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Carer support

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

Click on the title of any resource to find out more about the source of the information such as the type of reference, ISBN/ISSN, publication year, keywords. A number of these fields can be used to find further resources i.e. with the same keywords, or by the same author using the links on the right-hand side and within the Key Information box.

You can also click on an author's name in the list below to find further resources by that author, and use the DOI and other links to access the original source material (note: some source materials require subscription or permission to access).
 

Training Professionals to Facilitate Future Planning for Aging Caregivers: Exploratory Results From a Multistate Intervention

Background: Planning for the future is important for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families. When caregivers are no longer able to provide support, individuals with I/DD may experience loss of services or benefits, residential or employment‐related disruption, or other adverse consequences. Up until now, most future planning related interventions and approaches have been focused on directly supporting families and individuals with I/DD. Methods: We present findings from a training intervention designed for professionals who work with individuals with I/DD and their families, suggesting that future planning be included in service provision and community outreach. Results: Training participants increased their confidence in helping families plan and their likelihood to take action after participating in a 1‐day training. Conclusions: We discuss the implications of developing disability professionals as allies and resources to families as they engage in future planning activities. 

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Therapy-related stress in parents of children with a physical disability: a specific concept within the construct of parental stress

Objectives: The aim of this article is to conceptualise the phenomenon of therapy-related parental stress in parents of children with a physical disability. Methods: Three models related to parental stress were reviewed, i.e., general parental stress, burden of caregiving in parents of children with physical disabilities, and experiences of these parents with their child's therapy. Findings: The proposed definition of therapy-related parental stress is "the subjective stress and subsequent changes of functioning and health experienced by a parent of a child with a physical disability in response to paramedical therapies (i.e., physical, occupational, and/or speech and language therapy)". A theoretical model is proposed to describe the process of therapy-related parental stress. Available questionnaires will most likely not be valid and responsive to capture the (changes in) stress parents experience related to therapy their child receives. This article provides a first definition of therapy-related parental stress and a theoretical model to visualise the processes with regard to this topic. Empirical testing of the presented components and their coherence is needed to confirm or improve the model. A questionnaire that specifically measures the concept of therapy-related parental stress is needed, along with evaluating therapy-related parental stress in clinical practice and research. It is imperative to recognise paramedical therapies (i.e., physical, occupational, and speech and language therapy) as a potential stressor for parents of children with a physical disability, both in paediatric rehabilitation practice and research. Conclusions: A definition and theoretical model of therapy-related parental stress is proposed and the need for measures to evaluate this phenomenon is argued. The authors provide a starting point for the evidence base of the concept of therapy-related parental stress.

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Therapeutic Interventions with Families of Breast Cancer Survivors

A breast cancer diagnosis presents daunting challenges and disruptions to everyday life for family members and caregivers of breast cancer survivors (BCS). Particularly critical to families are their coping mechanisms, patterns of resiliency, and resource availability to navigate such a transformational experience. Family therapy and family therapists can introduce vulnerable families to a variety of clinical interventions that can be helpful in reducing the distress engendered by a breast cancer diagnosis. This manuscript describes clinical dynamics, considerations, and interventions that can be utilized with families of breast cancer survivors. Implications for practice, limitations, and ideas for future research are discussed.

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The Tele‐STELLA protocol: Telehealth‐based support for families living with later‐stage Alzheimer's disease

Aims: We aim to establish the feasibility and acceptability of the Tele‐STELLA (Support via Telehealth: Living and Learning with Advancing Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias) intervention. We will also assess the efficacy of the intervention in reducing the frequency of behavioural symptoms of dementia as well as family Care Partner reactivity to the symptoms. Design: This is a multi‐component, quasi‐experimental study that focuses on facilitating effective management of behavioural symptoms that occur in the later stages of dementia. Methods: Family Care Partners (n = 124) for persons with Alzheimer's disease will participate in two 8‐week videoconferencing components that address behavioural symptoms—in both the persons with Alzheimer's disease and their Care Partners. In the first component ('Nova'), Care Partners work with one nurse for an hour/week for 4 weeks, then they join a small group for another 4 weeks. In the second component ('Constellation'), Care Partners work in a larger group to hone skills and knit supportive relationships. Behavioural symptom frequency and Care Partner reactivity to the behaviours will be measured prior to, during and after the intervention. The study is funded by the United States National Institute on Aging (R01AG067546); funding was initiated as on February, 2021. Discussion: Tele‐STELLA fills a gap in current videoconference‐based psychoeducational interventions in that it offers real‐time interaction with nurses and peers. The intervention was designed with feedback by pilot participants. This study will assess Tele‐STELLA in its current, novel format; thus, preparing it for a larger, future randomized controlled trial. Impact: Tele‐STELLA addresses symptoms that occur in the later stages of dementia, providing families with tools to facilitate effective behavioural management. Because Tele‐STELLA is implemented via videoconferencing, it targets Care Partners who face barriers to support, such as cost and transportation. Trial Registration: This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (#NCT04627662).

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A Technology-Enabled Adaptation of Face-to-Face Caregiver-Mediated JASPER Intervention: Preliminary Examination of Video Conferenced Caregiver Coaching: AJMR

Background: Family-centered practices that involve direct participation of caregivers as part of intervention is critical to effective early intervention. However, regularly scheduled, in person service delivery is not always possible in remote communities, prompting a need for adaptations to the delivery of services, such as the use of live video conferencing to coach caregivers in strategies to promote their children's development. Methods: In this study, caregivers and their children ages 2–9 with autism who were living in rural and remote Canadian communities were included. A concurrent multiple baseline design across participants was applied to examine the effects of live video conference caregiver coaching on children's time jointly engaged with caregivers and caregivers' intervention strategy implementation. Results: Results indicated that all children demonstrated greater time jointly engaged and caregivers demonstrated greater use of strategies in comparison to baseline. Conclusions: The results of this study offer preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of real time video conference coaching for caregivers engaging their children with ASD in play.

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Technology intervention to support caregiving for Alzheimer’s disease (I-CARE): study protocol for a randomized controlled pilot trial

Background: Informal caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) manage a complex spectrum of patient behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). Mobile health information technologies have quickly become sources for modern social support and chronic disease management. These technologies can improve our understanding of how to care for patients with ADRD and their informal caregivers. A mobile telehealth intervention could help reduce caregiver burden and BPSD. Methods: This is a pilot randomized controlled trial of 60 dyads of patients living with ADRD and their caregivers, to test the feasibility and estimate the potential effect of the Brain CareNotes (BCN) mobile telehealth system. Participants will be recruited from two health systems. Participants will be randomly assigned to either the BCN intervention arm or usual care comparator. Data will be collected at baseline, 3- and 6-month follow-up. The primary objectives of this trial are to assess feasibility outcomes: (a) recruitment rate, (b) data completion, (c) BCN usability, (d) BCN acceptance, and (e) BCN use and assessed either on an ongoing basis or at 3- and 6-month post-intervention. A secondary objective was to estimate the intervention’s effects on caregiver burden and patient BPSD outcomes at 3 and 6 months, assessed by the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. Discussion: The study will assess the intervention feasibility and potential effect size of the BCN telehealth system as a potentially scalable and lower-cost solution for addressing the ADRD public health crisis. Trial registration Clinical Trials. NCT03119259. Registered on April 18, 2017.

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Technological Solutions and Informal Care Culture for the Elderly: An Intervention Proposal for Training Actions

Objectives: This article proposes an intervention from the field of social sciences to improve the knowledge of informal caregivers about care for the elderly. Methods: We analyze the social and cultural relationships that support the informal care culture in Spain. Some of the most important factors that are an obstacle to the professionalization of the sector are presented. Findings: The profiles of the informal caregivers are established, highlighting that most of them are women, whether they are family members or not. Furthermore, we find a prominent role of immigrant women in the non-professional care sector. We also analyzed the different relationships that groups related to informal care of the elderly have with technologies, highlighting mobile phones and instant messaging applications. Conclusions: With this result, we proposed the public policies of care for the elderly to contemplate training actions transmitted through the mobile phone and messaging applications.

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Systematic review of illness uncertainty management interventions for cancer patients and their family caregivers

Purpose: Illness uncertainty pervades individuals' experiences of cancer across the illness trajectory and is associated with poor psychological adjustment. This review systematically examined the characteristics and outcomes of interventions promoting illness uncertainty management among cancer patients and/or their family caregivers. Methods: PubMed, Scopus, PsycINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Embase, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were systematically searched for relevant literature. We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-experimental studies focusing on interventions for uncertainty management in cancer patients and/or their family caregivers. Results: Our database searches yielded 26 studies. Twenty interventions were only offered to cancer patients, who were mostly elder, female, and White. All interventions included informational support. Other intervention components included emotional support, appraisal support, and instrumental support. Most interventions were delivered in person and via telephone (n = 8) or exclusively in person (n = 7). Overall, 18 studies identified positive intervention effects on illness uncertainty outcomes. Conclusion: This systematic review foregrounds the promising potential of several interventions—and especially multi-component interventions—to promote uncertainty management among cancer patients and their family caregivers. To further improve these interventions' effectiveness and expand their potential impact, future uncertainty management interventions should be tested among more diverse populations using rigorous methodologies.

 

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A Systematic Review of Clinical Interventions Facilitating End-of-Life Communication Between Patients and Family Caregivers

Background: Communication between patients and family caregivers plays a key role in successful end-of-life (EOL) care. In the majority of cases, health-care providers (HCP) are responsible for leading this communication in clinical settings. Objectives: This systematic review aimed to examine the evidence for the efficacy of HCP-led interventions in enhancing communication between patients and family caregivers. Methods: The review followed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines and involved a search of MEDLINE via PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus, Embase, and PsycINFO as well as a manual search for additional articles on Google Scholar without date restrictions. Of 2955 articles retrieved, 8 meeting the eligibility criteria were included in the review. A quality appraisal of the selected studies was performed using the van Tulder Scale, with 5 of 8 studies rated as high quality. Results: All 8 studies employed psychoeducational interventions involving both patients and surrogate/family caregivers. Common elements of the interventions reviewed included encouraging participant dyads to share their concerns about the patient's medical condition, clarify their goals and values for EOL care, and discuss their EOL care preferences. Of 8 interventions reviewed, 6 measured EOL care preference congruence within dyads as a primary outcome, and all 6 interventions were effective in increasing congruence. Secondary outcomes measured included decisional conflict and relationship quality, with mixed outcomes reported. Conclusions: This review suggests that HCP-led EOL communication interventions show promise for improving EOL care preference congruence. However, further studies with improved methodological rigor are needed to establish the optimal timing, intensity, and duration of interventions.

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SYMPERHEART: an intervention to support symptom perception in persons with heart failure and their informal caregiver: a feasibility quasi-experimental study protocol

Introduction: Symptom perception in heart failure (HF) has been identified as crucial for effective self-care, and is related to patient and health system outcomes. There is uncertainty regarding the feasibility and acceptability of symptom perception support and doubts regarding how to include informal caregivers. This study aims to test the feasibility, acceptability and outcome responsiveness of an intervention supporting symptom perception in persons with HF and their informal caregiver. Methods and analysis: A feasibility study with a quasi-experimental pretest and post-test single group design is conducted. The convenience sample consists of 30 persons with HF, their informal caregivers and six nurses. SYMPERHEART is an evidence-informed intervention that targets symptom perception by educational and support components. Feasibility is measured by time-to-recruit; time-to-deliver; eligibility rate; intervention delivery fidelity rate. Acceptability is measured by rate of consent, retention rate, treatment acceptability and the engagement in the intervention components. Outcome responsiveness includes: HF self-care (via the Self-care of Heart Failure Index V.7.2); perception of HF symptom burden (via the Heart Failure Somatic Perception Scale V.3); health status (via the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire-12); caregivers’ contribution to HF self-care (via the Caregiver Contribution to Self-Care of Heart Failure Index 2); caregivers’ burden (via the Zarit Burden Interview). Clinical outcomes include HF events, hospitalisation reason and length of hospital stay. Descriptive statistics will be used to report feasibility, acceptability, patient-reported outcomes (PRO) and clinical outcomes. PRO and caregiver-reported outcome responsiveness will be reported with mean absolute change and effect sizes. Ethics and dissemination: The study is conducted according to the Declaration of Helsinki. The Human Research Ethics Committee of the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland, has approved the study. Written informed consent from persons with HF and informal caregivers are obtained. Results will be published via peer reviewed and professional journals, and further disseminated via congresses. Trial registration number: ISRCTN18151041.

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Swāsthya, an integrated chronic condition management programme for families of patients with hypertension and diabetes mellitus: a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Background: Kerala is known as the diabetes mellitus (DM) and hypertension (HTN) capital of the world, thus compelling health professionals to model strategies, addressing their social, behavioural, and cognitive risk factors and eliminating various barriers to management. This paper describes the protocol of our study that aims to examine the effectiveness and sustainability of an integrated care model for the management of chronic conditions and their risk factors through a family-based intervention. The proposed care model targets to modify systems and processes that predispose to chronic conditions by enhancing social cohesion and social networks, preventing lifestyle risks, developing iterative cognitive interventions, and engaging the family into customised treatment adherence strategies navigated by community health social workers (CHSWs). Methods: A cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) in selected participants will be conducted involving additional assessments prior to the baseline assessment. The assessment will identify and categorise patients into four risk groups, namely behavioural, social, cognitive, and multiple, based on dominant risks identified. Eligible participants will be randomly allocated (at a ratio of 1:1) into the intervention or control arm. The intervention arm will receive social, behavioural, and cognitive or multiple interventions corresponding to the identified risk groups, whereas the control arm will receive general intervention. Both the groups will be followed up at 6 months and 12 months post baseline to measure outcomes. The primary outcome will be the control of HTN and DM, and secondary outcomes include decreased depression and anxiety and improved functioning, social cohesion, and social network linkages. The sustainability and scalability of this intervention will be assessed through cost effectiveness, acceptability, and user friendliness of the integrated approach by performing a qualitative evaluation. Discussion: This RCT will inform the potential paradigm shift from a medical model of chronic condition management to a multidimensional, multisystem, and multidisciplinary convergence model navigated by CHSWs. Such a model is not currently considered in the management of chronic conditions in Kerala. Trial registration: Trial has been prospectively registered on Clinical Trial Registry of India- CTRI/2020/12/029474 on 1st December 2020.

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Supportive nursing care for family caregivers – A retrospective nursing file study

Background: Family caregivers enable patients to be cared for and die at home whereas nurses aim to support the family caregivers of these patients. Information on how this support is provided and how this is documented in nursing files is largely lacking. Objectives: To gain insight in nurses' reports on the supportive care for family caregivers. Methods: We studied 59 nursing files of adult patients who had received hospice home care in the Netherlands from 4 home care organisations between August 2017 and October 2018. Information on supportive nursing care for family caregivers was retrieved from the nursing files based on a prestructured form. Data was quantitatively and qualitatively analysed. Findings: 54 out of 59 nursing files contained information about family caregivers; 40 files contained nursing diagnoses on family caregivers and in 26 files nursing interventions on supportive care for family caregivers were reported. Only half of the nursing files contained information about supportive nursing care for family caregivers. Conclusions: Complete nursing documentation of provided care to family caregivers is needed. • Nurses should pay attention to the family caregivers' needs and experiences in palliative care. • Nursing documentation on supporting family caregivers is found to be incomplete. • Reported interventions to support family caregivers in palliative care were scarce. • Nurses may take into account two roles in the care for family caregivers: co-client and co-worker. • Assessment tools and proper documentation may help nurses to support family caregivers.

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Supportive care needs and service use during palliative care in family caregivers of patients with advanced cancer: a prospective longitudinal study

Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the supportive care needs of family caregivers (FCs) of advanced cancer patients and their support service use at the beginning of specialist inpatient palliative care (SIPC), near the patient's death, and during bereavement. Methods: FCs reported their needs using the Family Inventory of Needs (FIN), along with their utilization of psychosocial and bereavement support services at the beginning (N = 232) and 6–9 months after SIPC (N = 160). Results: At the beginning of SIPC, mean of 16.9 of 20 needs were reported to be highly important, and 12.2 were reported to be met. At the time of the patient's death, 16.8 needs were highly important, and 13.8 were met. At both time points, the highest ranked need was related to information about changes in the patient's condition (100% vs. 99%), and the most frequently unmet need was related to feeling hope (73% vs. 71%). Multivariate linear regression analysis revealed a low education level to be consistently related to a greater number of highly important needs. Higher satisfaction with care and better social support was related to a greater number of met needs. Twenty-five percent of FCs had accessed at least one psychosocial support service prior to SIPC, and 30% had done so during bereavement. Among non-users of support services, > 75% indicated sufficient informal support as a barrier to service use. Conclusions: The findings offer a useful guide for adequately addressing FCs' needs in an effort to optimize FC support. However, only a subgroup of the FCs used support services. Better information and provision of tailored services might improve FCs' situations in the future. 

 

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Supporting family carers of people with dementia: A discrete choice experiment of public preferences

Background: Community-based care for people with dementia is mainly provided by family carers, many of whom experience decreased mental, physical and financial well-being due to their caring role. Many countries are now implementing ageing-in-place policies that have increased pressure on family carers as care-work is redistributed from residential to community-based settings. Family caring responsibilities for people with dementia are made even more complicated by the economic, social and cultural expectations that underpin existing provision. Support for family carers is, therefore, an important policy topic across many countries. Objectives: The focus of this paper is on the propensity of citizens to support enhanced care for family carers in Ireland, as demonstrated by their willingness-to-pay additional taxation to fund different combinations of carer support measures, developed through careful and sustained dialogue with multiple stakeholders, especially family carers themselves. Methods: We carried out a discrete choice experiment (DCE) with 509 members of the general public in Ireland between January and February 2021. Results: Using mixed logit models, our findings show that citizens value four key attributes: regular caring breaks for family carers (day-care and long-break respite); financial compensation (carer's allowance); and emotional support (carer peer support groups). We also estimated the welfare impact of moving from current provision to enhanced support packages for family carers of people with dementia. The welfare gains accumulate to €1035.80 for the most complete levels of provision across the four support attributes. Conclusions: Overall, respondents in this paper showed empathy and understanding towards family carers of people with dementia through their willingness to contribute to funding additional services and supports. 

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

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

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Supporting adult carers

This quality standard covers the provision of support for adults aged 18 or over who provide unpaid care for 1 or more people aged 16 or over with health and social care needs. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

It does not cover people who provide paid care or do so as voluntary work. 

This quality standard should be read together with the Care and support statutory guidance under the Care Act 2014 and the Children and Families Act 2014.

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Support, needs and expectations of family caregivers regarding general practitioners – results from an online survey

Background: Family caregivers are often the first line of support for people requiring care; although they may personally stand to benefit, these activities substantially increase the risk of physical and emotional stress. General practitioners (GPs) may provide important support and stabilisation, but need to adjust to the needs and expectations of this group in order to do so. Objectives: The aim of the study was to compare the needs of family caregivers from GPs to the support they actually experience. Additional aims included determining the main factors affecting satisfaction amongst family caregivers with support from GPs. The results were used to develop possible approaches towards optimisation within the purview of general medical practice. Methods: Between January and July 2020, 612 people supporting or caring for a family member responded to an online survey posted in seventeen internet forums focused on family caregivers. In addition to the descriptive analysis, a t-test with independent samples was used to identify significant differences between two groups. We also used binary logistic regression analysis to identify indications of potentially influential factors regarding the experienced support from GPs. Results: Around three out of every four respondents (72%) consulted GPs in care matters. The respondents gave positive responses on their GP's knowledge of the care situation (71%), approachability in various issues connecting with care and service towards the caregiver (82%). GPs' efforts in meeting the needs and requirements of the care recipient were also rated positively (82%). Weaknesses in support from GPs mainly involved the lack of information on advice and assistance services (55%) as well as frequently not identifying or involving caregivers as such soon enough (42%). Results from regression analysis show that the last two aspects play a major role in subjective satisfaction amongst family caregivers with support from GPs. Conclusions: We recommend that GPs undergo further training to reinforce awareness that the care triad of needs, requirements and stresses amongst family caregivers also plays a vital role in care outcomes. With this in mind, general practice staff should adopt a pre-emptive strategy towards approaching family members about potential issues and informing them about existing assistance and support services.

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Support Intervention for Families and Caregivers of Palliative Care Patients (QI701)

Objectives: 1. Develop a streamlined, routine psychosocial spiritual assessment among families and caregivers of palliative care patients. 2. Develop streamlined, routine psychosocial spiritual needs intervention among families and caregivers of palliative care patients. Background: Complicated grief is intense, debilitating grief for more than six months after loss and is predicted by pre-loss depressive symptoms and unmet psychosocial needs. Per the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, families are at risk and their psychosocial-spiritual needs should be met to improve outcomes. Aim Statement: This initiative aims to develop a streamlined, routine psychosocial spiritual assessment and intervention of families and caregivers' needs to enhance support. Methods: A validated, confidential, 13-question tool (The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine's Chart Abstraction Checklist-Psychosocial Spiritual Assessment, edited with permission) was used to assess families of inpatient palliative care patients (n=46) over a three-month period. Identified needs were appropriately referred to a social worker, chaplain, or care manager. These assessments measured the number of needs identified and relationships among needs (p<0.05 is statistically significant). Results: Of those assessed, 97.8 percent had a need that required follow-up. A moderately significant relationship was established between those who felt they were coping well and those who reported the perception of a good support system (X2 =6.893, p=.009, Cramer's V of .387). Conclusions and Implications: Performing routine assessments resulted in a significant identification of unmet needs. Those who have greater perceived support reported coping well. Routine psychosocial spiritual assessments and appropriate interventions on caregivers should be continued with a focus on those who have a lack of a support system.

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Support groups for family caregivers of persons with dementia in India

Background: A caregiver support group was initiated at the Schizophrenia Research Foundation, Chennai, India. Objective: The study aimed to evaluate this service for 100 caregivers of persons with dementia, identify the needs met and explore the facilitating factors and barriers for participation. Findings: The support group met the information, emotional and counselling needs of caregivers. Trust between members was a key facilitating factor. Lack of help at home to support the person with dementia, distance from the venue and work commitments were barriers to caregiver participation. Conclusion: The study found that support groups fulfil an important need for caregivers by providing information and peer support.

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Subjective life experiences of family caregivers of dependent older adults

Objectives: This study aimed to understand the subjective meanings attributed to home care by family caregivers of dependent older adults through a multicenter qualitative investigation that gathered 84 in-depth interviews with family caregivers from eight Brazilian locations. Methods: The hermeneutic-dialectic, theoretical, methodological framework was employed. Findings: The following categories emerged from the analysis: 1. Movements inhibiting emotions and feelings; 2. Presence of processes of symbiosis and emotional dependence in the older adult-relative relationship; 3. Contentment in caring for the dependent older adult; and 4. Giving up current and future life projects. The results reveal life experiences marked by symbiotic processes, emotional dependence, and psychic stress. Dependence causes suffering and feelings of despair, powerlessness, impatience, but also solidarity and empathy. Withdrawal from the job market, social depreciation of family caregiver’s activity, social isolation, neglected self-care, and family conflicts impact caregivers’ subjectivity. Conclusions: The elaboration of public policies must consider the social-affective life experiences of family caregivers of dependent older adults in order to include the care of those providing care. 

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Subjective caregiver burden and anxiety in informal caregivers: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Background: There is increasing evidence that subjective caregiver burden is an important determinant of clinically significant anxiety in family carers. Objectives: This meta-analysis aims to synthesise this evidence and investigate the relationship between subjective caregiver burden and anxiety symptoms in informal caregivers. Methods: We searched PubMed, CINAHL and PsycINFO up to January 2020. Combined estimates were obtained using a random-effects model. After screening of 4,312 articles, 74 studies (with 75 independent samples) were included. Findings: There was a large, positive association between subjective caregiver burden and anxiety symptoms (r = 0.51; 95% CI = 0.47, 0.54; I2 = 0.0%). No differences were found in subgroup analyses by type of study design (cross-sectional vs. longitudinal), sampling, control of confounders or care-recipient characteristics. Subjective caregiver burden is an important risk factor for anxiety in informal caregivers. Conclusion: Targeting subjective caregiver burden could be beneficial in preventing clinically significant anxiety for the increasing number of family carers worldwide.

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Study of physical, psychological, and spiritual impact of family caregiver in home-based stroke treatment: A systematic review

Background: Family support during stroke treatment at home is crucial. However, post-stroke patients’ long-term care will be a problem for families, reducing the level of life satisfaction and physical burden for caregivers. Furthermore, families may experience depression. AIM: Analyzing family conditions related to physical, psychological, and spiritual conditions that receive home-based health worker interventions. Methods: Study implemented systematic review design with Prisma guidelines, initially with the identification of article sources, following by article screening, checking the eligibility of studies then appraised the selected articles. Three databases were used, Ebsco, PubMed, and PROQUEST. Only studies using quasi-experimental, pre-experimental, and RCT designs were included in this study. Furthermore, those articles were published between 2014 until 2019, full type article and conducted anykind of home intervention for stroke patients and/or family member. Keywords that were employed “Stroke, Apoplexy, Cerebrovascular Accident, Vascular Accident, Home Care Services, home care, Home Health Care, Domiciliary Care, Physical, Physics, Psychological Factors, Psychological Side Effects, Psychosocial Factors, Spirituality.” Totally, 19,528 articles were obtained. Finally, only six eligible articles met review requirements. Results: Implementation of home-based care lowered the physical fatigue of the family. In psychological responses showed that home-based care could reduce the incidence of depression and anxiety levels. Another impact was that the family felt helped because patients could more independently do their activities. Furthermore, the family always supported to motivate the patients to do their daily tasks. Conclusion: Home-based interventions for stroke patients can reduce depression, anxiety, and fatigue for the family caregiver. 

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Structural equation model of affecting factors on elder abuse to patients under hemodialysis by family caregivers

Background: The objectives of the present study were to determine the prevalence of older adults with hemodialysis (HD) abuse by family caregivers and the factors affecting it. Method: This is a correlational-causal study, which is conducted in 2018 in Iran. The sample size was 367 in both groups (the older adults and their family caregivers). Data collection was done using an individual-social information questionnaire for the older adults under hemodialysis and their family caregivers, the questionnaire of elder abuse by family caregivers to the older people under hemodialysis, Zarit Burden Interview and the scale of instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). Data were analyzed by the structural equation model (SEM) method. The Fitness of proposed pattern was measured using the following indexes: chi-square/degree of freedom ratio (CMIN/DF), Normed Fit Index (NFI), comparative fit index (CFI), goodness of fit index (GFI), and standardized root mean squared residual (SRMR). The significant level in this study was considered p < 0.05. Results: The results of the present study showed that more than 70 % of the older adults suffer from elder abuse by family caregivers on average. The highest median elder abuse was related to emotional misbehavior (21.46 ± 6.09) and financial misbehavior (19.07 ± 5.33), respectively. Moderate care burden was experienced by 63.2 % of caregivers. The percentage of older women and men, who needed help with daily activities was 81.4 and 80.5 %, respectively. The results showed that the caregivers’ level of education and care burden with standard beta coefficient of -0.251 and 0.200 and the educational level of older adults and IADL with the best beta coefficient of -0.299 and − 0.234, had the highest regression effect on elder abuse respectively. According to the results, the model-fit indices of the hypothesized model was meet the criteria, with the NFI = 0.951, GFI = 0.970, CFI = 0.967, and SRMR = 0.041. The outcome was suitable for the recommended level, so the hypothetical model appeared to fit the data. Conclusions: The results of the present study showed that the prevalence of elder abuse by family caregivers among the older adults under hemodialysis is high. Providing psychological counseling can reduce the consequences of elder abuse.

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Steering towards collaborative assessment: a qualitative study of parents' experiences of evidence-based assessment practices for their child with cerebral palsy

Background: To understand parents' experiences of evidence-based assessment by health professionals for their child with cerebral palsy. Method: A qualitative interpretive description study was undertaken. Primary carers of children with cerebral palsy (aged 3–18 years) from south-eastern Australia were invited to participate. Face-to-face interviews were held using a semi-structured topic guide and data analyzed inductively. Credibility was ensured through: journal reflections; co-author review; audit trail; and, participant member-checking. Fourteen parents of children with cerebral palsy, representing Gross Motor Functional Classification System levels I–V, participated. Findings: Six themes emerged: (1) Protection; (2) Positively Framed; (3) Bridging the Gap; (4) Involvement; (5) Finding Worth; and (6) Trust. Central to parents' experience was protection of their child's identity and personal self. Assessment can be emotionally confronting, at any stage. Representing the child positively and highlighting possibilities was deemed essential. Parents' involvement ranged from being overlooked spectators to being instigators of assessment. Evidence-based assessment was worthwhile when relevant to parents' direction and family context. The researchers' interpretive description generated a schema and metaphor—the Steering Wheel for Collaborative Assessment. A strengths-based approach to diagnosis and assessment is essential. The resulting interpretive description may assist health professionals align evidence-based assessment practices with family-centred care. Parents of children who have cerebral palsy describe having to protect their child's identity and representation, and their own personal well-being, through evidence-based assessment and diagnostic processes. Involving parents in the process of evidence-based assessment and adopting a strengths-based approach is essential. Conclusions: The interpretive description developed—the Steering Wheel for Collaborative Assessment—may assist health professionals to implement evidence-based assessment tools in ways consistent with family-centred care principles.

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Stakeholders’ perspectives on adapting the World Health Organization iSupport for Dementia in Australia

Background: In Australia, informal caregivers (family, friends and neighbours) play a crucial role in supporting people with dementia to remain at home. Within the community aged care policy, informal caregivers are acknowledged as assisting with managing care. However, they usually receive very limited dementia care education and training to support them in their role. The World Health Organization (WHO) developed iSupport for Dementia, a comprehensive online dementia education and skill training programme, to address the gap in supporting informal caregivers. Aim: The aim of the study was to identify stakeholders’ perspectives regarding adapting the WHO iSupport for use by informal caregivers of people with dementia in Australia. Methods: An interpretive description study design was used. Data were collected in focus groups with informal caregivers and care staff of dementia and aged care service providers conducted in May–July 2018. A thematic analysis was utilised to analyse data and identify findings. Results: In total, 16 informal caregivers and 20 care staff participated in the study. Five themes were identified. First, informal caregivers perceived iSupport as an opportunity to provide an online one-stop shop to meet their education needs and their needs to manage care services. Second, both informal caregivers and care staff believed that an integrated caregiver network moderated by a health professional was much needed to enable informal caregivers to share learning experiences and enhance social support. Third, both informal caregivers and care staff strongly suggested that dementia and aged care service providers had a role to play in promoting the iSupport. Fourth, informal caregivers were concerned about the time commitment to participate in the iSupport programme. Finally, informal caregivers expected the iSupport to be user-friendly. Conclusion: Stakeholders perceived the adaptation of the WHO iSupport in Australia would strengthen informal caregiver education and optimise support for informal caregivers. 

