findings from this intervention study will offer evidence to bolster an informed decision making on scaling up iSupport as a new intervention program with minimal costs aimed at minimizing the psychological distress of IC of PwD in Portugal and elsewhere.; Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04104568. Registered 26 September 2019.;

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Namaste care in the home setting: developing initial realist explanatory theories and uncovering unintended outcomes

Introduction: The End-of-Life Namaste Care Program for People with Dementia, challenges the misconception that people with dementia are a 'shell'; it provides a holistic approach using the five senses, which can provide positive ways of communicating and emotional responses. It is proposed Namaste Care can improve communication and the relationships families and friends have with the person with dementia. Previously used in care homes, this study is the first to explore the pioneering use of Namaste Care in people's own homes.; Objective: To develop initial programme theories detailing if, how and under which circumstances Namaste Care works when implemented at home.; Design: A qualitative realist approach following the RAMESES II guidelines was employed to understand not only whether Namaste Care has positive outcomes, but also how these are generated, for whom they happen and in which circumstances.; Setting: A hospice in the North East of England, operating in the community, through volunteers.; Participants: Programme theories were developed from three focus groups with volunteers implementing Namaste Care (n=8; n=8; n=11) and eight interviews with family carers (n=8).; Results: Four refined explanatory theories are presented: increasing engagement, respite for family carers, importance of matched volunteers and increasing social interaction. It was identified that while Namaste Care achieved some of the same goals in the home setting as it does in the care home setting, it could also function in a different way that promoted socialisation.; Conclusions: Namaste Care provides holistic and personalised care to people with both moderate and advanced dementia, improving engagement and reducing social isolation. In the present study carers often chose to use Namaste Care sessions as respite. This was often linked to their frustration of the unavoidable dominance of task-focussed care in daily life. Individualised Namaste Care activities thus led to positive outcomes for both those with dementia and their carers.

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Multiple family group intervention for spinal cord injury: Quantitative and qualitative comparison with standard education

Objective: To evaluate a Multiple Family Group (MFG) education and support intervention for individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and their primary caregivers. We hypothesized that MFG would be superior to an Education Control Group (EC) for improving patient activation and coping skills, social supports, and relationship functioning. Setting: A large free-standing inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation facility. Participants: Community dwelling adults with SCI and their caregivers living in the Northwest United States. Interventions/Methods: Nineteen individuals with SCI who had been discharged from inpatient rehabilitation within the previous three years, and their primary caregivers participated. Patient/caregiver pairs were randomized to the MFG intervention or an active SCI EC condition in a two-armed clinical trial design. Participants were assessed pre- and post-program and 6 months post-program. Qualitative and quantitative outcomes were evaluated. Focus groups were conducted with each group to determine benefits and recommendations for improvement. Results: Relative to EC, MFG reduced passive coping and increased subjective and overall social support in participants with SCI. Relative to EC, MFG also reduced passive coping in caregivers. Patient activation relative to EC was non-significantly increased. Content analysis identified four themes describing participants' experiences: enhanced sense of belonging, increased opportunities for engagement, knowledge, and team work; results that were generally congruent with quantitative measures of improved social support. Conclusions: Relative to EC, MFG assisted participants with SCI and their caregivers to manage the difficult, long-term, life adjustments by improving coping and strengthening social support.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02161913. Registered 10 June 2014.

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Mindfulness Training Supports Quality of Life and Advance Care Planning in Adults With Metastatic Cancer and Their Caregivers: Results of a Pilot Study

Background: Emotional distress often causes patients with cancer and their family caregivers (FCGs) to avoid end-of-life discussions and advance care planning (ACP), which may undermine quality of life (QoL). Most ACP interventions fail to address emotional barriers that impede timely ACP.; Aim: We assessed feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects of a mindfulness-based intervention to facilitate ACP for adults with advanced-stage cancer and their FCGs.; Design: A single-arm pilot was conducted to assess the impact of a 6-week group mindfulness intervention on ACP behaviors (patients only), QoL, family communication, avoidant coping, distress, and other outcomes from baseline (T1) to post-intervention (T2) and 1 month later (T3).; Participants: Eligible patients had advanced-stage solid malignancies, limited ACP engagement, and an FCG willing to participate. Thirteen dyads (N = 26 participants) enrolled at an academic cancer center in the United States.; Results: Of eligible patients, 59.1% enrolled. Attendance (70.8% across 6 sessions) and retention (84.6% for patients; 92.3% for FCGs) through T3 were acceptable. Over 90% of completers reported high intervention satisfaction. From T1 to T3, patient engagement more than doubled in each of 3 ACP behaviors assessed. Patients reported large significant decreases in distress at T2 and T3. Family caregivers reported large significant improvements in QoL and family communication at T2 and T3. Both patients and FCGs reported notable reductions in sleep disturbance and avoidant coping at T3.; Conclusions: The mindfulness intervention was feasible and acceptable and supported improvements in ACP and associated outcomes for patients and FCGs. A randomized trial of mindfulness training for ACP is warranted. The study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov with identifier NCT02367508 ( https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02367508 ).

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medAR: An augmented reality application to improve participation in health‐care decisions by family‐based intervention

[...]I would like to revise his statement slightly, to read: ‘We acknowledge that family and significant others can play a significant role in the process of decision making in some patients from non‐Western or Western cultural backgrounds more or less.’ [my emphasis]. [...]we equally know that doctors do not fulfil the obligation of medical information provision from the perspective of Chinese patients. If a couple of users open the phone app medAR at the same time, one can experience AR through scanning the marker in another phone Then in family caregivers of cesarean section maternity, six participators (control group) received symptomatic treatment, normal health care and communication as usual, meanwhile they were compared with five participators (medAR group) who experienced medAR and received the same treatment as control group.

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Managing Urinary Incontinence

This article is part of a series, Supporting Family Caregivers: No Longer Home Alone, published in collaboration with the AARP Public Policy Institute. 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 aren't given the information they need to manage the complex care regimens of family members. 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.The articles in this new installment of the series provide simple and useful instructions that nurses should reinforce with family caregivers. This article is the second of two that provide an update on urinary incontinence and its management in older adults. It includes an informational tear sheet-Information for Family Caregivers-that contains links to the instructional videos. To use this series, nurses should read the articles first, so they understand how best to help family caregivers, and then encourage caregivers to watch the videos and ask questions. For additional information, see Resources for Nurses.

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Living with dementia: using mentalization-based understandings to support family carers

The number of people living with dementia is rising due to the aging of the population. Nearly two thirds of people with dementia live at home and the majority of the emotional and practical support that they receive is provided by family carers. Psychodynamic perspectives provide a valuable framework of understanding from which to consider the emotional dimensions of caring for a family member who is living with dementia. This paper offers a further contribution to this emerging field of knowledge by discussing the impact that mentalizing and non-mentalizing states of mind may have on the dynamics of the relationship between a person with dementia and their family carers. The potential benefits of using mentalization-based understandings are illustrated by four case vignettes. The vignettes are taken from a communication skills training course for family carers called Empowered Conversations and a web-based support initiative called Empowered Carers, which is targeted at family carers who provide intensive support for people living with dementia in their own homes. 

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The Kintun program for families with dementia: From novel experiment to national policy (innovative practice)

The Kintun program is the first public health strategy specifically designed for dementia care in Chile. It was launched in 2013 in the city of Santiago with support from the National Service for the Elderly and the Municipality of Peñalolén. Using an interdisciplinary team, the program seeks to promote community integration and better support for persons with dementia and their caregivers. The multicomponent program includes: an activity-based day care center, training and education of family caregivers, home visits, and community outreach to increase dementia awareness. Case management helps to monitor ongoing needs and link families to resources. To date, 259 dyads (persons with dementia and their families) have been enrolled in the program. Due to its success in 2015, the Kintun program received funding from the Ministry of Health. This has led to the integration of previously disparate initiatives, better consistency across services, and the development of a comprehensive national dementia plan for Chile. 

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"It has been fun. Super‐duper fantastic": Findings from a Danish respite programme to support young carers

Awareness of young carers' experiences and needs is low on governmental and societal levels in Denmark. This article presents findings from the first evaluation of a Danish respite programme, the Buddy Programme, which aims to provide support to young carers aged 5–15 years who experience serious, chronic or mental health problems and/or death of a parent or sibling. Over a four‐six month period, volunteer students from University College Copenhagen offer young carers the opportunity of respite through participating in ordinary activities such as play and sports. In 2017–2018, based on a child‐centred approach, we conducted a qualitative study with interviews focusing on how the Buddy programme affected the children. The interviews took place at programme start, halfway through, and after completion with 22 children and 21 parents, as well as single interviews with 20 Buddies assigned to families after completion. Three main themes were identified: (1) the Buddy programme as an activity, (2) how the Buddy Programme affected the children and (3) ending the Buddy programme and wanting to continue the friendship. Our findings emphasise the importance of fun and cosy activities that provide children with respite from the serious concerns that otherwise fill the lives of young carers. Being with a Buddy created a free space, allowing children to play undisturbed and to temporarily keep concerns and a guilty conscience at a distance. By offering friendship, Buddies provided opportunities for young carers to feel special, be seen, acknowledged and taken seriously as a child with valid and specific needs and interests. Our findings may help increase awareness of the needs and interests of young carers on governmental and societal levels.

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Interventions to enhance access to and utilization of formal community care services for home dwelling persons with dementia and their informal carers. A scoping review

Objectives: Home dwelling people with dementia and their informal carers often do not receive the formal care services they need. This study examined and mapped the research regarding interventions to improve access and use of formal community care services. Method: This is a scoping review with searches in PubMed, CINAHL, PsychINFO, Medline, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Social Science Citation index and searches of grey literature in international and national databases. Studies were categorized according to the measure used to enhance access or use. Results: From international databases, 2833 studies were retrieved, 11 were included. Five studies were included from other sources. In total, 16 studies published between 1989 and 2018 were examined; seven randomized controlled trials, six pretest-posttest studies and three non-randomized controlled studies. Sample sizes varied from 29 to 2682 participants, follow-up from four weeks to four years. Five types of interventions were identified: Case management, monetary support, referral enhancing, awareness & information focused and inpatient focused. Only two studies had access or use of community services as the primary outcome. Fourteen studies, representing all five types of interventions, had positive effects on one or more relevant outcomes. Two interventions had no effect on relevant outcomes. Conclusion: The included studies varied widely regarding design, type of intervention and outcomes. Based on this, the evidence base for interventions to enhance access to and use of formal community services is judged to be limited. The most studied type of intervention was case management. More research is recommended in this field.

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The influence of songwriting on quality of life of family caregivers of people with dementia: An exploratory study

Introduction: Living with a person with dementia (PWD) causes physical and psychological problems in family caregivers (FCGs), as well as a reduction in their Quality of Life (QOL). The purpose of this study was to examine the possible effectiveness of the therapeutic songwriting method for improving the QOL and well-being of FCGs of PWD. Methods: The sample of caregivers (n = 21) was divided into three homogeneous groups that received 12 intervention sessions. A non-randomized, quasi-experimental design with repeated measures (pre-post intervention) was employed to determine a possible therapeutic effect. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36v2), Beck Depression Inventory, and Rosenberg Self- Esteem Scale were administered before and after the intervention. Results: The results showed a decrease in anxiety and depression scores and an increase in scores of self-esteem after the intervention. Regarding QOL, post-intervention scores in the Mental Component Summary and Mental Health were significantly higher. In contrast, a small effect size was observed for difference between pre-test and post-test on the subscales of QOL: General Health, Social functioning, Role Emotional and Bodily Pain. Discussion: This exploratory study concludes that therapeutic songwriting can help to reduce caregivers' symptoms of depression and anxiety and improve their perceived self-esteem and QOL. This work reinforces the progress made to date and provides new results that highlight the benefits of music therapy for FCGs of PWD.

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How Do Military Family Caregivers Who Completed a Supportive Intervention Differ From Those Who Dropped Out?

Background. To create efficacious interventions for military family caregivers (MFCs), it is important to understand the characteristics and predictors of completers and dropouts of newly developed supportive interventions. Aim. The purpose of this study was to examine completion patterns in MFCs enrolled in an educational intervention feasibility study. Method. Baseline data are presented from MFC completers (n = 64) and dropouts (n = 60) of a national feasibility study for an innovative intervention. Measures include depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-2), anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7), somatic symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire-15), quality of life (World Health Organization Quality of Life-Brief), relationship satisfaction (Relationship Assessment Scale), and military care recipient number of injuries. Analysis of variance was used to evaluate differences between completers and dropouts and logistic regression was used to identify predictors of intervention completion. Results. Results indicated that MFCs with greater anxiety, χ2(3) = 10.33, p = .02; depression, χ2(1) = 8.18, p = .004; somatic symptoms, F(1, 106) = 6.26, p = .01; care recipient number of injuries, F(1, 118) = 16.31, p < .001; lower general satisfaction with treatment, F(1, 96) = 4.34, p = .04; and lower satisfaction with accessibility and convenience with treatment, F(1, 89) = 4.18, p = .04, were significantly more likely to complete the intervention. After multivariate analysis, the sole predictor of intervention completion was the number of care recipients' injuries, χ2(6) = 14.89, N = 77, p < .05. Conclusions. Overall, findings indicate that MFCs who were more "at risk" were more likely to complete the intervention. Findings present patterns of intervention completion and provide insight on areas in need of further investigation on intervention development supporting the needs of MFCs.

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Family Caregiving for Older Adults

Family members are the primary source of support for older adults with chronic illness and disability. Thousands of published empirical studies and dozens of reviews have documented the psychological and physical health effects of caregiving, identified caregivers at risk for adverse outcomes, and evaluated a wide range of intervention strategies to support caregivers. Caregiving as chronic stress exposure is the conceptual driver for much of this research. We review and synthesize the literature on the impact of caregiving and intervention strategies for supporting caregivers. The impact of caregiving is highly variable, driven largely by the intensity of care provided and the suffering of the care recipient. The intervention literature is littered with many failures and some successes. Successful interventions address both the pragmatics of care and the emotional toll of caregiving. We conclude with both research and policy recommendations that address a national agenda for caregiving.

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Elements of Social Convoy Theory in Mobile Health for Palliative Care: Scoping Review

Background: Mobile health (mHealth) provides a unique modality for improving access to and awareness of palliative care among patients, families, and caregivers from diverse backgrounds. Some mHealth palliative care apps exist, both commercially available and established by academic researchers. However, the elements of family support and family caregiving tools offered by these early apps is unknown.; Objective: The objective of this scoping review was to use social convoy theory to describe the inclusion and functionality of family, social relationships, and caregivers in palliative care mobile apps.; Methods: Using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Review guidelines, a systematic search of palliative care mHealth included (1) research-based mobile apps identified from academic searches published between January 1, 2010, and March 31, 2019 and (2) commercially available apps for app stores in April 2019. Two reviewers independently assessed abstracts, app titles, and descriptions against the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Abstracted data covered app name, research team or developer, palliative care element, target audience, and features for family support and caregiving functionality as defined by social convoy theory.; Results: Overall, 10 articles describing 9 individual research-based apps and 22 commercially available apps were identified. Commercially available apps were most commonly designed for both patients and social convoys, whereas the majority of research apps were designed for patient use only.; Conclusions: Results suggest there is an emerging presence of apps for patients and social convoys receiving palliative care; however, there are many needs for developers and researchers to address in the future. Although palliative care mHealth is a growing field, additional research is needed for apps that embrace a team approach to information sharing, target family- and caregiver-specific issues, promote access to palliative care, and are comprehensive of palliative needs.