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Solution to support informal caregivers of patients with dementia

Background: The dementia is a degenerative uncurable disease. Giving its high prevalence worldwide, it is considered a major global public health concern. Patients with dementia need long-term care and support at home. Current evidence demonstrates that their informal caregivers are prone to psychiatric and cardiovascular diseases and lack formal support that can help them in their exhausting daily routine. We intend to report the creation of an ICT solution to support informal caregivers of patients with dementia, addressing identified needs. Methods: The academic engineering project launched was divided in two phases: 1) requirements analysis and software design and 2) software development and deployment. The user-friendly and smooth functioning application developed, called OneCare, has a set of functionalities that allows the free access to information about the disease, useful resources, medication, outpatient consultation management and communication with peers. Discussion: We consider that this application may improve effectiveness in care provided by informal caregivers of patients with dementia, while having a positive impact in their health outcomes and quality of life. We advocate that future policies in this area should consider the use of this kind of technology as a way to reduce disease burden, institutionalization needs and increase the chances of living well at home.

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

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

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Sensitizing family caregivers to influence treatment compliance among elderly neglected patients—a 2-year longitudinal study outcome in completely edentulous patients

Background: Healthcare workers have reported a certain segment of geriatric patients that are suffering from abuse/neglect, which in turn has been associated with anxiety, depression, and helplessness in the individual. Family caregivers (blood relations), being the most common perpetrators of elder abuse and neglect (EAN), have also been shown to respond to sensitization if the type of EAN and the interventions are appropriate. Objectives: This study was aimed to comparatively analyze the influence of intervention (psychotherapeutic sensitization of FCG) upon long-term (24 months) treatment maintenance and satisfaction in elderly neglected patients. Methods: One hundred and fifty patients (aged 41–80 years) suffering from elder neglect (EN) (self-confession) and their respective FCGs, fulfilling the study criteria, participated in this longitudinal 2-year study. The patients were randomly dis-tributed (simple random, convenient) in two equal groups (75 each), namely Group (GP) A (control) and GP B (test). A standardized, complete denture treatment was initiated for all the participants. Both the FCGs and the patients of GP B were sensitized (psychotherapeutic education) for EN, while there was no such intervention in GP A. The influence of such intervention was measured for denture maintenance [denture plaque index (DPI) scores] and treatment satisfaction (10-point visual analog scale). Absolute/relative frequencies and means were major calculations during data analysis. Differences between the groups for any treatment compliance parameter was done through the unpaired t-test, while Karl Pearson’s test determined the level of relationship between variables (p-value < 0.05). Results: Decrease in mean DPI scores (suggesting improvement) was seen among patients in GP A from 1 month (m = 2.92) to 24 months (m = 2.77). A negligible increase in DPI scores was observed among patients of GP B from 1 month (m = 1.38) to 24 months (m = 1.44). Differences in mean values between the two groups were statistically significant at 24-month intervals, while the relationship between the variables was nonsignificant. FCG sensitization through psychotherapeutic education shows a long-term positive influence on the treatment compliance (maintenance and satisfaction). Conclusions: Identifying the existence of EAN among geriatric patients, followed by psychothera-peutic education of FCGs is recommended for routine medical and dental long-duration treatment procedures. 

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Self-Management Coaching: Promoting postoperative recovery and caregiving preparedness for patients with lung cancer and their family caregivers

Background: Quality of life (QOL) for patients undergoing lung resection and their family caregivers (FCGs) is often affected by surgical treatment for lung cancer. Objectives: Patients and FCGs have a great deal of distress that affects their QOL. Introducing self-management skills soon after diagnosis improves patient and FCG outcomes. Methods: This article presents a intervention model for providing patients and FCGs with self-management skills. Patients and FCGs will learn how to identify and overcome challenges, set goals, and address unmet needs throughout the phases of surgery. The model and case examples are presented. Findings: Patients and FCGs gained self-efficacy. They were able to identify potential stressors that would otherwise become burdensome. Patients remained in control of their preoperative care and recovery, resulting in continued independence. FCGs achieved healthier well-being, which increased positive caregiving experiences.

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Scoping Review of Family Interventions That Support the Physical Health of Caregivers

Purpose: Family interventions have been developed to support carers of people with mental illness, but not much is known about how such interventions can improve carers' physical health. This review aimed to identify and analyze existing family interventions that addressed the physical health of carers. Methods: A scoping review was conducted to identify peer-reviewed journal articles on family interventions with physical health components. A total of six articles were found and analyzed thematically to identify the family interventions, physical health components of the interventions, and associated physical health outcomes. Results: Synthesis of the findings from relevant articles showed that the development of physical health components in family interventions is emerging and at an early stage. However, most studies had physical health as a minor area focusing mainly on stress and sleep. Conclusions: Family interventions would be more holistic if consideration of physical health issues was addressed as a core module.

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The scope of carer effects and their inclusion in decision-making: a UK-based Delphi study

Background and objective: Health and social care may affect unpaid (family) carers’ health and wellbeing in addition to patients’ lives. It is recommended that such impacts (carer effects) are considered in decision-making. However, the scope of carer effects and range of decisions where carer effects should be considered is uncertain. This study aimed to identify: (i) how different categories of healthcare and social care were perceived to impact on unpaid carers; and (ii) whether there was consensus about when carer effects should be formally considered in decision-making contexts. Methods: A two round, online Delphi study was conducted with 65 UK-based participants (unpaid carers, care professionals, and researchers) with expertise in dementia, mental health, and stroke. Participants considered two broad forms of ‘interventions’ (patient treatment and replacement care) and two broad forms of ‘organisational change’ (staffing and changes in timing/location of care). Participants assessed the likely impacts of these on unpaid carers and whether impacts should be considered in decision-making. Results: Participants predicted interventions and organisational changes would impact on multiple domains of unpaid carers’ lives, with ‘emotional health’ the most likely outcome to be affected. Patient treatment and replacement care services (‘interventions’) were associated with positive impacts across all domains. Conversely, timing/location changes and staffing changes (‘organisational changes’) were perceived to have mixed and negative impacts. There was widespread support (80–81 %) for considering carer effects in research studies, funding decisions, and patient decision-making. Conclusions: This study highlights a perception that carer effects are widespread and important to consider in economic evaluation and decision-making. It highlights the particular need to measure and value effects on carers’ emotional health and the need to use a societal perspective to avoid cost shifting to unpaid carers when introducing interventions and making organisational changes.

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Replicating an effective VA program to train and support family caregivers: a hybrid type III effectiveness-implementation design

Background: Caring for a growing aging population using existing long-term care resources while simultaneously supporting and educating family caregivers, is a public health challenge. We describe the application of the Replicating Effective Programs (REP) framework, developed by the Centers for Disease Control Prevention and used in public health program implementation, to scale up an evidence-based family caregiver training intervention in the Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system. Methods: From 2018 to 2020, clinicians at eight VA medical centers received REP-guided implementation including facilitation, technical assistance, and implementation tools to deliver the training program. The project team used the REP framework to develop activities across four distinct phases – (1) pre-conditions, (2) pre-implementation, (3) implementation, and (4) maintenance and evolution – and systematically tracked implementation facilitators, barriers, and adaptations. Results: Within the REP framework, results describe how each medical center adapted implementation approaches to fit local needs. We highlight examples of how sites balanced adaptations and intervention fidelity. Conclusions: The REP framework shows promise for national expansion of the caregiver training intervention, including to non-VA systems of care, because it allows sites to adapt while maintaining intervention fidelity. Trial registration NCT03474380. Date registered: March 22, 2018.

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Relieving distressed caregivers (ReDiCare study): study protocol of a randomized pragmatic trial

Background: Providing care for someone with a disease or chronic condition can have a negative psychological, physical, social, and economic impact upon informal caregivers. Despite the socio-economic relevance and more than three decades of caregiver intervention research only very few translational efforts of successful interventions are reported. Still less of these interventions have been implemented into routine services. Objectives: The aim of the ReDiCare study (German acronym BerTA) is to evaluate the effectiveness of a stepped counselling approach for burdened caregivers delivered by care counsellors of two long-term care insurances and registered psychotherapists. Methods/design: A pragmatic randomised controlled trial with 572 caregivers of older adults (≥ 60 years) receiving benefits of one of the two participating long-term care insurances. Participants are assigned (t0) to either the ReDiCare intervention or a control group receiving routine care and counselling. Data are collected at baseline (-t1), 3-month (t1), 9-month (t2) and 15-month (t3). The 9-month post-intervention assessment (t2) is the primary endpoint to evaluate the results on the primary and secondary outcomes, measured by self-reported questionnaires. Depressive symptoms measured with the CES-D are the primary outcome. The main secondary outcomes are physical complaints, utilization of psychosocial resources, caregiver self-efficacy and burden, positive aspects of caregiving and perceived care quality. A process evaluation, including audio tapes, self-report questionnaires and documentation will be conducted to examine internal and external validity of the intervention. Data on direct and indirect costs are collected for the (health) economic evaluation, using a health care perspective and a societal perspective. Discussion: While comparable previous caregiver interventions have been developed and evaluated for specific caregiver groups (e.g. dementia caregivers, stroke caregivers), the ReDiCare study will indicate whether a stepped approach will be effective also in a broader group of caregivers. The intervention is one of the very few translational studies in caregiver intervention research and will provide valuable insights into relevant factors for training, intervention protocol adherence, effectiveness, and costs for future implementation steps. Trial registration Deutsches Register Klinischer Studien (German Clinical Trials Register), DRKS00014593 (www.drks.de, registered 14 May 2018) and International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, DRKS00014593 (https://apps.who.int/trialsearch/).

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Relationship-centred CogniCare: an academic–digital–dementia care experts interface

Purpose: This paper aims to reports on an academic–industry service development innovation to advance the symptom monitor and track feature within the CogniCare app to support family carers of people living with dementia. Expert opinion from dementia care professionals identified key monitoring strategies for enhanced carer competence and confidence in the early identification of relevant symptoms that would help facilitate meaningful hospital/social care consultations. Design/methodology/approach: A co-production approach between industry and academia included stakeholder representation from NHS Highland and Alzheimer Scotland. Dementia care experts validated items to be included for symptom monitoring and tracking using a newly developed A2BC2D2EF2 framework as part of this project and recommended additional strategies for monitoring symptom change, including carer well-being. Findings: Dementia care experts perceived the symptom monitoring and track feature to have the potential to support family carers with dementia care at home and foster a relationship-centred approach to dementia care to facilitate meaningful hospital/social care consultations. Originality/value: The CogniCare app is the first platform of its kind that aims to support family carers to care for people living with dementia at home. This unique service development collaborative combined dementia and digital expertise to create innovative digital solutions for dementia care. The proposed monitoring and tracking feature is perceived by dementia care experts as a tool with the potential to enhance carer confidence and thus enable safe and effective dementia care within the home environment.

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Relational counselling as a psychosocial intervention for dementia: Qualitative evidence from people living with dementia and family members

Background: Counselling and other psychotherapeutic interventions can be offered to people with dementia and their caregivers, to treat specific conditions or symptoms (e.g. affective disorders such as depression). Psychotherapeutic interventions also offer the opportunity for individuals with dementia and their families/caregivers to engage in psychological support for a wide range of presentations. However, little is known about how those within this demographic who receive these interventions perceive the experience. Objectives: This study aimed to understand the experiences of individuals with dementia or caring for someone with dementia, before and after a 12-week relational counselling intervention delivered through a third sector organisation within England. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were completed with participants (29 pre-intervention and 25 post-intervention). Framework analysis was conducted, with four main themes identified; expectations and outcomes of counselling, emotional impact of life with dementia, appraisals of identity and importance of therapeutic relationship. Results: Participants reported that counselling interventions addressed a range of needs and concerns that they had, enabling them to reassess and reconsider these. Specific training is needed before therapists deliver therapeutic interventions with people with dementia, to ensure that appropriate support is provided for those with more severe cognitive impairment or who may have fluctuating capacity. Conclusions: Future research should explore the experiences of people with dementia and their caregivers, across different counselling modalities, to establish the appropriateness and effectiveness of relational counselling.

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Ready and able? Professional awareness and responses to young carers in Switzerland

Background:  It is unknown how Swiss professionals support for young carers.  Previous national research suggests a lack of support services for young carers.  Professionals do provide individual as well as a family-centred support.  Social services seem to be most inclined to initiating interdisciplinary support. The situation of children, adolescents, young adults with caring responsibilities and their families has only recently been addressed in the Swiss context. Initial findings show a low level of awareness among professionals towards young people with caring responsibilities, and also a lack of specific support services nationally for young carers. This might suggest that the support needs of young carers and young adult carers are not currently being recognised or met in Switzerland. Objectives: The purpose of this analysis was to explore to what degree young carers' needs for support are currently met by professionals. We evaluated how professionals in Switzerland currently support young carers in their occupational context; what kind of organisations they refer young carers to; and if the current support approaches meet international recommendations (drawn from research and policy in other countries). Methods: Data from a cross-sectional online survey completed by 2142 professionals from education, healthcare and social services in Switzerland were analysed. The data included respondents' demographics, professional background, awareness of young carers' situations and circumstances, ability to support young carers, referrals to other organisations, as well as approaches to support young carers. We conducted text analysis of the open-ended answers according to Kuckartz (2014) as well as descriptive statistical analysis and Chi-Square independence tests. Just over half (55.8%) of the professionals in our study reported being able to support young carers. Findings: Five different categories of support interventions were identified: counselling ; connecting with others ; emotional support ; including the family/network; and providing practical skills & illness-related knowledge. Professionals who reported that they themselves had a caring role when they were young were more likely to be able to support young carers (p <.001). Professionals familiar with the term 'young carers' more often mentioned systemic support approaches (such as family-centred procedures and coordination/interdisciplinary cooperation) than those who were not familiar with the term. Study results show that many professionals in Switzerland address relevant realms and specific challenges for young people with caring responsibilities without being familiar with the experiences or needs of young carers. How they support young carers and young adult carers, perhaps surprisingly given their lack of awareness and specific knowledge, correspond with the main approaches currently found in the international literature recommendations for professionals working with young carers. The fact that systemic approaches of support were less often described, especially by professionals unfamiliar with the term 'young carer', raises the question whether appropriate sustainable and long-term support can be provided without having a clear understanding of the concept, experiences and specific needs of young carers. Conclusions: The study results provide a national starting point to develop support provisions and interventions for young carers. The results also offer relevant data for policy recommendations.

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A randomized wait-list controlled trial of a social support intervention for caregivers of patients with primary malignant brain tumor

Background: Informal family caregivers constitute an important and increasingly demanding role in the cancer healthcare system. This is especially true for caregivers of patients with primary malignant brain tumors based on the rapid progression of disease, including physical and cognitive debilitation. Informal social network resources such as friends and family can provide social support to caregivers, which lowers caregiver burden and improves overall quality of life. However, barriers to obtaining needed social support exist for caregivers. To address this need, our team developed and is assessing a multi-component caregiver support intervention that uses a blend of technology and personal contact to improve caregiver social support. Methods: We are currently conducting a prospective, longitudinal 2-group randomized controlled trial which compares caregivers who receive the intervention to a wait-list control group. Only caregivers directly receive the intervention, but the patient-caregiver dyads are enrolled so we can assess outcomes in both. The 8-week intervention consists of two components: (1) The electronic Social Network Assessment Program, a web-based tool to visualize existing social support resources and provide a tailored list of additional resources; and (2) Caregiver Navigation, including weekly phone sessions with a Caregiver Navigator to address caregiver social support needs. Outcomes are assessed by questionnaires completed by the caregiver (baseline, 4-week, 8-week) and the cancer patient (baseline, and 8-week). At 8 weeks, caregivers in the wait-list condition may opt into the intervention. Our primary outcome is caregiver well-being; we also explore patient well-being and caregiver and patient health care utilization. Discussion: This protocol describes a study testing a novel social support intervention that pairs a web-based social network visualization tool and resource list (eSNAP) with personalized caregiver navigation. This intervention is responsive to a family-centered model of care and calls for clinical and research priorities focused on informal caregiving research. Trial registration clinicaltrials.gov, Registration number: NCT04268979; Date of registration: February 10, 2020, retrospectively registered.

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A randomized controlled trial evaluating the effects of a family-centered HIV care model on viral suppression and retention in care of HIV-positive children in Eswatini

Introduction: A family-centered care model (FCCM) providing family-based HIV services, rather than separate adult/pediatric services, has been proposed to increase pediatric retention and treatment adherence. Materials and methods: Eight health-care facilities in the Hhohho region of Eswatini were randomized to implement FCCM (n = 4) or continue standard-of-care (SOC) separate adult/pediatric clinics (n = 4). HIV-positive children and caregivers were enrolled; caregiver interview and child/caregiver chart abstraction were done at enrollment and every three months; pediatric viral load was evaluated at enrollment and every six months through 12 months. Because of study group differences in 12-month viral load data availability (89.4% FCCM and 72.0% SOC children had 12-month viral load), we used three separate analyses to evaluate the effects of FCCM on children's viral suppression (<1,000 copies/mL) and undetectable virus (<400 copies/mL) at 12 months. In the first analysis, all children with missing viral outcome data were excluded from the analysis (modified intent to treat, mITT). The second analysis used inverse probability of missingness weighted logistic regression to estimate the effect of FCCM on 12-month viral outcomes compared to SOC (weighted mITT). For the third approach, missing virologic outcome data were imputed as virologic failure (imputed ITT). We also examined factors associated with viral suppression at 12 months using multivariable logistic regression. Results: We enrolled 379 HIV-positive children and 363 caregivers. Among all children at enrollment, viral suppression and undetectability was 78.4% and 73.9%, respectively, improving to 90.2% and 87.3% at 12 months. In mITT and weighted mITT analyses, there was no significant difference in children's 12-month viral suppression between FCCM and SOC groups (89.2% and 91.6%, respectively). Using imputed ITT, there was a modest increase in 12-month viral suppression in FCCM versus SOC children (79.7% and 69.8%, respectively, p = 0.051) and 12-month undetectability (78.7% and 65.7%, respectively, p = 0.015). Among the 255 children suppressed at enrollment, more FCCM versus SOC children (98.0% versus 95.3%) were suppressed at 12-months, but this was not statistically significant in mITT or weighted mITT analyses, with a marginally significant difference using imputed mITT analysis (p = 0.042). A higher proportion of children suppressed at enrollment had undetectable viral load at 12 months in FCCM versus SOC children (98.0% versus 92.5%), a statistically significant difference across analytical methods. Among the 61 children unsuppressed at enrollment, achieving suppression was higher among SOC versus FCCM children, but this difference was not statistically significant and included only 38 children; and there were no significant differences in detectable viral load at 12 months. There were no significant differences between study groups in retention or ART adherence at 12 months for children or caregivers. Factors associated with lack of viral suppression/detectability at 12 months included lack of viral suppression at enrollment and having a younger caregiver (age <25 years). Conclusions: FCCM in Eswatini was associated with a modest increase in viral suppression/undetectability at 12-months; 12-month retention and adherence did not differ by study group for children or caregivers. High levels of suppression and retention in both groups may have limited our ability to detect a difference. Trial registration: NCT03397420; ClinicalTrials.gov. 

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A randomized clinical trial assessing a pragmatic intervention to improve supportive care for family caregivers of patients with lung cancer

Objective: Family caregivers (FCs) of cancer patients often experience high distress. This randomized clinical trial assessed the feasibility and preliminary effects of an intervention to improve FC supportive care. Method: A pragmatic and minimal intervention to improve FC supportive care was developed and pretested with FCs, oncology team, and family physicians to assess its relevance and acceptability. Then, FCs of lung cancer patients were randomized to the intervention or the control group. The intervention included (1) systematic FC distress screening and problem assessment in the first months after their relative cancer diagnosis, and every 2 months after; (2) privileged contact with an oncology nurse to address FC problems, provide emotional support and skills to play their caregiving role; (3) liaison with the family physician of FCs reporting high distress (distress thermometer score ≥4/10) to involve them in the provision of supportive care. Distress, the primary outcome, was measured every 3 months, for 9 months. Secondary outcomes included quality of life, caregiving preparedness, and perceived burden. At the end of their participation, a purposive sample of FC from the experimental group was individually interviewed to assess the intervention usefulness. Content analysis was performed. Results: A total of 109 FCs participated in the trial. FC distress decreased over time, but this reduction was observed in both groups. Similar results were found for secondary outcomes. However, FCs who received the intervention felt better prepared in caregiving than controls (p = 0.05). All 10 interviewed FCs valued the intervention, even though they clearly underused it. Knowing they could contact the oncology nurse served as a security net. Significance of results: Although the intervention was not found effective, some of its aspects were positively perceived by FCs. As many of them experience high distress, an improved intervention should be developed to better support them.

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A qualitative systematic review protocol to examine the experiences and needs of informal caregivers of patients with glioma

Background: Gliomas are the most common primary malignant brain tumors in adults. It has a devastating impact on the cognitive, physical, social, and psychological well-being of patients. Informal caregivers refer to family members, friends, and other carers of the patient who provide unpaid care for patients. They provide physical and psychological support for patients and the family during the disease process. Despite this, there is a paucity of knowledge regarding the experiences and needs of glioma caregivers across the disease trajectory. Methods: A systematic review will be conducted to identify the experiences and needs of informal caregivers of patients with glioma. Seven English databases and four Chinese databases will be analyzed. The search is limited to peer-reviewed full-text articles published either in English or Chinese, with no restrictions on the publication period. According to the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) manual for evidence synthesis, two independent reviewers will apply the JBI Critical Appraisal Checklist for Qualitative Research to evaluate the methodological quality of each study. The JBI meta-aggregation method will subsequently be used to synthesize the data, eventually forming themes, categories, and findings. Discussion: The systematic review is expected to be the first qualitative synthesis of evidence pertains to the experience of family caregivers for glioma patients. The findings generated from the systematic review may be rewarding for researchers to improve care and quality of life for glioma patients and their family members. Trial registration: PROSPERO CRD42020222307. 

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A Qualitative Study of Older Patients' and Family Caregivers' Perspectives of Transitional Care From Hospital to Home

Background and Purpose: The need for high-quality long-term healthcare services is increasing across the globe as the population ages. Strategies for improving transitional care from hospital to home are needed. This study aimed to explore the perspectives of patients aged 65 years and over and their family caregivers transitioning from hospital to home in an urban area of Turkey. Methods: Thematic analysis of in-depth semi-structured interviews was conducted with older patients (n = 14), with at least one chronic disease and admitted to the hospital for a minimum of 3 days, and family caregivers (n = 11) who voluntarily participated. Results: Main themes were "confused feelings of safety and stress"; "worried about being left alone"; and "disrupted healthcare journey." The proactive rehabilitation model was used to elaborate on the study findings and interpret the perspectives and experiences of older patients and their family caregivers, which can be used for improving the quality of care after discharge from hospital. Implications for Practice: A high-quality transitional care program requires taking care of the feeling of safety in older patients and their family caregivers by the multidisciplinary team and their enhanced involvement in care initiatives after hospital discharge.

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A qualitative investigation into the impact of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis on children and their caregivers

Background: Primary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (pHLH) is a rare and life-threatening disorder, which usually occurs during infancy or early childhood and is characterized by abnormal activation of the immune system. However, the burden of pHLH on children and their families has not been previously evaluated. Methods: This qualitative study investigated the impact of pHLH and its treatment on the physical, emotional, and social well-being of patients and caregivers in the USA and UK using interviews to provide a comprehensive insight from the perspective of the caregivers and young survivors. Results: Twenty-one caregivers were enrolled (median [range] age, 41.1 [26-58] years) and represented 20 patients, four from the UK and 16 from the USA. At enrollment, 17 of the 20 patients were alive with a median [range] age of 12.75 [5-31] years at a mean [range] of 7.8 [0.6-11.6] years after diagnosis. In addition, four adult survivors (median [range] age, 23.3 [21-30] years) were also enrolled (total participants n = 25). From noticing initial symptoms to receiving a diagnosis, caregivers reported a mean (range) of 25.9 (0-258) months. pHLH and its treatment had a substantial and long-lasting impact on patients and caregivers, affecting their physical, emotional and social well-being, family relationships, friendships, and ability to work and study. Many of the experiences reported were negative, even after curative treatment, and some participants experienced long-lasting physical and emotional issues. The most noticeable impact of pHLH for patients was on their physical well-being, whereas for caregivers it was emotional well-being. Across all participants there was a sense of isolation due to the illness and its treatment, particularly regarding the patient being immunocompromised and the fear of infection. Areas having a major impact and considered in need of improvement included: delays in diagnosis, lack of patient-specific information on pHLH and a lack of support and understanding about the condition. Conclusions: pHLH placed a substantial burden on patients and caregivers, which for some were long-lasting. This was compounded by the lack of awareness and understanding of pHLH by healthcare professionals, and a lack of accessible information for those affected by pHLH. 

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A qualitative exploration of family carer's understandings of people with dementia's expectations for the future

Background: There is little evidence that outlines how family carers understand the person with dementia's perspective, values and anticipated future needs. Whilst people with dementia should be consulted about their own quality of life and care values, carers – otherwise known as care partners – require such understandings to ensure that the support the person receives into the future upholds their quality of life and is consistent with what they desire. Aim: This research aimed to explore and describe family carers' experience of supporting the person with dementia to maintain their quality of life by understanding how carers developed an awareness and understanding of the person with dementia's expectations for the future and what they believed was important for the person to whom they provided care. Method: Using an application of the grounded theory method, data were collected from 21 carers during semi structured interviews and analysed using constant comparative analysis. Findings: Four categories emerged from the data: Knowing the person, Process of decision making, Maintaining normalcy and quality of life and Out of their control. Discussion: This study provides insights into how carers developed awareness of the expectations of people with dementia. Findings also illuminate carers' perspectives of the changing nature of decision making during the dementia trajectory. Conclusion: Understanding the perspective of the person living with dementia is essential to facilitate advocacy and support that is 'person centred' now and into the future. Assisting carers to incorporate this perspective into caring has the potential to be better facilitated by health professionals and merits further investigation.

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

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

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Psychosocial interventions to support the mental health of informal caregivers of persons living with dementia – a systematic literature review

Background: Informal caregivers of persons living with dementia have an increased risk of adverse mental health effects. It is therefore important to systematically summarize published literature in order to find out which mental health interventions generate effective support for informal caregivers of persons living with dementia. Objectives: The objective of this study is to conduct a systematic review of intervention content, effectiveness and subgroup differentiation of mental health interventions for informal caregivers of persons with dementia living at home. Method: We searched four electronic databases (PubMed, PsychINFO, Scopus and CINAHL) and included only methodically high-quality randomized controlled trials (RCTs), published in English or German language between 2009 and 2018. The intervention programmes focused on mental health of family caregivers. A narrative synthesis of the included studies is given. Results: Forty-eight publications relating to 46 intervention programmes met the inclusion criteria. Burden, depression and quality of life (QoL) are the predominant parameters that were investigated. Twenty-five of forty-six interventions (54.3%) show positive effects on at least one of the outcomes examined. Most often, positive effects are reported for the outcome subjective burden (46.2%). Only six studies explicitly target on a certain subgroup of informal dementia caregivers (13%), whereas all other interventions (87%) target the group as a whole without differentiation. Conclusion: The most beneficial results were found for cognitive behavioural approaches, especially concerning the reduction of depressive symptoms. Besides this, leisure and physical activity interventions show some good results in reducing subjective caregiver burden. In order to improve effectiveness, research and practice may focus on developing more targeted interventions for special dementia informal caregiver subgroups.

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

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

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Psychological Support Interventions for Healthcare Providers and Informal Caregivers during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers and informal caregivers were at an increased risk of adverse mental health effects. This systematic review provides a summary of the available evidence on the content and efficacy of the psychological support interventions in increasing mental health among healthcare providers and informal caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: PubMed, Google Scholar, PsychINFO, and Scopus databases were systematically searched for relevant articles, and the methodological quality of selected articles was assessed using the Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies. Results: A search of electronic databases identified five reports based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. All psychological support interventions for caregivers were delivered digitally. Despite the large heterogeneity of the selected studies, the findings support the efficacy of mental health interventions in reducing distress and burnout, while promoting self-efficacy and well-being in both healthcare providers and informal caregivers. Conclusion: Since mental health problems are expected to increase during, and as a result of, the COVID-19 pandemic, and digital tools might offer a range of mental health treatments to meet the unique and immediate needs of people, further research is needed to test the cost-effectiveness of digital psychological interventions.

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Psychological Distress and Social Support Availability in Different Family Caregivers of Latinas With Breast Cancer

Background: Latinas with breast cancer draw on a diverse range of family members for informal care. Latin cultures typically prescribe high levels of support and care for an ill family member that leave caregivers vulnerable to compromised well-being. Method: In this cross-sectional survey study, 258 family caregivers of Latinas with breast cancer completed reports of psychological distress, availability of social support, and acculturation. Results: Mothers who provide care to a daughter with breast cancer experience higher levels of psychological distress and report lower availability of informational support than most other types of family caregivers. Mothers' lower levels of acculturation may at least partially explain these reductions in well-being. Discussion: This study highlights the diverse range of family and fictive kin who participate in family caregiving for Latina breast cancer survivors. Spousal caregivers may not represent a unique population, whereas mothers as caregivers are indeed distinct for their higher distress levels.

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Psychological distress and burden of care among family caregivers of patients with mental illness in a neuropsychiatric outpatient clinic in Nigeria

Background: The wellbeing of family caregivers of mentally ill persons has often been ignored, despite that family caregivers can be predisposed to psychiatric morbidities and burden in caring for their mentally ill family members. This study examined the levels of psychological distress and burden of care experienced by family caregivers who care for their mentally ill relatives in Edo State, Nigeria. Methods: This study assessed psychological distress using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Burden of care was measured using the 22-item Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) questionnaire. Multiple linear regression was done to determine factors associated with burden of care and psychological distress, while factor analysis was used to determine the underlying forms of burden of care and psychological distress among participants. Results: Caregivers studied were relatives of patients diagnosed for depression (25.1%), substance use disorder (22.2%), schizophrenia (20.2%) and bipolar affective disorder (11.1%). Approximately 15% experienced no-to-mild burden, 51.3% mild-to-moderate burden and 34.0% high-or-severe burden. Nearly halve (49.0%) of participants experienced psychological distress. Severe rate of psychological distress was observed among subjects caring for patients with schizophrenia (60.7%), epilepsy (60.0%), substance use disorder (52.2%) and depression (49.0%). High burden of care was more preponderant among caregivers of relatives with mental retardation and epilepsy (50% each) and schizophrenia (39.3%). Having a higher educational qualification and being self-employed was a predictor of psychological distress. Gender of caregiver and the diagnosis schizophrenia among relatives of caregivers predisposed to burden of care. Three factors including social and emotional dysfunction, psychological distress and cognitive dysfunction were identified as components of psychological health through factor analysis. On the burden scale, six factor components were identified as: personal strain, role strain, intolerance, patients’ dependence, guilt and interference in personal life. Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of psychological morbidity and burden of care among family caregivers providing care for persons with mental illness.

 

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Psychoeducational Program for the Family Member Caregivers of People with Dementia to Reduce Perceived Burden and Increase Patient's Quality of Life: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Background: Dementia is one of the world's greatest public health issues. Most people with dementia receive home care, and family members are vulnerable to feeling burdened and depressed that reinforces the need for caregiver-driven services to mitigate these negative effects. Objective: The purpose of this research was to evaluate the effect of the psychoeducational program on burden and quality of life of family caregivers for people with dementia. Methods: This randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted on 60 family caregivers. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either the 8-session psychoeducational program (study group) or routine care only (control group). The demographic data of the caregivers and their patients, the burden of caregivers using Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI), and the quality of life of the patients using Quality of Life in Alzheimer Disease (QoL-AD) questionnaire were measured before and after the psychoeducational program and compared between the study group and the control group. Results: The results revealed that 80% of the family caregivers were female and 42% were daughters. The mean ± SD of the baseline burden was 61 ± 13.7 and 60.9 ± 10 in the study and the control group, respectively. ZBI burden score in the study group demonstrated a significant drop after the psychoeducational program compared to the control group. Logistic regression analysis showed that caregivers who received the psychoeducational program have OR (95% CI) of 14 (3.1-67.8) compared to those who did not receive the psychoeducational program. Conclusions: Psychoeducational program is effective in reducing the family caregivers' perceived burden. These findings need to be considered in developing comprehensive dementia care programs to well increase the strategies that help caregivers to deal with their patients.

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Providing cancer treatment and care to people living with cancer and dementia: challenges and research-based recommendations

A growing number of people live with cancer and dementia. Dementia creates a particular set of challenges in all aspects of cancer treatment and care, including diagnosis, decision-making, access to appointments, monitoring of signs and symptoms of cancer and side effects of cancer treatment, and management of self-care tasks. People with cancer and dementia often require extensive support from family carers, and those without family support face additional challenges. This article uses the emerging UK evidence base on cancer and dementia to discuss the challenges that arise when providing cancer treatment and care to people with dementia and their families, and to make research-based recommendations on how to improve service provision for that population.

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Profiles of eHealth Adoption in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis and Their Caregivers

Background: Persons with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) are often characterized as ideal adopters of new digital healthcare trends, but it is worth thinking about whether and which pwMS will be targeted and served by a particular eHealth service like a patient portal. With our study, we wanted to explore needs and barriers for subgroups of pwMS and their caregivers when interacting with eHealth services in care and daily living. Methods: This study comprises results from two surveys: one collecting data from pwMS and their relatives (as informal caregivers) and another one providing information on the opinions and attitudes of healthcare professionals (HCPs). Data were analyzed descriptively and via generalized linear models. Results: 185 pwMS, 25 informal caregivers, and 24 HCPs in the field of MS participated. Nine out of ten pwMS used information technology on a daily base. Individual impairments like in vision and cognition resulted in individual needs like the desire to actively monitor their disease course or communicate with their physician in person. HCPs reported that a complete medication overview, additional medication information, overview of future visits and a reminder of medication intake would be very helpful eHealth features for pwMS, while they themselves preferred features organizing and enriching future visits. Conclusions: A closer look at the various profiles of eHealth adoption in pwMS and their caregivers indicated that there is a broad and robust enthusiasm across several subgroups that does not exclude anyone in general, but constitutes specific areas of interest. For pwMS, the focus was on eHealth services that connect previously collected information and make them easily accessible and understandable.

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Professional home care and the objective care burden for family caregivers of persons with spinal cord injury: Cross sectional survey

Background: Spinal cord injury imposes high demands on family caregivers providing long-term care. Professional home care has been suggested for family caregivers’ relief. However, it is not clear whether professional home care can achieve the goal of relieving family caregivers. Objective: To quantify to what extent professional home care was used as a relief or replacement for family caregivers, using the case of care for persons with spinal cord injury in Switzerland. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting: Community setting in Switzerland. Participants: 717 family caregivers of persons with spinal cord injury living at home. Methods: Linear regression analyses were applied to investigate the relationship between care hours by family caregivers and the use of professional home care. Percentages of family caregivers that assisted in different tasks, and their time investment in the tasks, were contrasted between those with and without professional home care. Multiple logistic regression compared the likelihood of specific tasks being assisted by family caregivers dependent on whether professional home care was in place. The reasons given for not hiring more professional home care despite unmet needs were described with relative frequencies. Results: Adjusted for non-utilization, care hours of family caregivers had a positive, but insignificant, relationship with the hours of professional home care (Coef. = 0.21, 95% CI: –0.05–0.47). Assistance in activities of daily living was more frequent in family caregivers with professional home care. Eating and drinking assistance was provided by 47% of family caregivers with professional home care (versus 18% of those without professional home care). The most frequent task in instrumental activities of daily living was housekeeping (88% of family caregivers with professional home care and 83% of those without professional home care). After adjusting for characteristics of the caregivers and care recipients, significantly lower odds of assistance were found in washing feet (OR 0.39, 95% CI: 0.22–0.71), transferring to the toilet or bathtub (OR 0.53, 95% CI: 0.29–0.96), and climbing stairs (OR 0.26, 95% CI: 0.09–0.69). Higher odds of assistance were found in respiratory care (OR 2.22, 95% CI: 1.04–4.74) and bladder management (OR 1.99, 95% CI: 1.05–3.76) with professional home care in place. No significant difference was found in other tasks. Conclusion: Professional home care is a strong support to caregivers in high care demand situations, but it is not a replacement. The present study recommends further relief, empowerment, and acknowledgement for family caregivers. 

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Prioritizing Family Caregiving Research Across Diverse Settings to Support Our Aging Society

An editorial is presented on the Prioritizing Family Caregiving Research Across Diverse Settings to Support Aging Society. The article discusses that this has become abundantly clear during the evolving COVID-19 pandemic as family caregivers took on increasing responsibility for care amid the most challenging of circumstances; and research must not only continue but must also grow to better demonstrate how we can effectively support caregivers.

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Preparing for partnerships in cancer care: an explorative analysis of the role of family-based caregivers

Background: Family-based ‘informal’ caregivers are critical to enable sustainable cancer care that produces optimal health outcomes but also gives rise to psychological burdens on caregivers. Evidence of psychosocial support for caregivers does not currently address the impacts of their role in providing clinical and health-related care for their loved ones. The present study sought to address this gap including with those from priority populations. Methods: Qualitative data was collected using focus group and interview methods. We purposively sampled caregivers identified as having a high burden of responsibility for providing clinical care including those from ethnic minority backgrounds, parental caregivers and those living rurally. Transcripts were subject to thematic analysis utilising a team-based approach. Results: Family-based caregivers included spouses (11), parents (7), children (1), siblings (1). Ten participants were from ethnic minority backgrounds and five participants were from regional or rural locations. Four resulting inter-related themes were; 1) Dual burden of providing clinical care and managing personal emotional distress; 2) Navigating healthcare partnership dynamics; 3) Developing a caregiving skillset, and 4) Unique supportive needs and barriers to access. These data provide evidence of the unique challenge of providing clinical care as part of family-based caregiving for a loved one with cancer, and the absence of support for caregivers to take up this role. Conclusion: Our findings highlight the substantial contribution of family-based caregivers to the provision of cancer care in contemporary health systems. Inadequate support for caregivers is apparent with regard to their role in providing clinical aspects of care such as medication administration and management. Support programs to prepare caregivers to provide clinical care while building capacity to manage their stressors and emotions through this challenging period may be valuable towards sustainable, person-centred care.

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Preparedness for the death of an elderly family member: A possible protective factor for pre-loss grief in informal caregivers

Background: Pre-loss grief (PLG) has been identified as a robust risk factor for Prolonged Grief Disorder, which will be added to the DSM 5-TR. Therefore, identifying treatment targets to reduce PLG is warranted. "Preparedness" has been found to strongly predict PLG. The work is nascent and a consensus has not been reached about how best to assess for preparedness, and no reliable measure of this construct exists. Before examining the relationship between preparedness and PLG, an in depth understanding of how family members define preparedness is warranted. The purpose of this study was to develop a preliminary theoretical framework of preparedness for the loss. Methods: This was achieved through prospective semi-structured interviews with family members of Stage 4 Cancer (N = 16) and Advanced Dementia (N = 24) patients. Findings: The overarching theme related to preparedness for the loss was the need to reduce uncertainty, both before the person passes away (i.e., present certainty) and after the person passes away (i.e., future certainty). Factors associated with the need to establish certainty in the present included, religiosity and spirituality, good relationship quality with the person with the life limiting illness, having access to support, good communication with person with life limiting illness, and acceptance of the impending death. Certainty for the future included, knowing what to expect due to past experience of loss, having plans for life without the person, and social support. Conclusions: This study provides a preliminary framework of preparedness for family members of individuals with life limiting illness.

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

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

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Predictors of Caregiver Strain for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Background: Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face higher levels of caregiver strain compared to parents of children with other disabilities. This study examined child clinical features that predict high levels of caregiver strain for 374 parents of children with ASD. Methods: Caregiver strain was measured using the Caregiver Strain Questionnaire (CGSQ) objective, subjective internalized, and subjective externalized subscales. Results: Confirmatory factor analysis indicated an acceptable fit for the original CGSQ three-factor solution. The strongest child predictors across CGSQ subscales were: disruptive behavior for objective strain, autism severity and disruptive behavior for subjective internalized strain, and oppositional behavior and hyperactivity for subjective externalized strain. Conclusions: Individualized interventions that attend to specific elements of parental strain may reduce strain and improve family wellbeing.

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

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

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

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

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Policy Opportunities to Support Family Caregivers Managing Pain in People with Dementia

The inherent challenges of an aging population and increased frailty include physical, social, psychological, and cognitive issues and associated complexities. With the growing population of persons living with dementia (PLWD), the need for continued support of family caregivers for these individuals also grows. Chronic pain is a common problem among older adults. The 2016 Global Burden of Disease Study reported pain as the leading cause of disability and disease burden globally (Vos et al., 2017). Pain management is a key aspect of the family caregiver role, but many family caregivers need education, support, and training to ensure that their loved ones' pain-related needs are addressed. As the demand for family caregiving increases, policymakers must acknowledge the expanding surrogacy role that caregivers play with PLWD and develop policies to address this need. This paper reviews the problem of pain in PLWD and the family caregiver's role. Two pieces of legislation—the Older Americans Act and the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act—are reviewed as opportunities for pain management nursing policy advocacy.

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Place4Carers: a multi-method participatory study to co-design, piloting, and transferring a novel psycho-social service for engaging family caregivers in remote rural settings

Background: Family caregivers are key actors in the ageing society. They are mediators between practitioners and patients and usually provide also essential daily services for the elders. However, till now, few services have been deployed to help caregivers in their care tasks as in improving their mental health which can experience sever burden due to caregiving duties. Objectives: The purpose of the study is to implement a community-based participatory research project to co-design an innovative organizational model of social services for family caregivers of elderly health consumers living in remote rural areas in Italy. Methods: This is a community-based participatory research project in the remote area of Vallecamonica involving four main phases. These included a quantitative analysis of caregiver needs, a scoping review on existing services for caregivers, co-design workshops with local stakeholders and caregivers to create a novel service the piloting and a first implementation of the service and the assessment of project transferability to other contexts. Results: As the hours dedicated to elder care increases, both objective and developmental caregiver's burden significantly increases. Conversely, higher levels of engagement were associated with lower physical and emotional burden, and caregiver engagement was positively correlated with their perceived self-efficacy in managing disruptive patient behaviours. Based on these preliminary results, four co-design workshops with caregivers were conducted and led to the definition of the SOS caregivers service, built on four pillars structured upon the previous need analysis: a citizens' management board, training courses, peer-to-peer meetings, and project and service information. We found that co-design is an effective means of creating new services for family caregivers, whose experiential knowledge proved to be a key resource for the project team in delivering and managing services. Less positively, the transferability analysis indicated that local municipalities remain reluctant to acknowledge caregivers' pivotal role. Conclusions: A dedicated support service for caregivers can ameliorate caregiving conditions and engagement levels. The service has resulted a successful co-productive initiative for a psycho-social intervention for family caregivers. For the future, we suggest that family caregiver should be considered an active partner in the process of designing novel psycho-social services and not just as recipients to enhance a better aging-in-place process. 

 

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Pilot test of a learned resourcefulness program for older family caregivers in Taiwan

Background: Learned resourcefulness, a theory-based education intervention, can be applied to provide strategies to improve the health status and reduce caregiver burden for older family caregivers. Methods: We developed a culturally relevant SOURCE program and designed a pilot study to its effect and feasibility for older family caregivers living in Taiwan. Using a quasi-experimental study with one-group, pre-test and post-test design, we recruited a convenience sample of 30 older family caregivers who received home-care services from a regional hospital in southern Taiwan. The older family caregivers participated in and completed the four-week SOURCE program. Effectiveness and feasibility data were collected after the completion of the program. Findings: Results indicated that the SOURCE program significantly improved caregiving burden (t = 3.05, p = .005) and revealed that the program was helpful and useful to older family caregivers. The next step will be to use the SOURCE program with more older family caregivers. 

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Perceived Help-Seeking Difficulty, Barriers, Delay, and Burden in Carers of People with Suspected Dementia

Background: Because of an often complicated and difficult-to-access care system, help-seeking for people with suspected dementia can be stressful. Difficulty in help-seeking may contribute to carer burden, in addition to other known stressors in dementia care. Objectives: This study examined the relationship between perceived help-seeking difficulty and carer burden, and the barriers contributing to perceived difficulty. Methods: We interviewed 110 carers accessing a community-based dementia assessment service for suspected dementia of a family member for their perceived difficulty, delays, and barriers in help-seeking, and carers burden in terms of role strain, self-criticism, and negative emotions. Results: Linear regression models showed that perceived help-seeking difficulty is associated with carer self-criticism, while carer role strain and negative emotions are associated with symptom severity of the person with dementia but not help-seeking difficulty. Inadequate knowledge about symptoms, service accessibility, and affordability together explained more than half of the variance in perceived help-seeking difficulty (Nagelkerke R2 = 0.56). Conclusion: Public awareness about symptoms, support in navigating service, and financial support may reduce perceived difficulty in help-seeking, which in turn may reduce carer self-criticism during the early course of illness.

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Perceived health, caregiver overload and perceived social support in family caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s: Gender differences

Background: Perceived health in caregivers is related to caregiver burden, psychological well‐being and social support. Women perceive poorer health and are more likely than men to experience caregiver overload. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to analyse perceived health, perceived social support and caregiver overload in family caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease, as well as to study the effect of the perceived social support as a mediating variable between perceived health and caregiver overload was also analysed, taking into account the caregivers’ gender. Methods: A cross‐sectional descriptive design was used. The sample consisted of 255 family caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease in the Almería Health District (Spain). This study was conducted from January to December 2015. The caregivers’ mean age was 55.35 years (SD = 12.35), with 85.5% (n = 218) being women and 14.5% (n = 37) being men. The following questionnaires were administered: Goldberg's General Health Questionnaire‐28; the Caregiver Strain Index, measuring caregiver overload; and the Duke‐UNC‐11 functional social support questionnaire. Results: Poor perceived health, high caregiver overload and high perceived social support were found. Differences in perceived health and perceived social support were significantly higher in women than in men. In women, perceived social support was a mediating variable between perceived health and family caregiver overload. This mediation was not observed in men. Conclusion: This study suggests that perceived social support influences the emotional well‐being and the caregiver overload of family caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's. However, its effect differs according to gender. It would, therefore, be necessary to have an in‐depth understanding of the variables determining these differences in family caregivers.

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Patients' and family members' perspectives on the benefits and working mechanisms of family nursing conversations in Dutch home healthcare

Objectives: The aim of this study is to propose a model of the benefits and working mechanisms of family nursing conversations in home healthcare from the perspective of participating patients and their family members. Background: Family nursing conversations in this study are intended to optimise family functioning, improve collaboration between family and professional caregivers and ultimately prevent or reduce overburden of family caregivers. Methods: In a qualitative grounded theory design, data were collected in 2017 using intensive interviewing with participants of family nursing conversations in home healthcare. A total of 26 participants (9 patients and 17 family members) from 11 families participated in a family nursing conversation and the study. Seven nurses who received extensive education in family nursing conversations conducted them as part of their daily practice. Interviews occurred 4–6 weeks after the family nursing conversation. Results: The model that was constructed in close collaboration with the families consists of three parts. The first part outlines working mechanisms of the conversation itself according to participants, i.e. structured and open communication about the care situation and the presence of all of the people who are involved. The second part consists of the benefits that participants experienced during and immediately after the conversation – an increased sense of overview and improved contact among the people involved – and the related working mechanisms. The last part consists of benefits that emerged in the weeks after the conversation – reduced caregiver burden and improved quality of care – and the related working mechanisms. Insight into the benefits and working mechanisms of family nursing conversations may assist healthcare professionals in their application of the intervention and provides directions for outcomes and processes to include in future studies.

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Patient and Family Engagement in Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) Prevention: A Systematic Review

Background: Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are detrimental to health and are largely preventable with adherence to CAUTI prevention guidelines. Patient and family engagement in CAUTI prevention is often encouraged in these guidelines; however, little is known about how this engagement is operationalized in practice. Methods: A systematic review was conducted to synthesize the content, format, and outcomes of interventions that engage patients and/or families in CAUTI prevention. Two reviewers independently screened records from four databases up to March 2021 and searched reference lists of final articles. Included articles were primary research, tested an intervention, involved indwelling urinary catheters, and described at least one patient and/or family engagement method. Articles were appraised for quality using the Downs and Black checklist. Findings: After 720 records were screened, 12 were included. Study quality ranged from good to poor, scoring lowest in internal validity. The most common formats of patient/family engagement were flyers/handouts (83.3%) and verbal education (58.3%). Common content areas were urinary catheter care and maintenance strategies. Most study outcomes (83.3%) measured CAUTI rates, and half measured patient/family-related outcomes. Improvements were seen in at least one outcome across all studies, but less than half (41.7%) showed statistically significant results. The researchers found that most interventions lacked sufficient detail on the content, delivery, and/or outcome measurement of patient/family engagement, which limits transferability. Conclusions: More high-quality, generalizable trials are warranted in this area. Future research should focus on integrating publicly available resources into practice that can be tested for comprehension and revised based on feedback from target audiences.

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Parkinson’s symptoms and caregiver affiliate stigma: A multinational study

Background and Objective: Research has documented the stigma that individuals with degenerative neurological diseases experience, but caregivers also experience stigma by association (i.e., affiliate stigma). In order to shed light on the stigma of caregivers of people with degenerative neurological diseases, the current study aimed to explore cross-cultural differences in the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease (PD) caregiver affiliate stigma, as well as the relationship between PD symptoms and caregiver affiliate stigma. Applications for Alzheimer’s disease are discussed. Methods: Survey data were collected in PD clinics at public, academic medical centers. Informal caregivers of an individual with PD from the US (n = 105) and from Mexico (n = 148) participated in the study. Caregivers completed a questionnaire that included the MDS Unified PD Rating Scale to describe the symptoms of the individual with PD, as well as the Affiliate Stigma Scale and demo-graphic information. Results: A series of multiple regressions was run to examine whether PD symptoms were associated with affiliate stigma and if these differed by country. These regressions suggested that different patterns of PD symptoms predicted affiliate stigma in each country. Stigma was higher in the US compared to Mexico, and the relationship between bowel/bladder symptoms and affiliate stigma was significantly stronger in the US. Conclusion: Symptoms of individuals with neurodegenerative diseases are related to affiliate stigma experienced by caregivers, and these relationships may differ cross-culturally. Negative public attitudes concerning bowl and bladder issues and the physical symptoms that accompany PD re-main a source of stigma for caregivers and families, particularly in the US. Interventions for caregivers of individuals with neurodegenerative diseases should include strategies for coping with stigma concerning bladder and bowel problems, as well as other physical and mental health issues. 

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Parents' and caregivers' satisfaction with community‐based rehabilitation (CBR) services for children with disability in east coast states in Peninsular Malaysia

Background: The Community‐Based Rehabilitation (CBR) services under the Malaysian Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development have provided two types of services for disabled children: centre‐based and home‐based care since 1984. Methods: A cross‐sectional study was conducted among parents and caregivers with children receiving treatment at CBRs on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, to determine the level of satisfaction with the services provided. Respondents were recruited via multi‐staged sampling, and simple randomisation at CBR level. Respondents self‐administered the Physical Therapy Satisfaction Questionnaire (PTSQ) and provided sociodemographic data. Results: A total of 297 respondents were recruited and all the questionnaires were returned complete, making the response rate 100%. Total satisfaction scores and factors influencing respondents’ satisfaction for both groups were analysed. The mean total satisfaction score for centre‐based and home‐based were 84.69 (SD = 10.01) and 75.30 (SD = 12.23; t = 7.160, p ≤ .001) respectively. Ninety‐eight per cent of centre‐based and 89% of home‐based respondents were satisfied with the current services. There were significantly mean differences in the satisfaction level of respondents of different states respectively (Kelantan mean 84.92 10.83, Terengganu mean 77.49 11.16 and Pahang mean 77.47 12.93, p ≤ .001). Factors associated with satisfaction were education (p = .002), occupation (p = <0.001), monthly income (p = .001) and source of income (p = .001). Conclusions: In conclusion, majority of parents and caregivers were satisfied with current services provided at CBR and satisfaction with services was dependent on CBR centre location and education and financial earning capacity.

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Parental Stress in Primary Caregivers of Children with Evidence of Congenital Zika Virus Infection in Northeastern Brazil

Background: Despite the well-known role of parents as caregivers, few studies have addressed their health outcomes related to the Zika virus epidemic. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out with 146 primary caregivers of children 15–26 months of age, with laboratory and/or clinical evidence of Zika infection between August and October 2017 in three Brazilian municipalities: João Pessoa and Campina Grande in the state of Paraíba and Fortaleza in the state of Ceará. Caregivers reported on their child's life and health, family circumstances and underwent screening for stress using the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form. Children were evaluated for developmental delays and clinical outcomes. Differences in the prevalence of risk factors between caregivers with high or clinically relevant stress and those with normal stress were evaluated. Results: Of the 146 participants, 13% (n = 19) were classified as having high or clinically relevant stress, all of them mothers. The two risk factors significantly and independently associated with high levels of stress, compared with individuals with normal stress levels, were "reporting difficulty in covering basic expenses" (adjusted OR 3.6 (95% CI 1.1–11.8; p = 0.034)) and "having a child with sleep problems" (adjusted OR 10.4 (95% CI 1.3–81.7; p = 0.026)). Conclusions: Some factors seem to contribute significantly more than others to the level of stress experienced by caregivers of children with evidence of Zika virus congenital infection. Interventions and preventive strategies should also target caregivers, who in turn will be able to respond to the unique characteristics of their child.

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Parental Feeding Concerns for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Family-Centered Analysis

Background: This study identifies and describes feeding concerns of parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and examines the extent to which parents relate those concerns as having been addressed by therapists. Methods: Survey data were collected from 113 parents of children with ASD. Results: Of the parents surveyed, 68% described a past or present concern with feeding; 60% of those parents with concerns said a therapist had not addressed those concerns. Feeding concerns were more likely addressed when therapists shared parent's concerns. Specific types of concerns, such as those around food selectivity and food refusal, were more likely addressed than difficulties around mealtime. A gap is identified between parental report of feeding difficulties and parental report of professional services addressing feeding needs. Conclusion: This analysis presents an opportunity for occupational therapists in the area of feeding, particularly around identifying and addressing parental concerns.

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Parental caregiver burden and recovery of adolescent anorexia nervosa after multi-family therapy

Background: This study investigated whether parental caregiving burden changed during adjunct multi-family therapy of adolescent anorexia nervosa and eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS) and whether caregiver burden at baseline and changes in caregiver burden during treatment were associated with treatment outcome. Methods: Twenty-four females, 13 to 16 years old, and their parents, participated in the study. Caregiver burden was measured with the Eating Disorders Symptom Impact Scale, by mothers (n = 23) and fathers (n = 22). Treatment outcome was measured by adolescent body mass index, level of global functioning and self-rated eating disorder symptoms by the Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire 4.0. Results: All patient outcomes improved and overall caregiver burden decreased significantly during treatment. When broken down in aspects of caregiver burden the decrease in parental perceived isolation, was found to be associated with improvement of BMI and Children's Global Assessment Scale. When analyzing fathers and mothers separately, we found that maternal feelings of guilt and paternal perceived burden of dysregulated behaviors at base-line were correlated to treatment outcome. Conclusions: Future studies are needed to clarify the role of caregiver burden as a potential mediator of treatment results.

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Parent Perspectives on Educational and Psychosocial Intervention for Recent-Onset Type 1 Diabetes in Their School-Age Child: A Qualitative Study

Objective: The recent-onset period of type 1 diabetes (T1D) in early school-age children should include comprehensive, parent-focused T1D education as well as family-centered resources and support to help with adjustment. Here, we present parent/caregiver perspectives on specific areas of concern during the recent-onset period of T1D and their preferred timing for different topics related to T1D education. Methods: Parents/caregivers of 5- to 9-year-old children with T1D completed a card-sorting task and qualitative interview to describe ongoing areas of concern and preferred educational topics during the first year after T1D diagnosis. Results: Thirteen parents/caregivers (aged 35.1 ± 6.9 years) of a child with T1D (aged 8.9 ± 0.8 years, 11.3 ± 7.0 months post-diagnosis) completed the card-sorting task, and 11 completed the qualitative interview. Parents/caregivers endorsed four preferred stages of education: basic education and T1D survival skills during month 1 post-diagnosis, application and practice of T1D skills from months 1–3, access to community supports to cope with anxiety and distress from months 3–6, and support to build autonomy and manage burnout beyond month 6 post-diagnosis. Parents/caregivers endorsed four main themes for ongoing concerns: anxiety, autonomy, distress, and support. Conclusion: Parents endorsed four time points for education and psychosocial services within the first year of a T1D diagnosis. Parents/caregivers may benefit the most from psychosocial interventions 3–6 months post-diagnosis, once they have had sufficient time to develop basic T1D management skills. These findings support the need for regular parent psychosocial screening and access to scalable psychosocial interventions in the first year post-diagnosis of T1D.

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The Role of the Patients' Companion in the Transitional Care from the Open Heart Surgery ICU to the Cardiac Surgery Ward: A Qualitative Content Analysis

Background: The patients' companions can help improve transitional care as an important missing link, but their role is not clear. The aim of this study was to explore the role of the patients' companion in the transitional care from the open heart surgery intensive care unit (OH-ICU) to the cardiac surgery ward. Methods: This was a qualitative descriptive study using conventional content analysis that was conducted from September 2019 to February 2020 in Tehran, Iran. Purposeful sampling method with maximum variation was performed among the patients eligible for transfer to the cardiac surgery ward, their companions, nurses, and physicians in charge of transferring from the OH-ICU to the ward. 27 in-depth and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 participants, and data were analyzed using the Granheim and Lundman method. The data were managed using the MAXQDA software (version 10.0). Results: Based on our analysis, the theme "Dual role of the patients' companion" and its two categories, "Companion as a facilitator" and "Companion as an inhibitor", were extracted. Emotional support, satisfaction of basic needs, care arm, alarm bell, and communication bridge were the sub-categories of the first category, and Interfering with care and creation of tension were those of the second category. Conclusion: We concluded that the patients' companions can play an important role in transitional care, especially as emotional support and system assistants due to the structure of the health care system and Iranian cultural context. Therefore, it is suggested that the patients' companion should be considered as a member of the transition team and accompany them in this process by informing and supporting them.

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The role of family caregiver's sense of coherence and family adaptation determinants in predicting distress and caregiver burden in families of cancer patients

Background: Most cancer patients' families suffer from maladaptation which increases family distress and caregiving burden. This study was conducted to explore the relationship between these maladaptation indicators, and the sense of coherence (SOC) of family caregivers alongside other family resilience determines among family caregivers of cancer patients. Methods: A total of 104 family caregivers of cancer patients were included in this cross-sectional study. They answered three questionnaires to assess family resilience factors: Family Inventory of Resources for Management (FIRM), Family Crisis Oriented Personal Evaluation Scales (F-COPES), and SOC scale. In addition, family maladaptation factors were determined by two instruments, including Family Distress Index (FDI) and Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI). Results: The results of this study showed that the FIRM and the SOC together were responsible for 35% and 43% of the variances in FDI and CBI scores, respectively (P < 0.001). "Reframing", the subscale of the F-COPES, significantly predicted the variances of FDI (β = −0.26, P = 0.01) and CBI scores (β = −0.21, P = 0.04). Moreover, "Mastery and health", the subscale of the FIRM, significantly predicted the variances of FDI (β = −0.38, P < 0.01) and CBI scores (β = −0.21, P = 0.02). Conclusions: Family caregiver's SOC alongside other family resilience determinants plays a significant role in alleviating family distress and caregiver burden. It is suggested that palliative care providers consider family caregivers' SOC in developing a psychological intervention plan to improve family resilience in families of cancer patients.

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The role of Connected Health technologies in supporting families affected by paediatric cancer: A systematic review

Objectives: Families impacted by paediatric cancer are met with logistical, financial and psychological impacts, with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus two creating additional barriers and stressors for these families. Connected Health (CH) may facilitate cancer care. The objective of the present study was to systematically review CH for families/informal caregivers affected by paediatric cancer. Methods: Using search terms relating to: (1) paediatric cancer, (2) family/caregivers and (3) CH, the databases of PsycINFO, Pubmed, EMBASE and Web of Science were searched. Inclusion criteria included an evaluation of CH technologies for supportive care for families/caregivers affected by paediatric cancer at any stage of treatment or survivorship. Results: Sixteen studies met inclusion criteria. CH was primarily web‐based (n = 6), however smartphone applications (n = 5), telehealth (n = 2) and online groups (n = 3) were utilised. Intervention areas included psycho‐social (n = 6), health and information provision (n = 8) and palliative care (n = 2). Conclusions: While limited studies have evaluated the impact of CH on families living with paediatric cancer, emerging evidence suggests potential benefits. More evidenced‐based interventions are required. 