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Effects of Accessible Health Technology and Caregiver Support Posthospitalization on 30-Day Readmission Risk: A Randomized Trial

Patients with chronic illness often require ongoing support postdischarge. This study evaluated a simple-to-use, mobile health-based program designed to improve postdischarge follow-up via (1) tailored communication to patients using automated calls, (2) structured feedback to informal caregivers, and (3) automated alerts to clinicians about urgent problems. A total of 283 patients with common medical diagnoses, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary artery disease, pneumonia, and diabetes, were recruited from a university hospital, a community hospital, and a US Department of Veterans Affairs hospital. All patients identified an informal caregiver or "care partner" (CP) to participate in their postdischarge support. Patient-CP dyads were randomized to the intervention or usual care. Intervention patients received weekly automated assessment and behavior change calls. CPs received structured e-mail feedback. Outpatient clinicians received fax alerts about serious problems. Primary outcomes were 30-day readmission rate and the combined outcome of readmission/emergency department (ED) use. Information about postdischarge outpatient visits, rehospitalizations, and ED encounters was obtained from medical records. Overall, 11.4% of intervention patients and 17.9% of controls were rehospitalized within 30 days postdischarge (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.59; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.31–1.11; p = 0.102). Compared to intervention patients with other illnesses, those with pulmonary diagnoses generated the most clinical alerts (p = 0.004). Pulmonary patients in the intervention group showed significantly reduced 30-day risk of rehospitalization relative to controls (HR: 0.31; 95% CI: 0.11–0.87; p = 0.026). The CP intervention did not improve 30-day readmission rates overall, although post hoc analyses suggested that it may be promising among patients with pulmonary diagnoses.

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The Effect of National Family Caregiver Support Program Services on Caregiver Burden

Extant evidence on the effectiveness of caregiver programs in alleviating caregiver burden is mixed, underscoring the need for further investigations. This study evaluated the effect of the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) educational services and respite care on caregiver burden. We used survey data from caregivers assigned to program (n = 491) or comparison (n = 417) group based on their reported use of NFCSP services. Adjusted difference-in-differences (DiD) analysis found an increase in mean burden scores for both groups from baseline to 6 or 12 months. Among program caregivers receiving ≥4 hr of NFCSP respite care per week (n = 307) and matched comparisons (n = 370), burden scores decreased slightly for program caregivers (-0.095 points), but increased for comparison caregivers (+0.145 points). The DiD (0.239 points) was not statistically significant. More research is needed to determine the minimum amount of respite care needed to positively impact caregiver burden.

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The development of a family participatory dignity therapy programme for patients with haematologic neoplasms and their family caregivers in China: A feasibility study

Objective: To develop a communication prompt based on dignity therapy to facilitate effective conversations between patients with haematologic neoplasms and their family caregivers and to improve the programme and preliminarily explore the benefits and challenges of family participatory dignity therapy (FPDT).; Methods: A mixed-methods approach was applied to develop and revise the programme. The FPDT was developed and validated using the Delphi survey, and its further improvement was explored with a simple one-group pre- and post-trial and semi-structured in-depth interviews.; Results: Most of the FPDT items were endorsed by experts and patient-family dyads. The Content Validity Index was 93.6% in the first round of the Delphi survey and 100% in the second round. The "hope level," "spiritual well-being" and "general health" scores of pre- and post-testing increased from 33.60 ± 4.30 to 37.70 ± 5.10 (t = 3.99, p = .003); from 30.30 ± 3.65 to 38.80 ± 7.29(t = 4.13, p = .003); and from 41.67 ± 8.78 to 53.33 ± 8.05 (t = 3.50, p = .007) respectively. The qualitative data also indicated that the project was meaningful and well received.; Conclusions: We showed that FPDT was a valuable and feasible means of improving communication between patients with haematologic neoplasms and their family caregivers in China by raising the hope level and spiritual well-being and promoting general health.

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Coping with cognitive impairment and family caregiving: Introduction to the special section

Consistent with the long history within Psychology and Aging of publishing high impact articles on family caregiving, the current Special Section includes 5 articles that provide important advances, in knowledge and in methodological sophistication, to the study of cognitive difficulty, impairment and family caregiving. One study used daily diary data over 14 days to conduct microlongitudinal analyses of the prospective impact of everyday memory failures on negative affect and marital interactions in older couples. Also relying on dyadic data, 2 other articles addressed the impact of caregiving on family members, including a study of the effects of transitioning to family caregiving over time on well-being in older husbands and wives, and a comparison of primary and secondary caregivers. Together, these articles represent important methodological advances in terms of the use of longitudinal data to study the effects of transition to cognitive impairment and spousal caregiving within the couple, and the inclusion of multiple caregivers to illustrate the impacts of caregiving in the broader family. In addition, two articles examined issues in clinical intervention for caregivers. Both articles offer new insights about the effectiveness of caregiver interventions, with the former focusing on the relative merits of offering intervention components in a flexible way over the manualized approach, and the latter a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis to tease out the relative utility of different intervention characteristics and approaches, with a new lens to look at psychoeducational programs. The implications of these articles for family caregiving and further research advances are discussed. 

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Applying the concept of structural empowerment to interactions between families and home-care nurses

Interpretations of family carer empowerment in much nursing research, and in home-care practice and policy, rarely attend explicitly to families' choice or control about the nature, extent or length of their involvement, or control over the impact on their own health. In this article, structural empowerment is used as an analytic lens to examine home-care nurses' interactions with families in one Western Canadian region. Data were collected from 75 hrs of fieldwork in 59 interactions (18 nurses visiting 16 families) and interviews with 12 nurses and 11 family carers. Generally, nurses prioritized client empowerment, and their practice with families appeared oriented to supporting their role and needs as carers (i.e. rather than as unique individuals beyond the caring role), and reinforcing the caring role through validation and recognition. Although families generally expressed appreciation for these interactions, a structural empowerment lens illustrates how the broad context of home care shapes the interpretation and practice of empowerment in ways that can, paradoxically, be disempowering for families. Opportunities to effectively support family choice and control when a client is being cared for at home are discussed.

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An Informal Carer Hub to Support Carers Looking After COPD Patients in the UK and Netherlands

In the UK, about 3 million people live with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Informal carers such as family and friends play a vital role in promoting well-being among older adults suffering from COPD. However, difficulties experienced by caregivers are increasing and affecting their quality of life. New technologies and innovations such as m-health have the potential in reducing the burden of these carers. In this paper, we propose an informal carer hub (ICH), which is part of the WELCOME EU project to help informal carers better manage COPD patients in two European countries: the UK and the Netherlands. The acceptability of the system has been tested by making use of a modified version of the technology acceptance model (TAM 3). The aim of this study was to ensure that the proposed informal carer application is easy to learn, effective to use and acceptable from the informal carers’ perspectives. 

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Typology of Technology-Supported Dementia Care Interventions From an In-Home Telehealth Trial

Identifying the needs of dementia caregivers is critical for supporting dementia home care. This study identified a typology of expert interventions delivered to dementia caregivers during an innovative telehealth trial that used in-home video recordings to directly observe care challenges. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyze narrative notes describing interventions that were developed based on video data submitted by 33 caregiver–care recipient dyads. Two major themes emerged: education and skills for dementia care and caregiver support. Ten subthemes included education and skills related to: behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, disease expectations, safety, activities of daily living, medical care optimization, and medication utilization and caregiver support related to: respite, positive reinforcement, social and financial support, and self-care. Families providing in-home dementia care experience a wide range of care challenges. By using video data, dementia care experts were able to witness and evaluate challenging care situations and provide individualized feedback. 

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Supporting Family Caregivers With Technology for Dementia Home Care: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Background and Objectives: The number of persons living with dementia (PLWD) in the United States will reach 16 million by 2050. Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia challenge family caregivers and contribute to negative caregiver outcomes such as burden and depression. Available technology can support the delivery of effective interventions to families providing dementia care at home. The Supporting Family Caregivers with Technology for Dementia Home Care (FamTechCare) randomized controlled trial evaluated the effects of a telehealth intervention on caregiver outcomes.; Research Design and Methods: The FamTechCare intervention provides tailored dementia-care strategies to in-home caregivers based on video recordings caregivers submit of challenging care situations. An expert team reviews the videos and provides individualized interventions weekly for the experimental group. In the telephone-support attention control group, caregivers receive feedback from an interventionist via the telephone based on caregiver retrospective recall of care challenges. Effects of the intervention on caregiver outcomes, including burden, depression, sleep disturbance, competence, desire to institutionalize the PLWD, and caregiver reaction to behavioral symptoms were evaluated by fitting linear mixed regression models to changes in the outcomes measured at 1 and 3 months.; Results: FamTechCare caregivers (n = 42) had greater reductions in depression (p = .012) and gains in competence (p = .033) after 3 months compared to the attention control group (n = 41). Living in rural areas was associated with a reduction in depression for FamTechCare caregivers (p = .002). Higher level of education was associated with greater improvements or lesser declines in burden, competence, and reaction to behavioral symptoms for both the FamTechCare and attention control caregivers.; Discussion and Implications: This research demonstrated benefits of using available technology to link families to dementia care experts using video-recording technology. It provides a foundation for future research testing telehealth interventions, tailored based on rich contextual data to support families, including those in rural or remote locations.

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Psychosocial Interventions for Informal Caregivers of Lung Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review

Objective: Caregivers of patients with lung cancer often face physical, emotional, and financial distress, which not only negatively affects the caregivers' mental health and quality of life but may also impact patients' well-being. The purpose of this systematic review is to examine the content, delivery, and efficacy of psychosocial interventions targeting caregivers of lung cancer patients.; Methods: Studies included in this systematic review assessed psychosocial interventions for caregivers of lung cancer patients that were published in English between January 2009 and December 2017. These interventions focused on burden, mental health, quality of life, self-efficacy, and/or coping as outcome measures. CINAHL, PubMed, PsycInfo, Science Direct, and Web of Science databases were searched using the terms (lung cancer OR lung neoplasms OR thoracic cancer) AND (caregiver OR caregiving) AND (intervention OR program) to systematically review the relevant literature on this topic.; Results: From the 22 studies included in this systematic review, interventions were classified into four categories: communication-based interventions, coping skills training interventions, multicomponent interventions, and stress reduction interventions. The majority of the interventions (especially communication-based and multicomponent) led to improvement, albeit not always statistically significant, in one or more outcomes; however, the most frequently reported improvements included, burden, distress, anxiety, depression, overall quality of life, self-efficacy, and coping abilities.; Conclusions: The unmet needs of informal caregivers of lung cancer patients have a significant impact on their mental health and quality of life, but this burden can be alleviated by psychosocial interventions that offer appropriate support, education, and resources.

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Process Evaluation of Nurse-Led Online Self-Management Support for Family Caregivers to Deal With Behavior Changes of a Relative With Dementia (Part 1): Mixed Methods Study

Background: Coping with behavioral changes is a daily challenge for family caregivers in all phases of dementia, and assistance is needed for it. An online self-management support intervention was therefore developed and conducted involving the following elements: (1) email contact with a specialized dementia nurse, (2) online videos, and (3) e-bulletins containing information about behavior changes and how to manage them.; Objective: The aim of this study was to understand (1) family caregivers' actual use of various elements of the online self-management support, (2) family caregivers' evaluation and satisfaction with the various elements, and (3) nurses' usage and evaluations of the online support through the tailored email contacts.; Methods: A mixed methods design was used in this process evaluation, combining quantitative and qualitative methods including analyses of dementia nurses' registration forms, the number of clicks on online videos and e-bulletins, evaluation questions answered by family caregivers in a survey questionnaire, semistructured interviews with family caregivers and nurses, and analysis of the content of the email contacts.; Results: The actual use of various elements of the online self-management support by family caregivers varied: 78% (21/27) of family caregivers had an email contact with the specialist nurse, 80% (43/54) of family caregivers clicked on an online video, and 37% (30/81) clicked on an e-bulletin. Family caregivers showed positive evaluations and satisfaction. The tailor-made approach in the personal email contacts in particular was valued by the family caregivers. Nurses' evaluations about providing self-management support online were mixed as it was a relatively new task for them.; Conclusions: An important insight is that not all participants made optimum use of the various elements of the intervention. Nurses also said that the email contacts were more often used to express feelings about coping with behavioral changes. More research is needed to investigate the reasons why people accept, adopt, and adhere to online interventions to reduce cases where they are not used and to back them up appropriately with tailored (online) information and advice for their personal situations.

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Portrait of a Caregiver: Ethnodrama Development and Its Influence on Caregiver Well-Being

Background and Objectives: The majority of long-term care needs are placed upon family members who often receive minimal support. In this study, we collaborate with family caregivers to create an ethnodrama about their experience and assess outcomes of participation, including caregiver well-being.; Methods: Participants met over 4 months to discuss their roles as informal caregivers. Discussions were analyzed in a two-phase process and themes were developed into a script. Member checks included script review and revisions, culminating in viewing a professional performance of the play followed by a post-performance discussion and reflection. Data were gathered at six timepoints to assess caregiver well-being and longitudinal analysis was used to assess change during the course of the intervention.; Results: Twenty-two caregivers completed intervention activities. Participant reactions to the process evolved overtime, from an initial hesitance about what individuals had to offer leading to an acknowledgement of feeling heard and a desire to help others. Caregivers had high levels of burden and positive perceptions towards caregiving. Those with high levels of self-rated health had the lowest levels of burden and the most positive perceptions of caregiving.; Discussion and Implications: Developing an ethnodrama in partnership with caregivers is a unique and feasible method of caregiver support, mentoring, reflexivity, and meaning making. Promoting caregiver health early in the caregiving trajectory has the potential of reducing burden and elevating positivity towards caregiving.

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Outcomes of art therapy and coloring for professional and informal caregivers of patients in a radiation oncology unit: A mixed methods pilot study

Purpose: Caring for cancer patients can be highly stressful for both family caregivers and oncology professionals. These high levels of stress can lead to poorer patient outcomes and increased risk of health problems for the caregivers themselves. Art therapy may help these caregivers as art-making can be a relaxing and enjoyable form of self-expression and art therapists can support individuals in expressing and processing challenging emotions. Research on art-making or art therapy with caregivers of cancer patients has shown some positive results, but its interpretation is limited by the use of multifaceted interventions.; Method: In this mixed-methods study we compared two brief arts-based approaches for both professional and informal caregivers: single sessions of coloring or open-studio art therapy, with a 45-minute session each. Assessments included self-reports of affect, stress, self-efficacy, anxiety, burnout arnd creative agency alongside salivary biomarkers before and after the session. Open-ended questions, field notes and observations formed the qualitative part of the study.; Results: Thirty-four professional (n=25) and informal (n=9) caregivers participated. Participants in both conditions showed increases in positive affect, creative agency, and self-efficacy and decreases in negative affect, anxiety, perceived stress, and burnout. Participants in both conditions expressed enjoyment, relaxation, appreciation of time away from stressors, creative problem solving, a sense of flow, and personal and existential insight. The two approaches also elicited distinct experiences with participants reporting that they found improved focus in coloring and appreciated the support and freedom of expression in open studio art therapy.; Conclusions: These findings suggest that even brief art-making interventions can be beneficial for stressed caregivers of cancer patients. As experience with art-making increased the impact, repeated sessions may be even more useful. We recommend that oncology units have dedicated studio spaces with therapeutic support and different forms of art-making available to meet individual caregiver needs.

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An Online Minimally Guided Intervention to Support Family and Other Unpaid Carers of People With Dementia: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial

Background: About three-quarters of people with dementia live in their own homes, with help from family members and/or other unpaid carers, such as friends or neighbors. Often, unpaid carers themselves experience negative consequences, such as stress, burden, and symptoms of depression or anxiety. Research has shown that these consequences can be alleviated by psychosocial and psychological interventions. Moreover, there are indications that those interventions can be effective when offered online.; Objective: This paper describes the protocol of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) that will take place in the Netherlands to evaluate the effectiveness of iSupport, a minimally guided, internet-based intervention to improve carers' mental health and coping resources.; Methods: A superiority two-arm RCT comparing the effects of the online support program with a waiting list control condition will be carried out in the Netherlands. The iSupport intervention was developed by the World Health Organization and is based on cognitive behavioral therapy principles. It has five main themes divided into 23 lessons. Carers can pick and choose which lessons they want to complete. We aim to recruit 200 unpaid carers. The experimental group (n=100) will be provided with access to the intervention for 3 months following randomization; those in the waiting list control group (n=100) will be granted access to the intervention after 3 months. Assessments will be conducted at baseline (T0), 3 months after baseline (post intervention, T1), and 6 months after baseline (follow-up, T2). The primary outcome is perceived stress, measured by the Perceived Stress Scale. Secondary outcomes are symptoms of depression and anxiety, caregiver burden, sense of competence, self-efficacy, mastery, and carers' attitudes toward dementia and their person-centered approach (ie, to what extent carers tailor the provided care to the interest, needs, and history of the person with dementia).; Results: Recruitment for the trial started in January 2019. As of July 2019, we have enrolled 120 participants. Data collection is expected to be completed by March 2020. Once all the data have been collected, we will conduct the data analyses between April and May 2020. We aim to publish our results in a manuscript by June 2020.; Conclusions: Online interventions have shown promising results in improving the mental health of carers of people with dementia. Additionally, online interventions may overcome accessibility barriers. If successful, this intervention will have important potential for implementation as a public health intervention, since costs and support by trained staff are minimal.; Trial Registration: Netherlands Trial Register (NTL) NL6417; https://www.trialregister.nl/trial/6417.; International Registered Report Identifier (irrid): DERR1-10.2196/14106.; ©Ángel C Pinto-Bruno, Anne Margriet Pot, Annet Kleiboer, Rose-Marie Droes, Annemieke van Straten. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (http://www.researchprotocols.org), 10.10.2019.