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The relationship between positive aspects of caring, anxiety and depression in the caregivers of cancer patients: The mediational role of burden

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine how the burden of caregivers of patients with an advanced oncological illness mediates the relationship between positive aspects of care, depression and anxiety. Methods: Quantitative study with a cross‐sectional design. One hundred informal adult caregivers of patients with advanced oncological illness who attended the pain and palliative care unit or the psychological unit at the Instituto de Cancerologia Clinica las Americas (Medellin, Colombia) completed self‐report assessments including positive aspects of care (PAC), burden and anxiety/depression measured using the HADS (Hospitalized Anxiety Depression Scale). The partial least squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS‐SEM) approach was selected to validate the hypotheses of the study. Results: Most of the participants were women (86%), with a mean age of 46.52 years (SD=15.05). Most of the participants reported experiencing both PAC and anxiety. They also scored low for burden. PAC exerted a negative effect on Burden, whereas Burden contributed positively to Anxiety and Depression. The indirect impact of PAC on Anxiety and Depression was significant p < .00. Conclusions: Positive aspects of care in advanced cancer caregivers constitutes a protective factor against caregiver's burden, depression and anxiety. Health staff can promote caregivers' adaptation and wellbeing emphasizing these PAC.

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The reciprocal associations between caregiver burden, and mental health in primary caregivers of cancer patients: A longitudinal study: Family functioning, caregiver burden, and mental health

Objective: The vital role played by primary caregivers in caring for cancer patients is well‐recognized, but the caregiver burden and impact on family functioning to caregivers’ mental health is poorly understood. This study examined the prospective and reciprocal relationships between family functioning, caregiver burden, and mental health. We aimed to determine whether inferior family functioning and heavy caregiver burden act as risk factors for mental health, as consequences of mental health, or both. Methods: Participants were 187 primary caregivers of cancer patients. They completed questionnaires with standardized measures assessing family functioning, caregiver burden, and mental health. A quantitative longitudinal design and a cross‐lag model were used to test the reciprocal relationships between variables at three time points with 6‐month intervals during the first year of early‐stage cancer diagnosis and treatment. Results: Family functioning did not predict participants' future mental health, but their mental health state predicted future caregiver burden and family functioning. Caregiver burden also predicted participants' future mental health. There was a dynamic reciprocal relationship between caregiver burden and mental health over time. Conclusions: The findings of this study emphasize the adverse effects of caregiver burden and may contribute to shedding light on the distinct mechanisms that underlie the relationships between caregiver burden, family functioning, and mental health. Our findings indicate the necessity of developing interventions to reduce the burden of caregiving and to facilitate family functioning. They will provide direction for family‐centered nursing to meet primary caregivers' mental health needs in the care of cancer patients.

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The Protective Role of Social Support Sources and Types Against Depression in Caregivers: A Meta-Analysis

Background: The protective effects of social support for caregiver mental health are well documented, however the differential impact of support providers (partner, child, family, siblings, friends, professionals) and types (perceived, received) remain unclear. Methods: Observational data from 21 independent studies, involving a pooled sample of 2273 parents, stepparents and grandparents of children (aged ≤ 19) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were examined. Pearson's r, publication bias and heterogeneity were calculated using random effects modelling. Results: Significant associations were noted between lowered depressive symptoms and positive sources of support, regardless of support type. Conclusions: Parental mental health can be enhanced by strengthening close personal relationships alongside connections with formal support services. Longitudinal research is needed to explore support need and perceived helpfulness over time.

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The potential of transformative video design for improving caregiver’s wellbeing

The existing interventions for informal caregivers assist with managing health outcomes of the role burden. However, the deeper meaning-making needs of informal caregivers have been generally neglected. This paper reflects on the meaning-making needs of informal caregivers, through the theory of narrative identity, and proposes a new approach – the Transformative Video Design technique delivered via video storytelling. Transformative Video Design assists informal caregivers to re-create a cohesive caregiving story and incorporate it into the narrative identity. The technique is used as a stimulus for triggering the self-re-structure within the narrative identity and facilitating role transformation.

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Outcomes valued by people living with dementia and their carers: A qualitative systematic review with a qualitative synthesis

Background: Growing numbers of interventions are being developed to support families living with dementia, but the extent to which they address the issues of most importance to people living with dementia and their carers is unclear. The aim of this review is to synthesise the best available qualitative evidence on the outcomes valued by (a) people living with dementia and (b) their carers, both for themselves and each other. This review is a part of a wider project aiming to improve post diagnostic support for people living with dementia and their carers. Method: We will use thematic synthesis methodology. Studies from 1990 onwards will be eligible if they include qualitative data on the views of people living with dementia or their carers on valued outcomes or the lived experience of dementia. Databases to be searched include MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycInfo and Social Sciences Premium Collection, in addition to systematically gathered grey literature. Rayyan QCRI software will be used to manage the screening processes and NVivo software will be used to manage data extraction and analysis. The review will also critically evaluate the extent to which international recommendations address the areas of importance to people living with dementia and their families. Results: The results of this review will be presented at the conference. Conclusion: The findings will be of relevance to researchers, policy makers, and providers and commissioners of dementia services.

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Organising Support for Carers of Stroke Survivors (OSCARSS): a cluster randomised controlled trial with economic evaluation

Objective: Investigated clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a person-centred intervention for informal carers/caregivers of stroke survivors. Design: Pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial (cRCT) with economic and process evaluation. Setting: Clusters were services, from a UK voluntary sector specialist provider, delivering support primarily in the homes of stroke survivors and informal carers. Participants: Adult carers in participating clusters were referred to the study by cluster staff following initial support contact. Intervention was the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool for Stroke: a staff-facilitated, carer-led approach to help identify, prioritise and address the specific support needs of carers. It required at least one face-to-face support contact dedicated to carers, with reviews as required. Control was usual care, which included carer support (unstructured and variable). Outcome measures: Participants provided study entry and self-reported outcome data by postal questionnaires, 3 and 6 months after first contact by cluster staff. Primary outcome: 3-month caregiver strain (Family Appraisal of Caregiving Questionnaire, FACQ). Secondary outcomes: FACQ subscales of caregiver distress and positive appraisals of caregiving, mood (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) and satisfaction with stroke services (Pound). The economic evaluation included self-reported healthcare utilisation, intervention costs and EQ-5D-5L. Randomisation and masking: Clusters were recruited before randomisation to intervention or control, with stratification for size of service. Cluster staff could not be masked as training was required for participation. Carer research participants provided self-reported outcome data unaware of allocation; they consented to follow-up data collection only. Results: Between 1 February 2017 and 31 July 2018, 35 randomised clusters (18 intervention; 17 control) recruited 414 cRCT carers (208 intervention; 206 control). Study entry characteristics were well balanced. Primary outcome measure: intention-to-treat analysis for 84% retained participants (175 intervention; 174 control) found mean (SD) FACQ carer strain at 3 months to be 3.11 (0.87) in the control group compared with 3.03 (0.90) in the intervention group, adjusted mean difference of −0.04 (95% CI −0.20 to 0.13). Secondary outcomes had similarly small differences and tight CIs. Sensitivity analyses suggested robust findings. Intervention fidelity was not achieved. Intervention-related group costs were marginally higher with no additional health benefit observed on EQ-5D-5L. No adverse events were related to the intervention. Conclusions: The intervention was not fully implemented in this pragmatic trial. As delivered, it conferred no clinical benefits and is unlikely to be cost-effective compared with usual care from a stroke specialist provider organisation. It remains unclear how best to support carers of stroke survivors. To overcome the implementation challenges of person-centred care in carers’ research and service development, staff training and organisational support would need to be enhanced.Trial registration numberISRCTN58414120.

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Online health communities, contributions to caregivers and resilience of older adults

Objectives: The aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly, to investigate the potential benefits of online health communities (OHCs) for informal caregivers by conducting a systematic literature review. Secondly, to identify the relationship between the potential benefits of OHCs and resilience factors of older adults. Methods & Findings: Performing a thematic analysis, we identified the potential benefits of OHCs for informal caregivers of older adults, including two salient themes: (a) caregivers sharing and receiving social support and (b) self and moral empowerment of caregivers. Then, we uncovered how these potential benefits can support resilience of older adults. Our findings show that sharing and receiving of social support by informal caregivers, and self and moral empowerment of informal caregivers in OHCs, can support four resilience factors among older adults, including self‐care, independence, altruism and external connections. Conclusions: This review enables a better understanding of OHCs and Gerontology, and our outcomes also challenge the way healthcare and aged‐care service providers view caregivers and older adults. Furthermore, the identified gap and opportunities would provide avenues for further research in OHCs.

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Nursing interventions improve preparedness, competence, reward and burden of family caregivers in end-of-life care at home

Informal family caregivers play a crucial role in end-of-life care, especially in the community. However, family caregivers are known to have high needs and psychological morbidity, including fatigue, sleep problems, depression, anxiety and burnout. Palliative care aims to provide psychosocial support to patients and families facing terminal illness. Interventions that aim to support family caregivers are increasing and have been reported in the literature. Implications for practice and research: Nurses should provide individualised interventions to support family caregivers in end-of-life-care at home. Multicomponent interventions have the potential to address the complex needs of family caregivers. Future research needs to establish effective interventions and their related components.

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Nursing Home Care Intervention Post Stroke (SHARE) 1 year effect on the burden of family caregivers for older adults in Brazil: A randomized controlled trial

Objectives: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of home‐care nursing intervention on the burden of family caregivers for older adults surviving a stroke. A randomised clinical trial blinded for outcome evaluation. Methods: Forty‐eight family caregivers of older adults surviving a stroke took part in the study. The intervention group (IG) received three home visits by nurses in 1 month after hospital discharge for guidance on the disease and care activities for the elderly people. The control group (CG) relied on the service network that had access. The Caregiver Burden Scale was applied to assess the burden outcome 1 week, 60 days and 1 year after hospital discharge. Results: The caregivers of the intervention and CGs had no difference regarding baseline data. There was an interaction effect between the CG and the IG in the isolation domain (p = 0.037) and in the emotional involvement domain (p = 0.003) over time. Conclusions: These findings provide support for strengthening a care line for the elderly people after a stroke, with adequate discharge planning, indicating the importance of integrating care network services such as primary care, home care and hospital care with a view to achieving an effective care transition. It is also necessary to construct a specific instrument to evaluate other outcomes, such as the knowledge and learning of caregivers in relation to the care activities taught. 

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A Nurse-Led Education Program for Pneumoconiosis Caregivers at the Community Level

Background: Pneumoconiosis is an irreversible chronic disease. With functional limitations and an inability to work, pneumoconiosis patients require support from family caregivers. However, the needs of pneumoconiosis caregivers have been neglected. Objectives & Methods: This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a nurse-led education program, which involved four weekly 90-min workshops led by an experienced nurse and guided by Orem’s self-care deficit theory. A single-group, repeated-measure study design was adopted. Caregivers’ mental health (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, HADS, four single items for stress, worriedness, tiredness, and insufficient support), caregiving burdens (caregiving burden scale, CBS), and unmet direct support and enabling needs (Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool, CSNAT) were measured at the baseline (T0), immediately after (T1), and one month after intervention (T2); 49, 41, and 28 female participants completed the T0, T1, and T2 measurements. Mean age was 65.9 years old (SD 10.08) with a range between 37 and 85 years old. Results: The program improved the caregivers’ mental wellbeing, and reduced their caregiving burdens and their unmet support and enabling needs, both immediately (T1) and one-month after the intervention (T2). In particular, the intervention improved the caregivers’ mental wellbeing significantly, specifically depression symptoms, stress, and tiredness immediately after the intervention; and reduced most of their unmet support needs and unmet enabling needs one-month after the intervention. Conclusions: This was the first nurse-led program for pneumoconiosis caregivers and should serve as a foundation for further studies to test the program with robust designs.

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Non-use of community health-care services - An exploratory cross-sectional study among family care-givers for older, home-dwelling persons with dementia

Background: Community health-care services for older, home-dwelling persons with dementia tend to be underutilised. Family care-givers provide substantial care, and they often arrange for and co-ordinate health-care services on behalf of persons with dementia. Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine family care-givers' knowledge of unused services and their self-reported reasons for non-use of such services. We gathered cross-sectional survey data from 430 family care-givers of older persons with dementia in Northern Norway. Methods: Multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to identify predictors of family care-givers' knowledge of unused services. An open-ended question regarding reasons for non-use of services was analysed by thematic text analysis. Findings: Characteristics of family care-givers (e.g. education level) and factors related to the care-giving circumstances (e.g. negative impact of care-giving) predicted family care-givers' knowledge of unused services. Reasons for non-use of services were multifaceted and complex, and were related to attributes of the person with dementia and/or the family care-giver (e.g. reluctance to use services) and/or the health-care services (e.g. low quality). Although services were unused, several family care-givers indicated substantial needs for the services. Conclusions: Strategies aimed at addressing the non-use of services should emphasise individuals' and families' needs and the adaptation of information about available services and their benefits for both care recipients and family care-givers. A relationship-centred care approach is thus recommended in dementia care. 

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Needs of patients with dementia and their caregivers in primary care: lessons learned from the Alzheimer plan of Quebec

Background: Persons living with dementia have various health and social care needs and expectations, some which are not fully met by health providers, including primary care clinicians. The Quebec Alzheimer plan, implemented in 2014, aimed to cover these needs, but there is no research on the effect this plan had on the needs and expectations of persons living with dementia. The objective of this study is to identify persons living with dementia and caregivers’ met and unmet needs and to describe their experience. Methods: This is a sequential mixed methods explanatory design: Phase 1: cross-sectional study to describe the met and unmet health and social care needs of community-dwelling persons living with dementia using Camberwell Assessment of Need of the Elderly and Carers’ Assessment for Dementia tools. Phase 2: qualitative descriptive study to explore and understand the experiences of persons living with dementia and caregivers with the use of social and healthcare services, using semi-structured interviews. Data from phase 1 was analyzed with descriptive statistics, and from phase 2, with inductive thematic analysis. Results from phases 1 and 2 were compared, contrasted and interpreted together. Results: The mean total number of needs reported by the patients was 5.03 (4.48 and 0.55 met and unmet needs, respectively). Caregivers had 0.52 met needs (3.16 unmet needs). The main needs for both were memory, physical health, eyesight/hearing/communication, medication, looking after home, money/budgeting. Three categories were mentioned by the participants: Persons living with dementia and caregiver’s attitude towards memory decline, their perception of community health services and of the family medicine practice. Conclusions: Our study confirms the findings of other studies on the most common unmet needs of the patients and caregivers that are met partially or not at all. In addition, the participants were satisfied with access to care, and medical services in primary practices, being confident in their family. Our results indicate persons living with dementia and their caregivers need a contact person, a clear explanation of their dementia diagnosis, a care plan, written information on available services, and support for the caregivers.

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Needs of Informal Caregivers of Patients With Head and Neck Cancer: A Systematic Review

Background: Informal caregivers for patients with head and neck cancer perform complex caregiving tasks on a daily basis, but caregivers' needs are rarely acknowledged or addressed in current healthcare practice. Methods: A thorough review of CINAHL®, MEDLINE®/PubMed®, and PsycINFO® was conducted by the authors. 266 manuscripts were identified, with no time limit. The search was conducted in November2019. In total, 19 articles were included in the review. Throughout the disease trajectory, caregivers' psychological and emotional support needs are consistently high, whereas information needs diminish overtime. Implications for practice: Informal caregivers are imperative in supplementing the continuing care demands of people living with head and neck cancer; however, they are at risk for experiencing caregiving burden. Skill training and psychological support interventions are needed for educating and supporting caregivers.

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Needs and Experiences of Children and Adolescents with Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis and Their Caregivers: A Systematic Review

Background: In the present study we conduct a systematic review to evaluate the needs and experience of people with pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS) and their caregivers. Methods: The literature search was conducted across 10 academic databases, adhering to PRISMA-P guidelines. Quality appraisal was conducted using the mixed method appraisal test for individual studies, and GRADE-CERQual to establish overall confidence of findings. Results were analyzed using a process of narrative synthesis. Results: We identified 26 studies which included 2253 children/adolescents with MS (CAMS) and 1608 caregivers. MS was reported to negatively impact experiences for CAMS in domains such as of school performance, social relationships, mental health, and overall physical functioning. Specifically, fatigue and social support were reported as the most important barriers and facilitators for CAMS, respectively. In terms of caregiver experience, negative impacts were reported on social functioning, mental health, and quality of life. Additionally, lack of awareness concerning MS was one of the biggest challenges reported. Caregivers expressed needs for psychological and social support. Conclusions: This study provides the first evidence regarding the needs and experiences of CAMS and their caregivers. Findings can be used to address policy gaps for supporting families affected by pediatric MS.

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The need for psychological, caregiver‐centered intervention in the time of COVID‐19

We focus attention on problems that are affecting the informal caregivers of patients with neurodegenerative disorders in the time of COVID‐19. The pandemic is increasing difficulties in the management of the frailest people and their isolation is actually even more tangible than it was in the past. The social restrictions and the lockdown of many activities are putting the system of care provided by informal caregivers on the edge of collapse. We incite the scientific community to face these concerns and provide clinicians clear indications for assisting and supporting caregivers in the care of their relatives during this period. We suggest that e‐health programs could become the ideal “environment” to favor the continuity of care for patients with neurodegenerative conditions and guarantee the required support to their caregivers, both directly in terms of psychological management and indirectly for helping them in disease management.

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Navigating through incontinence: A qualitative systematic review and meta-aggregation of the experiences of family caregivers

Background: Community dwelling older adults who are care dependent are highly affected by incontinence, resulting in substantial informal caregiver burden. Understanding the experiences of these caregivers is needed to develop supportive programs that reduce caregiver burden and rates of institutionalization for care recipients. Objectives: This systematic review aimed to critically appraise and synthesize the qualitative literature on the perceptions, experiences, and consequences of informal caregivers managing incontinence in community dwelling older adults. Design: A qualitative evidence synthesis using meta-aggregation. Data sources: CINAHL, Embase, Ovid Medline, PsycInfo, Scopus, and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Review methods: A comprehensive search was conducted to identify qualitative studies of all designs, published in English from January 1970 to November 2020, reporting on the experiences of unpaid adult family members or friends providing care at home to an adult aged 60 or older with urinary and/or fecal incontinence. Screening, data extraction, and quality appraisal were conducted independently by two reviewers, with disagreements resolved by consensus with all team members. Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) processes were used to assess study quality, and the dependability and credibility of both study findings and synthesized findings. All articles included met predetermined criteria. Results: Database searches yielded 1165 references, of which 117 full-text documents were screened. Seven articles of moderate to high methodological quality met eligibility criteria and were included. Studies occurred in nine countries with 134 participants who were mostly female spouses of the care recipient. From these eligible studies, 49 findings were extracted with 35 equivocal or credible findings eligible for meta-aggregation. Findings were synthesized into the following four categories: 1) emotional responses, 2) physical, financial, and social consequences, 3) family roles and caregiver support, and 4) management and coping strategies. Conclusions: Informal caregivers experience many physical, psychosocial, and financial challenges in caring for an older family member with incontinence. Educational and supportive programs for managing incontinence should be multi-component and tailored to meet the individual needs of informal caregivers. Future research should incorporate strategies to cope with emotional responses and offer practical strategies for managing incontinence. 

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

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

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Namaste care delivered by caregivers of community‐dwelling older adults with moderate to advanced dementia: A mixed methods study protocol

Aim: The aim of this study is to adapt and evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness of a multisensory, psychosocial intervention called Namaste Care delivered by family and friend caregivers of community‐dwelling older adults with moderate to advanced dementia. Design: A multiphase mixed methods design combining quantitative and qualitative methods will be used. Methods: This study is composed of two phases. Phase 1 is guided by a qualitative description approach. Small group workshop sessions with 8–10 caregivers of community‐dwelling older adults with moderate to advanced dementia will be conducted to adapt Namaste Care. In Phase 2, 10–20 caregivers will receive training and implement the adapted Namaste Care approach at home. A one group, before‐after design will be used to evaluate feasibility, acceptability and preliminary effectiveness of the approach over 3 months. Feasibility will be assessed using quantitative measures and acceptability will be explored using qualitative methods. Outcomes to evaluate preliminary effectiveness include quality of life (QoL), positive perceptions of caregiving, self‐efficacy, and caregiver burden. Discussion: There are currently few skill‐building interventions that can be delivered by caregivers of people with moderate to advanced dementia at home. Caregivers should be involved in developing programs to enhance program relevance. This research will be the first to explore the feasibility of implementing the Namaste Care approach at home by caregivers. Impact: Study results will provide important information about the feasibility and preliminary effects of an adapted form of Namaste Care. This program has the potential to improve the QoL of caregivers and may prevent hospitalization or long‐term care placement of older persons with moderate to advanced dementia. The revised Namaste Care program supports building the skills of caregivers so that their needs and the needs of older persons with dementia living at home are being addressed.

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"My quiet times": Themes of sleep health among people caring for a family member with dementia

Background: This research explores and represents the sleep of people caring for a family member with cognitive impairment or dementia. Methods: A thematic analysis was applied to the open-ended comments from 526 carers from a postal survey concerning sleep, health and caregiving. Themes are presented within a framework of five dimensions of sleep health. Findings: Themes of sleep duration included striking a balance between 'achieving the hours' whilst also sacrificing sleep to manage responsibilities. Themes of sleep efficiency included symptoms of insomnia ('losing sleep over the situation') and 'sleeping on guard' in case night-time support was required. Timing of sleep was themed as either restricted to 'when the one I care for sleeps' or salvaged as a luxury 'quiet time'. Levels of alertness were represented within themes of being 'tired all of the time' whilst also in a state of 'high alert'. Finally, overall sleep satisfaction ranged from themes concerning 'sleeping fine at the moment' to sleep being 'a big problem'. Conclusion: The sleep experience of family carers is unique and often includes tensions between roles and responsibilities and their own need for sleep and well-being. Findings have implications for community support and healthcare interventions for families affected by dementia.

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"My backpack is so heavy": Experiences of Latino caregivers of family with early‐onset Alzheimer's

Background/Objectives: While it is well‐known that caregiving can have adverse effects on the physical and mental health of informal caregivers and their families, caregivers of those with early‐onset Alzheimer's Disease (EOAD) may have distinct needs. Little is written about the experiences of Latino caregivers of family members with EOAD, especially inherited forms. This study's objective was to explore the experiences and needs of Latino caregivers of persons with EOAD. Methods: Five focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted among 27 informal caregivers of Latinos with EOAD who were recruited through an AD clinic in Los Angeles. Results: The stress of caregiving was compounded by other pressures and worries, such as taking care of young children, providing financially for family, caregivers' own co‐morbidities, and contemplating their own risk of inheriting EOAD. Resources for monolingual Spanish speakers were scarce. Participants had two primary unmet needs: information and support services. Participants lacked information about how to provide appropriate care, which heightened fears. Difficulty in obtaining a diagnosis from physicians who were uninformed about EOAD was also common. Recommended topics for informational campaigns included how‐to videos on caring for a loved one but also topics related to self‐care for caregivers. Conclusions: Our results underscore the need to tailor programs for caregivers of family members with EOAD. Educational campaigns could help to dispel myths and misconceptions, reduce stigma associated with EOAD, and encourage more people to seek timely care. Additional psychosocial support, such as support groups, could build solidarity and self‐efficacy. Better access to dual‐language information and support could encourage early help‐seeking but also improve caregivers' quality of life as they manage long‐term caregiving responsibilities.

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The multiplicity of caregiving burden: a qualitative analysis of families with prolonged disorders of consciousness

Objective: To understand the multiple and sometimes conflicting roles substitute decision makers (SDMs) of individuals in a vegetative state (VS), minimally conscious state (MCS), or with locked-in syndrome (LIS) perform while caring for a loved one and the competing priorities derived from these roles. Methods: We conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews using a constructive-grounded theory design. Twelve SDMs, who were also family members for 11 patients, were interviewed at two time points (except one) for a total of 21 in-depth interviews. Results: Participants described that caregiving is often the central role which they identify as their top priority and around which they coordinate and to some extent subordinate their other roles. In addition to caregiving, they participated in a wide variety of roles, which were sometimes in conflict, as they became caregivers for a loved one with chronic and complex needs. SDMs described the caregiver role as complex and intense that lead to physical, emotional, social, and economic burdens. Conclusion: SDMs report high levels of burdens in caring for a person with a prolonged disorder of consciousness. Lack of health system support that recognized the broader context of SDMs lives, including their multiple competing priorities, was a major contributing factor.

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Multi-family therapy for bulimia nervosa in adolescence: a pilot study in a community eating disorder service

Background: Multi-family therapy for Bulimia Nervosa (MFT-BN) was developed in response to the modest outcomes following both Family Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy for adolescents with BN. BN impacts individuals and their family members with high levels of carer stress. MFT-BN targets barriers to treatment including low motivation to change, hostility and criticism, negative affect alongside emotion dysregulation and common comorbidities. MFT-BN enhances treatment, providing a community of support and acquisition of emotional regulation and interpersonal skills. Methods: The study describes the clinical characteristics of the group of participants to whom MFT-BN is offered and presents the outcomes of families who have participated in it. Findings: Prior to MFT-BN, adolescents who received it were more likely to have self-harmed and had elevated levels of eating disordered cognitions than those who did not receive MFT-BN. Following MFT-BN, parents report decreases in the negative experiences of caregiving and in their own symptoms of anxiety. Adolescents report reductions in anxiety and depression alongside improvement in emotion regulation. Improvements in symptoms of eating disorders include reductions in eating disorder cognitions and modest reductions in binge and purge symptoms after 14 weeks of treatment. Adolescents who participated in MFT-BN were less likely to drop out of outpatient treatment.

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Moderators and mediators of emotion regulation therapy for psychologically distressed caregivers of cancer patients: secondary analyses from a randomized controlled trial

Background: Being an informal caregiver (IC) of a cancer patient is often associated with psychological distress. We have recently, in a randomized controlled trial (RCT), demonstrated efficacy of Emotion Regulation Therapy for ICs (ERT-C), evidenced as lower levels of psychological distress. Such efficacy demonstration is important, but a crucial step in improving treatments for the IC population is the identification of moderators (i.e., for whom the treatment works) and mediators (i.e., the drivers of the detected effect). Material and methods: In a sample of 65 psychologically distressed ICs (combining participants who received immediate and delayed treatment in the RCT); we investigated age, gender, and homework completion as moderators of treatment outcome. Proposed mediators were derived from the ERT model and included mindfulness, emotion regulation dysfunction, decentering, and cognitive reappraisal. Results and conclusions: The strongest moderation effect was found for homework completion, predicting improvements on psychological distress. Correlational mediation analyses generally supported the ERT model. However, temporal precedence was only established for the association between decentering and worry, where a bidirectional relation was revealed. Homework thus emerged as an important aspect of ERT-C and, albeit a bidirectional relationship, changes in decentering may precede changes in worry. Future trials should ensure the robustness of these results, hone the specificity of process measures, and further investigate the causal timeline of change. 

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A Mobile Health Platform for Self-Management of Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis: Qualitative Study of Adaptation to Stakeholder Needs and Integration in Clinical Settings

Background: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited chronic condition that requires extensive daily care and quarterly clinic visits with a multidisciplinary care team. The limited exchange of information outside of the quarterly clinic visits impedes optimal disease self-management, patient engagement, and shared decision making. Objective: The aim of this study is to adapt a mobile health (mHealth) app originally developed in Sweden to the needs of patients, families, and health care providers in a CF center in the United States and to test it as a platform for sharing patient-generated health data with the CF health care team. Methods: Focus groups with health care providers of patients with CF, adolescents with CF, and caregivers of children with CF were conducted to determine what modifications were necessary. Focus group data were analyzed using a thematic analysis, and emergent themes were ranked according to desirability and technical feasibility. The mHealth platform was then modified to meet the identified needs and preferences, and the flow of patient-generated health data to a secure Research Electronic Data Capture database was tested. Protocols for data management and clinical follow-up were also developed. Results: A total of 5 focus groups with 21 participants were conducted. Recommended modifications pertained to all functionalities of the mHealth platform, including tracking of symptoms, treatments, and activities of daily care; creating and organizing medication lists and setting up reminders; generating reports for the health care team; language and presentation; sharing and privacy; and settings and accounts. Overall, health care providers recommended changes to align the mHealth platform with US standards of care, people with CF and their caregivers requested more tracking functionalities, and both groups suggested the inclusion of a mental health tracker as well as more detailed response options and precise language. Beta testers of the modified platform reported issues related to translatability to US environment and various bugs. Conclusions: This study demonstrated the importance of identifying the needs and preferences of target users and stakeholders before adopting existing mHealth solutions. All relevant perspectives, including those of clinicians, patients, and caregivers, should be thoroughly considered to meet both end users’ needs and evidence-based practice recommendations.

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Mobile geriatric team for older people: A qualitative descriptive study of relatives' views on what creates senses of security and quality of care

Background: Multimorbidity tends to increase with age. Providing care that is individualized and that focuses on the whole person rather than on separate health issues is a challenge for healthcare, due to a lack of coordination and information exchange. In the future, relatives will need to take even more responsibility for their next of kin. Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore relatives' views of aspects that create a sense of security and feelings of quality of care related to acute mobile geriatric care for older people in their own homes. Methods: Data were collected using semi-structured interviews analysed using content analysis. Findings: This study is reported in accordance with the COREQ checklist. Interpersonal factors such as straightforward communication, empathy, having time for the person, a focus on the person, and having a few known caregivers who are easy to contact, rather than more clinical factors, have been identified as central to creating a sense of security and quality of care.

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A mixed-methods feasibility study of a goal-focused manualised intervention to support people with dementia to stay living independently at home with support from family carers: NIDUS (New Interventions for Independence in Dementia Study) Family

Objectives: To examine the feasibility and acceptability of NIDUS-Family, a 6–8 session manualised, individually tailored, modular intervention supporting independence at home for people with dementia; and explore participants' and facilitators' experiences of the intervention. Methods: In this single group multi-site feasibility study, trained, supervised non-clinically qualified graduates (facilitators) delivered NIDUS-Family to family carer and people living with dementia dyads. We recruited participants from GP practices and memory services in London and Bradford. We completed quantitative outcomes pre- and post-intervention; and conducted qualitative interviews with participants and facilitators. Our pre-specified main outcomes were proportion of potential participants approached who agreed to participate, intervention adherence and acceptability to family carers, and facilitator fidelity to the manual. Results: We recruited 16 dyads (57% of those approached); 12 (75%) completed the intervention. Of 12 participants rating intervention acceptability, 9 (75%) agreed or strongly agreed that it had helped; 2 (18%) neither agreed nor disagreed and 1 (8%) disagreed. Mean facilitator fidelity was high (81.5%). Dyads set on average 3.9 goals; these most commonly related to getting out and about and increasing activity/hobby participation (n = 10); carer wellbeing (n = 6), managing physical complaints (n = 6); meal preparation/cooking (n = 5); and reducing irritability, frustration or aggression (n = 5). Almost all secondary outcomes changed in a direction indicating improvement. In our qualitative analysis we identified three overarching themes; relationships facilitate change, goal-focused versus manualised approach and balancing the needs of carers and people with dementia. Conclusions: NIDUS-Family was feasible and acceptable to participants. Following refinements, testing in a pragmatic trial is underway.