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Occupational therapy for people with dementia and their family carers provided at home: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Objective: To determine the effect of occupational therapy provided at home on activities of daily living, behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) and quality of life (QOL) for people with dementia, and the effect on family carer burden, depression and QOL.; Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis.; Methods: Eight databases were searched to February 2018. Randomised controlled trials of occupational therapy delivered at home for people with dementia and their family carers that measured ADL, and/or BPSD were included. Two independent reviewers determined eligibility, risk of bias and extracted data.; Results: Fifteen trials were included (n=2063). Occupational therapy comprised multiple components (median=8 sessions). Compared with usual care or attention control occupational therapy resulted in improvements in the following outcomes for people with dementia: overall ADL after intervention (standardised means difference (SMD) 0.61, 95% CI 0.16 to 1.05); instrumental ADL alone (SMD 0.22, 95% CI 0.07 to 0.37; moderate quality); number of behavioural and psychological symptoms (SMD -0.32, 95% CI -0.57 to -0.08; moderate quality); and QOL (SMD 0.76, 95% CI 0.28 to 1.24) after the intervention and at follow-up (SMD 1.07, 95% CI 0.58 to 1.55). Carers reported less hours assisting the person with dementia (SMD -0.33, 95% CI -0.58 to -0.07); had less distress with behaviours (SMD -0.23, 95% CI -0.42 to -0.05; moderate quality) and improved QOL (SMD 0.99, 95% CI 0.66 to 1.33; moderate quality). Two studies compared occupational therapy with a comparison intervention and found no statistically significant results. GRADE ratings indicated evidence was very low to moderate quality.; Conclusions: Findings suggest that occupational therapy provided at home may improve a range of important outcomes for people with dementia and their family carers. Health professionals could consider referring them for occupational therapy.; Prospero Registration Number: CRD42011001166.

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Meeting centres support programme highly appreciated by people with dementia and carers: a European cross-country evaluation

Background: The Meeting Centres Support Programme (MCSP) offers a combined approach to providing practical, emotional and social support to people living with mild to moderately severe dementia and their family carers in the community. Methods: A mixed methods explanatory design was used. The evaluation took place within the framework of the international Joint Programme - Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) - MEETINGDEM study in nine Meeting Centres in Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom. Eighty-seven people with dementia and 81 family carers completed a user evaluation survey after three months and 83 people with dementia and 84 carers after 6 months of participation in MCSP. Thirty-two people with dementia and 30 carers took part in focus groups after nine months. Results: The percentage of people with dementia who were very satisfied with the programme increased significantly over time (p = 0.05). The majority of carers reported that they felt less burdened after three months of participation in MCSP (48.1% much less; 35.4% a little less). After six months, this percentage increased significantly to 91% (p = 0.04, 57.7% much less; 33.3% little less). Focus group analysis showed that people with dementia and carers in all countries/centres improved their ability to maintain emotional balance. Conclusions: The MCSP is highly appreciated by people with dementia and carers in all countries and it confirms the results of previous research into MCSP in the Netherlands. Our findings indicate that MCSP is a model that can help its users to increase their capacity to deal with the challenges caused by dementia and can promote emotional balance.

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Carers and Physical Activity Policy Briefing

This policy briefing is designed for professionals to share some initial insight from our work with Sport England. Further research on carers and inactivity including best practice examples and recommendations will be released in a report later in 2020.

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Implementing Caregiver Support Programs in a Regional Stroke System

Background and Purpose- Family caregivers play a central role in the recovery of people with stroke. They need support to optimize the care they provide and their own health and well-being. Despite support from the literature and best practice recommendations, healthcare systems are not formally adopting caregiver programs. This study aimed to describe system-level facilitators and barriers to caregiver support program implementation in a regional stroke system. Methods- Using a qualitative descriptive study design, focus groups were conducted with regional rehabilitation specialists, education coordinators, community and long-term care specialists, and regional/district program directors. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with regional medical directors, health professionals providing stroke care in acute care, rehabilitation and community settings, regional health executives, and primary care leaders. Data were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Results- Four focus groups (n=43) and 29 interviews were conducted. We identified 4 themes related to caregiver program implementation: (1) establishing the need for caregiver education and support in an integrated healthcare system; (2) incorporating caregiver programs into the system of care across the care continuum; (3) uncertainty regarding ownership and responsibility for implementation; and (4) addressing regional variations related to access, availability, and culture. Conclusions- This study provides a comprehensive understanding of organization and system-level considerations for implementing caregiver programs in a regional stroke system. Program implementation requires evidence to establish the need for caregiver programs, practical strategies, and establishing ownership to incorporate programs into existing healthcare systems, and consideration of regional variations across healthcare systems. Ultimately, adopting programs to support caregivers will improve recovery in people with stroke and caregiver well-being.

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Helping Hispanic Family Caregivers of Persons With Dementia "Get the Picture" About Health Status Through Tailored Infographics

Background and Objectives Caregivers need to understand their health status and the disabilities of the care recipient to engage in effective health management. Infographics tailored with personal health data are a promising approach to facilitating comprehension, particularly for individuals with low health literacy/limited English proficiency. Such approaches may be especially important for dementia caregivers given the high care burden. Research Design and Methods Guided by the Health Belief Model and the Data-Frame Theory of Sensemaking, we conducted iterative participatory design sessions with Hispanic family caregivers (N = 16) of persons with dementia. We created multiple prototype infographic designs to display scores on validated instruments of topics such as caregiving burden, overall health, and psychological distress. We retained and refined designs participants judged to be easily comprehensible. Analysis focused on identifying the graphical elements that contributed to the comprehensibility of designs and on evaluating participants' reactions to the designs. Results Successful infographics used intuitive scaling consistent with caregivers' perspective of dementia as inevitable decline. Participants reacted to infographics by describing the self-management actions they would take to address the health issue at hand. Discussion and Implications Tailored infographics supported caregivers' comprehension of their health status and served as cues to engaging in self-management. As such, they should be presented in the context of informational support that can facilitate selection of appropriate next steps. This can mitigate the potential mental and physical health consequences of caregiving and enable caregivers to continue to care for their relatives with dementia with less damage to their own well-being. 

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Findings From a Real-World Translation Study of the Evidence-Based "Partners in Dementia Care"

Background and Objectives: Numerous non-pharmacological programs for family caregivers and persons with dementia (PWDs) have been found efficacious in randomized controlled trials. Few programs have been tested in translation studies that assess feasibility and outcomes in less-controlled, real-world implementations. This translation study tested the impact of the partnership version of BRI Care Consultation, "Partners in Dementia Care (PDC)," on outcomes for PWDs and their family/friend caregivers. PDC was delivered via partnerships between the Louis Stokes Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Greater East Ohio Alzheimer's Association Chapter and the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging. PDC is a personalized coaching program done by telephone, e-mail, and regular mail.; Research Design and Methods: For this translation study, the program was implemented in a manner that mirrored a non-research implementation. The study sample included 148 caregivers and 84 PWDs who used PDC for 12 months. Research data came from 2 structured telephone interviews, one before program implementation and a follow-up after program completion. PWDs and caregivers averaged 14 telephone contacts with Care Consultants over the 12-month study period, and 12 behavioral action steps to address problems or concerns.; Results: Repeated measures ANOVAs showed the use of PDC was related to significant improvements across several outcomes for PWDs and caregivers, with greater benefits in more difficult caregiving situations. Caregivers had decreased levels of isolation, physical health strain, unmet needs; and increased confidence in caregiving capacity, informal helpers, and support service use. PWDs had decreased embarrassment about memory problems and unmet needs; and increased informal support and community service use.; Discussion and Implications: Overall, improved outcomes for PWDs and caregivers in this translation study were similar to findings from previous randomized trials, and affirmed the value of the program when delivered as a regular service offering by health care and community service organizations.

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E-learning as valuable caregivers' support for people with dementia - A systematic review

Background: Present demographic trends show a considerable rise in elderly populations with aging disorders, such as dementia. The current article focused on the exploitation of e-learning as an informal support for caregivers of people with dementia and considered its benefits and limitations to provide proper and relevant care for this target group of people as well as maintain the quality of life of their caregivers.; Methods: The methodology of this study is based on a literature review of accessible peer-review articles from three recognized databases: Web of Science, Scopus, and PubMed. The findings of the selected studies were compared and evaluated.; Results: The findings showed that e-learning educational programs/courses helped caregivers feel more confident about dementia care, reduced their perceived stress and enhanced their feelings of empathy, understanding and concern.; Conclusions: The findings of this study reveal that the exploitation of e-learning as a support tool, especially for informal caregivers, in the management of dementia may be a promising method, but its implementation requires professional training of informal caregivers in the use of this technology. More evidence-based studies are needed on this topic.

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Effect of the Integrated Prospective Payment Program on Family Members' Knowledge and Acceptance of Hospice Care of Patients on Prolonged Mechanical Ventilation

Background: We sought to evaluate the effect of an integrated prospective payment program (IPP) on knowledge of hospice care and willingness to participate in hospice care among family members of patients on prolonged mechanical ventilation (PMV).; Methods: Between November 2013 and April 2014, we used paper-based survey questionnaires from 64 institutions to evaluate knowledge, willingness, and related factors among the main caregivers of patients on PMV regarding hospice care and to determine whether their decisions for the patients were affected by the IPP.; Results: The average ages of the respondents and patients on PMV were 51.9 y and 70.8 y respectively; 70.6% of the respondents knew about the Hospice Palliative Care Act (HPCA), and 42.3% of the medical staff had introduced hospice care-related information to patients and caregivers in Taiwan. Among the caregiver respondents, 67.6% agreed to write a letter of intent regarding the choice of hospice care or limited life-sustaining treatment. In total, 66.2% (16.1 + 50.1%) of the respondents agreed to hospice care for their family members (ie, the patients on PMV) when the condition was terminal. The factors of greater HPCA knowledge among the patients on PMV were IPP participation, female sex, and coma status. Factors leading to higher levels of HPCA knowledge included age ≥ 65 y being married, higher income, awareness of the law, and being introduced to hospice care by medical staff.; Conclusions: High levels of hospice care knowledge were unrelated to willingness to participate. HPCA knowledge was greater in the IPP group than in the non-IPP group; however, there was no significant difference in the willingness to agree to hospice care. It is recommended that individuals be encouraged to express their medical decisions.

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The effect of psychosocial support on caregivers' perceived criticism and emotional over-involvement of persons with dementia: an assessor-blinded randomized controlled trial

Background: Many relatives of close family members suffering from dementia have taken on the caregiver role. While intervention studies have revealed promising results on caregiver burden, distress, and depression, there is a lack of knowledge about how caregivers' perceived relationship with their ill family member influences the burden of care. This study examined whether a psychosocial intervention influenced this perceived relationship from the caregivers' perspective. We also explored whether the caregivers' perception of the care receiver's attitude and behavior changed over time, and whether caregiver stress and mood differed following the intervention.; Methods: The participating caregivers and care receivers were randomly assigned to a psychosocial intervention comprising education about dementia, counselling and group sessions, or to treatment as usual. The study investigated caregivers' experience of expressed emotion using the Felt Expressed Emotion Rating Scale (FEERS), a self-report questionnaire that captures caregivers' perception of criticism (CC) and emotional over-involvement (EOI) exhibited by the family members with dementia.; Results: A total of 208 dyads were enrolled in the study. There were no significant differences between the intervention and control groups in the studied variables. Caregivers' perception of CC and EOI was low but fluctuated somewhat, whereas their mood and stress level were stable during the follow-up period.; Conclusions: According to the FEERS, the intervention did not influence caregivers' perception of CC and EOI, and there was no difference between the intervention and control groups regarding caregivers' perceived relationship. Despite the increased symptoms of dementia, caregivers' level of distress and mood remained stable, and they seemed to maintain a positive perception of the quality of their relationship with the care receiver.; Trial Registration: Clinical.Trials.gov Sept. 2009, NCT01287767.

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The Effect of a Nurse-Led Cognitive Behavioral Protocol on Depressive Symptoms and Coping Strategies of Dementia Caregivers

Background: Family caregivers of patients with dementia (PWD) often experience depressive symptoms and use poor coping strategies. Cognitive behavioral interventions may enhance positive appraisals of caregiving-related issues and the utilization of active coping strategies among caregivers, which may help prevent caregiver depression. However, there is a shortage of primary, community-based mental health services in China, and little research has been conducted on the effect of nurse-led mental health programs in this population.; Purpose: This study explored the effect of a nurse-led cognitive behavioral intervention on depressive symptoms and coping strategies among family caregivers of PWD in China.; Methods: This randomized controlled trial used data from a sample of 112 caregivers screened from 276 potential participants in a city in southeastern China. The sample was randomly assigned to an intervention group (n = 56) and a control group (n = 56). The intervention group received five monthly in-home, nurse-led cognitive behavioral sessions and telephone consultations after each session. The control group received five monthly, short, general conversations with nurse interventionists at the participants' homes, in the hospital, or via telephone. Depressive symptoms, coping strategies, and the demographics of caregiving dyads were collected at Time 1 (baseline), Time 2 (the end of the 5-month intervention), and Time 3 (2-month follow-up). IBM SPSS Statistics Version 19.0 was used for data analysis.; Results: Eighty-two participants (intervention group: n = 47, control group: n = 35) completed the three evaluations. No significant group differences were found in baseline characteristics between the two groups. The general linear model repeated-measures analysis of variance indicated a significant difference in depressive symptoms and active coping between groups over time, with p < .001 for the interaction between depressive symptoms and groups and p < .01 for the interaction between active coping and groups. A similar result did not occur for passive coping. The t tests further supported a significant interventional effect on participants' depressive symptoms and active coping.; Conclusions/implications For Practice: This nurse-led cognitive behavioral intervention was effective in decreasing depressive symptoms and improving active coping among study participants. The findings suggest the improvement of mental health services and social policies in China to support family caregivers of PWD.

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Evaluation of the Carers in Employment (CiE) Project

This government-funded and independently evaluated project, which ran from 2015-2017, looks at what works to support carers to remain or return to the workplace. The Carers in Employment (CiE) project took place in nine local authorities, who were encouraged to develop local solutions to support carers to remain in or return to work; work involving employers was found to be a central to the project’s success.

This is the evaluation report for the project. It finds that, out of the nearly three thousand carers who took part, CiE sites said that they had supported nearly 60% to stay in work. It is hoped that the findings of the independent evaluation will make an important contribution to ensuring that carers’ needs are reflected in future employment-related carer policy and practice. It is also hoped that the project will encourage the country’s carers to be part of the world of work and also to encourage more employers to be carer-friendly.

The work was commissioned by the Department of Health (now the Department of Health and Social Care), the Department for Work and Pensions and the Government Equalities Office. The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) co-ordinated and supported the delivery of the project. The Institute for Employment Studies (IES) was commissioned to undertake an independent evaluation.

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Development of a dyadic sleep intervention for Alzheimer's disease patients and their caregivers

Purpose: This study aimed to refine a behavioral sleep intervention program targeting patients with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. Methods: In this case series, key components of the sleep program were built upon previous intervention studies of patients with cognitive impairment/dementia. The intervention consisted of five weekly sessions covering sleep hygiene, sleep compression, stimulus control, daily walking/light exposure, relaxation/mindfulness, and caregiver training to manage patients' behavioral problems. The materials and structure were iteratively refined based on feedback from caregivers and sleep educators. Sleep diaries were used to evaluate sleep outcomes. Results: Five out of six enrolled dyads completed the sessions. Several revisions were made during testing: the last session was changed from telephone to in-person; some components (e.g., sleep scheduling, mindfulness) were rearranged within or across sessions; sleep educator guidelines for sleep scheduling, light exposure, and walking were revised. After the fifth dyad, no additional issues were identified by the caregiver or the sleep educator. Four patients and three caregivers had improved sleep at the last session. Conclusions: The iterative refinement process was successful in finalizing the intervention program, with evidence of sleep improvements. Formal pilot testing of the program will provide further information on feasibility and effectiveness. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION Our dyadic behavioral sleep program can be tailored to various types of sleep problems among patients with Alzheimer's disease and their family caregivers, with the goal of improving daytime function by reducing sleep disturbances at night. Caregiver training and participation of both members of the dyad in sleep management may benefit the patients' sleep and other health outcomes, reduce caregiver stress and burden, and ultimately delay or prevent institutionalization of Alzheimer's disease patients.

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Development and Implementation of the Family Caregiver Decision Guide

Care provided by family is the backbone of palliative care in Canada. The critical roles performed by caregivers can at the same time be intensely meaningful and intensely stressful. However, experiences of caregiving can be enhanced when caregivers feel they are making informed and reflective decisions about the options available to them. With this in mind, the purpose of this five-phase research project was to create a Family Caregiver Decision Guide (FCDG). The Guide entails four steps: thinking about the current caregiving situation, imagining how the caregiving situation may change, exploring available options, and considering best options if caregiving needs change. The FCDG was based on available evidence and was developed and refined using focus groups, cognitive interviewing, and a feasibility and acceptability study. Finally, an interactive version of the Guide was created for online use ( https://www.caregiverdecisionguide.ca ). In this article, we describe the development, evaluation, and utility of the FCDG.

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A Conceptual-Theoretical-Empirical Structure for the Study of Alzheimer Informal Caregivers and Home Health Care Nursing Services

The purpose of this article is to describe the process used to create a conceptual-theoretical-empirical structure for a proposed study of policies for home health care nursing services for informal caregivers of persons with Alzheimer disease. The process consisted of linkage of the Conceptual Model of Nursing and Health Policy with Roy's Adaptation Model to guide derivation of a middle-range theory of home health care nursing services for Alzheimer disease informal caregiving, and selection of appropriate empirical research methods.

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Comparison of financial support for family caregivers of people at the end of life across six countries: A descriptive study

Background: Family caregivers of people at the end of life can face significant financial burden. While appropriate financial support can reduce the burden for family caregivers, little is known about the range and adequacy of financial support, welfare and benefits for family caregivers across countries with similarly developed health care systems. Aim: The aim is to identify and compare sources of financial support for family caregivers of people approaching the end of life, across six countries with similarly performing health care systems (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States). Design: A survey of financial support, welfare and benefits for end of life family caregivers was completed by 99 palliative care experts from the six countries. Grey literature searches and academic database searches were also conducted. Comparative analyses of all data sources documented financial support within and between each country. Results: Some form of financial support for family caregivers is available in all six countries; however the type, extent and reach of support vary. Financial support is administered by multiple agencies, eligibility criteria for receiving support are numerous and complex, and there is considerable inequity in the provision of support. Conclusion: Numerous barriers exist to the receipt of financial support, welfare and benefits. We identified several areas of concern, including a lack of clarity around eligibility, inconsistent implementation, complexity in process and limited support for working carers. Nonetheless, there is significant potential for policymakers to learn from other countries' experiences, particularly with regard to the scope and operationalisation of financial support. 

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Caregivers Benefit from Massage: More Isn't Necessarily Better--Some Is Enough!

The article offers information related to informal caregivers who provide unpaid, informal care for family members or friends with temporary or permanent conditions. It mentions increasingly, massage-related research examining massage benefits for admitted patients or patient populations and also mentions the results of standardized assessment scales that used to collect data for analysis research.

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The care crisis in Spain: an analysis of the family care situation in mental health from a professional psychosocial perspective

The aim of this article is to investigate the importance of family care in mental health and identify the shortcomings of the Spanish model of health care for the mentally ill. The empirical process comprised three qualitative procedures involving 37 experts from different regions of Spain. In order to guarantee the rigor of the data, a social worker discussion group was set up to create an interview script. Interviews were then carried out with 22 professionals who take care of people with mental illness in various public facilities throughout the country. A second focal group met three times to validate the categorizations analyzed in the interviews. The results of the empirical process indicate a need to remodel the mental health care system, which can be described with reference to five critical characteristics: 1) a lack of financial and human resources for mental health, 2) a lack of effective coordination among all the institutions and authorities involved, 3) a lack of quality resources aimed at rehabilitation and social reintegration as alternatives to institutionalization, 4) a lack of integrated care, and 5) a lack of a common healthcare framework for all professional workers in all the regions. A remodeling of the system is necessary to enable the rehabilitation, recovery, empowerment and development of people with SMD and thus ease the burden and improve the quality of life of family caregivers.

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Cancer as Communal: Understanding Communication and Relationships from the Perspectives of Survivors, Family Caregivers, and Health Care Providers

With cancer increasing in prevalence and high priorities placed on concurrent oncological and palliative care to help meet the familial, spiritual, and individual needs of stakeholders in cancer, research is needed that assesses the factors that facilitate coping across stakeholders in cancer care. We were interested in synthesizing our understanding of communication and relationships among patients, caregivers, and providers based on the reasoning that illness is relational, but often conceptualized and researched from the individual perspectives of various stakeholders. The current study examined the experiences of relational and communication opportunities and challenges during cancer for current and former family caregivers, cancer survivors, and palliative and oncology health care practitioners. The thematic analysis of 30 semi-structured interviews revealed an overarching theme on the benefits of orienting toward cancer as communal, which was, in turn, facilitated or impeded by four additional themes/sets of behaviors: support, presence, perspective-taking, and reframing hope. Results of a cross-case data matrix analysis reveal that stakeholders in different roles experience qualitative differences in their experience of cancer as communal, isolated, or ambivalent. Implications for education, palliative care, and interventions are discussed.

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Balancing personal wishes and caring capacity in future planning for adults with an intellectual disability living with family carers

Most people with intellectual disabilities (IDs) live at home with family, and most carers and care recipients wish to continue this arrangement. However, despite worry about what will happen when carers are unable to continue caring, most families do not plan for the future. The Future Care Road Map (FCRM) pilot study sought to enhance future care planning for families of adults with ID. Twelve families were facilitated through the FCRM process to establish future care plans, including future living and care arrangements. The pilot successfully improved future planning, but readiness of families and facilitation were important to outcomes. Continued care within the family was the most common future wish of care recipients. However, caring capacity emerged as a pervasive theme. Ultimately, it may be the capacity of the family, services or individual with ID themselves to provide future care which determines how feasibly future wishes translate into future plans. 

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330 Insights into Dementia- An Integrated Care Approach to Family Support

Background The increase in the number of people with dementia in the coming years will be significant and could be as high as 132,000 people by 2041. There is a growing need for enhanced post diagnostic supports for patients living with dementia and their families. We identified the need for a localised educational resource for families and supportive others attending our specialist memory service Methods Staff from the Integrated Care Team, Specialist Memory Service and Primary Care were trained by the Alzheimer's Society of Ireland to deliver a 6 week 'Insights Into Dementia' carers course. Tutors and dementia advisors from the Alzheimer's Society of Ireland provided in-depth training prior to course delivery and feedback to the facilitators on a weekly basis. The course included advice and education on Dementia; Changing Relationships, Communication; Responding to changes in behaviour; Nutrition; Engaging in activities; Assisting with personal care and Safety in the home. Families gained advice regarding their self-care needs and learned how to access information and support.  All services involved worked together to identify, refer and support families with dementia in the local area. The group took place in an accessible location at a time which accommodated families to attend. Each course attendee completed a questionnaire prior to and after commencing the group. Results The group has delivered education and support to 48 families to date. Feedback from participants was very positive with self-reported increase in confidence, knowledge and awareness about dementia. Waiting time to access support has significantly decreased. Every course has led to a support group who meet up on a regular basis in their community. Conclusion This novel collaboration has become a key part of the integrated care pathway we have developed to support people living with dementia and their supportive others in our catchment area. The Integrated Care approach has served to enrich the programme and allow for timely signposting to localised supports. 

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333 A Transnational Effectiveness-Implementation Study of the Family Carer Decision Support Intervention to Improve End of Life Care in Long-Term Care

Background The Family Carer Decision Support (FCDS) intervention has been designed to inform family carers about end of life care options available to a person living with advanced dementia. The FCDS intervention demonstrated a statistically significant impact in reducing family carer decision uncertainty on establishing goals of care at the end of life and, improved family carer satisfaction on quality of care in a study conducted in the United Kingdom. Methods The aim of this research is to adapt the application of the FCDS for use in different countries. Funding supported through the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) project has supported the scaling up of the FCDS transnationally in the United Kingdom; Republic of Ireland; Netherlands; Canada; Czech Republic ; and, Italy. Launched in April 2019, this presentation will report on present activities including: a) description of the FCDS intervention; b) strategy for implementing the FCDS in care homes; c) study design employed for the evaluation of the FCDS; and d) work packages and that will be deployed to achieve intended outcomes Results Expected project outcomes of this work will include a) develop guidelines to facilitate transnational use of the FCDS within care homes; (b) staff education material including web learning resources; (c) family carer informational material including web learning resources; (d) measures and tools to evaluate the uptake and outcome of the FCDS intervention; (e) establish a transnational FCDS community of practice across study care homes; (f) estimated costs of providing the FCDS intervention; (g) evidence of enhancing decision making among family members regarding resident care and satisfaction with care. Conclusion Recent research revealed that care home structures and staff play an important role in the successful implementation and adoption of innovations such as the FCDS intervention, this is further examined in this transnational study. 

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An Evaluation of the Information Sources of Cancer Patients' Relatives. A Prospective Survey

Patients followed up with a cancer diagnosis must be well-informed about cancer to be able to cope with it. Besides, informing the relatives of the cancer patients who are also experiencing the same process about the diagnosis and follow-up period of cancer is highly important. In the current study, it was aimed to evaluate the information sources about cancer which are referred to by relatives of cancer patients. Three hundred ninety-one cancer patient relatives were included in medical oncology clinic between May 1 and June 30, 2015. A questionnaire was applied to the participants, comprising 12 questions to elicit demographic information and 11 questions about the information sources to which they referred. The study included 183 female and 208 male participants with amean age of 47.9 +/- 13.6 years. While the oncologists were the primary information sources referred to by 87%, the Internet was the second most preferred information source by 72%. The websites most frequently referred were the official websites (70%), the websites of oncology associations (53%), and social networks and forums (32%). The primary factors affecting the Internet preference were age, education level, income level, and place of residence. The Internet was the second most referred information source about cancer by family caregivers following oncologists. Therefore, it is of crucial importance that physicians inform patients and their relatives comprehensively as well as guiding them to correct and reliable information sources.

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Caregiver outcomes of the REACH-HF multicentre randomized controlled trial of home-based rehabilitation for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction

Background: Caregivers frequently provide support to people living with long-term conditions. However, there is paucity of evidence of interventions that support caregivers in their role. Rehabilitation EnAblement in Chronic Heart Failure (REACH-HF) is a novel home-based, health-professional-facilitated, self-management programme for patients with heart failure (HF) and their caregivers. Methods: Based on the random allocation of individual adult patients with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and left ventricular ejection fraction <45% within the past five years, the caregiver of patients was allocated to receive the REACH-HF intervention over 12 weeks (REACH-HF group) or not (control group). Caregiver outcomes were generic health-related quality of life (EQ-5D-5L), Family Caregiver Quality of Life Scale questionnaire (FamQol), Caregiver Burden Questionnaire HF (CBQ-HF), Caregiver Contribution to Self-care of HF Index questionnaire (CC-SCHFI) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Outcomes were compared between groups at 4, 6 and 12 months follow-up. Twenty caregivers receiving REACH-HF were purposively selected for qualitative interviews at 4 and 12 months. Results: Compared with controls (44 caregivers), the REACH-HF group (53 caregivers) had a higher mean CC-SCHFI confidence score at 12 months (57.5 vs 62.8, adjusted mean difference: 9.3, 95% confidence interval: 1.8–16.8, p = 0.016). No significant between group differences were seen in other caregiver outcomes. Qualitative interviews showed that most caregivers who received the REACH-HF intervention made positive changes to how they supported the HF patient they were caring for, and perceived that they had increased their confidence in the caregiver role over time. Conclusion: Provision of the REACH-HF intervention for caregivers of HF patients improved their confidence of self-management and was perceived for some to be helpful in supporting their caregiver role.

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Family Caregivers' Experiences with Dying and Bereavement of Individuals with Motor Neuron Disease in India

Motor neuron disease (MND) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Ideal management plan in MND includes palliative care initiated from the time of diagnosis. At present, most of the neurodegenerative conditions are cared for at home. Neuropalliative care is an emerging concept in India and social workers are integral team members in this process. The primary aims of the study were to explore (a) the caregivers' experiences of the end-of-life stage, and (b) the sources of support for individuals and their caregivers with MND at the end-of-life stage. In-depth interviews were conducted with seven bereaved caregivers of individuals with MND from a national tertiary referral care center for neuropsychiatry in South India. Interviews were conducted either in person or by telephone. Thematic analysis was done using the constant comparative method. Major themes derived from the interviews were: (1) Transition from person to patient, (2) support, (3) death, and (4) impact on the caregivers. Mapping of themes identified Support received during advanced stages as the central theme influencing all other themes. The need for a care manager seems evident and is a role that can be effectively fulfilled by the care teams' social workers.

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Family carer and professional perceptions of the use of telehealth methodology for behavioural support for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities in the uk

Introduction: The use of telehealth to provide behavioural services for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD) is increasing. However, there are no prospective evaluations of stakeholder perspectives relating to this, which may have implications for uptake of such services. This study aimed to identify factors influencing family carer and professional willingness to use telehealth for behavioural support in the UK. Methods: A Delphi consultation was conducted in four rounds with two panels (professionals and family carers), aiming to reach consensus on the most influential advantages and disadvantages/barriers to participant's willingness to use telehealth. Results: Thirty‐six and 22 items reached consensus as being influential for professionals and family carers respectively. Factors identified by each panel differed, with professionals focusing on the logistics of support whilst family carers highlighted factors relating to the quality of support. A common solution to the barriers identified related to combining in‐person and telehealth methodology. Implications: A range of factors were identified that are influential to professional and family carer willingness to use telehealth for behavioural support. These factors suggest advantages to maximise and barriers to overcome in order to increase uptake of telehealth services in this field.

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Nurses striving to provide caregiver with excellent support and care at a distance: a qualitative study

BACKGROUND: In Norway, changes in life expectancy have led to increased attention to older people who are ageing at home, by means of home care services, adapted technology and informal caregivers. The caring situation has become difficult for many caregivers. The use of telecare has now offered them the possibility to receive support at home. The purpose of this study was to explore how nurses provide support and care at a distance, using a web camera and a web forum in a closed telecare network for caregivers to persons suffering from stroke and dementia. METHODS: The study had an explorative design with a qualitative approach. The data sources consisted of interviews with nurses and excerpts from posts in a closed telecare network. Content analysis was used to analyse the text from the interviews and the text from the web forum. RESULTS: The main theme, "Balancing asymmetric and symmetric relationships" described nurses' relationship with caregiver. Two categories, "Balancing personal and professional qualities" and "Balancing caregivers' dependence versus independence" were identified. The first describing the tension in their dialogue, the second describing how nurses provided the caregivers with a sense of security as well as strengthening them to master their daily lives. CONCLUSIONS: The nurses provided long distance support and care for the caregivers, by using computer-meditated communication. This communication was characterized by closeness as well as empathy. To strengthen the caregivers' competence and independence, the nurses were easy accessible and provided virtual supervision and support. This study increases the knowledge about online dialogues and relationship between nurses and caregivers. It contributes to knowledge about balancing in the relationship, as well as knowledge about bridging the gap between technologies and nursing care as potential conflicting dimensions. Maintenance of ethical principles are therefore critical to be aware of.