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A mixed methods systematic review of informal caregivers' experiences of fall risk among community‐dwelling elders with dementia

Background: Evidence on effective fall prevention strategies for community‐dwelling elders with dementia is limited, although these elders are at high risk of falling. Informal caregivers may play an essential role in managing fall risk for elders with dementia. Thus, understanding caregiver's experiences is critically important. Objectives: This systematic review aims to (a) identify caregivers' perceptual, emotional and behavioural responses to fall risk in elders with dementia and (b) examine the outcomes and effects of caregiver behavioural responses. Methods: A mixed methods systematic review of 10 databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Social Service Abstracts, Social Work Abstracts, EMBASE, Web of Science, Scopus, Cochrane Library and TRIP Medical Database) was conducted. We searched English language, peer‐review articles (January 1, 1985–March 20, 2020) that met the predefined inclusion/exclusion criteria. Study quality was assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Data were analysed using thematic synthesis techniques. Findings: Twenty‐nine studies were included. Six analytic themes were generated concerning caregivers' perceptual, emotional and behavioural responses: (a) fear of the negative health consequences of falls; (b) limited insights into factors contributing to falls; (c) varying expectations of managing fall risk; (d) multi‐level efforts; (e) struggling with responsibilities; and (f) inaction and withdrawal. The findings about the outcomes and effects of caregivers' behaviours were synthesised into three analytic themes: (a) multi‐faceted outcomes; (b) uncertain and inconsistent evidence; and (c) unclear associations. Conclusions: The study generated new insights in understanding caregivers' responses of fall risk among community‐dwelling elders with dementia and identified significant gaps in examining the impact of caregivers' responses and what shapes these responses. Investment in understanding caregivers' perspectives will inform future interventions and policies to reduce negative outcomes for elders, caregivers and care systems.

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Mindfulness- and compassion-based interventions for family carers of older adults: A scoping review

Objectives: To provide an overview of the current use of mindfulness- and compassion-based interventions with family carers of older adults, to aid primary healthcare practitioners in their decision-making around referral to wider healthcare services. The study was guided by four research questions: what interventions are currently used; whom they are used with; why they are used; and their evidence-base in terms of acceptability and effectiveness. Methods: A scoping study using the methodological frameworks of Arksey and O'Malley and Levac et al. Searches of electronic databases (MEDLINE, CINHAL, PsycINFO), reference lists of relevant articles, and journal websites were conducted in June 2019. Search terms were developed via an iterative process, and included medical subject headings and keywords relating to mindfulness and compassion, interventions, and family carers. Articles were included if: written in English; published in a peer-reviewed journal; employed quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method research designs; and described a mindfulness- and/or compassion-based intervention for adults identified as a family carer of an older adult. Data from included studies were charted (using a purposively-designed template), and descriptively analysed in relation to the study's research questions. Findings: From 2005 unique records, 32 primary studies were included. Seven types of mindfulness- or compassion-based interventions were broadly described within studies, including: mindfulness-based stress reduction (n = 13), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (n = 3), meditation interventions (n = 9), acceptance and commitment therapy (n = 1), dialectical behaviour therapy (n = 1), compassion-focused therapy (n = 1), and study-specific interventions involving a combination of mindfulness and/or compassion (n = 4). Studies sampled a total of n = 991 participants and targeted six family carer sub-groups: dementia (n = 23), cancer (n = 5), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (n = 1), chronic conditions (n = 1), cirrhosis (n = 1), and Parkinson's disease (n = 1). A variety of health outcomes were assessed across interventions, with the most common being depression (n = 26), anxiety (n = 15), burden (n = 15), quality of life (n = 14), and stress (n = 11). The evidence-base for each intervention was insufficient and too heterogeneous to make clear statements regarding effectiveness. However, based on these findings, interventions show some potential utility in supporting family carers in their role and, given a collective rate of attrition (18%), may do so in a way that is acceptable to carers. Conclusions: This scoping study highlighted the nascent use of mindfulness- and compassion-based interventions with family carers of older adults, and provided important substantive detail about what each intervention entails. Based on current evidence, a number of implications for research and practice are presented.

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mHealth-Supported Delivery of an Evidence-Based Family Home-Visiting Intervention in Sierra Leone: Protocol for a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Background: Past trauma and exposure to violence have been related to poor emotion regulation and household violence, which can have persistent mental health effects across generations. The Family Strengthening Intervention for Early Childhood Development (FSI-ECD/called Sugira Muryango in Rwanda) is an evidence-based behavioral home-visiting intervention to promote caregiver mental health, positive parenting practices, and early childhood development among families facing adversity. In Sierra Leone and other lower- and middle-income countries, mobile health (mHealth) technology has the potential to improve health care delivery and health outcomes. Objective: This study aims to (1) apply a user-centered design to develop and test mHealth tools to improve supervision and fidelity monitoring of community health workers (CHWs) delivering the FSI-ECD and (2) conduct a pilot randomized controlled trial of the FSI-ECD to assess feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects on caregiver mental health, emotion regulation, caregiving behaviors, and family violence in high-risk families with children aged 6-36 months in comparison with control families receiving standard care. Methods: We will recruit and enroll CHWs, supervisors, and families with a child aged 6-36 months from community health clinics in Sierra Leone. CHWs and supervisors will participate in 1 problem analysis focus group and 2 user interface/user experience cycles to provide feedback on mHealth tool prototypes. Families will be randomized to mHealth-supported FSI-ECD or standard maternal and child health services. We will collect quantitative data on caregiver mental health, emotion regulation, caregiving behaviors, and family functioning at baseline, postintervention, and 3-month follow up. We will use a mixed methods approach to explore feasibility and acceptability of mHealth tools and the FSI-ECD. Mixed effects linear modeling will assess FSI-ECD effects on caregiver outcomes. Cost-effectiveness analysis will estimate costs across FSI-ECD versus standard care. Results: Funding for this study was received from the National Institutes of Mental Health on August 17, 2020. Institutional Review Board approval was received on September 4, 2020. Data collection is projected to begin on December 15, 2020. Conclusions: This study will provide important data on the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of mHealth-supported delivery of an evidence-based family home-visiting intervention in a postconflict LMIC. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04481399; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04481399. International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID): PRR1-10.2196/25443

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Mediating effects of family functioning on the relationship between care burden and family quality of life of caregivers of children with intellectual disabilities in Mongolia

Background: Intellectual disabilities are characterized by constant and complex needs for care that place a heavy burden on the families of affected individuals and affect their overall quality of life. We evaluated the mediating effects of family functioning on the relationship between care burden and the family quality of life of caregivers of children with intellectual disabilities in Mongolia. Methods: Data were collected from a sample of 150 caregivers of children with intellectual disabilities from October 2017 to November 2017. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed to examine the mediating effects of family functioning. Results: Family functioning had a partial mediating effect (β =.702, p <.001) on the relationship between care burden and family quality of life. Conclusion: Family functioning should be considered when developing a social support intervention to improve family quality of life among caregivers of children with intellectual disabilities.

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Meaning through caregiving: A qualitative study of the experiences of informal carers

Background: This article reports the findings of a qualitative investigation of the way people find meaning through caregiving. Methods: It draws on the results of in-depth interviews with 37 informal carers and 11 stakeholders in Nottinghamshire, the United Kingdom. Findings: For most respondents caregiving involved looking after family members-for example, husband or wife, father or mother, young or adult children and mother-in-law. The meaning that respondents found through caregiving motivated them to cope with the difficulties associated with looking after a person in need. This research found that most informal carers operate with long-standing, gender-based understandings of their role, creating a potential risk that using gender-neutral terminology when referring to family members may obscure the subjective values that carers attach to informal caregiving and lead to role confusion. Moreover, although informal carers typically feel obliged to take care of family members in need and may value this role, they often require additional support from the state to reduce the pressures associated with caregiving and to enable them to continue to lead a meaningful life both within and beyond their caring role. 

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The meaning of autonomy when living with dementia: A Q-method investigation

Background and Aims: Sensitivity to the rights of people with dementia is a key principle cited in the World Health Organisation's global action plan on dementia. Some critics question whether rights-based approaches embody loose and ill-defined ideas incapable of bringing about meaningful change. Exercising the right to autonomy is considered a core problem for people living with dementia. The tradition of individual sovereignty dominates ideas about autonomy, although the person as an individual is not a cross-culturally universal concept. This study explored the viewpoints of people with dementia and family carers regarding the meaning of autonomy with a view to informing rights-based practice. Methods: Twenty participants, people living with dementia and family carers, each conducted a Q-sort of statements regarding the meaning of autonomy. A by-person factor analysis was used to identify patterns in how the range of statements about autonomy were ranked. Results: Three factors emerged: retaining independence and self-expression, accepting dependence but being included and opportunity for connection. There was some agreement across these different views regarding the importance of being given time to think before making decisions and being kept active. Conclusions: This study highlights the need for a person-centred approach to supporting people with dementia to claim their rights and the importance of adopting a stance of curiosity and critical thinking in rights-based training and professional practice. The findings suggest a variety of meaningful stories of autonomy and the possibility of further developing existing rights-based frameworks for dementia care.

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Long-term effects of telephone-based cognitive-behavioral intervention for family caregivers of people with dementia: Findings at 3-year follow-up

Background: Long-term outcomes are of particular importance in evaluating interventions for family caregivers of people with dementia (PwD). So far, evidence for long-term effects (>6 months postintervention) is limited to four interventions. Objective: We examined the long-term effects of Tele.TAnDem, a telephone-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) intervention, on a variety of outcomes at 3-year follow-up, the longest follow-up of any intervention study for caregivers of PwD (without continuous support). Methods: Caregivers of PwD were randomly assigned to receive Tele.TAnDem consisting of 12 sessions over 6 months (intervention group [IG]) or usual care (control group [CG]). At 3-year follow-up (i.e., 2.5 years postintervention), 29 caregivers in the IG and 22 caregivers in the CG were still caring at home for a PwD. Results: Caregivers in the IG reported significantly lower caregiver burden and higher quality of life regarding social relationships. Conclusions: Tele.TAnDem is successful in buffering detrimental effects of caregiving on caregiver burden and social relationships in the long term. The small- to medium-sized effects lie in the range of effect sizes reported in the few previous investigations. The findings add to the scant evidence that interventions yielding long-term outcomes have to date mostly been multicomponent interventions based on CBT principles with structured techniques and at least seven sessions over more than 2 months. 

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Long-Term Effect of Receiving a Family Strengths-Oriented Intervention on Family Cancer Caregiver Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Symptoms: A Longitudinal Quasi-Experimental Study

Objectives: The aim of this longitudinal study was to evaluate the long-term effects of providing a therapeutic conversation intervention, based on Family Systems Nursing, to family caregivers of a close relative with advanced cancer over the period before and during bereavement. Background: To prevent adverse outcomes, caregivers need ongoing support that begins pre-loss and extends into the post-loss period. Methods: This study employed a one-group pre-test, post-test quasi-experimental design. Twenty-four caregivers participated in two intervention trials conducted over a 42-month period, receiving two intervention sessions pre-loss (Trial 1) and one intervention session post-loss (Trial 2). Results: Significant decreases in anxiety and stress were noted over the three post-loss assessments. The final post-loss stress outcome was significantly lower than the first pre-loss score. For the depression score, there was not a significant change over time within the pre- or post-loss period. Conclusions: The findings provide evidence of decreasing anxiety and stress following the implementation of an extended family nursing intervention for bereaved family caregivers.

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Longitudinal family caregiving experiences in heart failure: Secondary qualitative analysis of interviews

Background: Considering the potential impacts of family caregivers on heart failure management and the costs of healthcare, health professionals need to pay attention to the challenges faced by family caregivers. Methods: This study longitudinally explored the caregiving experiences of family caregivers of persons with heart failure. Serial interview scripts collected from 53 family caregivers were analyzed using a content analysis method. Findings: The following themes emerged: (1) accumulating knowledge and skills for caregiving; (2) losing a sense of control; (3) balancing an unstable life; (4) constructing illness memory; (5) centering the patient in daily life; (6) accepting the loss of a family member; (7) coping with grief by drawing on social support; (8) facing financial responsibility; and (9) rethinking hospice care. Conclusions: Family caregivers experience concern about unpredictable caregiving years, disease's fluctuating symptoms and poor prognosis. More educational opportunities, financial counseling programs, and palliative care consultations should be provided.

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Live hospice discharge: Experiences of families, and hospice staff

Objective: To examine live hospice discharge prevalence and experiences of families and hospice staff. Hospice eligibility is based on a cancer model where decline and death are predicable. Decline is less predictable for diagnoses such as dementia, frequently resulting in involuntary live hospice discharge. Methods: A mixed-method integration of hospice 2013-17 admission/discharge data, 5 family interviews, hospice discipline-specific focus groups (3 aides, 2 nurses, 1 administrator interview) and a discipline-combined focus group (all 6 staff; each staff participant engaged in two data collection experiences). Results: 5648 hospice admissions occurred between 2013-17; 795 patients experienced live discharge. The most prevalent admitting diagnosis was cancer, the most prevalent live discharge diagnosis was dementia. Family caregiver themes were Attitude and experience with hospice, Discharge experience, and Continued need/desire for hospice following discharge. Staff themes were Discharge circumstances, Regulatory guidelines, and Changing practice to meet regulatory guidelines. Conclusion: Involuntary live hospice discharge precludes patient-centered care due to policy constraints, especially for those with noncancer diagnoses. Families and staff noted the paradox of beneficial hospice care, yet this care resulted in ineligibility for continued hospice services. Practice Implications: Transparent, patient-family-staff communication (including CNAs) facilitates hospice live discharge planning. Hospice service eligibility policy changes are needed. 

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"A Little Bit of Their Souls": Investigating the Concept of Dignity for People Living With Dementia Using Caregivers' Blogs

Background: Dignity is an important component of quality of life and a core value of family nursing care. Few studies have explored dignity in community-dwelling adults with dementia. Methods: This study used blogs written by caregivers to explore the concept of dignity in dementia caregiving. A template analysis of blogs written by family caregivers of people with dementia was conducted. Findings: Four themes were defined a priori in relation to Jacelon's model of dignity: perceived value from others, self in relation to others, behavioral respect, and self-value. Caregivers wrote about experiences that related to each of the four a priori themes from Jacelon's model. In addition, the theme of dignity by proxy was derived from the analysis. Conclusions: By understanding the concept of dignity in the context of dementia family caregiving, interventions and services can be developed to improve family quality of life through dignifying, family-focused care.

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“Like filling a lottery ticket with quite high stakes”: a qualitative study exploring mothers’ needs and perceptions of state-provided financial support for a child with a long-term illness in Finland

Background: A child’s long-term illness or disability is always a serious matter that impacts the whole family. Costs related to an illness can substantially affect a family’s financial situation. To date, there is little research on how parents experience available support for financial assistance. Surveys in Finland have found that families of children with long-term illnesses and disabilities could experience financial struggle and perceive the state provided financial support system as too complex. Objectives: This article aimed to explore how caregivers of children with long-term illnesses perceived their financial situation, need for financial support and experienced its provision by the state in the Helsinki greater region. Methods: Convenience sampling was used. Participants were contacted through peer-support groups on Facebook. Eleven mothers of children with varying long-term illnesses and disabilities residing in the Helsinki greater region were interviewed using in-depth interviews. Recordings of the interviews were transcribed and analysed using framework analysis. An analytical framework was built to label the dataset, which was then charted. Lastly, themes were formed through descriptive analysis. Results: The main findings showed how the burden of caring for a child with a long-term illness or disability causes fatigue, which affects a family’s financial situation holistically. This affected both employment and financial management, but also receiving information about and applying for the state provided allowances. Mental resources were further depleted by seeking information and applying for allowances. This contributed to a vicious cycle between parental fatigue and financial struggle. Participants found the allocation of funds inequitable across the country. Finally, participants thought the allowance was insufficient in compensating for time spent caring for their child’s illness and did not consider their mental strain. Conclusions: Even in a welfare state such as Finland, caregivers of children with long-term illnesses are at risk of poverty and struggle with the organization of state provided financial support. Policies should be designed to ensure equity across the country and consider how the parental fatigue should be addressed. The study has implications for achieving sustainable development goals on wellbeing and reducing poverty.

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Life under lockdown and social restrictions - the experiences of people living with dementia and their carers during the COVID-19 pandemic in England

Background: The impact of COVID-19 restrictions on people living with dementia and their carers is an emerging focus of recent research determining how we can best support this population. People living with dementia have faced service curtailment, increased risk for COVID-19, as well as potential heightened deterioration. This study reports the experiences of people living with dementia and their family carers during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in England and the impact on them. Methods: We recruited and remotely interviewed 30 people living with dementia in their own homes and 31 family carers, via video or telephone call in mid-2020. Data were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Results: People living with dementia often had a basic understanding of COVID-19 restrictions but could have difficulty translating this into personalised risk-appraisal of their own actions. Managing COVID-19 risks facing people living with dementia at home was largely done by family carers, exemplified by changes to living arrangements, which could strain or sustain caring relationships. Well-established familial caring relationships contributed to the wellbeing of the person living with dementia and their carer, as well as keeping to simple routines that included leaving the home for exercise and stimulation. People living with dementia reported some negative psychological and cognitive effects due to the imposed restrictions, such as increased apathy, irritability, or anxiety, which were fuelled by lack of social engagement. Conclusions: Structuring routine (remote) social interactions where possible could increase social engagement and improve wellbeing for people living with dementia, especially those with limited familial support in a post-COVID-19 context. As some care relationships had been restructured to manage COVID-19 risks, additional carer strain may emerge as a result of the impact on the independence of the person living with dementia and come to the attention of professionals in health and care services. People living with dementia and their carers highlighted the importance of maintaining or adapting routines which may be useful learning for professionals, although additional support may be necessary for those who are impacted by more severe or worsening symptoms of dementia.

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Life is different now – impacts of eating disorders on Carers in New Zealand: a qualitative study

Background: Eating disorders are widely recognized as serious illnesses, with complex psychological and physiological comorbidities. Affected individuals face a protracted and challenging treatment journey which, particularly for children and adolescents, requires significant input from family members as carers. This study investigated the perspectives and experiences of those caring for family members with an eating disorder diagnosis. Method: Participants were carers of affected individuals with an eating disorder, and were recruited from an online survey, subsequently consenting to a semi-structured qualitative interview. Inductive thematic analysis was undertaken to identify themes. Results: Most participants in the sample were parents of affected individuals. Significant and ongoing psychological and emotional impacts were identified across the sample. The diagnosis, treatment journey and overall impact of the carer role created a situation captured by the over-arching theme ‘life is different now’. Impacts profoundly influenced relationships and were felt across all aspects of life by carers, affected individuals and other family members. Heightened worry and vigilance experienced by carers continued beyond improvement or recovery. Conclusions: This research highlighted challenging and often exhausting impacts felt by carers due to their pivotal role in eating disorder treatment. Inadequate support for most carers in this sample has clear implications for families as well as service and funding providers. Further research should more fully investigate carer experience with different eating disorders to explore the type of support necessary to build capacity and resilience to reduce carer burden.

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Levels of stress and coping strategies in family caregivers who treat schizophrenic patients with risk of violent behavior

Background: Violent behavior is one of the most common symptoms of people who have schizophrenia. Caring for family members who have schizophrenia can be a stressor for other family members. The stressors can be stressful for the caregiver. Family caregivers require coping strategies to overcome the stressors. This study aims to determine the relationship between stress levels and coping strategies of family caregivers who treat schizophrenic patients with a risk of violent behavior. Design and Methods: The research design engaged cross-sectional with the purposive sampling technique by involving 87 caregiver families who who treat schizophrenic patients. The data was collected by using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and Ways of Coping (WOC) questionnaires. This study was analyzed by employing the Chi-Square test to determine the relationship between stress levels and coping strategies in the caregiver family. Results: This study shows that stress levels are not significantly associated with coping strategies in family caregivers. Conclusion: Good supports from health and social service professionals are required to help family caregivers cope with their stressors well.

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Lessons learned from the implementation of a video health coaching technology intervention to improve self‐care of family caregivers of adults with heart failure

Background: Individuals with heart failure (HF) typically live in the community and are cared for at home by family caregivers. These caregivers often lack supportive services and the time to access those services when available. Technology can play a role in conveniently bringing needed support to these caregivers. Objectives: The purpose of this article is to describe the implementation of a virtual health coaching intervention with caregivers of HF patients (“Virtual Caregiver Coach for You”—ViCCY). Methods: A randomized controlled trial is currently in progress to test the efficacy of the intervention to improve self‐care. In this trial, 250 caregivers will be randomly assigned to receive health information via a tablet computer (hereafter, tablet) plus 10 live health coaching sessions delivered virtually (intervention group; n = 125) or health information via a tablet only (control group; n = 125). Each tablet has specific health information websites preloaded. To inform others embarking on similar technology projects, here we highlight the technology challenges encountered with the first 15 caregivers who received the ViCCY intervention and the solutions used to overcome those challenges. Results: Several adaptations to the implementation of ViCCY were needed to address hardware, software, and network connectivity challenges. Even with a well‐designed research implementation plan, it is important to re‐examine strategies at every step to solve implementation barriers and maximize fidelity to the intervention. Conclusion: Researcher and interventionist flexibility in adapting to new strategies is essential when implementing a technology‐based virtual health coaching intervention.

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Learning to change: Transformative outcomes of programmes and activities for family caregivers of people with dementia in Taiwan

Background: This study explored the transformative outcomes of programmes and activities for family caregivers of people with dementia in Taiwan. Methods: Transformative learning theory was used to examine the relationship between participation and positive outcomes. A group of nonparticipants was included to provide a complete picture of the transformative learning process. In this qualitative study, 18 participants were interviewed with audio recording, and the data were transcribed verbatim. A thematic analysis was performed to determine the themes and subthemes in the results. Findings: The results revealed that participation in programmes and activities was not the single factor leading to transformative outcomes; family support, self-adjustment, the ability to cope, and coordinated intervention in accordance with individual preferences and needs also facilitated transformative outcomes for nonparticipants. Conclusions: Further studies should focus on interventions modifying factors of perceived caregiver burden, for instance, by providing psychological support to informal caregivers, offering programmes and activities targeting the management of neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with dementia, and supporting quality of life. 

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Latent by-product of substance use: Burden of care

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

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“Neither a wife nor a widow”: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of the experiences of female family caregivers in disorders of consciousness

Background: Disorders of consciousness (DoC) disrupt close relationships. This study investigated the experience of a DoC in the family. Methods: Four main themes were identified from semi-structured interviews with nine females and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA): Findings: (1) Loss without a name, (2) Relationship without a title, (3) Symbiotic relating and (4) Frozen futures. Participants’ accounts showed complex losses and relationship transformations that were challenging to cope with. Participants embodied the person and experienced reductions in rehabilitation and social visits as personally abandoning and led to strong advocacy with professionals. The uncertainty created by the DoC meant participants lived in the present moment and struggled to make plans for their future. Conclusions: Psychological support to demonstrate a sensitivity and validation of this unique complex loss, a framework for naming the loss, provision of education about the condition and enhancing coping with a chronic situation are needed.

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Keeping Hope Possible Toolkit: The Development and Evaluation of a Psychosocial Intervention for Parents of Infants, Children and Adolescents with Life Limiting and Life Threatening Illnesses

Background: Globally, many infants and children are diagnosed with illnesses that impose limitations on their well-being and life course trajectory. Children’s care becomes the central focus of family life. Inadequate support for parents is detrimental to their well-being and management of their child’s care and support needs. Methods: The second phase of this evaluation study followed a quasi-experimental crossover design to test a theory-based psychosocial intervention, the Keeping Hope Possible Toolkit. Fifty-nine participants were randomly assigned to one of two sequence groups, with measures of hope, feelings of control, distress, and uncertainty completed pre- and post-intervention, and at a three-month follow-up. Qualitative interviews sought to assess participant experiences with the intervention, along with acceptability and feasibility. Results: Significant influence on parental distress was found, and the qualitative findings reveal benefits of the intervention for parental wellbeing. The intervention effectively offered practical and emotional support to diverse family caregivers. Conclusions: The evidence-informed KHP intervention can be used by healthcare providers to intervene with family caregivers to support their dynamic emotions including hope, need to live in the moment and remember self, and social preferences. In doing so, parents’ critical caregiving activities can be sustained and their child’s health and wellbeing optimized.

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The Journey of Recovery: Caregivers' Perspectives From a Hip Fracture Telerehabilitation Clinical Trial

Objective: The objective was to explore family caregivers' perspectives of the recovery process of older adults with hip fracture and describe experiences from caregivers who: (1) used the online intervention, or (2) received home-based care provided by the Andalusian Public Health Care System. Methods: This was an exploratory secondary study with informal family caregivers who had an older adult family member with hip fracture enrolled in a novel telerehabilitation (telerehab) clinical trial. Forty-four caregivers of older adults with hip fracture were interviewed at 6 to 9 months after their family member's hip fracture. Results: Caregivers shared concerns of family members' survival and recovery; they recounted increased stress and anxiety due to the uncertainty of new tasks associated with providing care and the impact on their lifestyle. Although most caregivers were satisfied with the health care received, they made suggestions for better organization of hospital discharge and requests for home support. The main reasons why caregivers and their family member chose the telerehab program were to enhance recovery after fracture, gain knowledge for managing at home, and because of the convenience of completing the exercises at home. There were more family caregivers in the control group who expressed a high level of stress and anxiety, and they also requested more social and health services compared with caregivers whose family member received telerehab. Conclusion: Family caregivers are an essential component of recovery after hip fracture by providing emotional and physical support. However, future clinical interventions should evaluate person-centered interventions to mitigate possible stress and anxiety experienced by family caregivers. Impact Family caregivers' perspectives are necessary in the co-design of management strategies for older adults after hip fracture.

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“It’s Always Been a Second Class Cancer”: An Exploration of the Experiences and Journeys of Bereaved Family Carers of People with Sarcoma

Background: Sarcomas are a group of rare and aggressive cancers, which develop in bones and connective tissue throughout the body. Sarcomas account for only 1–2% of all cancers worldwide; however, mortality rates for sarcoma are high with approximately two in four sarcoma patients dying following a diagnosis. Delays in diagnosis, poor management of symptoms, patients’ high symptom loads and high carer burden are all associated with carer distress, which may lead to complications after bereavement. The experience of having a family member referred for palliative care is also distressing for carers, with the realisation that their family member is dying. This study aimed to explore the experiences of bereaved family carers of people diagnosed with sarcoma. Methods: A qualitative descriptive design using a social constructionist framework was adopted. Interviews were conducted with sixteen participants, and thematic analysis was used to identify patterns in the data. Findings: Four overarching themes emerged: beginning the journey; moving through treatment; transitioning to palliative care; and experiencing bereavement. The narratives were coherent and potent, and people reflected on their journeys. Conclusions: Interventions and supports for bereaved carers could include opportunities for counselling to support reflections, supports for developing a narrative such as writing therapy, and preparation for the death of the family member.

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"It Wasn't Like We Expected": Analyzing (Non-)Participation of Family Caregivers of People With Dementia in Sports Activities From Different Perspectives

Background: Family caregivers of people with dementia represent a physically and psychologically burdened target group, which can benefit from offers of health promotion, but rarely use existing services. This article deals with the motives and conditions that induce this target group to be (not) active in sports. Methods: For this purpose, the perspectives of family caregivers and local sports clubs in Germany are compared to uncover similarities and discrepancies with the aim of developing target group-specific health promotion services. Results: Results were classified into three dimensions for (non-)participation in sports activities. People who participated in sports club programs generally confirmed its positive effects. Among other things, the sports clubs and family caregivers surveyed emphasized the compatibility of the care situation with possible leisure activities as very important components for (non-)participation. Conclusions: The results show that the subjective health attitudes must be taken into account in the design of health promotion offers.

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

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

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Interventions to improve the well-being of family caregivers of patients on hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis: a systematic review

Background: The family caregivers of patients on hemodialysis (HD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD) typically experience higher burden than the general population because of the nature of tasks these caregivers need to carry out as a part of homecare. This fact influences both the caregivers’ quality of life and the quality of their care toward the patient. Thus, this study aimed to review the effectiveness and limitations of interventions in improving the well-being of family caregivers of patients on HD and PD. Methodology: A systematic review was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses and the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions (version 5.1.0). The Cochrane Library, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Embase, MEDLINE, VHL Regional Portal, Scopus, and Web of Science databases were searched queried for randomized controlled trials that developed interventions aimed at improving the well-being of family caregivers of patients undergoing HD and/or PD from 2009 to 2020. The study protocol was registered at the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (registration no. CRD42020151161). Results: Six studies met the inclusion criteria, all of which addressed caregivers of patients undergoing HD. All interventions reported in the included studies were carried out in group sessions, which addressed topics such as patient assistance and care, treatment complications, coping strategies, caregiver self-care practices, problem solving, and self-efficacy. The studies found significant improvement in the caregiver’s well-being. Conclusions: Group session interventions are effective in improving the well-being of family caregivers of patients undergoing HD. In regard to PD, there is insufficient evidence to make recommendations for caregivers of patients with this treatment.

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Interventions to Improve Health and Well-Being Among Family Caregivers of Older Adults With Chronic Illnesses: A Scoping Review

Background: Caregivers of older adults with chronic illnesses often face challenges that harm their health and well-being. Evidence-based strategies are needed to address such outcomes. Objectives: The current study aims to synthesize interventions designed to improve the health and well-being of caregivers of older adults with chronic illnesses. Methods: Search strategies included investigating four databases (e.g., PubMed, CINAHL), as well as conducting bibliographic, hand, and author searches. Eligible studies were randomized controlled trials conducted between 2009 and 2019 that included family caregivers of older adults with chronic illnesses aged =65 and that reported caregiver health or well-being outcomes. Results: Data from 24 eligible studies were extracted, analyzed, and narratively synthesized. Conclusions: Although intervention characteristics were diverse (e.g., strategies, interventionists), most improved health and well-being. Thus, providers have an array of interventions available to them to help caregivers. Future caregiver research should examine theory-driven interventions among diverse samples, clearly report intervention dose, and measure physical health.

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Interventions for Family Members and Carers of Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder: A Systematic Review

Background: Carers of patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) experience high levels of distress. Several studies have been carried out on interventions designed to decrease their burden. However, the evidence from these studies has not been summarized. Objective: The objective of this work is to explore the clinical utility of interventions developed for family members of patients with BPD. Methods: A systematic review was conducted following the PRISMA guidelines (registration number CRD42018107318), including psychological interventions focused on relatives of patients with BPD. The following databases were used: PsycINFO, PubMed, EBSCOhost, and Web of Science. Two independent researchers reviewed the studies to determine whether the eligibility criteria were met. A total of 2,303 abstracts were identified. Results: After duplicates had been removed, 1,746 studies were screened. Finally, 433 full‐text articles were reviewed, yielding 11 studies that satisfied the inclusion criteria. Results show that these interventions with different clinical formats and settings are effective. The quality of the included studies varies, and the empirical support for these programs is still preliminary. Conclusions: The results help to establish a general framework for interventions specifically developed for family members of patients with BPD, but additional efforts should be made to improve the methodological quality of this field of research and more solidly determine the utility of these interventions. Given the paucity of data so far, this information may open up new lines of research to improve the effectiveness of future programs for carers of patients with BPD and help to reduce their burden.
 