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Exploring the experience of the disclosure of a dementia diagnosis from a clinician, patient and carer perspective: a systematic review and Meta-ethnographic synthesis

Objectives: The objective of this review was to identify, appraise and synthesise qualitative research that explores the experience of the disclosure of a dementia diagnosis from the perspectives of clinicians, patients and carers. Method: A systematic search of four databases, grey literature and reference lists identified 13 studies, which met the required criteria to be included in the review. All were appraised using a quality appraisal tool. Data were extracted and synthesised using a meta-ethnographic approach. Results: Five key themes were developed from an interpretation of the results: the clinician's approach; how to tell people the diagnosis is dementia; the importance of the clinician offering hope; level of understanding; and who should attend the disclosure meeting. The process can be improved through a compassionate clinician offering hope, answers to patient and carer questions, and written and/or visual information to support understanding of the diagnosis. These features could be included in guidance to clinicians. There was a large amount of variance in the quality of the studies. Future qualitative research could focus on clinician compassion, giving hope, the management of dynamics within sessions, supporting information and follow-up sessions. Conclusion: Clinical practice can be informed by a body of literature but there is much work to be done to develop evidence-based detailed guidance for improving the dementia diagnosis experience for all parties, and supporting clinicians to manage inherent tensions in this process. Further research is required on this topic to addresses the shortcomings highlighted in this review.

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Evaluation of the quality of the communication and emotional support during the donation procedure: The use of the donor family questionnaire (DFQ)

Purpose A multi-centric study in Intensive Care units (ICU) and Emergency departments (ED) was designed to evaluate whether the provided communication and emotional support to the family in the context of organ donation met the international recommendations of the European Donor Hospital Education Program (EDHEP). Materials and methods Using a participatory approach and focus groups, a questionnaire was constructed: Donor Family questionnaire (DFQ). The questionnaire was distributed to 203 families. The data were analysed on item level. Results Sixty-four families participated, and 89% considered the communication as tactful. Only 24.1% had a separate conversation about passing and donation, which is the recommendation. 88.5% reported they could count on emotional support in the first phase on the ICU/ED. This dropped during the parting phase and the aftercare. The physician is perceived as the most active caregiver in the emotional support during the entire procedure. Conclusions The DFQ is a useful instrument to evaluate the donor procedure. The physician is important in the first phases of the donor procedure for the medical explanation. Other disciplines could be more involved in the following phases to assure enough emotional support, but this issue requires further exploration.

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A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Dyadic Psychological Interventions for BPSD, Quality of Life and/or Caregiver Burden in Dementia or MCI

Objectives: This systematic review and meta-analysis assesses the effectiveness of psychological interventions that involve people with dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and their informal caregivers, and target improvements in the management of the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD); quality of life; and/or burden reduction for people with either dementia or MCI and their informal caregivers. Methods: Studies were identified through database searches (Cochrane Library, CENTRAL, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE and PsychINFO) and clinical trials registers (ClinicalTrials.gov and ). Data were pooled for meta-analysis. Results: Database and reference list searches identified 1,878 references, of which fourteen studies were included. Positive effects were found on the anxiety symptoms of people with dementia on the RAID scale; on the quality of life of people with dementia on the self-rated QoL-AD scale; and on informal caregiver burden on the Zarit Burden Interview. Conclusions: Psychological interventions involving whole dyads have some promise for both people with dementia and informal caregivers, but are still far from uniformly effective across BPSD, quality of life, and caregiver burden. Further research directions are discussed.

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It is something special: How children and their parents experience a camp for young people who care for a parent with a severe physical illness

Recreational camps for children play an important role in coping with the illness of a family member. This paper aims to describe the experience of a young-carer summer camp in Austria from the perspective of the attending children who care for a parent with severe physical illness as well as their diagnosed and non-diagnosed parents who remained at home. Nineteen qualitative interviews with children and their parents were conducted and analyzed according to qualitative summarizing content analysis procedure. The findings show a familial decision-making process and the ambivalent expectations and feelings of the children prior to the camp. The camp itself is a place where children feel looked after and where they can enjoy adventure activities. It is also a place where they are among themselves and can make friends and talk about their feelings in a secure and private environment. During the camp, the remaining parents try to spend most of their time focusing on themselves and their partnership. The camp also gives the children a glimpse of another way of living with new freedoms that cannot be maintained when they come home. These findings indicate that camps can make an important contribution to addressing young carers’ needs but should also initiate a debate on more sustainable relief measures for children with care responsibilities. 

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Development and validation of a quality of relationship intervention for stroke survivor-family caregiver dyads

Background: The relationship between stroke survivors and family caregivers is critical for the well-being of both dyad members. Currently, there are few interventions targeted at dyads and focused on strengthening the relationship between survivors and family caregivers. Objectives: This study reports on the development of a customizable, strengths-based, relationship-focused intervention driven by the real-world experience and advice of stroke dyads. It also describes the "tips" that survivors and family caregivers offered for dealing with relationship challenges after stroke. Methods: Content of the intervention, including relationship tips, was derived from semi-structured interviews with N= 19 stroke dyads. A modified Delphi process with a national panel of 10 subject matter experts was used to evaluate and refine the content of the intervention and the associated screening tool. Results: Seventeen domains of relationship challenges and tips were identified. Consensus was reached among experts that the intervention content was relevant to the goal of helping survivors and family caregivers maintain a strong relationship after stroke; (2) clear from the perspective of stroke survivors and family caregivers who would be using it; (3) accurate with respect to the advice being offered, and; (4) useful for helping stroke survivors and family caregivers improve the quality of their relationship. Conclusions: This study extends the limited body of research about dyadic interventions after stroke. The next steps in this line of research include feasibility testing the intervention and evaluating its efficacy in a larger trial.

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Psychological interventions targeting partners of cancer patients: A systematic review

Purpose: Cancer patients' intimate partners often experience levels of psychological burden that are comparable to or even exceed that of the patients, making it imperative that they too be provided with appropriate psychological support. This review aimed to present the content and the effects of interventions delivered to caregiving partners of cancer patients on both partners and patients. Furthermore, we provide information about the acceptability of the interventions and study quality. Methods: An initial search in Web of Science, PsycINFO, and PubMed databases was conducted. We included RCTs as well as pre-post studies that focused on enhancing partners' wellbeing or diminishing partners' distress. To be included, interventions had to have been offered to partners either only or predominantly. We included studies published until December 2017. The methodological quality of the trials was assessed with the EPHPP assessment tool. Results: Nine studies met the inclusion criteria. Intervention topics included social support, short-term problem solving, the marital relationship quality, role expectations, emotional resilience, and coping strategies. Positive intervention effects were found with regard to social support, emotional distress, improved communication, posttraumatic growth, self-efficacy, and coping. Despite considerably low response rates, the interventions were generally well accepted. Most of the studies suffer limitations because of methodological flaws, the lack of randomization, and small sample sizes. Conclusion: Interventions delivered to partners of cancer patients may have positive effects on both partners and patients. We derive several implications for future research: Intervention programs should be tailored to the specific needs of caregiving partners with regard to the cancer trajectory and gender. Effort has to be made to increase sample sizes as well as to include particularly burdened individuals. Selected measurement instruments should be sensitive to specific intervention effects. Finally, information on both statistical as well as clinical relevance of research findings should be provided.

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Incorporating Community Partners, Family Caregiver Participants, an Interprofessional Researcher Team, and a Technology Company to Build and Evaluate an App

Family caregivers are the backbone of most health-care systems; intensively relied upon, yet their needs go mainly ignored. Technology has the potential to reach family caregivers and create accessible solutions to meet their complex needs. Creating a feasible, acceptable, and effective “app” requires the application of innovative qualitative methods. We combined methodologies including “agile methodology” that requires the continuous integration and involvement of the research team, caregiver participants, community partners, and a technology company, in our effort to develop the app. A “design thinking model” identified the first step to understand and empathize with caregivers while learning about the problem. We completed four focus groups with older adults to explore their needs and experiences. We discovered that caregivers have many roles and vary in their use of smartphone technology. They wanted reputable information, opportunities to stay close to their care receiver, and information on how to improve their abilities. We discovered unexpected themes and ideas to guide development of the app. Engaging the app developer and the community partner maintained the integrity of the agile methodology. We incorporated quantitative measures of depression and social support to provide evidence for the effectiveness of the app. The app has the potential to support family caregivers in real time and meet their needs in ways not yet readily available. Qualitative research can change the world. The need to listen, empathize, and understand the experience of the users of our research has never been greater.

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Interventions to support family caregivers of people living with dementia in high, middle and low-income countries in Asia: A scoping review

Introduction Despite increasing numbers of persons living with Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's-related dementias (AD/ADRD) in Asia, particularly in low-income countries (LIC) and middle-income countries (MIC), surprisingly little is known about the current state of the evidence for family caregiver interventions. The objectives of this scoping review were to: (1) describe the evidence for efficacy of family dementia-caregiver psychosocial interventions in Asian countries, (2) compare evidence across LIC, MIC, and high-income countries (HIC), and (3) characterise cultural adaptions to interventions developed outside Asia. Methods The inclusion criteria included: (1) conducted in Asia (2) included an intervention delivered to a family caregiver of a person living with AD/ADRD, (3) reported quantitative outcomes for the family caregiver and (4) published in a peer-reviewed journal with full text available in English. Results Thirty intervention trials were identified meeting inclusion criteria and all reported statistically significant (p<0.05) improvement in one or more caregiver outcomes. Interventions usually included multiple components. The most frequently reported outcomes (ie, by ≥20% of studies) were caregiver depression, burden, quality of life and self-efficacy. Overall, 26 (87%) of the studies were conducted in HIC in Asia, primarily in Hong Kong SAR-China and Taiwan, and only 4 (13%) in LIC and MIC in Asia. Seven studies (23%) used interventions developed in USA and several described cultural adaptations. Conclusion This scoping review found substantial evidence, particularly from high-income Asian countries, that a wide range of interventions improve AD/ADRD family caregiver outcomes. However, critical knowledge gaps exist, particularly for LIC and MIC in Asia, where the number of persons with dementia is numerically largest and projected to increase dramatically in coming decades. The field could also benefit from more detailed descriptions of the process and types of cultural adaptations to interventions. 

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The project ENABLE Cornerstone randomized pilot trial: Protocol for lay navigator-led early palliative care for African-American and rural advanced cancer family caregivers

Background: Patients newly-diagnosed with advanced cancer often rely on family caregivers to provide daily support to manage healthcare needs and maintain quality of life. Early telehealth palliative care has been shown to effectively provide an extra layer of support to family caregivers, however there has been little work with underserved populations, especially African-Americans and rural-dwellers. This is concerning given the lack of palliative care access for these underserved groups. Study design: Single-site, small-scale pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) of Project ENABLE (Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends) Cornerstone, a lay navigator-led, early palliative care coaching intervention for family caregivers of African-American and rural-dwelling patients with newly-diagnosed advanced cancer. Family caregivers are paired with a trained lay navigator overseen by specialist palliative care clinicians and receive a series of brief in-person and telehealth sessions focusing on stress management and coping, caregiving skills and organization, getting help, self-care, and preparing for the future/advance care planning. This pilot trial is assessing acceptability of the intervention, feasibility of recruitment and data collection procedures, and preliminary efficacy compared to usual care on caregiver and patient quality of life and mood over 24 weeks. Conclusion: Once acceptability and feasibility are determined and issues addressed, the ENABLE Cornerstone intervention for underserved family caregivers of persons with advanced cancer will be primed for a fully powered efficacy RCT. Given its use of lay navigators and telehealth delivery, the intervention is potentially highly scalable and capable of overcoming many of the geographic, human resource, and cultural obstacles to accessing early palliative care support.

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Development of a Caregivers' Support Platform (Connected Health Sustaining Home Stay in Dementia): Protocol for a Longitudinal Observational Mixed Methods Study

Background: Dementia disease is a chronic condition that leads a person with dementia (PwD) into a state of progressive deterioration and a greater dependence in performing their activities of daily living (ADL). It is believed nowadays that PwDs and their informal caregivers can have a better life when provided with the appropriate services and support. Connected Health (CH) is a new technology-enabled model of chronic care delivery where the stakeholders are connected through a health portal, ensuring continuity and efficient flow of information. CH has demonstrated promising results regarding supporting informal home care and Aging in Place, and it has been increasingly considered by researchers and health care providers as a method for dementia home care management. Objective: This study aims to describe the development and implementation protocol of a CH platform system to support informal caregivers of PwDs at home. Methods: This is a longitudinal observational mixed methods study where quantitative and qualitative data will be combined for determining the utility of the CH platform for dementia home care. Dyads, consisting of a PwD and their informal caregiver living in the community, will be divided into 2 groups: the intervention group, which will receive the CH technology package at home, and the usual care group, which will not have any CH technology at all. Dyads will be followed up for 12 months during which they will continue with their traditional care plan, but in addition, the intervention group will receive the CH package for their use at home during 6 months (months 3 to 9 of the yearly follow-up). Further comprehensive assessments related to the caregiver's and PwD's emotional and physical well-being will be performed at the initial assessment and at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months using international and standardized validated questionnaires and semistructured individual interviews. Results: This 3-year funded study (2016-2019) is currently in its implementation phase and is expected to finish by December 2019. We believe that CH can potentially change the PwD current care model, facilitating a proactive and preventive model, utilizing self-management-based strategies, and enhancing caregivers' involvement in the management of health care at home for PwDs. Conclusions: We foresee that our CH platform will provide knowledge and promote autonomy for the caregivers, which may empower them into greater control of the care for PwDs, and with it, improve the quality of life and well-being for the person they are caring for and for themselves through a physical and cognitive decline predictive model. We also believe that facilitating information sharing between all the PwDs' care stakeholders may enable a stronger relationship between them, facilitate a more coordinated care plan, and increase the feelings of empowerment in the informal caregivers.

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Effect of a Passive Intervention on Carers of Stroke Survivors During the Early Poststroke Period

BACKGROUND: Care partners of stroke survivors are often characterized by high burden levels and depression. Passive and active interventions have been proposed to help reduce burden and depression. The aim of this quality improvement report was to evaluate the effects of a single passive intervention on reported burden and depression in carers of stroke survivors. METHODS: A quality improvement report was conducted on carers who participated in a short passive intervention (n = 56) and a control group (n = 44). The Family Strain Questionnaire-Short Form (FSQ-SF) and the Beck Depression Inventory II were administered in both groups at patients' admission and before discharge, with the intervention taking place between the 2 data collection periods. RESULTS: No significant difference between groups was observed in FSQ-SF score and prevalence of depression at admission and in FSQ-SF at discharge. However, compared with admission, FSQ-SF at discharge was significantly reduced only in the intervention group (pre: 14, and interquartile range, 12-15; post: 9, and interquartile range, 9-13; P < .01). Moreover, a smaller proportion of carers classified as "depression" was found at discharge in the intervention group compared with controls (4% vs 28%, respectively; P < .01). CONCLUSION: Results encourage the development and use of short passive intervention to reduce burden and depression in care partners of stroke survivors.

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eHealth interventions to support caregivers of people with dementia may be proven effective, but are they implementation-ready?

Objectives: A variety of health services delivered via the Internet, or “eHealth interventions,” to support caregivers of people with dementia have shown evidence of effectiveness, but only a small number are put into practice. This study aimed to investigate whether, how and why their implementation took place. Methods: This qualitative study followed up on the 12 publications included in Boots et al.'s (2014) widely cited systematic review on eHealth interventions for informal caregivers of people with dementia, in order to explore further implementation into practice. Publicly available online information, implementation readiness (ImpRess checklist scores), and survey responses were assessed. Findings: Two interventions were freely available online, two were available in a trial context, and one was exclusively available to clinical staff previously involved in the research project. The remaining seven were unavailable. All scores on the ImpRess checklist were at 50% or lower of the total, indicating that the interventions were not ready to implement at the time of the Boots et al. (2014) review, though some interventions were scored as more implementation-ready in subsequent follow-up publications. Responses to the survey were received from six out of twelve authors. Key learnings from the survey included the importance of the involvement of stakeholders at all stages of the process, as well as the flexible adaptation and commercialization of the intervention. Conclusions: In general, low levels of implementation readiness were reported and often the information necessary to assess implementation readiness was unavailable. The only two freely available interventions had long-term funding from aging foundations. Authors pointed to the involvement of financial gatekeepers in the development process and the creation of a business model early on as important facilitators to implementation. Future research should focus on the factors enabling sustainable implementation.

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Compelling Results That a Problem-Solving Intervention Improves Hospice Family Caregiver Outcomes

This editorial comments on the article: Demiris, G., Oliver, D.P., Washington, K. and Pike, K. (2019), A Problem‐Solving Intervention for Hospice Family Caregivers: A Randomized Clinical Trial. J Am Geriatr Soc, 67: 1345-1352. doi:10.1111/jgs.15894

Hospice researchers Demiris, Parker Oliver, Washington, and Pike should be commended for their recent successful clinical trial evaluating the Problem‐Solving Intervention to Support Caregivers in End‐of‐Life Care Settings (PISCES) intervention, published in this issue of JAGS.8 The 4‐year study fills a substantial gap in the knowledge base by conducting a rigorous randomized trial within the challenging hospice care environment to demonstrate the efficacy of a brief, pragmatic problem‐solving intervention to support informal caregivers.

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Policy Brief on Ageing No. 22: The challenging roles of informal carers

The number of older people with care or support needs is on the rise across the UNECE region. While there are efforts to expand formal long-term care services to respond to this growing demand, informal care forms the backbone of long-term care (LTC) provision across the UNECE region. There is diversity in the way long-term care provision is organised and financed across the region as well as with regard to the status, recognition and support provided to informal carers. Although informal carers cover an estimated 70 to 95 per cent of all care needs,  they are often called the ‘invisible workforce’ in long-term care systems as they are rarely registered or counted and their status as informal care provider is often not formally recognized. The majority of informal care is provided by women.

By covering for the gaps in both short-term and long-term formal care provision, thus “co-producing” care services alongside professional service providers, informal carers help prevent or delay the need for institutionalization of people in need of care or support and are enabling them to remain living at home. 

It is challenging for informal carers to cover short-term care needs for a family member, neighbour or friend. It becomes even more demanding the longer this activity has to be performed, especially when informal carers might themselves be of advanced age and care recipients themselves. Policy measures are needed to address the growing need for care in a way that prevents strain on families and caregivers and protects their health and well-being. Public policies need to ensure that informal carers will not be forced to reduce or give up paid employment, face social exclusion and ultimately be caught in a poverty trap.

This policy brief focuses on informal carers who provide long-term informal care to older persons. It addresses the policy challenge to support informal carers in a multifaceted way, identifying key challenges faced by informal carers and policy strategies to address them. 

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Older adult caregivers of their spouses with acquired late-life disability: examining the effectiveness of an internet-based meditation program in mitigating stress and promoting wellbeing

This article reports a study examining the impact of an internet-based meditation program in mitigating stress and promoting wellbeing among older adult caregivers of their spouses with acquired late-life disability in Central Europe and South Asia compared to leisure. Posttest (T2) the meditation cohort exhibited lower caregiver burden and psychological distress, improved responses to care challenges, and greater wellbeing compared to the leisure group. South Asians, women, middle class, college educated, whose spouses had locomotor and sensory disabilities and lived as a couple alone, reported lesser caregiving burden, improved responses to care challenges, lesser distress and greater wellbeing at T2. Meditation lessons attended and self-practice mediated the relationship between demographic predictors and outcomes and self-practice had the largest positive impact. Meditation influenced certain aspects of caregiver wellbeing more such as self-care and certain specific aspects of wellbeing. Internet-based caregiver interventions are evidence as useful for social work with older caregivers.

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Narrative Recording as Relational Practice in Social Services: A Case Study from a Scottish Carer Support Organisation

Narrative recording in case records and individual plans within social services represents the means by which stories can be constructed with and about the people with whom services work, influencing relationship building and outcomes. Identities and decision-making are forged in records, shaping people’s lives. Yet, limited attention is paid to narrative recording in research and practice. Indeed, recording, which increasingly veers towards ‘box-ticking’, is viewed by practitioners as a bureaucratic burden, limiting time for the ‘real job’ of face-to-face work. Drawing on Ricoeur’s narrative hermeneutics in exploring qualitative data from a carer support organisation, we identify the potential contribution of narrative recording. Carers often seek support when their sense of identity and quality of life is diminished by their unpaid caring role. We explore practitioners’ views about the role of the narrative record in holding memories, feeding into recognition of capable agency, clarifying possibilities for action, restoration of identity and wellbeing. Applying a Ricoeurian lens demonstrates how attaining these benefits require recording practice which supports recognition through relational practice, in pursuit of better outcomes for carers. Carer benefits could be enhanced by carers holding a copy of and being able to reflect on and further contribute to their own plan.

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Extending a Knowledge-Based System with Learning Capacity

Informal caregivers often complain about missing knowledge. A knowledge-based personalized educational system is developed, which provides caregiving relatives with the information needed. Yet, evaluation against domain experts indicated, that parts of the knowledge-base are incorrect. To overcome these problems the system can be extended by a learning capacity and then be trained further utilizing feedback from real informal caregivers. To extend the existing system an artificial neural network was trained to represent a large part of the knowledge-based approach. This paper describes the found artificial neural network's structure and the training process. The found neural network structure is not deep but very wide. The training terminated after 374.700 epochs with a mean squared error of 7.731 ∗ 10-8 for the end validation set. The neural network represents the parts of the knowledge-based approach and can now be retrained with user feedback, which will be collected during a system test in April and May 2019.

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The Support, Health, Activities, Resources, and Education program for early stage dementia: Results from a randomized controlled trial

Purpose: A randomized controlled trial was conducted to test the effectiveness of the Support, Health, Activities, Resources, and Education Program. This six-session psycho-educational program provides dyadic counseling for individuals in the early stages of dementia and their family caregivers. The goal is to prevent common problems in care that emerge during the course of dementia by (1) actively engaging the person with dementia in developing a balanced plan of future care with his/her caregiver, (2) increasing use of available services, (3) enhancing dyadic relationship functioning, (4) improving well-being, and (5) evoking satisfaction with components of the intervention. Design and methods: Persons with early stage dementia (n = 128) and their caregivers (n = 128) were randomly assigned either to Support, Health, Activities, Resources, and Education Program or a control condition. Intervention efficacy was evaluated for completion of a care plan, use of services, dyadic relationship functioning, participant well-being, and program satisfaction. Results: Dyads in the treatment condition were able to construct a balanced care plan and increased their use of services. Dyadic functioning improved for one dimension (decreased emotional disruptions). Compared to the control condition, satisfaction with the intervention was higher for caregivers enrolled in Support, Health, Activities, Resources, and Education Program on four of five dimensions and one dimension for persons with dementia. Implications: Support, Health, Activities, Resources, and Education Program is a promising prevention approach that takes advantage of the early stage of dementia when both members of the dyad can participate fully in making decisions about later care. 

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Photojournalism-Based Intervention Reduces Caregiver Burden and Depression in Alzheimer’s Disease Family Caregivers

Purpose: Art interventions have demonstrated holistic benefits for persons living with dementia and their caregivers. In this article, we describe the results of a pilot photojournalism program for 10 unpaid caregivers of persons living with dementia, with respect to caregivers’ experience in the program and their psychological well-being. Design: Caregivers participated in four sessions led by a professional photojournalist who taught principles of photography. Between the sessions, caregivers took photographs that represented what caregiving meant to them using digital cameras provided in the program. During the sessions, instruction was interspersed with discussion of caregivers’ photographs. Method: Caregiver burden and depressive symptoms were measured pre- and postprogram. Qualitative exploration included sessions’ observations, viewing caregivers’ photographs, and recording caregivers’ accompanying comments. Findings: For participants with pre- and postprogram data, caregiver burden decreased significantly (p =.037). For caregivers with pre- and postprogram data, depressive symptoms decreased nonsignificantly (p =.066). Clinically meaningful reductions in caregiver burden and depressive symptoms were attained. Qualitative findings highlighted caregivers’ strong engagement with the project, the facilitator, and other participants, and reflection on multiple aspects of their experience. Conclusions: This intervention helped caregivers creatively communicate their experience and demonstrated efficacy in the improvement of caregivers’ psychological well-being. 

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Vietnamese American Dementia Caregivers' Perceptions and Experiences of a Culturally Tailored, Evidence-Based Program to Reduce Stress and Depression

Vietnamese American dementia caregivers are at increased risk for adverse mental health compared to the general U.S. population given their sociodemographic and immigration experiences, yet programs that address their needs are lacking. The current article describes Vietnamese American dementia caregivers' perceptions and experiences of a culturally tailored, evidence-based intervention to reduce stress and depression. A convenience sample of caregivers was recruited from the San Francisco Bay area and randomly assigned to intervention (“Our Family Journey”; OFJ) (n = 30) or control (written dementia caregiving information) (n = 30) groups. All intervention and 76.7% of control caregivers reported that the OFJ or educational materials, respectively, were very/somewhat helpful. Three or more skills were refined/learned by 96.7% of OFJ and 36.6% of control participants. Qualitative findings indicated that the intervention had positive effects on well-being and taught new caregiving skills. This first U.S. study to address the mental health needs of Vietnamese American dementia caregivers shows positive perceptions/experiences and demonstrates a model to address a significant need in the community. 

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Virtual Patient Interaction via Communicative Acts

In the context of assisting informal caregivers of Alzheimer Disease patients, this article presents the design and preliminary implementation of a serious game in which two agents a user-controlled caregiver and a virtual patient communicate via specifically-designed dialog acts, reflecting both pedagogically appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. 

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Multi-part quality evaluation of a customized mobile application for monitoring elderly patients with functional loss and helping caregivers

Background: The challenges faced by caregivers of the elderly with chronic diseases are always complex. In this context, mobile technologies have been used with promising results, but often have restricted functionality, or are either difficult to use or do not provide the necessary support to the caregiver - which leads to declining usage over time. Therefore, we developed the Mobile System for Elderly Monitoring, SMAI. The purpose of SMAI is to monitor patients with functional loss and to improve the support to caregivers' communication with the health team professionals, informing them the data related to the patients' daily lives, while providing the health team better tools. Method: SMAI is composed of mobile applications developed for the caregivers and health team, and a web portal that supports management activities. Caregivers use an Android application to send information and receive care advice and feedback from the health team. The system was constructed using a refinement stage approach. Each stage involved caregivers and the health team in prototype release-test-assessment-refinement cycles. SMAI was evaluated during 18 months. We studied which features were being used the most, and their use pattern throughout the week. We also studied the users' qualitative perceptions. Finally, the caregiver application was also evaluated for usability. Results: SMAI functionalities showed to be very useful or useful to caregivers and health professionals. The Focus Group interviews reveled that among caregivers the use of the application gave them the sensation of being connected to the health team. The usability evaluation identified that the interface design and associated tasks were easy to use and the System Usability Scale, SUS, presented very good results. Conclusions: In general, the use of SMAI represented a positive change for the family caregivers and for the NAI health team. The overall qualitative results indicate that the approach used to construct the system was appropriate to achieve the objectives. 

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Development of an eHealth information resource for family carers supporting a person receiving palliative care on the island of Ireland

Background: Many people receiving palliative care wish to die at home. Often, support from family or friends is key to ensuring that this wish is fulfilled. However, carers report feeling underprepared to undertake this role. This paper describes the process of developing a consensus and evidence based website to provide core information to help people support someone receiving palliative care on the island of Ireland. Methods: The project comprised three phases: (1) a review of systematic reviews facilitated the identification of core information needs; (2) content was developed in collaboration with a Virtual Reference Group (VRG) comprising patients, carers and professionals; and, (3) subject experts within the project team worked with a web developer to précis the agreed content and ensure it was in a format that was appropriate for a website. Members of the VRG were then invited to test and approve the website before it was made available to the general public. Results: Nineteen systematic reviews identified nine consensus areas of core information required by carers; a description of palliative care; prognosis and treatment of the condition; medication and pain management; personal care; specialist equipment; locally available support services; what to do in an emergency; nutrition; and, support for the carer. This information was shared with the VRG and used to develop website content. Conclusions: We engaged with service users and professionals to develop an evidence-based website addressing the agreed core information needs of non-professional carers who wish to provide palliative care to a friend or relative. 

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The impact of the absorbent products distribution system on family caregivers of older people with incontinence in Italy: Perception of the support received

Background: Urinary incontinence is a chronic, age-related disorder, likely to increase in the future due to global population ageing. In Italy, as in most countries, older people with incontinence are often cared for by family caregivers, whose burden might be worsened by the perception of receiving an inadequate support, due to the lack of customized services. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the absorbent products distribution method on family caregivers' perception of the support received. Methods: The study compared the distribution of pads to homes and in pharmacy via a survey reaching 101 family caregivers of older people with incontinence living in two geographical areas of the Marche Region (Central Italy) with different distribution systems. The association between "Quality of perceived support" (the outcome variable) and two types of absorbent products delivery methods (i.e. pharmacy and home distribution) was analysed by means of a general linear model. Results: Findings show that family caregivers receiving pads at home (HODs) perceived a higher support than those gaining them at the pharmacy (PHADs) (respectively 68.1% vs 35%). The association between perceived support level and distribution system remained even after correction for confounding factors. 70.2% of PHADs reported "Poor well-being", versus only 53.7% of HODs. The latter are more satisfied with the type of products distribution and thus less inclined to experiment different systems for the supply of products for the urinary continence (e.g. by voucher). The results are virtually reversed among PHADs and the difference is statistically significant (p < 0.001). Conclusions: When family caregivers feel supported by a more customized service delivery system, their perception of the care-related burden is mitigated. Thus, it is important to consider the needs of both family caregivers and cared for older people, and not only of the latter for designing a more suitable distribution of absorbent products. The best solution could be leaving end-users the freedom to choose how they want to get products (e.g. voucher or personal budget). This requires a reorganization of the current pads delivery systems adopted by the Marche and by other Italian Regional Health Systems. 

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mHealth applications as an educational and supportive resource for family carers of people with dementia: An integrative review

Family carers encounter several challenges related to caring for people with dementia, and they need support in managing care recipients’ health needs. This study aims to identify, appraise and synthesise the existing evidence on the use of mHealth/smartphone applications as an educational and supportive resource for family carers of people with dementia. An integrative literature review approach was used. Seven databases were searched. The search generated 117 articles, with seven meeting the inclusion criteria. Three categories and their attendant sub-categories emerged from the literature. The categories are ‘carer support’, ‘evaluation strategies’ and ‘barriers and challenges’. mHealth applications appear to be a feasible intervention for family carers of people with dementia despite the limited available research and barriers for their development and implementation. Further research on mHealth applications with strong methodological rigour and more research on mHealth applications as an educational and supportive resource for carers of people with dementia are needed.

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Redesigning care for older people to preserve physical and mental capacity: WHO guidelines on community-level interventions in integrated care

Islene Araujo de Carvalho and coauthors discuss the WHO guidelines on integrated care for older people.