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Interventions for Family Members After Long-Term Care Placement of a Relative With Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Objectives: The current systematic review aimed to identify, appraise, and synthesize the available evidence regarding interventions that assisted family members of long-term care facility residents with dementia to cope with stressful situations. Methods: A search of published articles in eight databases was performed. Results: In total, 1,293 records were identified, with six studies included in this systematic review. Interventions were categorized as education/skill training, psychoeducation, and psychosocial support. The risk of bias across the included studies varied from moderate to high. The intervention components, dose, and delivery methods differed widely with mixed results. The interventions showed potential benefits for reducing family members' stress-related outcomes (e.g., stress appraisal, guilt) and residents' problematic behaviors. Yet, meta-analysis yielded a non-significant pooled effect for reducing family members' depressive symptoms (mean difference = 1.38, 95% confidence interval [–2.27, 5.04], The current systematic review aimed to identify, appraise, and synthesize the available evidence regarding interventions that assisted family members of long-term care facility residents with dementia to cope with stressful situations. A search of published articles in eight databases was performed. In total, 1,293 records were identified, with six studies included in this systematic review. Interventions were categorized as education/skill training, psychoeducation, and psychosocial support. The risk of bias across the included studies varied from moderate to high. The intervention components, dose, and delivery methods differed widely with mixed results. The interventions showed potential benefits for reducing family members' stress-related outcomes (e.g., stress appraisal, guilt) and residents' problematic behaviors. Yet, meta-analysis yielded a non-significant pooled effect for reducing family members' depressive symptoms (mean difference = 1.38, 95% confidence interval [–2.27, 5.04], p = 0.46). Conclusions: Evidence in this field is currently insufficient and more well-designed studies with larger sample sizes and use of theoretical frameworks are needed. 

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Intergenerational familial care: Shaping future care policies for older adults

Background: An increasingly ageing society together with concerns about sustainability of old-age benefits call for reforming the care structure of many western welfare states. However, finding an acceptable balance between the formal care provided by institutions and informal care provided by family members is a delicate policy choice with profound ethical implications. In this respect, literature on intergenerational familial relationships can offer insights to inform policymaking in this field and help resolve the ethical concerns that excessive reliance on informal caregiving might entail. Methods: In this contribution, we start by presenting – with Switzerland as a case study – the challenges of the current care structure and illustrate some of the ethical issues that reshaping the balance between formal and informal care raises. We then review and analyse available theoretical literature on intergenerational familial relationships and present three dimensions that underpin such relationships: ethical, theoretical and practical. Findings: Based on our analysis, we provide two recommendations to inform policymaking on how to support care needs of the elderly and set an ethically acceptable balance between formal and informal care when familial generations are involved.

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Intergenerational caring: a systematic literature review on young and young adult caregivers of older people

Background: The theme of young family caregivers of older relatives is still partially uncovered, although the phenomenon is increasing worldwide. Methods: This Systematic Literature Review discusses methodological and content issues of ten articles covering this topic, in order to contribute to increase the knowledge and provide suggestions for designing effective support services for adolescent young caregivers. To this purpose, the findings of this review are framed within the caregiving stress appraisal model (renamed CSA model) elaborated by Yates’ and collegues, in order to highlight differences between young caregivers and the older ones. Methods Multiple databases including PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, ProQuest - Psychology Database, CINAHL Complete - EBSCOHost were used to carry out a systematic review of the literature. Additional references were retrieved from experts contacted and research knowledge. The selected articles underwent both methodological appraisal and contents analysis: for every article an appraisal score was calculated and themes and sub-themes were identified. Results: Out of the ten included studies three were mixed methods, six qualitative and one quantitative. Nine reached a high quality methodological score and one medium. Four main themes emerged from the content analysis: aspects of the caregiving relationship; effects of caregiving; coping strategies; recommendations for services, policy and research. Conclusions: Selected studies explored practical features of the relationship between young caregivers and older family members (tasks performed, motivations, coping strategies) and highlighted both positive and negative outcomes on young people’s everyday life condition and future development. Nevertheless, these evidences were often limited to small samples that did not allow to make generalizations. More studies are needed including large samples in order to deepen the different aspects of caregiving and design tailored support services.

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Interaction of caregiver-expressed emotions and neuropsychiatric symptoms in persons with dementia: a longitudinal cohort study

Background: Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) have a major impact in persons with dementia (PwD). The interaction between the caregiver and the person with dementia may be related to the emergence of NPS. The concept of expressed emotion (EE) is used to capture this dyadic interaction. Objectives: The aim of the present study is to examine longitudinally the association between EE in caregivers and NPS in PwD living at home. Design: A longitudinal cohort study with 2 years of follow-up. Setting: PwD and their informal caregivers living at home in the south of the Netherlands. Participants: 112 dyads of PwD and their caregivers from the MAAstricht Study of BEhavior in Dementia. Main outcome measures: EE was measured at baseline with the Five-Minute Speech Sample and was used to classify caregivers in a low-EE or high-EE group. Associations between EE and neuropsychiatric subsyndromes (hyperactivity, mood and psychosis) measured with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) were analysed over time. Results: Seventy-six (67.9%) caregivers were classified in the low-EE group and 36 (32.1%) in the high-EE group. There was no difference between the EE groups in mean NPI scores over time. In the high-EE group, hyperactivity occurred more frequently than in the low-EE group at baseline (p=0.013) and at the other time points, but the mean difference was not always significant. There were no differences for the mood and psychosis subsyndromes. PwD with caregivers scoring high on the EE subcategory critical comments had an increased risk of institutionalisation (OR 6.07 (95% CI 1.14 to 32.14, p=0.034)) in comparison with caregivers scoring low on critical comments. Conclusions: High EE in informal caregivers is associated with hyperactivity symptoms in PwD. This association is likely to be bidirectional. Future studies investigating this association and possible interventions to reduce EE are needed.

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The Interaction Between Hematological Cancer Patients and Family Caregivers and Their Life Changes

Background: Diagnosis of hematological cancer affects patients and caregivers as a unit. Few studies have focused on the relationship between hematological cancer patients and their caregivers. Objective: To explore (a) the interaction between patients receiving treatment for hematological cancer in a hematology-oncology clinic and their family caregivers and (b) perceived changes in lives of patients receiving treatment for hematological cancer in a hematology-oncology clinic and their family caregivers. Methods: We used a qualitative descriptive design with a dyadic approach. The study sample included 11 patients with hematological cancer and 11 family caregivers selected through purposive sampling. In-depth interviews were conducted using a semistructured interview format. Results: As a result of a content analysis, 3 themes emerged: hidden emotions, companionship,and life changes. Both the patients and the family caregivers described coping by hiding their feelings, thoughts, and needs and reducing communication with each other. Dyadmembers described commitment to each other and an increase in confidence. In addition, the patients and the family caregivers experienced changes in their roles and perspectives during the diagnosis and treatment process. Conclusion: Patients with hematological cancer and family caregivers need nurses' support. Nurses should be prepared to provide patient-caregiver--based interventions. Implication for Practices: It is important that nurses take action to strengthen the relationship between patients and their caregivers, particularly with a focus on carrying out interventions to improve communication between them. Nurses can also strengthen dyads' coping by drawing attention to positive developments in their perspectives and relationships.

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Integration of family caregivers in delirium prevention care for hospitalized older adults: A case study analysis

Aim: To understand how family caregivers of older adults hospitalized for orthopaedic surgery are integrated by nurses in delirium prevention care. Design: Multiple case study. Methods: The sample consisted of eight cases. Each case comprised an older adult, a family caregiver, and a nurse. Data were collected from September 2017 ‐ April 2018 through various instruments, including semi‐structured interviews and family caregiver logs. Within‐ and across‐case analyses were conducted, based on the model of The Care Partner Engagement developed by Hill, Yevchak, Gilmore‐Bykovskyi, & Kolanowski (Geriatric Nursing, 35, 2014, 272). Results: Two themes emerged: (a) family caregivers were engaged in caring for the older adults during their hospital stay, though they had differences in terms of views and needs; and (b) family caregivers communicated with nurses but nurses did not recognize their role and did not integrate them much in care. Conclusion: The presence and availability of family caregivers, their sense of responsibility towards the hospitalized older adults, and their positive effects on them suggest that family caregivers could be integrated more systematically in a care partnership with nurses. Poor integration of family caregivers in delirium prevention care shows that nurse delirium prevention competencies and their relational skills for communicating effectively with family caregivers need to be developed further. Impact: Integrating family caregivers in delirium prevention care for older adults is a challenge for nurses. Family caregivers are engaged during the hospitalization of older adults, though differences and problems exist between the two groups. While there is communication between patients, family caregivers, and nurses, nurses do not recognize the role of family caregivers and hardly integrated them in the delirium prevention care of hospitalized older adults. Nurses must adopt a patient‐ and family‐centred approach. Care and training facilities must make resources available to implement this approach in nursing practice.
 

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Integrated health and social care in the community: A critical integrative review of the experiences and well‐being needs of service users and their families

Background: A need for people‐centred health and social support systems is acknowledged as a global priority. Most nations face challenges in providing safe, effective, timely, affordable, coordinated care around the needs and preferences of people who access integrated health and social care (IHSC) services. Much of the current research in the field focuses on describing and evaluating specific models for delivering IHSC. Fewer studies focus on person‐centred experiences, needs and preferences of people who use these services. However, current international guidance for integrated care sets a precedence of person‐centred integrated care that meets the health and well‐being needs of people who access IHSC services. Methods: This integrative literature review synthesises empirical literature from six databases (CINAHL; MEDLINE; AMED; TRIP; Web of Science and Science Direct; 2007–2019). This review aims to better understand the experiences and health and well‐being needs of people who use IHSC services in a community setting. Results: Twenty studies met the inclusion criteria and results were thematically analysed. Three overarching themes were identified, including relationships, promoting health and well‐being and difficulty understanding systems. Findings of this review indicate that relationships hold significance in IHSC. People who access IHSC services felt that they were not always involved in planning their care and that there was a lack of clarity in navigating integrated systems; subsequently, this impacted upon their experiences of those services. However, service user and informal carer voices appear to be underrepresented in current literature and studies that included their views were found to be of low quality overall. Conclusions: Collectively, these findings support the need for further research that explores the person‐centred experiences and needs of people who access IHSC.

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Integrated health and social care in the community: A critical integrative review of the experiences and well‐being needs of service users and their families

Background: A need for people‐centred health and social support systems is acknowledged as a global priority. Most nations face challenges in providing safe, effective, timely, affordable, coordinated care around the needs and preferences of people who access integrated health and social care (IHSC) services. Much of the current research in the field focuses on describing and evaluating specific models for delivering IHSC. Fewer studies focus on person‐centred experiences, needs and preferences of people who use these services. However, current international guidance for integrated care sets a precedence of person‐centred integrated care that meets the health and well‐being needs of people who access IHSC services. Methods: This integrative literature review synthesises empirical literature from six databases (CINAHL; MEDLINE; AMED; TRIP; Web of Science and Science Direct; 2007–2019). This review aims to better understand the experiences and health and well‐being needs of people who use IHSC services in a community setting. Results: Twenty studies met the inclusion criteria and results were thematically analysed. Three overarching themes were identified, including relationships, promoting health and well‐being and difficulty understanding systems. Findings of this review indicate that relationships hold significance in IHSC. People who access IHSC services felt that they were not always involved in planning their care and that there was a lack of clarity in navigating integrated systems; subsequently, this impacted upon their experiences of those services. However, service user and informal carer voices appear to be underrepresented in current literature and studies that included their views were found to be of low quality overall. Conclusions: Collectively, these findings support the need for further research that explores the person‐centred experiences and needs of people who access IHSC.

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Informational Needs of the Families of Patients Discharged From Intensive Care Units: A Case of Iran

Background: thousands of patients are admitted to intensive care units annually, which is a stressful event. Many of these patients still require particular care after discharge. In many countries, families play an essential role in taking care of these patients after discharge. Objectives: This study aimed to determine the informational needs of families of patients discharged from Intensive Care Units (ICU), Kerman, southeast Iran. Methods: this study had a cross-sectional design. Families were selected using the information extracted from patients' medical records. One hundred forty family members of the ICU discharged patients participated in the survey using convenience sampling. Data collection tools were a validated researcher-made questionnaire about informational needs and a demographic characteristics form. Results: the mean score of family informational needs was 31.18 ± 3.97 out of 40. Most families required a high level of information in all dimensions. However, the maximum need was associated with self-care subscale (4.89 out of 5), and the minimum need was associated with defecation (3.13 out of 5). Conclusion: the families of patients discharged from intensive care units required much information about different areas of care particularly self-care. Health care providers, especially nurses, should be aware of the informational needs of the ICU patients' families post-discharge to provide better care.

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Information Needs and Resources and Self-Management Challenges of Parents Caring for a Child with Asthma in China

Objectives: The aim of this assessment was to determine the information needs, resources, and resource preferences and self/family-management challenges of parents caring for a child with asthma in China. The acceptance of asthma and consolidated framework for implementation research guided the study. Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive design was used. Seventy-one parents of a child receiving care in an outpatient respiratory clinic completed a three-part, pragmatic, self-report survey. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and qualitative data using thematic analysis. Findings: Parents, who needed more knowledge about asthma, sought information from internet sources. However, most parents preferred receiving information during in-person consultation with trained specialists. Management challenges revolved around understanding asthma information, formulating beliefs about asthma, experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, forming supportive networks, and meeting their child's emotional needs. Conclusion: Evidence supports expanding nursing roles in China to include extended time for initial in-person parental interactions and follow-up using reliable clinic-based internet counseling.

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Informal Family Caregiving at the End of Life: A Discursive Analysis

Background: Shifts in locations and levels of care and changing demographics have created a high demand for informal family caregivers. The U.S. healthcare system could not sustain the financial or human resources necessary to meet the needs of care recipients who are dying without the assistance of informal family caregivers. End-of-life caregivers pay a price— emotional, social, financial, and physical—throughout the caregiving process. Many factors contribute to the cost of caregiving, such as caregiver distress and burden. Despite the extensive scientific literature on caregiving at the end of life, necessary evidence to inform nursing science in ways that adequately and appropriately support and sustain those healthy informal family caregivers providing end-of-life care remains unknown. No research to date has approached this problem from a linguistic standpoint. Methods: This study used discourse-based analysis to examine a qualitative secondary dataset to understand which aspects of self (caregiver) and other (care recipient) are revealed through caregiver discourse and how a caregiver’s perception of self and the care recipient change over time. Principles of discourse analysis were applied to develop an analytic framework and explore the linguistic cues (i.e., grammar, reference, identity, deixis, stance, indexicality and agency) expressed by a caregiver in their role as caregiver. Findings: Findings demonstrated the usefulness of a discourse-based analytic method as a new approach in the reuse of large qualitative secondary datasets. In addition, linguistic cues were revealed about how a caregiver perceives self and the care recipient over time. Results established an analytic framework that can be applied to a larger sample of this dataset to more deeply and precisely reveal discursive cues within one End-of-Life Caregiving Trajectory (expected-death) and across all three trajectories (expected-death, unexpected-death and mixed-death). Understanding a caregiver’s discursive cues may give clinicians the ability to better identify subtle yet important expressions of caregivers’ perception of self and others in the caregiving role. Conclusions: Further analysis is needed to identify how these linguistic patterns can lead to interventions that support informal family caregivers. Timely and appropriate interventions in times of uncertainty can mitigate negative outcomes for the caregiver and care recipient, resulting in a healthy caregiving workforce.

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

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

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Informal caregiving in schizophrenia: correlates and predictors of perceived rewards

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

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

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

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Informal Caregiving and Strains: Exploring the Impacts of Gender, Race, and Income

Background: Informal caregivers are those who provide care for others without compensation. In the US, 85 % of elderly individuals receive care from an informal caregiver, and this number is expected to increase. Caregivers often experience different types of strain, stemming from physical, emotional, and financial demands. Methods: Guided by intersectionality theory, this study explores the relationships between informal caregiving strains and gender, race, and income, along with various control variables, including age, marital status, education, number of hours spent providing care, and employment status. Data from the 2015 Caregiving in the US survey (N = 1248) were used. Results: Findings indicated male informal caregivers reported more financial strain compared to females. White women reported more emotional strain than women of color, and those with higher incomes reported less financial strain. Gender, race, and income were not significantly related to physical strain among informal caregivers. Conclusions: Implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed. 

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Informal Caregiving and Disaster Risk Reduction: A Scoping Review

Background: Informal caregivers are a population currently in the shadows of disaster risk reduction (DRR), and yet essential to the provision of healthcare services. This scoping review explored the literature to understand issues related to informal caregiving and promising practices to support resilience for disasters. Methods: Following guidelines for scoping review as outlined by Tricco et al. (2016), relevant publications were identified from five major databases—Medline, Embase, PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus. Relevant studies referenced informal caregiving and disasters for a variety of population groups including children, people with disabilities or chronic illnesses, and older adults. Studies were excluded if they discussed formal caregiving services (for example, nursing), lacked relevance to disasters, or had insufficient discussion of informal caregiving. Results: Overall, 21 articles met the inclusion criteria and were fully analyzed. Five themes were identified: (1) the need for education and training in DRR; (2) stressors around medication and supply issues; (3) factors affecting the decision-making process in a disaster; (4) barriers leading to disaster-related problems; and (5) factors promoting resilience. Recommended areas of strategic action and knowledge gaps are discussed. Many informal caregivers do not feel adequately prepared for disasters. Conclusions: Given the important role of informal caregivers in healthcare provision, preparedness strategies are essential to support community resilience for those requiring personal care support. By understanding and mobilizing assets to support the resilience of informal caregivers, we also support the resilience of the greater healthcare system and the community, in disaster contexts.

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Informal Caregiving and All-Cause Mortality: A Meta-Analysis of Longitudinal Population-Based Studies

Methods: Using the random-effects meta-analysis model, we investigated the effect of informal caregiving on all-cause mortality across 12 longitudinal population-based studies (seven United States; five international: United Kingdom, Northern Ireland [2], Japan, and Australia). Results: Across the studies, the combined effect of informal caregiving on all-cause mortality was 16% lower in favor of caregivers. Subgroup analyses revealed that the relationship between informal caregiving and all-cause mortality was not significant among the U.S. studies, in contrast to the international studies. Also, the mortality advantage of informal caregivers was not evident among those studies in which informal caregiving was operationalized precisely (Activity of Daily [ADL]/Instrumental Activity of Daily Living [IADL] assistance) as opposed to more broadly. Furthermore, studies in which the kinship tie between the informal caregiver and care recipient was unspecified tended to find a mortality advantage in favor of caregivers. Conclusions: When covariates were considered, the results of this meta-analysis provided more support for stress theory than the healthy caregiver hypothesis. 

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Informal caregivers’ quality of life and management strategies following the transformation of their cancer caregiving role: A qualitative systematic review

Objectives: Globally, informal caregivers caring for cancer patients meet challenges within their caregiving role, which significantly influence their quality of life. This qualitative systematic review aimed to analyze how cancer caregiving influence the quality of life of informal caregivers and the management strategies of informal caregivers for their role as cancer caregivers. Methods: Following the enhancing transparency in reporting the synthesis of qualitative research (ENTREQ) statement, Wanfang database, the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), CINAHL, MEDLINE, PubMed, Cochrane Library, PsycARTICLES and PsycINFO, and grey literature in English and Chinese from 1 May 2009 to 31 December 2019 were searched. Quality of included studies was assessed by the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (2018) Qualitative Checklist and thematic synthesis was conducted. Results: Of the 8,945 studies identified, 6 studies met the inclusion criteria. One analytical theme relating to the QoL of informal caregivers following cancer caregiving was identified: “challenges of caregiving”. In terms of the management strategies to the role of cancer caregivers, two analytical themes were identified: “self-adjustment” and “seeking for formal and informal support”. Conclusions: Cancer caregiving influences informal caregivers’ QoL significantly and informal caregivers develop diverse coping strategies to deal with the difficulties occurred while balancing the relationship between their own lives and caregiving. However, professional and policy support remain inadequate for informal caregivers that require the need for improvement in terms of health care professionals and policymakers. 

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Informal Caregivers' Well-Being at the Transition to Caregiving

Objectives: The aim of this study was to describe the psychological and physical health needs of informal caregivers in a rehabilitation hospital and explore differences related to informal caregiver and care recipient characteristics. Readiness to engage in health promotion and perspectives on mindfulness meditation were assessed. Methods: Informal caregivers (N = 33) to patients receiving inpatient or outpatient treatment completed the Multidimensional Health Profile screening tools. Readiness to change was assessed using the readiness ruler approach. Results: Almost half of participants (45.5%) had a chronic illness and 18.2% reported that it interferes with daily functioning. Low Positive Health Habits were reported by 43% of participants, and Negative Health Habits were reported by 25%. A subgroup (15%–20%) reported both physical and mental health concerns. A majority of participants indicated it was both very important for them to improve their physical and mental health and felt very confident they could do so. Receptivity to mindfulness meditation was high, with 72.7% reporting an interest. Comprehensive screening and counseling interventions to address the physical and mental health of informal caregivers in physical rehabilitation hospital settings are needed, and information gained from screening could be addressed in interventions delivered by systems-oriented rehabilitation counselors. Conclusion: A mindfulness meditation intervention may be a useful strategy for promoting well-being in this population.

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Informal Caregivers in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Multi-Centre, Exploratory Study of Burden and Difficulties

Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)/motor neuron disease (MND) is a systemic and fatal neurodegenerative condition for which there is currently no cure. Informal caregivers play a vital role in supporting the person with ALS, and it is essential to support their wellbeing. This multi-centre, mixed methods descriptive exploratory study describes the complexity of burden and self-defined difficulties as described by the caregivers themselves. Methods: Quantitative and qualitative data were collected during face-to-face interviews with informal caregivers from centres in the Netherlands, England, and Ireland. Standardised measures assessed burden, quality of life, and psychological distress; furthermore, an open-ended question was asked about difficult aspects of caregiving. Results: Most caregivers were female, spouse/partners, and lived with the person with ALS for whom they provided care. Significant differences between national cohorts were identified for burden, quality of life, and anxiety. Among the difficulties described were the practical issues associated with the caregiver role and emotional factors such as witnessing a patient’s health decline, relationship change, and their own distress. The mixed-methods approach allows for a more nuanced understanding of the burden and difficulties experienced. Conclusion: It is important to generate an evidence base to support the psychosocial wellbeing and brain health of informal caregivers.

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Informal caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic perceive additional burden: findings from an ad-hoc survey in Germany

Background: While the relation between care involvement of informal caregivers and caregiver burden is well-known, the additional psychosocial burden related to care involvement during the COVID-19 pandemic has not yet been investigated. Methods: A total of 1000 informal caregivers, recruited offline, participated in a cross-sectional online survey from April 21 to May 2, 2020. Questionnaires were used to assess COVID-19-specific changes in the care situation, negative feelings in the care situation, problems with implementation of COVID-19 measures, concerns/excessive demands, loss of support, change in informal caregivers’ own involvement in care and problems with provision, comprehension & practicability of COVID-19 information, and to relate these issues to five indicators of care involvement (i.e., being the main caregiver, high expenditure of time, high level of care, dementia, no professional help). Binomial and multiple regression analyses were applied. Results: Across indicators of care involvement, 25.5–39.7% reported that the care situation rather or greatly worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for those caring for someone with dementia or those usually relying on professional help. In a multiple regression model, the mean number of involvement indicators met was associated with age (β = .18; CI .10–.25), excessive demands (β = .10, CI .00–.19), problems with implementation of COVID-19 measures (β = .11, CI .04–.19), an increase in caregiving by the informal caregivers themselves (β = .14, CI .03–.24) as well as with no change in the amount of caregiving (β = .18, CI .07–.29) and loss of support (β = −.08, CI −.16–.00). No significant associations with the mean number of involvement indicators met were found for gender, educational level, change in the care situation, negative feelings, and provision, comprehension & practicability of COVID-19 information. Conclusion: Those caregivers who perceived extensive care burden were those who suffered most during the pandemic, calling for structural support by the healthcare system now and in the future. Trial registration This article does not report the results of a health care intervention on human participants.

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Informal caregivers and persons with dementia’s everyday life coping

This qualitative study explores informal caregivers’ experiences of supporting persons with dementia’s everyday life coping. In the future, there will be fewer health personnel, increased dementia prevalence and limited nursing home availability. Accordingly, close relatives may be compelled to assume greater care responsibilities. Knowledge concerning persons with dementia’s everyday coping from the perspective of informal caregivers remains insufficient, despite these people’s importance for those with dementia. This investigation analyses informal caregivers’ perceived challenges and pleasures in providing care, how home health care affects everyday life coping and the factors that are most important to informal caregivers in supporting care receivers.

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Informal caregiver well-being during and after patients’ treatment with adjuvant chemotherapy for colon cancer: a prospective, exploratory study

Introduction: Caring for a significant other during cancer treatment can be demanding. Little is known about the well-being of informal caregivers of patients with colon cancer. This study aims to examine informal caregiver well-being during adjuvant chemotherapy for colon cancer. Material and methods: This exploratory longitudinal, prospective study measured the course of informal caregiver burden (Self-Perceived Pressure of Informal Care), distress (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), health-related quality of life (RAND-36), marital satisfaction (Maudsley Marital Questionnaire), social support (Social Support List – Discrepancies), fatigue (Abbreviated Fatigue Questionnaire), and self-esteem (Caregiver Reaction Assessment) before (T0), during (T1), and after (T2) patients’ treatment. Results: Baseline data of 60 out of 76 eligible dyads (79%) were analyzed. Mean levels of informal caregiver burden and distress improved significantly over time, as did their health-related quality of life and perceived social support. At baseline, 30% and 26.7% of informal caregivers reported moderate-to-high levels of burden and clinically relevant levels of distress, respectively, which changed to 20% and 18.8% at T2. Informal caregiver burden and distress at baseline were the strongest predictors of informal caregiver burden and distress during and following patients’ treatment, respectively. Conclusion: When informal caregivers and patients experience problems before start of adjuvant chemotherapy, problems seem to improve over time. Approximately 20% of informal caregivers remain burdened and distressed after patients’ end of treatment. Paying attention to baseline distress and burden seems indicated, as these were strong predictors of informal caregivers’ well-being during and after treatment. 

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Informal care in the context of long-term health care for the elderly in Slovenia: A qualitative study

Background: Slovenia is an aging society. Social security expenditures for the elderly are rising steadily, and the majority of Slovenians are firmly convinced that the state must provide elder care. This situation means that informal caregivers face many challenges and problems in their altruistic mission. Objectives: To explore the experiences and feelings of informal caregivers and to provide an understanding of how informal caregivers support the elderly and what challenges and difficulties they face in Slovenian society. Methods: The study is based on qualitative semi-structured interviews with 10 caregivers. In addition to descriptive statistics, we conducted a qualitative study using the qualitative content analysis method. Findings: We identified four themes among health caregivers’ experiences with challenges and problems in providing long-term health care for the elderly. Caregivers pointed out that they are mostly left to themselves and their altruistic mission of giving informal long-term care to their elderly relatives and friends. Systemic regulation of the national public health care system is the source of many problems. Other social systems determine and limit the position of informal caregivers in Slovenia. Conclusions: This qualitative study should be understood as useful stepping-stone to future research and real improvement in this area.

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Influences of Work and Family Spillover on Filial and Sandwiched Caregivers' Psychological Well-Being

Background: There has been a documented increase in the numbers of filial and sandwiched caregivers in the United States. However, past studies have overlooked the impact of work and family overload on caregiver well-being. Methods: This study investigates the moderating influences of the quality and directionality of work and family spillover on the well-being (e.g., positive affect and negative affect, psychological well-being, and global well-being) of 180 filial and sandwiched caregivers from the second wave of the Midlife in the United States Survey. Results: Regression and moderation analyses revealed that sandwiched caregivers with high levels of negative work-to-family spillover exhibited higher negative affect than the comparison groups. Sandwiched caregivers with high levels of negative family-to-work spillover exhibited higher level of negative affect and lower level of self-acceptance than other caregivers. Conclusions: These findings can help create work programs that address spillover between work and home in the effort to promote caregiver well-being.

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Improving the End-of-Life Experience for Family Members of Cancer Patients Who Die on the Oncology Ward: The Three Wishes Project (SCI922)

Background: Although death is not an uncommon outcome for cancer patients who are admitted to the hospital, there are few inpatient interventions in oncology designed to create a personalized, compassionate end-of-life (EOL) experience for patients and families. The 3 Wishes Project (3WP) is a program where clinicians implement final wishes for dying patients. 3WP has been shown to be effective at improving the EOL experience for family members of patients who die in the intensive care unit but has not been evaluated on an oncology specific ward. Research Objectives: To implement the 3WP on an oncology ward and evaluate its influence on family members' experience of their loved one's EOL. Methods: When a patient's probability of dying is greater than 95% or if the patient will be transitioned to hospice on this oncology ward, patients and families are invited to participate in the 3WP. Wishes are elicited, implemented, documented, and categorized. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with eleven family members of cancer patients who participated in the 3WP. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using content analysis. Results: During a course of 20 months, 144 wishes were implemented for 42 cancer patients and their families, at an average cost of $56. The majority (63%) of the 144 wishes were to humanize the environment. The overarching theme identified through the analysis of transcripts from the family interviews was that 3WP facilitates three transitions at the EOL: the transition from multiple hospital admissions to the final admission, the transition of the family member from a primary caregiver role to a family member role, and the transition from a focus on the present to a focus on legacy. Conclusion: 3WP is an intervention that can be implemented on the oncology ward to help facilitate key transitions that improve the EOL experience for families of dying cancer patients.