Summary points:

  • Numerous underlying physiological changes occur with increasing age, and for older people, the risks of developing chronic diseases and care dependency increase.
  • Health systems are often better designed to respond to episodic health needs than to the more complex and chronic health needs that tend to arise with increasing age, and reprioritization is required to meet the needs of ageing populations.
  • Significant losses in capacity and care dependency in later life can be delayed or avoided if health interventions are introduced earlier in the process of functional decline.
  • We discuss the recommendations of the WHO Integrated Care for Older People (ICOPE) Guidelines, which provide evidence-based recommendations for managing declines in intrinsic capacity, developed with the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology.
  • Implementation of evidence-based interventions requires community-based assessment of an individual’s needs, development and implementation of a care plan, provision of monitoring and referrals as needed, and supporting caregivers.
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iSupport: a WHO global online intervention for informal caregivers of people with dementia

The development of iSupport was funded by a grant from the Alzheimer Association US, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in the Netherlands, and Alzheimer Disease International. The authors alone are responsible for the views expressed in this letter and they do not necessarily represent the views, decisions or policies of the institutions with which they are affiliated. The iSupport development team included E. Albanese, N. Batsch, U. Baruah, K. Edwards, K. Egan, D. Gallagher‐Thompson, M. Guerra, J. Holroyd‐Leduc, T. Kwok, K. Mehta, M. Prins, S. Loganathan, I. Rosier, P. Shivakumar, I. van Asch, M. Varghese, H. Wang, B. Willemse, M. Wortmann and L. Xiao. The WHO Secretariat included A. Brunier, K. Carswell, T. Dua, A.M. Pot, D. Rekve, K. Seeher, M. van Ommeren, S. Saxena and D. Zandi.

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Randomized controlled trial of a facilitated online positive emotion regulation intervention for dementia caregivers

Objective: To test the effects of Life Enhancing Activities for Family Caregivers (LEAF), a 6-week positive emotion regulation intervention, on outcomes of positive emotion, depression, anxiety, and physical health as measured by the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System® (PROMIS®). Method: A randomized controlled trial (N 170) comparing LEAF (N 86) to an emotion reporting/waitlist condition (N 84) in dementia caregivers. LEAF was individually delivered online by trained facilitators. Participants in the control condition completed daily online emotion reports and then crossed over into the intervention condition after 6 weeks. The study was registered with Clinicaltrials. gov (NCT01825681) and funded by R01NR014435. Results: Analyses of difference in change from baseline to 6 weeks demonstrated significantly greater decreases in PROMIS® depression (d <.25; p.02) and Quality of Life in Neurological Disorders (NeuroQOL) anxiety (d <.33; p-.01), as well as improvements in PROMIS® physical health (d.24; p.02) in the intervention condition compared to the emotion reporting/waitlist control. The intervention also showed greater improvements in positive emotion (d.58; p-.01) and positive aspects of caregiving (d.36; p-.01). Increases in positive emotion significantly mediated the effect of LEAF on depression over time. Conclusions: This randomized controlled trial of the online-facilitated positive emotion regulation intervention in dementia caregivers demonstrated small to medium effect sizes on caregiver well-being and shows promise for remotely delivered programs to improve psychological well-being in caregivers of people with dementia and other chronic illnesses. 

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An evaluation of the suitability, readability, quality, and usefulness of online resources for family caregivers of patients with cancer

Objective: Evaluate the suitability, readability, quality, and usefulness of publicly available online resources for cancer caregivers. Methods: Resources identified through a Google search and environmental scan were evaluated using the Suitability Assessment of Materials (SAM), an online readability text analysis tool, the DISCERN (quality), and caregivers' unmet needs checklist (usefulness). Descriptive analyses and cluster analysis to identify the group of resources with the highest SAM and DISCERN scores were performed. Results: 55 resources were evaluated. The suitability of 48/55 (87%) resources were categorized as adequate (SAM scores 40–69), with no resources ranking in the superior category (SAM scores > 70%). The readability of 51/55 (93%) resources exceeded 9th grade reading level. The mean quality score as a percentage was 49% (SD 11.5). On average resources addressed 9.9/33 unmet needs (SD = 5.8). A high-quality cluster was identified and included 15 (27%) websites. Conclusion: Online resources for cancer caregivers are not optimal in terms of their suitability, readability, quality, and usefulness. The highest ranked resources include, Cancer Council Australia's booklet, Caring for Someone with Cancer, and the American Cancer Society's webpages, Caregivers and Families. Practice implications: Study findings will allow healthcare professionals to better address cancer caregivers’ needs by recommending the most optimal resources. 

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Online information and support for carers of people with young-onset dementia: A multi-site randomised controlled pilot study

OBJECTIVES: The European RHAPSODY project sought to develop and test an online information and support programme for caregivers of individuals diagnosed with young onset dementia. The objectives were to assess user acceptability and satisfaction with the programme and to test outcome measures for a larger effectiveness study. DESIGN: A pilot randomised controlled trial in England, France, and Germany was conducted with 61 caregivers for adults with young onset Alzheimer's disease or frontotemporal degeneration. Evaluations at baseline, week 6, and week 12 assessed user acceptability and satisfaction. Use of the programme was measured from online back-end data. Qualitative feedback on user experiences was collected via semi-structured interviews. Measures of caregiver well-being (self-efficacy, stress, burden, frequency of patient symptoms, and caregiver reactions) were explored for use in a subsequent trial. RESULTS: Participants logged in online on average once a week over a 6-week period, consulting approximately 31% of programme content. Seventy percent of participants described the programme as useful and easy to use. Eighty-five percent expressed intent to use the resource in the future. Reductions in reported levels of stress and caregivers' negative reactions to memory symptoms were observed following use of the programme. CONCLUSIONS: Results indicated that the RHAPSODY programme was acceptable and useful to caregivers. The programme may be complementary to existing services in responding to the specific needs of families affected by young onset dementia. Distribution of the programme is underway in England, France, Germany, and Portugal.

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Moving through predeath grief: Psychological support for family caregivers of people with dementia

When caring for a family member with dementia, continuous losses and predeath grief can adversely affect the caregivers’ physical and mental health. Interventions for caregivers should therefore also aim at coping with loss and managing predeath grief. It was the objective of the present study to describe sources of grief caregivers report during therapy and to investigate how therapists can support caregivers. Two caregivers who participated in a randomized controlled trial were selected for this case study. Both caregivers received an intervention based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy with grief-focused content that consisted of 12 sessions within six months. Three therapy sessions per participant were transcribed, coded, and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Results illustrate that both caregivers experienced a loss of companionship with their respective care recipient and ambiguous loss that resulted in intense grief that they found difficult to manage. Therapists responded by supporting the caregivers to acknowledge their losses and identify individual ways to cope with and accept loss and grief. Both caregivers reported higher well-being and an increased ability to manage their grief-related emotions after the therapy ended. The identified intervention strategies fit well into a theoretical framework for grief interventions for dementia caregivers, i.e. the dementia grief model.

 
 
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The effectiveness of a life story program on stress reduction among Chinese American family caregivers of older adults

The study aims to examine the effectiveness of a life story program on reducing Chinese American family caregivers’ stress due to the burden of caregiving. This study conducted a quasi-experimental pre-posttest research design. A simple one-way ANOVA was performed to test the significance of the intervention on caregivers’ burden. The life story was not found to be directly statistically significant on reducing burden. However, through the life story intervention, it was discovered that among Chinese American family caregivers their perceived lower dependency of the care receiver, fewer needs of the care receiver and unknown time frame of continuation of care were statistically significant on the burden scale. The life story intervention improved family caregivers’ insight and judgment on the effect that care receivers’ needs and demands had on their continuation of caregiving. 

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A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Caregivers of Veterans

Objectives: Informal caregivers of veterans are providing care for a population whose specialized care needs require increased investments on the part of caregivers and for longer durations. Empirical evidence shows negative mental health effects on these caregivers at rates that outpace those seen in caregivers in the general population. With a growing need and limited resources, effective interventions are needed to improve mental health outcomes in this special population of caregivers. Methods: This pilot, randomized control trial tested the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based intervention at improving perceived stress, depressive symptoms, anxiety, and worry compared to waitlist controls in a sample of 23 caregivers of veterans. Results: The Mann-Whitney U tests used to determine whether groups differed in change scores (post minus pre) indicated that there were significant differences between the mindfulness and waitlist control group in perceived stress (U = 21.5, p =.006, r = .57), anxiety (U = 24.0, p =.009, r = .54), and worry (U = 29.5, p =.024, r = .47). Results from the Wilcoxon signed-rank tests indicated that caregivers in the mindfulness group reported a significant reduction in perceived stress (Z = − 2.50, p =.013, r =.75) and anxiety (Z = − 2.81, p =.005, r =.85), whereas the waitlist control group reported higher mean symptoms at the end of the intervention period. Conclusions: Given these promising results, policymakers, health practitioners, and veteran-related programs should increase efforts to provide caregivers of veterans with mindfulness-based interventions to improve mental health outcomes. 

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Effects on stress reduction of a modified mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for family caregivers of those with dementia: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Background: Caring for people with dementia (PWD) is stressful and poses many life challenges for the family caregivers. Interventions targeting the stress and psychological well-being of the caregivers have been proposed but the sustainable effects and efficacies of these interventions vary considerably. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) has been shown to be effective at reducing stress in several populations. However, limited research on the effects of MBCT in family caregivers of PWD has been conducted. This study protocol aims to examine the effects on stress reduction of a modified MBCT for family caregivers of PWD. Methods: A prospective, single-blind, parallel-group, randomized controlled trial will be adopted. A convenience sample of 100 community-dwelling family caregivers of PWD will be randomized to either the modified MBCT or the control groups. The modified MBCT group will receive a 10-week, seven-session, group-based modified MBCT whereas the control group will receive a social interaction and routine education (SIRE) on dementia care program at a frequency and timing similar to those in the intervention group. The primary outcomes (stress) and secondary outcomes (depression, anxiety, burden, health-related quality of life, and the behavioral and psychological symptoms of the care recipient) will be measured immediately post-intervention (T1) and at 6-month follow-up (T2), which will be compared with the baseline (T0). Discussion: Reducing the stress of caregiving can promote the well-being of the family caregivers and maintain their sustainability in providing daily care for their family members with dementia. MBCT is found to be effective for stress reduction in other populations, and the results of this study are able to provide us with evidence for using MBCT as a standard supportive intervention for the family caregivers of PWD. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03354819. Registered on 28 November 2017. 

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Effects of a modified mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for family caregivers of people with dementia: A pilot randomized controlled trial

Background: Caregivers of people with dementia experience high stress levels. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy has been found to be effective in reducing stress and improving the psychological well-being of several populations. Objective: To explore the feasibility and preliminary effects of a modified mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for family caregivers of people with dementia. Methods: In a single-blinded, parallel-group, randomized controlled trial, 36 caregivers of people with dementia were randomized to either the intervention group, receiving the 7-session modified mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in 10 weeks; or the control group, receiving the usual family care and brief education on dementia care. The brief education sessions were similar in frequency and duration to the intervention group. Various psychological outcomes of caregivers were assessed and compared at baseline, immediately post-intervention, and at the 3-month follow-up. A focus group with eight participants from the intervention group was conducted to identify the strengths, limitations, and difficulties of the intervention. Results: Intervention feasibility was established with a high completion rate of 83% (completing ≥5 out of the 7 sessions) and a low attrition rate of 11.1%. The duration of the average weekly home-based mindfulness practice of the caregivers was 180 minutes (S.D. = 283.8). The intervention group experienced a statistically significant decrease in stress levels (Z = -1.98, p = 0.05, Cohen's d = 0.7) and depressive symptoms (Z = -2.25, p = 0.02, Cohen's d = 0.8) at the post-test; and a decrease in stress (Z = -2.58, p = 0.01, Cohen's d = 0.9), depressive symptoms (Z = -2.20, p = 0.03, Cohen's d = 0.7), and burden (Z = - 2.74, p = 0.006, Cohen's d = 1.0), and improved quality of life (physical) (Z = -1.68, p = 0.09, Cohen's d = 0.6) at the 3-month follow-up compared to the controls. A focus group conducted immediately after the intervention revealed three major themes: Impacts on the family caregivers, Impacts on the people with dementia, and Difficulty in practicing mindfulness. Conclusion: The findings support the feasibility and preliminary effects of the modified mindfulness-based cognitive therapy on reducing the stress of caregivers and improving their psychological well-being. Some potential effects on people with dementia (e.g., improvements in behavioral problems) were reported by the caregivers. A future study with a larger and more diverse sample is proposed to evaluate the longer-term effects and generalizability of the modified mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and the impacts on people with dementia. 

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Opting Out of a Time-of-Death Visit: Insights From Home Hospice Family Members

Hospice patients die in various settings, including at home with family caregivers. Hospice offers a time-of-death visit to provide support and confirm death, a requirement in some states but not all. Few studies have been conducted among home hospice families exploring their experiences without a time-of-death visit. To better understand the family's experience regarding the time of death of their loved one, we conducted an exploratory study using a hermeneutic phenomenological approach. Home hospice families who had experienced a death within the last 6 to 13 months and had not received a time-of-death visit were recruited. Seven interviews were conducted, and data were analyzed using an emergent thematic approach. Major themes included caregiver's previous experience with death, caregiver support, final hours, and reasons for not selecting a time-of-death visit. Results showed families did well without a time-of-death visit when strong social support was present and conveyed the importance of allowing personal choice. Further research is needed to identify families in need of time-of-death visits and targeted support needs and to inform practice and policy guidelines. 

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A meta-analysis of low-intensity cognitive behavioral therapy-based interventions for dementia caregivers

Objectives: This study aimed to review the effectiveness of low-intensity cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-based interventions for informal dementia caregivers when compared to non-active control conditions. Design: Literature searches were conducted in databases of published (PsycINFO, MEDLINE, CINAHL, Scopus) and unpublished (Open Grey, ISRCTN registry, ClinicalTrials.gov, ProQuest) literature. Individual meta-analyses were conducted for each outcome variable. Pooled intervention effect estimates were calculated as Hedge's g using a random-effects model.Included studies: Studies examining the effect of low-intensity CBT-based interventions for informal caregivers for people with any progressive dementia were included. Randomized controlled trials and controlled clinical trials were included. Measurements: Outcomes included the psychological variables of anxiety, depression, burden, and distress (defined as stress or strain). Results: A total of five studies reported anxiety outcomes, 12 reported on depression, three reported on burden, and six reported distress outcomes. Results demonstrated a significant effect of low-intensity CBT-based interventions in reducing all examined psychological difficulties. Small effect sizes were found for anxiety (g = 0.35), depression (g = 0.27), and distress (g = 0.33). A medium effect was found for burden (g = 0.53). Conclusions: The results provide initial support for low-intensity CBT-based interventions for dementia caregivers. Clinical implications and research recommendations are explored. Strengths and limitations of the study are discussed. 

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DESKK Study - Development and testing of a dementia-specific respite care concept with a mobility and counselling programme: Study protocol

Introduction: Specific mobility programmes can delay functional decline in people with dementia (PwD). Family caregivers (FCs) can be relieved from care-related burden by counselling services. Respite care is a short-term inpatient care service (1-8 weeks of stay). Respite care centres (RCCs) can function as support structures for dementia care arrangements through caring-based mobility training of PwD and counselling sessions for their FCs. However, no systematic mobility or counselling programmes exist in this setting in Germany or the rest of the world. The aim of the development and testing of a dementia-specific respite care concept (DESKK) study is the development and testing of an evidence-based mobility and counselling programme for PwD and their FCs that is suitable for the respite care setting. Methods and analysis: A pilot-based, quasi-experimental evaluation study will be conducted in a specialised RCC for PwD. To evaluate the acceptance and usability of the development and testing of a DESKK concept, qualitative data will be collected from the RCC staff and FCs via semistandardised interviews. Quantitative data will be collected using instruments to assess effect tendencies of the concept related to mobility (PwD) and burden (FCs). Furthermore, a mixed-methods triangulation approach will be conducted. Ethics and dissemination: The protocol, informed consent and accompanying material given to patients were submitted by the investigator to the Ethical Review Committee of the German Society of Nursing Science. The project was examined and finally approved on 31 January 2017 (Number: 16-27). Prior to obtaining written consent for study participation, information must be given to all of the study participants in verbal and written form. The results of the study will be presented at national and international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. After the concept is finalised, a practice-friendly manual will be developed in which implementation components are described for other RCCs. 