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The importance of familiarity with caregiving for public caregiver stigma: Evidence from a cross-sectional study in Germany

Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the association between familiarity with caregiving and public stigma towards informal caregivers of older individuals. Material and methods: The sample for this Online-Survey was identified using a quota-system based on German micro census data (N=1037; aged 18 years and older, living in Germany). Familiarity with caregiving was assessed by asking whether the participant has experience in or has friends or relatives with experience in informal or professional caregiving for individuals aged 65 years or older. Public caregiver stigma was assessed by analyzing the emotional, behavioral and cognitive reactions towards caregivers as described in a vignette. Results: Adjusted regressions analyses indicated that experience in providing informal care was associated with increased appreciative feelings and statements, and decreased social distance. Experience in providing professional care was associated with increased devaluing statements. Having friends or relatives who have experience in informal caregiving was associated with decreased social distance. Having friends or relatives who have experience in professional caregiving was associated with decreased devaluing feelings, increased appreciative feelings and decreased social distance. Conclusions: Results indicate that familiarity with caregiving, through one's own informal care experience or through contact with informal or professional caregivers, reduced public stigma towards informal caregivers. Moreover, experience with informal care or contact with professional caregivers increased appreciation of informal caregivers. However, increased negative stigmatizing statements were indicated among participants with experience in professional caregiving. Fostering contact and cooperation between informal caregivers and non-caregivers, as well as with professional caregivers may help reduce stigmatizing reactions. 

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Implementing a Reablement Intervention, "Care of People With Dementia in Their Environments (COPE)": A Hybrid Implementation-Effectiveness Study

Background and Objectives: The translation of reablement programs into practice is lagging despite strong evidence for interventions that maintain function for the person living with dementia as well as improve carer well-being. The aim was to evaluate the implementation of an evidence-based program, Care of People with Dementia in Their Environments (COPE), into health services. Research Design and Methods: An implementation-effectiveness hybrid design was used to evaluate implementation outcomes while simultaneously involving a pragmatic pre–post evaluation of outcomes for people with dementia. We report uptake, fidelity to intervention, outcomes for people living with dementia and carers, and beliefs and behaviors of interventionists contributing to successful implementation. Results: Seventeen organizations in Australia across 3 health contexts, 38 occupational therapists, and 17 nurses participated in training and implementation. While there were challenges and delays in implementation, most organizations were able to offer the program and utilized different models of funding. Overall, we found there was moderate fidelity to components of the program. Pre–post outcomes for carer well-being and coping (Perceived Change Index, p < .001) and activity engagement of the person living with dementia (p = .002) were significantly increased, replicating previous trial results. What contributed most to therapists implementing the program (Determinants of Implementation Behaviour Questionnaire) was a stronger intent to deliver (p < .001), higher confidence (p < .001), a sense of control in delivery (p = .004), and a belief the program was very useful to their clients (p = .002). Discussion and Implications: This study demonstrated that implementation is possible in multiple health systems and beneficial to individuals and their families.

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Impacts of COVID‐19 on caregivers of childhood cancer survivors

Purpose: We sought to assess the impact of disruptions due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) on caregivers of childhood cancer survivors. Methods: A 13‐question survey containing multiple‐choice, Likert‐type, and free‐text questions on experiences, behaviors, and attitudes during the COVID‐19 outbreak was sent to childhood cancer caregivers and completed between April 13 and May 17, 2020. Ordered logistic regression was used to investigate relationships between demographics, COVID‐related experiences, and caregiver well‐being. Results: Caregivers from 321 unique families completed the survey, including 175 with children under active surveillance/follow‐up care and 146 with children no longer receiving oncology care. Overall, caregivers expressed exceptional resiliency, highlighting commonalities between caring for a child with cancer and adopting COVID‐19 prophylactic measures. However, respondents reported delayed/canceled appointments (50%) and delayed/canceled imaging (19%). Eleven percent of caregivers reported struggling to pay for basic needs, which was associated with greater disruption to daily life, greater feelings of anxiety, poorer sleep, and less access to social support (p < .05). Caregivers who were self‐isolating reported greater feelings of anxiety and poorer sleep (p < .05). Respondents who expressed confidence in the government response to COVID‐19 reported less disruption to their daily life, decreased feelings of depression and anxiety, better sleep, and greater hopefulness (p < .001). Conclusions: Caregivers are experiencing changes to medical care, financial disruptions, and emotional distress due to COVID‐19. To better serve caregivers and medically at‐risk children, clinicians must evaluate financial toxicity and feelings of isolation in families affected by childhood cancer, and work to provide reliable information on how COVID‐19 may differentially impact their children.

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The impacts of caregiving intensity on informal caregivers in Malaysia: findings from a national survey

Background: Provision of informal care may adversely affect health, daily and social activities of the informal caregivers, but few studies have examined these effects in relation to caregiving intensity. This study examined the predictive factors associated with the effects of caregiving roles on health, daily and social activities of informal caregivers, accounting for caregiving intensity. Methods: Data of adults aged 18 years and over from the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019 were used. Respondent’s demographic, socioeconomic, health, and caregiving-related characteristics were described using complex samples analysis. Logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the factors affecting health, daily and social activities of caregivers, accounting for caregiving intensity. Results: Five point one percent of adults in Malaysia provided informal care. High intensity caregivers were more likely to be actively employed and provided longer duration of care compared with low intensity caregivers. For low intensity caregiving, females, those aged 35–59 years, and those with long-term condition were more likely to have negative effects on health. Daily activities of non-Malays were more likely to be affected, while no factor was found significantly associated with effect on social activities. For high intensity caregiving, caregivers aged 60 and over, those received training and those without assistance were more likely to have negative effects on health. Daily activities of those without assistance were more likely to be affected. Social activities of non-Malays, those received training and those providing care for 2 years or more were more likely to be affected. Conclusions: Our study indicates that both low- and high-intensity caregivers have common features, with the exception of employment status and care duration. Caregiving, regardless of intensity, has a significant impact on caregivers. In order to reduce the negative consequences of caregiving responsibilities, all caregivers need assistance from the community and government, that is customised to their needs. By addressing the factors contributing to the negative effects of caregiving, a continuation of informal caregiving can be sustained through policies supporting the growing demand for informal care necessitated by an ageing population and higher life expectancy in Malaysia.

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The impact of uncertainty on bereaved family's experiences of care at the end of life: a thematic analysis of free text survey data

Background: Inequities in the provision of palliative care for people with cardiac disease have been well documented in the literature. Despite experiencing significant palliative care needs, those with cardiac disease are less likely to be referred to specialist palliative care services and more likely to die in a hospital when compared to those with cancer. The unpredictable trajectory of heart failure has been identified as a key barrier to providing palliative care with many people experiencing a long period of stability with appropriate medical treatment. However, as the disease progresses and cardiac function deteriorates, exacerbations of acute decompensation can lead to what is often perceived to be 'sudden' death. The aim of this study is to explore the impact of uncertainty on how death is remembered by bereaved family members of people with heart disease. Methods: Thematic analysis of free text collected during a postal survey of bereaved family's experiences of healthcare services in the last 3 months of life using the New Zealand version of the VOICES questionnaire was undertaken. Data was analysed using a three-dimensional conceptual framework of "scientific uncertainty". Results: Eight hundred and twenty-seven completed questionnaires were received of which 12.6% (n = 105) indicated that they had cared for someone at the end of life with cardiac disease. Experiences of uncertainty were found to have a significant impact upon bereaved family. Four key themes were identified; distrust in healthcare professionals, stories left incomplete, loss, regret and missed opportunity and disempowerment. Conclusions: This study highlights the ongoing impact on bereaved family when uncertainty is not made explicit in conversations regarding end of life for people with heart disease. Timely and sensitive conversations regarding the uncertainty of when death may occur is an important factor in ensuring that bereaved family are not left with unresolved narratives. Reframing how we think and talk about uncertainty in end of life care is important, as clinicians' uncertainties may not always reflect or match up with families' uncertainties. Being explicit about our inability to be certain about the timing of death may thus lead to a more positive and complete experience for bereaved family.

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Impact of the covid-19 pandemic on family carers of older people living with dementia in Italy and Hungary

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on both older people with dementia and families caring for them. Methods: This paper presents the results of an online survey carried out among Italian and Hungarian family carers of people with dementia during the first pandemic wave (May–July 2020, n = 370). The research questions were the following: (1) How has the pandemic changed the lives of family carers? (2) How did government restriction measures change the availability of care-related help? (3) What other changes did families experience? Results: Results show that about one-quarter of both subsamples experienced a deterioration in their financial status. A decline in both general and mental health was also reported. Due to “lockdown”, family carers’ burden increased substantially. Utilization of care-related help decreased, and the share of those left with no help increased in both countries. Cross-country differences emerged in terms of dementia care system, severity of the first pandemic wave, and measures put in place by governments. Findings outline the weaknesses of support structures and their country-specific vulnerabilities to a worldwide pandemic. Conclusions: To better protect people with dementia in the future, it is essential to strengthen their family carers, and support structures need to be re-evaluated and re-designed. 

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The impact of severe rare chronic neurological disease in childhood on the quality of life of families—a study on MLD and PCH2

Background: Rare and severe neurological disorders in childhood not only heavily affect the life perspective of the patients, but also their caregivers and families. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of such diseases on the family, especially on the quality of life and life perspectives of parents, but also on the families’ everyday life, based on the model of two diseases which have been well described in recent years with respect to symptoms and course: metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) and pontocerebellar hypoplasia type 2 (PCH2). PCH2 is a primary severe developmental disorder, while children with MLD initially develop normally and then progressively deteriorate. Methods: Using a semi-standardized questionnaire, 43 families with children suffering from MLD (n = 30) or PCH2 (n = 19) reported data on the severity of the illness/symptoms, on family support and the care situation, as well as on the circumstances of non-affected siblings and the parents’ work situation. In addition, the quality of life of parents and general family functioning was assessed using the PedsQL™ Family Impact Module [23]. Results for the latter were compared to published data from families with children without any chronic condition using student’s t-tests for independent samples. Potential factors influencing the PedsQL™ scores were analyzed using Spearman’s rank correlation. Results: Parents of children with MLD and PCH2 reported significantly lower health-related quality of life (HRQOL) compared to parents of healthy children (P < 0.001). Mothers showed significantly poorer HRQOL (P < 0.05) and were significantly more dissatisfied with their professional development (P < 0.05) than fathers, and this was seen in relation to their child's disease. Neither the form of disease (‘primary’ symptomatic PCH2 or ‘secondary’ symptomatic MLD), nor the severity of the child’s illness (in terms of gross motor and speech function) had a specific impact on HRQOL in families. However, the time from diagnosis and advanced symptoms in the terminal disease stage were experienced as especially distressing. Conclusions: This study illustrates that MLD and PCH2 affect mothers in particular, but also the entire family. This underlines the need for personalized care and counselling of parents and families, especially following diagnosis and during the end stage in a child with a severe, rare chronic neurological disorder.

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Impact of sensitization of family caregivers upon treatment compliance among geriatric patients suffering from elder abuse and neglect

Background: Geriatric patients in various outpatient department (OPDs) have been found to agonize from elder abuse and neglect (EAN). Such suffering imposes depressive states within individuals, which in turn affects treatment compliance. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of sensitization (psychotherapeutic) of family caregivers (FCGs) upon two denture treatment parameters (maintenance and treatment satisfaction) among EAN patients and compare the differences in outcome with non-abused patients. Methods: A survey of completely edentulous subjects (n = 860, aged 41–80 years) provided a sampling frame of 332 EAN patients from which 150 patients (including FCGs) fulfilling the study criteria were distributed (simple random, convenient) into two groups (Group A—control, Group B—test). FCG sensitization for subjects in Group B was performed by a clinical psychologist in 2–4 short (30 min) sessions. Demographic characteristics (frequency) were measured using a self-reported questionnaire, denture maintenance was measured using a denture hygiene index (scores), and treatment satisfaction was analyzed on a 10-point visual analog scale. Relevant data were calculated for means and absolute/relative frequencies. Any difference between two groups was estimated using an unpaired t-test while the level of relationship was determined by Karl Pearson’s test at a p-value of < 0.05. Results: The results showed highest frequency (38.6%) for neglect, with elder neglect (EN) being most common (38.14% alone and 14% in combination). EN was found more if the FCG was a son (52%), in the age group (21–30 years), and with low education and low income (75%). Patients whose FCGs were counselled (Group B) demonstrated low denture plaque scores (mean = 1.38 ± 0.618), while demonstrating comparatively higher scores in six different parameters of treatment satisfaction. Differences between the two groups for both parameters were also found to be statistically significant. Conclusions: Psychotherapeutic counselling in the form of FCG sensitization brings better results of denture maintenance and treatment satisfaction. 

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Impact of relative mental illness on caregivers

Introduction: Belarus is undergoing legislative shifts towards community-based mental health care. Responding effectively to support this process requires an understanding of the experiences and challenges facing families caring for a relative affected by mental illness. Objectives: To identify how caring for a person with severe mental illness impacts on family carers, and what carers identify as their support needs. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 17 caregivers of people affected by severe mental illness (diagnosis of F06.8, F20, F25, F7, and/or F 84) in Belarus between March - June 2019. Results: Care-giving for a family member was usually undertaken on a full time basis with no option for respite. Whilst caring did, in cases, strengthen family solidarity, it also resulted in intensive stress and burnout, financial pressures, and high levels of family tension, exacerbated when the person living with mental illness was perceived as a potential safety risk. High levels of societal stigma meant that care-givers commonly felt unable to discuss their circumstances, travel in public spaces, or participate in community activities. Stigma also deterred carers from seeking professional support. Priorities for support amongst carers included better information, public awareness raising and sensitization, advocacy to support patient integration into social and economic life, peer support and respite for family carers, and an increase in mental health specialists. Conclusions: Caregiving affected family carers on multiple levels with predominantly negative consequences. Priorities identified by carers need to be considered and acted upon if community-based care is to become an effective option.

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The impact of psychoeducational interventions on the outcomes of caregivers of patients with heart failure: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Background: Heart failure is a global health care problem that causes a significant economic burden. Despite medical advancements, it's prognosis remains poor as many patients with heart failure experience symptoms that negatively impact Quality of Life. Caregivers are often responsible for helping and supporting family members manage their heart failure symptoms at home. In addition to managing their own medical problems and maintaining social and personal lives, significant burden and stress can occur. At present, caregivers receive little guidance or information to support them in their caregiving role. Objectives: This review aims to determine the impact of psychoeducational interventions on the outcomes of caregivers of patients with heart failure. Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Data source Five electronic databases: PsycINFO, Medline, CINAHL Plus, EMBASE and SCOPUS were searched from June 2007 to August 2019. Review methods The conduct and reporting of this review was based on the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. The Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool was used to assess the risk of bias amongst randomised controlled trials, and the Newcastle Ottawa Scale was used to assess risk of bias in one quasi-experimental study. Results: Ten articles met the inclusion criteria, consisting of seven studies, with a total sample size of 953 participants. The pooled result from two studies, conducted in America and China, reported that psychoeducational interventions significantly reduced depression at six months' follow-up (SMD -0.82; 95% CI -1.17 to -0.47; p = 0.73, I2 =0%). The pooled result from two studies conducted in Sweden and Taiwan showed a significant improvement in heart failure knowledge at six months' follow-up (SMD 0.97; 95% CI 0.70 to 1,25; p < 0.00001, I2 =0%). Finally, pooled results from three studies conducted in Sweden, China and Taiwan found a significant improvement in Quality of Life at 3 months' follow- up (SMD 0.25; 95% CI 0.25 to 0.48; p = 0.03). The three most common intervention components included: group based educational sessions, telemonitoring and telephone support, and written resources. Conclusions: There was no specific type of psychoeducational intervention found to have a significant impact on caregiver outcomes, as interventions were heterogeneous consisting of multiple components. Further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of individual and combined components to identify the ideal intervention format and design for caregivers of patients with heart failure.

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The impact of ovarian cancer on individuals and their caregivers: A qualitative analysis

Objective: Ovarian cancer remains an understudied cancer with poor prognosis, few effective treatments and little understanding of the how individuals and their families face the challenges and uncertainty following diagnosis. This study synthesized the subjective experiences of individuals and their caregivers in the face of the uncertainty produced by the disease. Methods: Qualitative data were obtained from the Ovarian Cancer Australia 2017 Consumer Survey. An inductive thematic analysis was conducted on responses from 219 individuals with ovarian cancer and 78 caregivers. Results: Nine themes were identified from the individual's responses and seven themes from the caregivers. For both groups, the uncertainty created at diagnosis led to a cascade of complex responses. For the individuals, uncertainty gave rise to fears for the future, which were exacerbated by unmet healthcare needs or treatment‐related difficulties. For some individuals, these fears led to disruption to their lives, isolation and emotional distress. For others, helpful coping styles and social support protected them from these negative consequences. For caregivers, the processes were similar, but uncertainty predominantly led to feelings of hopelessness and “survivor guilt.” Conclusions: Our results identified processes that may guide future interventions and research targeting unmet needs and protective factors for individuals with ovarian cancer and their caregivers. Findings also suggest the potential to facilitate effective support between individuals and their caregivers.

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Impact of medical home-consistent care and child condition on select health, community, and family level outcomes among children with special health care needs

Objectives/Methods: Using the 2009/2010 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN), we investigated the impact of medical home-consistent care and child condition on five outcomes for CSHCN (n = 32,299). Results: Models suggested that medical home-consistent care predicted increased odds of preventive services receipt, no unmet health or family support needs, ease of use of community-based services, and shared decision-making. Despite these positive effects, disparities persisted based on insurance, condition complexity, and household income. Conclusions: These findings illustrate the positive impacts of medical home-consistent care on children yet remind health professionals of the unique family circumstances that ultimately impact health and wellbeing.

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The Impact of COVID-19 Quarantine on Patients With Dementia and Family Caregivers: A Nation-Wide Survey

Background: Previous studies showed that quarantine for pandemic diseases is associated with several psychological and medical effects. The consequences of quarantine for COVID-19 pandemic in patients with dementia are unknown. We investigated the clinical changes in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and evaluated caregivers’ distress during COVID-19 quarantine. Methods: The study involved 87 Italian Dementia Centers. Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), and Vascular Dementia (VD) were eligible for the study. Family caregivers of patients with dementia were interviewed by phone in April 2020, 45 days after quarantine declaration. Main outcomes were patients’ changes in cognitive, behavioral, and motor symptoms. Secondary outcomes were effects on caregivers’ psychological features. Results: 4913 patients (2934 females, 1979 males) fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Caregivers reported a worsening in cognitive functions in 55.1% of patients, mainly in subjects with DLB and AD. Aggravation of behavioral symptoms was observed in 51.9% of patients. In logistic regression analysis, previous physical independence was associated with both cognitive and behavioral worsening (odds ratio 1.85 [95% CI 1.42-2.39], 1.84 [1.43-2.38], respectively). On the contrary, pandemic awareness was a protective factor for the worsening of cognitive and behavioral symptoms (odds ratio 0.74 [0.65-0.85]; and 0.72 [0.63-0.82], respectively). Approximately 25.9% of patients showed the onset of new behavioral symptoms. A worsening in motor function was reported by 36.7% of patients. Finally, caregivers reported a high increase in anxiety, depression, and distress. Conclusions: Our study shows that quarantine for COVID-19 is associated with an acute worsening of clinical symptoms in patients with dementia as well as increase of caregivers’ burden. Our findings emphasize the importance to implement new strategies to mitigate the effects of quarantine in patients with dementia.

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Impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQ+ Cancer Survivors' and Caregivers' Perceptions of Formal and Informal Social Support (SCI952)

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for many cancer survivors and their caregivers to access support from providers and informal networks. This may be particularly true for LGBTQ+ groups, who are under-represented in oncology and palliative care research and often overlooked in clinical oncology and palliative care. Research Objectives: We sought to better understand how the pandemic is affecting LGBTQ+ cancer survivors' and caregivers' access to and perceptions of formal and informal support. Methods: Qualitative data were collected via open-ended survey items, interviews, and a focus group with LGBTQ+ cancer survivors and caregivers (n = 19). Questions assessed their perceptions of the impact of COVID-19 on support, including specific challenges for LGBTQ+ survivors and their caregivers. Interview and focus group audio data were transcribed, collated with survey responses, descriptively coded, and summarized. Results: Participants included 11 survivors and 8 caregivers (1 was both) aged 21-81 (M = 41.9); 15 were female, 3 male, and 1 nonbinary; 3 were transgender; 17 were LGBTQ+ (including 4 bisexual, 2 pansexual and 2 queer) and 2 were heterosexual (both caregiving parents). Participants described numerous concerns: 1) anxiety about inclusive care being seen as something "extra"; 2) decreased visibility; 3) potential discrimination without caregiver advocacy during visits; 4) decreased communication with providers; 5) lost opportunities for community connection; 6) lack of relevant support groups and resources; 7) a care landscape changing without meaningful input from LGBTQ+ groups. Conclusion: The pandemic may exacerbate or create new unmet support needs for LGBTQ+ cancer survivors and caregivers. Implications for Research, Policy, or Practice Providers and organizations serving survivors and caregivers should be aware that minority cohorts, including LGBTQ+ survivors and caregivers, may experience increased isolation and marginalization during the pandemic. Their feedback should be actively solicited and incorporated into pandemic-related planning to inform care.

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Impact of COVID-19 on Dementia Caregivers and Factors Associated With their Anxiety Symptoms

Background: Little is known about the family experience of caregiving for persons living with dementia (PLWD) at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of COVID-19 on concerns of current family caregivers of PLWD. Methods: Study participants were recruited from the parent study, Healthy Patterns Clinical Trial (NCT03682185). Results: Data was collected from 34 caregivers via semi-structured telephone interviews. Over 70% of the study participants reported worrying about spreading COVID-19 to the PLWD, 41% reported they had taken on additional caregiving duties for others in their family since COVID-19, and 62% reported one or more anxiety symptoms. Dementia caregivers who reported anxiety symptoms reported lower scores on functional independence of their care recipients compared to dementia caregivers who did not report anxiety symptoms (p=0.036). Conclusions: Health care professionals should be alert to the concerns expressed by dementia caregivers for their well-being during this unprecedented pandemic.

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Impact of Alzheimer’s Dementia on Caregivers and Quality Improvement through Art and Music Therapy

Background: Dementia is a general term for a series of medical conditions that affect the brain and evolve progressively. According to the literature, there are over 200 subtypes and causes of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) being the most common in elderly people. AD is an irreversible progressive neurodegenerative condition that leads to a decline in mental function, enough to disrupt daily life. Thinking skills slowly deteriorate, which, in advanced stages, makes it impossible to perform simple tasks. Besides the change in the quality of life of AD patients and their families, there is a considerable alteration in the quality of life of their caregivers, whose health can be negatively affected by the development of mental and somatic disorders. Methods: This article reviews the literature in order to reveal the benefits of applying non-pharmacological interventions such as music and art therapy to improve quality of life. This article also aims to shed light on the impact of this disease on the caregiver’s life. Findings: Music and art therapy have produced reliable results in the treatment of patients with AD, and the best effects are related to increased socialization and the maintenance of social status.

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The Impact of a Brief Home-Based Intervention on Families with a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Background: A brief intervention is described and evaluated that aimed to build and strengthen relationships for families of children diagnosed with ASD aged 12 and under. Methods: A particular focus was on socially disadvantaged parents. Parents were offered around five home visits which took place on weekdays during working hours; each lasting around 90 min. They were given individualised practical tools and support to manage their children's behaviours alongside providing a listening ear to parents' concerns. Findings: In all, 456 children and 427 families participated over a four-year period with a take-up rate of 87% of all referrals. The drop-out rate was low (4.5%) as was the proportion of missed and cancelled appointments. Parents' satisfaction ratings were high and most found the number of sessions provided was 'just right'. Children improved in their personal care, had less difficulty with change, showed less anger and had fewer meltdowns. Parents reported being less stressed, not feeling so down and managing their child better. Conclusions: The evaluations suggested that a brief home-based intervention is a viable and effective means of providing personalized, post-diagnostic support to parents at periodic intervals, although socially disadvantaged families may require additional assistance beyond managing their child's ASD. The project also highlighted broader issues that impede effective support for families. 

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Illness as Experienced by Parents of Children With End-Stage Renal Disease: The "Ill Unit"

Objectives: The purpose of this study is to shed light on the experience of parents of children who suffer from various stages of renal failure. Methods: Semistructured qualitative interviews conducted with 12 parents were analyzed using the interpretative phenomenological analysis method. Findings: Eight themes were identified and organized into two superordinate themes: intrasubjective experience and intersubjective experience. Based on our analysis, we argue that the illness is experienced as a mental system extending beyond the space and boundaries of the child's body to include his or her parents which we refer to as the ill unit. Conclusions: We have borrowed Winnicott's concept of primary maternal preoccupation in order to emphasize the role and position of parents of chronically ill children. Consequently, we propose a relational perspective in which psychological support should be delivered to the ill unit (parents and child).

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

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

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ICBT program for improving informal caregiver well-being: A qualitative study

Background: Informal caregivers represent an important and vulnerable part of the society. They can experience negative psychological symptoms, such as depression and anxiety. Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (ICBT) is a promising psychological support option that could be effective in reducing informal caregiver burden as well as improving psychological well-being. Qualitative studies are valuable for gaining insights into participant experiences of using ICBT. Objective: The main aim of this study was to explore informal caregiver experiences and hence acceptability and feasibility of the transdiagnostic ICBT program aimed at reducing informal caregiver burden and increasing the quality of life. Methods: Following a strategic sampling procedure, 23 informal caregivers were recruited from previous randomized controlled trial for informal caregivers in Lithuania. Participants were interviewed over phone, using semi-structured interview questions. Interviews were analysed using a thematic analysis approach. Results: Four themes and a total of 10 sub-themes were generated: I A program as a means of change (Convenience and applicability of the format and materials; Ability to focus on own needs; Opportunity for communication), II Suggestions for the program (Including live support; Tailoring materials and format; Providing with more time and resources), III Driving personal and situational forces (Developing acceptance and adjustment over time; Being proactive and/or receiving support) and Hindering situational factors (Deterioration and unpredictability of the care-receivers health; Lacking external support and opportunities for respite). Conclusions: Most of the informal caregivers were found to be satisfied with the program's format and materials as well as the communication with the therapist via a message function in the program. Some suggestions were made regarding implementation of the live support option. Also, suggestions regarding possibility for tailoring the program's content. Lastly, several personal and situational factors were identified as important in affecting informal caregiver well-being. We conclude that ICBT has potential in reducing informal caregiver burden and improving psychological health. Further research trials are warranted for evaluating both, the effectiveness and the feasibility of the program. 

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The Me in We dyadic communication intervention is feasible and acceptable among advanced cancer patients and their family caregivers

Background: Advanced cancer affects the emotional and physical well-being of both patients and family caregivers in profound ways and is experienced both dyadically and individually. Dyadic interventions address the concerns of both members of the dyad. A critical gap exists in advanced cancer research, which is a failure of goals research and dyadic research to fully account for the reciprocal and synergistic effects of patients’ and caregivers’ individual perspectives, and those they share. Aim: We describe the feasibility and acceptability of the Me in We dyadic intervention, which is aimed at facilitating communication and goals-sharing among caregiver and patient dyads while integrating family context and individual/shared perspectives. Design: Pilot study of a participant-generated goals communication intervention, guided by multiple goals theory, with 13 patient-caregiver dyads over two sessions. Setting/participants: Patients with advanced cancer and their self-identified family caregivers were recruited from an academic cancer center. Dyads did not have to live together, but both had to consent to participate and all participants had to speak and read English and be at least 18 years or age. Results: Of those approached, 54.8% dyads agreed to participate and completed both sessions. Participants generated and openly discussed their personal and shared goals and experienced positive emotions during the sessions. Conclusions: This intervention showed feasibility and acceptability using participant-generated goals as personalized points of communication for advanced cancer dyads. This model shows promise as a communication intervention for dyads in discussing and working towards individual and shared goals when facing life-limiting or end-of-life cancer.

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“It’s Like Juggling, Constantly Trying to Keep All Balls in the Air”: A Qualitative Study of the Support Needs of Working Caregivers Taking Care of Older Adults

Background: Many informal caregivers of older adults combine their caregiving tasks with a paid job. Adequate support is important to enable them to combine paid work with caregiving, while maintaining their health and wellbeing. To date, however, knowledge about working caregivers’ support needs is fragmented. This study, therefore, aimed to obtain more insight into the support needs of working caregivers of older adults. Methods: We conducted six online semi-structured focus group interviews with in total 25 working caregivers of older adults living at home. Data were complemented with information from seven working caregivers participating in the study’s advisory board. Data were analyzed using inductive and deductive thematic analysis. Findings: Six themes related to working caregivers’ needs were identified: (1) Recognition of caregivers, including the challenges they face; (2) Attention for caregivers’ health, wellbeing and ability to cope; (3) Opportunities to share care responsibilities; (4) Help with finding and arranging care and support; (5) Understanding and support from the work environment; (6) Technological support tailored to the needs and capacities of caregivers and older adults. To address these needs, working caregivers suggested several options in multiple domains of life (i.e., work, home and social life, care environment, personal health and wellbeing). Conclusions: To successfully support them, a multi-faceted effort, involving actors from multiple settings, is needed.

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eTRIO trial: study protocol of a randomised controlled trial of online education modules to facilitate effective family caregiver involvement in oncology

Background: Informal family caregivers play a crucial role in cancer care. Effective caregiver involvement in cancer care can improve both patient and caregiver outcomes. Despite this, interventions improving the caregiver involvement are sparse. This protocol describes a randomised controlled trial evaluating the combined effectiveness of novel online caregiver communication education modules for: (1) oncology clinicians (eTRIO) and (2) patients with cancer and caregivers (eTRIO-pc). Methods and analysis: Thirty medical/radiation/surgical oncology or haematology doctors and nurses will be randomly allocated to either intervention (eTRIO) or control (an Australian State Government Health website on caregivers) education conditions. Following completion of education, each clinician will recruit nine patient–caregiver pairs, who will be allocated to the same condition as their recruiting clinician. Eligibility includes any new adult patient diagnosed with any type/stage cancer attending consultations with a caregiver. Approximately 270 patient–caregiver pairs will be recruited. The primary outcome is caregiver self-efficacy in triadic (clinician–patient–caregiver) communication. Patient and clinician self-efficacy in triadic communication are secondary outcomes. Additional secondary outcomes for clinicians include preferences for caregiver involvement, perceived module usability/acceptability, analysis of module use, satisfaction with the module, knowledge of strategies and feedback interviews. Secondary outcomes for caregivers and patients include preferences for caregiver involvement, satisfaction with clinician communication, distress, quality of life, healthcare expenditure, perceived module usability/acceptability and analysis of module use. A subset of patients and caregivers will complete feedback interviews. Secondary outcomes for caregivers include preparedness for caregiving, patient–caregiver communication and caring experience. Assessments will be conducted at baseline, and 1 week, 12 weeks and 26 weeks post-intervention. Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval has been received by the Sydney Local Health District Human Research Ethics Committee (REGIS project ID number: 2019/PID09787), with site-specific approval from each recruitment site. Protocol V.7 (dated 1 September 2020) is currently approved and reported in this manuscript. Findings will be disseminated via presentations and peer-reviewed publications. Engagement with clinicians, media, government, consumers and peak cancer groups will facilitate widespread dissemination and long-term availability of the educational modules.Trial registration numberACTRN12619001507178.