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An Italian pilot study of a psycho-social intervention to support family caregivers' engagement in taking care of patients with complex care needs: The Engage-in-Caring project

Background: The raising of disability and chronic illness burden among European population is calling for a new paradigm of care, focused on primary health care interventions. Engage-In-Caring is a novel multicomponent intervention clearly dedicated to improve family caregiver engagement in the care of patients with complex care needs, by supporting them to develop a stronger consciousness of their role, needs and skills. Method: Engage-In-Caring intervention's efficacy and feasibility have been evaluated through a single arm pre-post observational pilot study settled in Rome. A qualitative phase, consisting of literature analysis of caregivers' unmet needs and a final revision from an experts' group, led to the structuration of the intervention, following the Caregiver Health Engagement Model (CHE-Model). Afterwards, a quantitative phase allowed understanding the feasibility of the intervention through Kruskal-Wallis test on a sample of 47 caregivers. Results: Results showed a reduction of the physical burden (Chi Squared = 6,483; p =.01) perceived by the caregivers and increase of the health literacy (Chi Squared = 3,560; p =.059) after the intervention. Conclusions: Feasibility tests on caregivers of patients with complex care needs are promising: this pilot study suggests a first effectiveness evidence, particularly concerning aspects related to burden perception and improvements in health literacy. Randomised controlled trials on larger samples are needed.

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Carers at breaking point: Making the case for carers' breaks in England

This report shows the that majority of unpaid carers are unable to take sufficient breaks and also highlights an unfair and unequal provision of carers’ breaks services across England. The report is based on the results of a survey of over 1,000 carers in the UK and a freedom of information request to local authorities and clinical commissioning groups across England. Only 8 per cent of carers responding to the survey felt they had been able to take sufficient breaks. Almost half of respondents said they had not been able to take breaks even if they would have liked to, with 38 per cent f those not being able to afford replacement care. Carers who hadn’t taken a break from caring within the last year were also more likely to report that their mental or physical health had suffered as a result of caring. The Freedom of Information request also found wide variation in the amount of money local authorities and clinical commissioning groups are spending on carers’ breaks through the dedicated Better Care Fund. The report makes recommendations to improve access to breaks for carers, including increased funding for carers’ breaks through the Better Care Fund and for local authorities to make breaks a key part of their preventative work. 

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An exploration of the experience of using calendar reminders for people with dementia and family carers

People with dementia and family carers often use calendars to support time orientation to maintain routine. However, little is known about the use of calendars as a compensatory strategy. This study examines the experience and practicalities of using calendar reminders from the perspective of people with dementia and family carers. Six dyads were recruited and interviewed at home. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to develop a narrative interpreted from an occupational therapy perspective. The themes were reflected on during two subsequent focus groups. Findings suggested that calendars are used either intensively as external memory records or more casually and randomly for reassurance. The familiarity and location of the calendar and its utility to the person with dementia and carer, all contribute to its efficacy. For carers the experience of supporting calendar reminders encompasses practical, cognitive and emotional effort. There was little awareness amongst participants of electronic assistive technology. 

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Can brief telephone interventions reduce caregiver burden and depression in caregivers of people with cognitive impairment? - Long-term results of the German day-care study (RCT)

Background: Day-care and telephone counseling have been discussed as effective support measures for caregivers of people with cognitive impairment. Methods: In a two-arm cluster-randomized trial involving multicomponent therapy for cognitively impaired persons in day-care centers and telephone counseling for their caregivers versus treatment as usual (TAU), we investigated long-term effects on caregivers' burden and depressiveness. Person-caregiver dyads involving home-dwelling persons with MCI, mild dementia, or moderate dementia were eligible. Day-care centers were randomized into an intervention group (IG) or a control group (CG). Outcome assessors were blinded. Out of 359 caregivers who had completed a 6-month intervention phase (nIG = 205, nCG = 154), a total of 304 of them were available at the 12-month follow-up (nIG = 173, nCG = 131). Instruments for assessing were the Burden Scale for Family Caregivers - short version (BSFC-s) (caregiver burden) and the Well-Being Index Score (WHO-5) (depressiveness). Mixed ANOVAs were used for the main analyses; descriptive statistics and subgroup analyses were additionally performed; secondary analyses involved multiple linear regressions for the main outcomes that were significant in the unadjusted main analysis. Results: At follow-up, crude mean differences showed a nonsignificant advantage for the IG in caregiver burden [IG: -.20 (SD = 5.39) vs. CG:.76 (SD = 5.49), p =.126, d =.177] and depressiveness (reverse scored) [IG: -.05 (SD = 5.17) vs. CG: -.98 (SD = 5.65), p =.136, d =.173]. For caregiver burden, a mixed ANOVA resulted in significant main effects of group (F (1, 302) = 4.40; p =.037) and time (F (1.88, 568.96) = 3.56; p =.032) but not a significant interaction. The largest effects were found for the "mild dementia" subgroup (d =.443 for caregiver burden and d =.520 for depressiveness). Discussion: Positive long-term effects of a combined intervention involving telephone counseling for caregivers and multicomponent activation for patients were observed especially for mild dementia. However, the treatment effects washed out after the intervention ended. Trial registration: ISRCTN16412551 (date: 30 July 2014, retrospectively). 

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Designing and developing a co-produced theoretical and evidence-based online support for family caregivers of people with dementia at the end of life

Background: Caring for someone with dementia can be physically and emotionally difficult. Acting as a caregiver can make it difficult to access sources of support, particularly in the later stages of dementia. This paper reports the development and presents the targets (subject areas) and components of a prototype website to support family caregivers of a person with dementia towards the end of life. Methods: Adopting an iterative approach and co-production methods the development process consisted of four stages: Stage1-Synthesis of data: Three sources of data (interviews, systematic review and theory) were synthesised using tabulation, to identify the targets of the prototype; Stage2-Identifying intervention targets and components: A research development group (health practitioners, a family caregiver and academic experts) met to discuss the development, using a modified nominal group process, refining the synthesis from stage 1; Stage3-Developing the intervention prototype: An outline of the prototype was developed based on stage 1 and 2; and Stage4-User testing: Interviews with caregivers testing the prototype website. Results: Qualitative interviews with caregivers identified four targets for the intervention: 1) feeling prepared and equipped; 2) feeling connected and supported; 3) valuing themselves as a caregiver and as an individual; 4) maintaining control of the caring situation and being the coordinator of care. The systematic review provided evidence on how and what components could address these targets, including providing information, peer support, contact with professionals, and psychological support. Theory helped to narrow the focus within each of these targets. Active discussion with the research development group and end users provided an outline of the prototype website. The prototype website presented addresses these targets with written information, videos from other caregivers, and peer and professional support sections. The subject areas covered included expectations at the end of life, support with day-to-day caring, care planning, and communication. Conclusions: This paper provides a detailed account of the development process of a prototype website for caregiver support. The transparent methodology and key lessons learnt from developing the prototype should help those who are developing similar interventions, across complex, progressive conditions and not just limited to dementia. 

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Long-Term Outcomes of the Benefit-Finding Group Intervention for Alzheimer Family Caregivers: A Cluster-Randomized Double-Blind Controlled Trial

Objectives: To examine the effects of the group benefit-finding therapeutic intervention (BFT) for Alzheimer family caregivers up to 10-month follow-up. Methods: This was a cluster-randomized double-blind controlled trial in social centers and clinics. Participants included 129 caregivers. Inclusion criteria were 1) primary caregiver aged 18 years and older and without cognitive impairment, 2) providing 14 or more care hours per week to a relative with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer disease, and 3) scoring 3 or more on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Exclusion criterion was care-recipient having parkinsonism or other forms of dementia. BFT (using cognitive reappraisal to find positive meanings) was evaluated against two forms of psychoeducation as controls—standard and simplified (lectures only) psychoeducation. All interventions had eight weekly sessions of 2 hours each. Primary outcome was depressive symptoms, whereas secondary outcomes were global burden, role overload, and psychological well-being. Measures were collected at baseline, postintervention, and 4- and 10-month follow-up. Results: Mixed-effects regression showed that BFT's effect on depressive symptoms conformed to a curvilinear pattern, in which the strong initial effect leveled out after postintervention and was maintained up to 10-month follow-up; this was true when compared against either control group. The effect on global burden was less impressive but moderate effect sizes were found at the two follow-ups. For psychological well-being, there was an increase in the BFT group at 4-month follow-up and a return to baseline afterward. No effect on role overload was found. Conclusion: Benefit-finding reduces depressive symptoms as well as global burden in the long-term and increases psychological well-being in the medium-term.

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Predictors of Symptoms Remission Among Family Caregivers of Individuals With Dementia Receiving REACH VA

Resources for Enhancing All Caregivers Health (REACH VA) is a behavioral intervention for caregivers of individuals with dementia disseminated in the VA. Although shown to improve caregiver and care recipient outcomes, some caregivers continue to experience depression or caregiver burden following the intervention. Factors that predict symptom remission following REACH VA are unknown. The present study investigated attachment, social support, and psychopathology as predictors of symptom remission for family caregivers who completed REACH VA. Caregivers who do not remit perceive lower levels of social support from loved ones, endorse poorer attachment quality, and have more personality disorder characteristics, particularly affective instability. These factors that impair caregivers’ abilities to be effectively attuned to the needs of their care recipients and to reap benefits from a brief and focused behavioral intervention such as REACH VA. Interventions that target caregiver interpersonal functioning and emotion regulation skills may be helpful to those who do not respond to REACH VA. 

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The Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act

The Recognize, Assist, Include Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act was signed into law on January 23, 2018. The bill is Public Law 115-119 (U.S. Congress) had bipartisan sponsorship by Maine Senator Susan Collins (R) who chairs the Senate Committee on Aging and Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin (D) along with Mississippi Congressman Harper Gregg (R) and Florida Congresswoman Kathy Caster (D) on the House side (Eisenberg, 2018). This law directed the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop and maintain a United States strategy to recognize and support the over 40 million family caregivers. The RAISE Act aims to help relatives and partners who provide medical household and financial assistance to loved ones (Eisenberg, 2018).

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“They take a lot of pressure off us”: Volunteers reducing staff and family care burden and contributing to quality of care for older patients with cognitive impairment in rural hospitals

Objectives: 1Explore the ability of trained volunteers to provide person-centred care focusing on nutrition/hydration support, hearing/visual aids and activities in rural hospitals for older patients with dementia and/or delirium. 2Explore the impacts and challenges of volunteer care for family carers and hospital staff. Methods: Staff were surveyed about their confidence, stress and satisfaction at 6 months post-implementation. Focus groups with staff and interviews with families explored program successes, challenges and enabling factors. Results: Volunteers integrated themselves into the care team, providing person-centred care, increased safety and quality of care for patients and a reduced burden for staff and families. Key enablers were clear processes for screening, training and supporting volunteers. Key challenges included initial role delineation, staff/volunteer trust and sustainability. Conclusion: The program is reported by families and staff as being effective in addressing the main barriers to providing person-centred care for older adults with cognitive impairment in rural acute hospitals. 

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Closer: A videoconference intervention for distance caregivers of cancer patients

Distance caregivers (DCGs) represent a growing demographic. The emotional burden of caregiving for a family member with cancer is amplified by the logistical challenges of providing support from afar. DCGs feel higher levels of distress, anxiety, and depression compared with local caregivers. Videoconference technology may alleviate both the emotional and practical burdens faced by DCGs. This is an ongoing randomized controlled trial in 32 outpatient ambulatory clinics at a large, urban, comprehensive cancer center. To date, 332 patient‐DCG dyads have been enrolled. DCGs must have internet access and have been identified by the patient as a source of support. The intervention period is 4 months. DCGs are randomized to one of three arms: DCGs in Arm 1 receive four coaching sessions with an advanced practice nurse or social worker and four videoconference appointments during the oncologist‐patient office visit. DCGs in Arm 2 participate in four videoconference appointments with the oncologist and patient, and Arm 3 is the control group, which receives access to information through a website. Primary outcome variables are DCG distress, anxiety, depression, burden, self‐efficacy, and emotional support. These data are collected electronically at baseline, 4 months, and 6 months. Patient distress, anxiety, and depression are also assessed at these same intervals using brief in‐person interviews. The change in each of the DCG outcomes over time will be examined by a repeated measures analysis of covariance.

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Nursing interventions to support family caregivers in end-of-life care at home: A systematic narrative review

Background: Family caregivers are crucial in end-of-life care. However, family caregiving may involve a significant burden with various negative health consequences. Although nurses are in a unique position to support family caregivers at home, little is known about which nursing interventions are effective in this context. Therefore, this study aims to provide insight into nursing interventions currently available to support family caregivers in end-of-life care at home and to describe their effects. Methods: A systematic search was conducted in Embase, Medline Ovid, Web of Science, Cochrane Central, CINAHL and Google Scholar. This review included quantitative studies published from January 2003 until December 2018 reporting on nursing interventions to support adult family caregivers in end-of-life care at home. Data were extracted on intervention modalities, intervention components, and family caregivers’ outcomes. Methodological quality of the studies was assessed with the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool. Results: Out of 1531 titles, nine publications were included that reported on eight studies/eight interventions. Of the eight studies, three were randomised controlled trials, one a pilot randomised trial, one a non-randomised trial, and three were single-group prospective studies. Four intervention components were identified: psychoeducation, needs assessment, practical support with caregiving, and peer support. Psychoeducation was the most commonly occurring component. Nursing interventions had a positive effect on the preparedness, competence, rewards, and burden of family caregivers. Multicomponent interventions were the most effective with, potentially, the components ‘needs assessment’ and ‘psychoeducation’ being the most effective. Conclusions: Although only eight studies are available on nursing interventions to support family caregivers in end-of-life care at home, they show that interventions can have a positive effect on family caregivers’ outcomes. Multicomponent interventions proved to be the most successful, implying that nurses should combine different components when supporting family caregivers. 

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Dementia-friendly community indicators from the perspectives of people living with dementia and dementia-family caregivers

Aims: To identify dementia-friendly communities' indicators and their current conditions in Taiwan from the perspectives of people with dementia and dementia-family caregivers.; Design: This qualitative study explored the opinions and experiences of people with dementia and dementia-family caregivers regarding dementia-friendly communities.; Methods: Participants (16 people with dementia and 20 family caregivers) were recruited from neurological clinics, day care centers for people with dementia and support groups for family caregivers in the Taipei community from July - October, 2016. Data were collected in face-to-face interviews, which were tape recorded and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were analyzed by Miles and Huberman's (1994) guidelines.; Results: Similar indicators for dementia-friendly communities were identified in Taiwan as in other countries, including dementia-friendly care services, dementia-friendly hospitals, dementia-friendly community environment, dementia-friendly transportation, dementia-friendly stores and shops, dementia friendly people, integrated dementia-related information and community contribution- and -involvement opportunities for people with dementia. However, Taiwanese people with dementia and family caregivers described no emphasis on the potential of people with dementia to contribute to developing dementia-friendly communities and more top-down expectations for the government's role.; Conclusion: These indicators can be a guide for developing and evaluating dementia-friendly communities in Taiwan. Differences between Taiwan and Western developed countries in indicators for dementia-friendly communities can be further explored. Community nursing assessment, interventions and evaluation based on these dementia-friendly communities indicators can be further developed.; Impact: This study developed indicators for dementia-friendly communities in an Asian country. These indicators can be used as a guide for developing and evaluating dementia-friendly communities.

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Caregivers for the elderly in Thailand: development and evaluation of an online support system

Informal caregivers are playing a major role in helping elderly people with their activities in daily life. The purpose of this work is to develop an Online Support System for Elderly Care (OSSEC) to provide services for informal caregivers in Thailand. The system has six modules which are: patient and caregiver profile manager, elderly care recommender applying case-based reasoning, daily care plan manager, elderly care activity notifier, elderly care information resource locator and caregivers’ social interaction platform. We have established the utility of OSSEC in enhancing the knowledge and ability of informal caregivers and in reducing their stress. In particular, we measured quantitatively the usefulness of OSSEC and evaluated user satisfaction as well.

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Psychosocial interventions for informal caregivers of people living with cancer

Background Increasingly, people who are not health professionals provide care for a partner, family member or friend affected by cancer, which can have negative effects on their health and well‐being. Psychosocial interventions that comprise psychological or social support and involve direct interaction between a healthcare professional and caregivers (or caregiver‐patient pairs) may help to address the negative health effects for caregivers. Review question What is the