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I Was Not Expecting That! Ethical Dilemmas in Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s Disease Related Dementia Caregiving Research

Background: Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease Related Dementias (AD/ADRD) affect all aspects of life and relationships for those involved. Female family caregivers constitute an informal (unpaid) and critical workforce who provide 83% of the care for persons living with AD/ADRD in the community settings (Alzheimer’s Association, 2021). In 2020, U.S. informal caregivers provided an additional 400 million hours of unpaid care valued at $244 billion (18.6 billion hours) in comparison with 2017 (Alzheimer’s Association, 2021). Consequently, family caregivers of persons with AD/ADRD report a loss of mental, emotional, physical health 50% more often than other caregivers (Alzheimer’s Association, 2021). Family caregiving of a loved one with AD/ADRD is often counterintuitive and based on trial and error. Caregivers cannot subjectively understand their family members’ challenges with AD/ADRD. Thus, either partner of the AD/ADRD caregiving dyad may be at risk for injury or harm. Family dementia caregiving is often challenging due to the neurocognitive deficits associated with dementia, especially in later stages. The typical slow progressive nature of AD/ADRD often obscures a family dementia caregiver’s ability to identify important functional neurocognitive changes.

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"I was always struggling": Caregivers' experiences of transitioning a child from oral to long‐term non‐oral feeding at an out‐patient hospital clinic in South Africa

Background: As the prevalence of paediatric dysphagia increases, the need for long‐term non‐oral feeding has also increased. Despite these developments, little is known about caregiver experiences of transitioning a child onto long‐term non‐oral feeds, and the factors which influence the process of decision‐making and the provision of consent to do so. This paper aims to explore these factors. Methods: Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with nine participants recruited from the multidisciplinary out‐patient non‐oral feeding clinic at a hospital. Interviews explored caregiver experiences of decision‐making and the process of providing consent when transitioning their child to non‐oral feeds, as well as the support structures available to the caregivers. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed, then analyzed using thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2013) and content analysis (Neuendorf, 2016). Results: Challenges to care and quality of life, access to information and culturally relevant counselling, and the involvement of family members and significant others emerged as prominent themes. Findings suggest that quality of life was the most common motivating factor for transitioning a child to non‐oral feeding methods. Several participants suggested that support and information sharing via digital platforms were both useful and effective. Implications: The findings highlight caregivers' needs for improved access to information and social support. The findings hold implications for training of healthcare providers working in similar contexts and for models of service delivery which ensure that family‐centred intervention can be delivered in culturally and contextually relevant ways. With widespread access to smartphones, counselling should include digital messaging as a way of providing support and information sharing. Future research should focus on the complexities of counselling and the process of informed consent in settings impacted by diverse cultural, contextual and linguistic barriers, as well as the potential value of mobile health (mhealth) in ensuring improved health outcomes.

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'I want to make myself useful': the value of nature-based adult day services in urban areas for people with dementia and their family carers

Background: Nature-based adult day services (ADSs) in urban areas are relatively new services in the Netherlands. Since knowledge about these services is still scarce, this study aimed to elucidate their value for people with dementia and their family carers in terms of health and wellbeing. Methods: We interviewed 39 people with dementia attending nature-based ADSs in urban areas and their family carers, and 17 providers of these services. Results: Respondents indicated that nature-based ADSs in urban areas positively affected the health and wellbeing of people with dementia. According to them, these services support contact with nature and animals, activity engagement, physical activity, structure, social interactions, healthy eating, a sense of meaning in life and a focus on normal daily life. Respondents further indicated that these services stimulate respite, reassurance and maintenance of family carers' own activities and social contacts. Conclusions: We conclude that nature-based ADSs in urban areas have a wide range of benefits that might affect the health and wellbeing of people with dementia and their family carers. Worldwide, demand is growing for innovative practices in dementia care. It is therefore worthwhile monitoring the development of dementia care innovations, such as nature-based ADSs, and for countries to exchange lessons learned from these services.

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“I can’t live like that”: the experience of caregiver stress of caring for a relative with substance use disorder

Background: The impact of addiction extends beyond the individual using a substance. Caring for an individual with addiction creates persistent stressful circumstances that cause worry, anger, depression, shame, guilt, anxiety, and behavioral problems within the family unit. The aim of the study: The paper aims to explore the experiences of caring for a relative with a substance use disorder (SUD) and self-care strategies caregivers employ. Methods: The study adopted an exploratory qualitative design. To be included in the study, participants were required to have a relative with a (SUD) disorder and not be actively using the substance themselves. Individual interviews were conducted to gather their experiences, meanings, and how they made sense of caring for a relative with a SUD. Results: Twenty one participants were involved in the study, of which 17 were women, and four were men of which there had a sister, four had a brother, eight had a parent, six had a dependent, and one participant had a grandparent with a SUD. Four themes, whose overarching focus is the pains of living and caring for a family with a SUD, caused the participants and how the participants mitigated these experiences. Conclusion: The stress associated with caring for individuals with a SUD impacts the caregiver’s physical and mental health. Specific care modalities targeting caregivers need to be developed to address the health impact and to support self-care.

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How Employers and States Can Support the Essential Workforce of Family Caregivers

Family caregiving is a shared experience across people of all age groups, cultures, incomes, and education levels in the United States. Roughly 41 million Americans are serving as a caregiver of an older adult. Many family caregivers, sometimes called informal or unpaid caregivers, are relatives, friends, and neighbors who provide ongoing assistance to adults aged 50 and older with health or functional needs.

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Home-based occupational therapy for adults with dementia and their informal caregivers: A systematic review

Background: People with dementia require tailored interventions to support participation and performance in their desired occupations, and informal caregivers need interventions that reduce caregiving burden to enable them to continue with their roles. Objective: This systematic review investigated whether home-based occupational therapy interventions for adults with dementia and their informal caregivers optimized care recipients’ performance of daily occupations and reduced caregiving burden and improved caregivers’ sense of competence. Methods: Eight databases were searched from 1946 to November 2019 using MeSH terms, keywords, and subject headings as appropriate for each database. Inclusion criteria were quantitative studies investigating the effects of home-based therapy provided by a qualified occupational therapist for adults with dementia and their informal caregivers. Study selection, data collection, and methodological quality assessments using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme criteria tool were performed independently by two reviewers. Data analysis involved a two-stage process. Findings: From 1,229 articles identified through searches, 970 titles and abstracts were screened for eligibility after removal of duplicates. Twenty studies reported in 22 articles were included. Moderate evidence supported interventions provided jointly for adults with dementia and their informal caregivers using a combination of intervention strategies. Included studies demonstrated high risk of bias, particularly in blinding of outcome assessments. Conclusions and Relevance: Combining individualized interventions framed in client-centeredness can enhance occupational performance for adults with dementia, reduce caregiving burden, and improve informal caregivers’ sense of competence. Further research on leisure and home management occupations is warranted. What This Article Adds: The findings provide evidence supporting the effectiveness of home-based occupational therapy for people with dementia and their informal caregivers for consideration by funders of services. 

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Home Visit Based Mindfulness Intervention for Vietnamese American Dementia Family Caregivers: A Pilot Feasibility Study

Background: Healthcare disparities continue to exist among the Vietnamese American (VA) community and many factors (e.g., fear of social stigma) deter family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) from seeking assistance. Purpose: To pilot-test a language-specific and culturally appropriate mindfulness intervention to improve dementia VA family caregiver well-being. Methods: Bilingual, trained research assistants administered a mindfulness exercise (i.e., deep breathing) to family caregivers and provided continuous support and care resources through weekly home visits for a month. Weekly surveys measured changes in emotion, feelings of connectedness to the PWD, and mood (i.e., happiness) before and after the intervention. Results: A total of nine VA family caregivers of PWD participated in this pilot study. Positive affect showed an increasing trend (Mpre = 16.0 (SD = 3.48), Mpost = 17.1 (SD = 3.06)) and negative affect showed a decreasing trend (Mpre = 6.44 (SD = 3.31), Mpost = 5.22 (SD = 0.359)). Happiness showed an increasing trend (Mpre = 4.30 (SD = 0.767), Mpost = 4.44 (SD = 0.873)). Conclusions: These findings suggest that a home-based dementia family caregiver intervention with mindfulness exercises may potentially increase positive affect and decrease negative affect in Vietnamese American family caregivers of PWD. Similar interventions may help reduce caregiver burden in dementia family caregivers of other cultures.

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Home and Parent Training Strategies for Pediatric Feeding Disorders: The Caregivers’ Perspective

Background: Twenty to 45% of the general pediatric population experience feeding problems. When children with disabilities exhibit feeding problems, they are more likely to develop maladaptive mealtime behaviors that may lead to poor nutrition. Home training to help treat a child’s feeding delay or disorder is a vital component of feeding treatment and supports holistic, family-centered treatment models. It is important for occupational therapists working with this population to understand the impact of these behaviors on individual and family functioning. Method: This quantitative study examined caregivers’ perspectives of the training families receive to support their child’s feeding delay or disorder, and how family mealtimes may be affected. One hundred and eight participants completed an online survey using primarily Likert scale questions. Results: Caregivers report that (a) they are receiving current and evidenced-based interventions; (b) they feel supported, yet feel they need more support; (c) family relationships are adversely affected by a child’s feeding challenges; (d) caregivers desire to connect with other caregivers of children with feeding delays or disorders; and (e) they need stress management and coping strategies. Conclusion: Feeding treatment is strengthened with more family-focused topics like family relationships and interactions, caregiver burden and stress management, and increased caregiver support.

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Higher levels of unmet support needs in spouses are associated with poorer quality of life – a descriptive cross-sectional study in the context of palliative home care

Background: Family caregivers often report having unmet support needs when caring for someone with life-threatening illness. They are at risk for psychological distress, adverse physical symptoms and negatively affected quality of life. Objectives: This study aims to explore associations between family caregivers’ support needs and quality of life when caring for a spouse receiving specialized palliative home care. Methods A descriptive cross-sectional design was used: 114 family caregivers completed the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) and the Quality of Life in Life-Threatening Illness – Family caregiver version (QOLLTI-F) and 43 of them also answered one open-ended question on thoughts about their situation. Descriptive statistics, multiple linear regression analyses, and qualitative content analysis, were used for analyses. Results: Higher levels of unmet support needs were significantly associated with poorer quality of life. All CSNAT support domains were significantly associated with one or more quality of life domains in QOLLTI-F, with the exception of the QoL domain related to distress about the patient condition. However, family caregivers described in the open-ended question that their life was disrupted by the patient’s life-threatening illness and its consequences. Family caregivers reported most the need of more support concerning knowing what to expect in the future, which they also described as worries and concerns about what the illness would mean for them and the patient further on. Lowest QoL was reported in relation to the patient’s condition, and the family caregiver’s own physical and emotional health. Conclusion: With a deeper understanding of the complexities of supporting family caregivers in palliative care, healthcare professionals might help to increase family caregivers’ QoL by revealing their problems and concerns. Thus, tailored support is needed.

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Heart Failure Caregiver Self-Care: A Latent Class Analysis

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

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

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

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Health, Work, and Social Problems in Spanish Informal Caregivers: Does Gender Matter? (The CUIDAR-SE Study)

Background: The aim of this study was (i) to analyze problems faced by informal caregivers in three areas of their life: health, work and finances, and family and social relationships, (ii) to investigate the main determinants of these problems, and (iii) to explore differences between men and women. Methods: The study population consisted of people aged ≥18 years living in a family home who were providing unpaid care to a dependent person in the same or another home and who were registered as caregivers with the Primary Health Care District of Granada or the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa. Several logistic regression models were built to analyze the likelihood of caregivers experiencing health, work-related, or social problems as a result of their caregiving responsibilities. Results: Informal female caregivers were more likely to experience problems attributed to caregiving than their male counterparts, particularly in the areas of health and work. Additional factors associated with an increased likelihood of problems were low perceived social support, performance of ungratifying tasks, and fewer years as a caregiver. Conclusions: Informal caregivers in Spain face significant problems as a result of their caregiving duties, and the impact on men and women is different. Policies and interventions to mitigate the negative effects of unpaid caregiving should incorporate differential strategies to meet the specific needs of male and female caregivers in different caregiving contexts.

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Health, wellness, and safety concerns of persons with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury and their family caregivers: a qualitative content analysis

Background: Persons with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) face issues with health, wellness, and safety that affect their ability to independently manage their care, even for individuals who are ≥75% independent in activities of daily living. These issues often lead to increased family involvement in managing the person's condition after discharge home. Methods: We explored health, wellness, and safety concerns after discharge home from inpatient rehabilitation from the perspectives of persons with TBI who are ≥75% independent in activities of daily living and their family caregivers. We interviewed 27 persons with TBI and family caregivers and used conventional content analysis to analyse the data. Seven themes related to health, wellness, and safety encompassed participants' experience. Findings: Health themes included: (1) attempting to manage medications and (2) navigating mental health difficulties. Wellness themes included: (1) working to stay physically active, (2) dealing with sleep and sleeplessness, and (3) adjusting to changing social relationships. Safety themes were: (1) addressing mobility challenges and (2) compensating for complications with cognitive functioning. Findings can guide the development of tools, supports, and resources to promote health, wellness, and safety of persons with TBI as they recover after discharge home. Findings on numerous concerns related to health, wellness, and safety suggest the need for implementation or development and testing of tools, supports, and resources to promote health, wellness, and safety of persons with traumatic brain injury as they recover after discharge home. Conclusions: Our findings can be used to educate healthcare providers and increase awareness of the nuanced challenges patients and families face after discharge home. Findings can also be used by providers to educate patients and families on realistic expectations for life after discharge.

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Health service experiences and preferences of frail home care clients and their family and friend caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a major upheaval in the lives of older adults and their family/friend caregivers, including those utilizing home care services. In this article, we focus on results from a qualitative component added to a pragmatic randomized controlled trial that focuses on the experiences of our study participants during COVID-19. Methods: A total of 29 participants responded to the COVID-19 related questions focused on their health services experiences and preferences from March-June 2020 including 10 home care clients and 19 family/friend caregivers in the provinces of Ontario and Nova Scotia, Canada. Results: Many participants were affected drastically by the elimination or reduction of access to services, highlighting the vulnerability of home care clients and their caregivers during COVID-19. This took an emotional toll on home care clients and increased the need for family/friend caregiver support. While many participants expressed reduced desire to utilize residential long-term care homes, some caregivers found that passive remote monitoring technology was particularly useful within the COVID-19 context. Conclusions: Our results provide important insights into the ways the older adults and their caregivers have been affected during the COVID-19 context and how to better support them in the future.

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Health promotion in adults with Down’s syndrome: Experiences of caregivers

Background: Individuals with Down’s syndrome rely on caregivers to support lifestyle behaviour change. It is therefore important to understand how caregivers put health recommendations into practice. Methods: Through conducting semi-structured interviews, the present study sought to understand the facilitators and barriers that caregivers faced when implementing health promotion advice. Five interviews were conducted with paid support staff and four with family carers of individuals attending a specialist multidisciplinary Down’s syndrome health promotion screening clinic. Findings: Three main themes emerged in their accounts, including active promotion of weight management by caregivers, benefits of working practices such as record keeping and communication channels and the importance of having access to social care services and recreational activities. Conclusions: These findings have important implications for professionals working in specialised healthcare settings who may be able to tailor communication and services to better meet the needs of individuals with Down’s syndrome and their caregivers.

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Health care staff's strategies to preserve dignity of migrant patients in the palliative phase and their families. A qualitative study

Aims: To determine registered nurses' and care assistants' difficulties and strategies for preserving dignity of migrant patients in the last phase of life and their families. Background: Preserving dignity of patients in a palliative phase entails paying attention to the uniqueness of patients. Migrant patients often have particular needs and wishes that care staff find difficult to address, or meet, and hence the patient's dignity might be at stake. Methods: We performed five focus group discussions with care staff and one with key figures with diverse ethnic backgrounds in the Netherlands (2018–2020). Thematic analysis was used. Results: Care staff creatively safeguarded the patient's dignity in daily care by attending to personal needs concerning intimate body care and providing non‐verbal attention. Care staff had difficulties to preserve dignity, when the patient's family engaged themselves in the patient's choices or requests. According to care staff, the interference of family impeded the patient's quality of life or threatened the patient's dignity in the last days, or family member's choices (seemingly) prevailed over the patient's wishes. Care staff safeguarded dignity by catering to cultural or religious practices at the end of life and employing cultural knowledge during decision making. Key figures emphasized to make decisions with patient and family together and to listen more carefully to what patients mean. Bypassing family was experienced as harmful, and repetitively informing family, about, for example, the patient's disease or procedures in the nursing home, was experienced as ineffective. Conclusion: To preserve the patient's dignity, attention is needed for relational aspects of dignity and needs of family, next to patients' individual needs. Impact: Care staff should be supported to employ strategies to engage family of migrant patients, by, for example, acknowledging families' values, such as giving good care to the patient and the importance of religious practices for dignity.

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Health Care Professionals' Experiences as Family Caregivers During Intra-Hospital Transitions

Background: Family caregivers are often perceived as inexperienced family members assuming caregiving duties. However, health care professionals may also find themselves in an informal caregiving role as older adult relatives or friends are hospitalized and experience intra-hospital transitions. The purpose of the current study was to describe the experiences of health care professionals assuming the role of informal caregiver during intra-hospital transitions. Methods: As part of a larger study, a separate analysis of six semi-structured interviews from family caregivers with health care backgrounds was considered. Findings: Health care professionals as family caregivers (HCP-FCs) reported they sought inclusion in the care provided, they had unique insider perspectives, and experienced role struggle between health care professional and new informal caregiver. Moreover, HCP-FCs reported increased role struggle during interactions with colleagues and fellow health care professionals. Conclusions: Understanding of the role of HCP-FCs during transitions in care is necessary to develop interventions supportive of patient- and family-centered care. 

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Grieving in a Pandemic: How COVID-19 Has Impacted Bereavement for Family Caregivers of Hospice Cancer Patients (SCI948)

Objectives: 1. Analyze 1-4 aspects of bereavement that have been impacted by COVID-19 for family caregivers of advanced cancer hospice patients. 2. Evaluate the strategies implemented by family caregivers to overcome isolation and maintain connectedness during the Coronavirus pandemic. Background: As Coronavirus has spread to the US, it has changed family caregivers' hospice experiences including bereavement. To examine the impact of a global pandemic on connectedness and isolation in bereavement among hospice family caregivers using automated phone diaries. Aim: We examined phone diaries of bereaved hospice family caregivers of cancer patients from a larger multi-site longitudinal study for COVID and non-COVID related references to isolation and connectedness. Methods: Participants were asked to complete daily phone diaries through an automated system from the time they consented to 6 months after the patient's death. Recordings were selected between March 13 and May 15, 2020 from bereaved caregivers. Summative content analysis using deductive codes was conducted to examine diaries for physical/social isolation and connection. Isolation was defined as having no other person in close physical or social contact during bereavement, while connection was defined as feeling attached to others during bereavement. Results: Bereaved caregivers' diaries (N=6; bereavement range=2-7 months) were analyzed. Each caregiver completed audio diaries over the bereavement period (range=1 to 42). Of the 59 diaries, 32 (54.24%) made reference to the coronavirus pandemic. Coronavirus references were mentioned by all 6 participants. COVID-related connection was identified 15 times (25.42%), while COVID-related isolation was identified 32 times (54.24%). Non-COVID related connection was identified 20 times (62.5%), while non-COVID related isolation was coded only twice (13.33%). Conclusions and implications: Findings from this study suggest COVID-related social isolation was integral to the bereavement experiences of family caregivers. However, despite the pandemic, caregivers expressed maintaining connectedness to others. This study has implications for hospice support services for bereaved caregivers during the pandemic.

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Grieves And Struggles Of Family Caregivers Providing Care For Bedridden Elderly Patients Affected By Chronic Degenerative Diseases

Objective: To understand grieves and struggles of family caregivers providing care for bedridden elderly patients affected by chronic degenerative diseases. Methods: This cross-sectional study was developed following the guidelines of the clinical-qualitative method. The sample was composed of 10 female family caregivers of bedridden elderly patients affected by chronic degenerative diseases in a city in the interior of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The sample size was determined by data saturation. The instruments used included semi-structured interviews and a field diary. The audio-recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and submitted to content analysis. The field diary provided contributions to the organization of categories, conferring a more accurate context. Results: The participants experienced two types of grief, one for the loss of a “healthy family member” and the other for the “announced death” of this person. Additionally, the participants faced two main struggles: overcoming (objective and subjective) fatigue and becoming fully capable of performing their roles. Conclusion: The family caregivers of bedridden elderly patients affected by chronic degenerative diseases experience grieves and struggles that should be taken into account from the beginning of the care process through mental health actions intended to meet their needs. 

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Good Quality Care for Cancer Patients Dying in Hospitals, but Information Needs Unmet: Bereaved Relatives' Survey within Seven Countries

Background: Recognized disparities in quality of end‐of‐life care exist. Our aim was to assess the quality of care for patients dying from cancer, as perceived by bereaved relatives, within hospitals in seven European and South American countries. Materials and Methods: A postbereavement survey was conducted by post, interview, or via tablet in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, U.K., Germany, Norway, and Poland. Next of kin to cancer patients were asked to complete the international version of the Care Of the Dying Evaluation (i‐CODE) questionnaire 6–8 weeks postbereavement. Primary outcomes were (a) how frequently the deceased patient was treated with dignity and respect, and (b) how well the family member was supported in the patient's last days of life. Results: Of 1,683 potential participants, 914 i‐CODE questionnaires were completed (response rate, 54%). Approximately 94% reported the doctors treated their family member with dignity and respect "always" or "most of the time"; similar responses were given about nursing staff (94%). Additionally, 89% of participants reported they were adequately supported; this was more likely if the patient died on a specialist palliative care unit (odds ratio, 6.3; 95% confidence interval, 2.3–17.8). Although 87% of participants were told their relative was likely to die, only 63% were informed about what to expect during the dying phase. Conclusion: This is the first study assessing quality of care for dying cancer patients from the bereaved relatives' perspective across several countries on two continents. Our findings suggest many elements of good care were practiced but improvement in communication with relatives of imminently dying patients is needed. (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03566732). Implications for Practice: Previous studies have shown that bereaved relatives' views represent a valid way to assess care for dying patients in the last days of their life. The Care Of the Dying Evaluation questionnaire is a suitable tool for quality improvement work to help determine areas where care is perceived well and areas where care is perceived as lacking. Health care professionals need to sustain high quality communication into the last phase of the cancer trajectory. In particular, discussions about what to expect when someone is dying and the provision of hydration in the last days of life represent key areas for improvement. Disparities exist in the quality of end‐of‐life care. This article assesses the quality of care for dying cancer patients, as perceived by bereaved relatives, within hospitals in seven European and South American countries.

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Going inside the relationship between caregiver and care‐receiver with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in Italy, a Grounded Theory study

Background: People with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis become dependent on caregivers for daily activities and to perform self‐care activities at home. The family caregiver has an important role in the care. The patient decides and controls care but depends on the caregiver to implement self‐care behaviours. The quality of caregiver–patient relationships could influence clinical outcomes, as it occurs in other illnesses, so the aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis patients and their family caregiver and how it impacts care, and patient and caregiver outcomes. Methods: We interviewed 22 patients/caregivers in a Neuromuscular Clinical Center in the South of Europe, between July and October 2018. A Grounded Theory approach was used, comprising line by line 'initial coding', memos writing, 'focused coding', advanced memos and categories definition. Findings: From the interviews three main categories emerged: 'reciprocity', 'loving to care' and 'changing to care' and four secondary categories: 'having support', 'sharing suffering', 'protecting each other' and 'thinking positive'. A stable and calm relationship between patient and caregiver, characterised by reciprocity, mutual help and affection affected patient self‐care provided at home and the caregiver burden. The concept of mutuality seems to describe this relationship, despite the patient's dependence on the caregiver. The relationship with health professionals and educational interventions could influence the quality of the relationship. Conclusions: Further studies are needed to describe the quality of the relationship in this dyad, to investigate the presence of mutuality and how it affects patient and caregiver outcomes.

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"Going Home [Is] Just a Feel-Good Idea With No Structure": A Qualitative Exploration of Patient and Family Caregiver Needs When Transitioning From Hospital to Home in Palliative Care

Context: Hospital-to-home transitions, particularly at the end of life, can be challenging for patients and their family caregivers. Therefore, there is a need to better understand gaps in expectations and experiences of these transitions. Theory can inform the creation of an intervention aimed at improving the hospital-to-home transition. Objectives: 1) Explore patients' and caregivers' expectations and subsequent experiences of the hospital-to-home transition while receiving palliative care, and 2) build a substantive grounded theory to enhance the understanding of hospital-to-home transitions from the patient and caregiver perspective. Methods: Longitudinal, prospective qualitative study with semistructured interviews at hospital discharge and three to four weeks after discharge home. We recruited adults receiving inpatient palliative care who were being discharged to home-based palliative care, and their family caregivers from two academic health centers in Toronto, Canada. Thirty-nine participants: 18 patients, 7 caregivers, and 7 patient-caregiver dyads participated. We conducted 52 interviews. We conducted a grounded theory qualitative study. Results: Through examining the expectations and subsequent experiences of the transition, and exploring the gaps between them, we identified various transitions needs: health and well-being needs, and practical needs (i.e., transportation, setting up the home for care, care providers in the home). Several enablers and disablers modified the likelihood of needs being met (e.g., caregiver role, education on symptom management, uncertainty, financial resources). Conclusion: Our substantive grounded theory highlighted potentially measurable constructs that can be further tested. Future interventions should target the enablers/disablers to ensure health and well-being and practical needs are met in the transition. 

 

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Getting back or giving back: understanding caregiver motivations and willingness to provide informal care

Background: Informal caregivers are those providing care, which exceeds that which is typically provided, to a relative or friend with care needs. Informal caregiving constitutes the backbone of a society’s care supply and with ageing populations the need for informal care is growing. We know little as to why caregivers start caring and continue doing so, yet understanding of motivations and willingness to provide care is important if informal caregivers are to be supported. However, both motivations and willingness are inconsistently defined making it difficult to compare the empirical findings that do exist. Methods: This paper reviews and synthesises thinking about the theoretical constructs of motivations to provide care and willingness to perform informal care, and presents those in relation to existing theoretical and empirical literature. Results and Conclusions: Theoretical reflections based on various motivational frameworks and available empirical data are presented to illustrate that: caregiving motivations should be conceptualised as multifaceted and multiply determined; intrinsic and extrinsic motivations should not be treated as antagonistic and can occur simultaneously; the commonly applied model of extrinsic/intrinsic motivations is oversimplified and omits consideration of the diversity of caregiver motives; other motivational models can be discerned in the context of the empirical research; there are differences between motivations and willingness to provide care with the latter being more consequent to the motives; both should be considered dynamic in nature; and finally, that the two constructs may not inevitably lead to actual caregiver behaviour. The implications of these theoretical reflections for methodology and research as well as their relevance for practice and policy are indicated. 

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Gendered experiences of providing informal care for older people: a systematic review and thematic synthesis

Background and purpose: The caregiving’s impact on informal carers’ quality of life and gender-based stereotypes make older individuals’ informal care a complex process for which our knowledge is still limited. The purpose of this review is to identify how gender relates to informal carers’ experiences of providing care for people aged 60 years and over with mental and physical health needs by synthesising the available empirical data published between 2000 to 2020. Design and methods: The systematic method for reviewing and synthesising qualitative data was performed using the PRISMA checklist and ENTREQ statement. The CASP tool was used to examine the quality of the included papers. Thematic synthesis was used as the methodological framework. Results: This review produced two analytical themes, the impact of gender on the caregivers’ labour and negotiating gender identity with self, society, and cultural norms. While informal caregivers share motivators, a linkage between traditional gender stereotypes impacts caregiving burden and coping strategies. Informal carers’ experiences entail a constant pursuit of self-agency after acquiring the caregiver role. Cultural values and their intersection with gender appear to influence caregivers’ healthy adjustment into their new caregiving identities. The flexibility to move beyond gender boundaries could mediate caregivers’ negotiations between self and society on developing their new caregiving identity. Providing intensive informal primary care to older people affects both men’s and women’s mental and physical health. Gender ideals of the feminine nurturing role further disadvantage women as they determine the caregiving arrangements, the strategies and resources to sustain the caring burden, and the adaptability to experience their new caregiving role positively. Men appear more flexible to debate their hegemonic masculinity and defend their existence in the caregiving role. Conclusion and implications: Transgressing gender lines and expanding gender possibilities can ease the caregiving burden and strengthen caregivers coping potentials. Health professionals can empower informal careers to challenge gender binaries and expand gender possibilities by intentionally injecting the language of diversity in caring information and caring processes. The review findings outline a path for research on gender identity development in older people’s care.

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Gendered experiences of providing informal care for older people: a systematic review and thematic synthesis

Background and purpose: The caregiving’s impact on informal carers’ quality of life and gender-based stereotypes make older individuals’ informal care a complex process for which our knowledge is still limited. The purpose of this review is to identify how gender relates to informal carers’ experiences of providing care for people aged 60 years and over with mental and physical health needs by synthesising the available empirical data published between 2000 to 2020. Design and methods: The systematic method for reviewing and synthesising qualitative data was performed using the PRISMA checklist and ENTREQ statement. The CASP tool was used to examine the quality of the included papers. Thematic synthesis was used as the methodological framework. Results: This review produced two analytical themes, the impact of gender on the caregivers’ labour and negotiating gender identity with self, society, and cultural norms. While informal caregivers share motivators, a linkage between traditional gender stereotypes impacts caregiving burden and coping strategies. Informal carers’ experiences entail a constant pursuit of self-agency after acquiring the caregiver role. Cultural values and their intersection with gender appear to influence caregivers’ healthy adjustment into their new caregiving identities. The flexibility to move beyond gender boundaries could mediate caregivers’ negotiations between self and society on developing their new caregiving identity. Providing intensive informal primary care to older people affects both men’s and women’s mental and physical health. Gender ideals of the feminine nurturing role further disadvantage women as they determine the caregiving arrangements, the strategies and resources to sustain the caring burden, and the adaptability to experience their new caregiving role positively. Men appear more flexible to debate their hegemonic masculinity and defend their existence in the caregiving role. Conclusion and implications: Transgressing gender lines and expanding gender possibilities can ease the caregiving burden and strengthen caregivers coping potentials. Health professionals can empower informal careers to challenge gender binaries and expand gender possibilities by intentionally injecting the language of diversity in caring information and caring processes. The review findings outline a path for research on gender identity development in older people’s care.

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Gaining Experience Over Time: The Family Caregivers' Perception of Patients with a Tracheostomy in Home Care

Background: The transition of tracheostomy patients to the home poses many challenges for both the patient and the family. Identifying and understanding the experiences of family caregivers pave the road for discovering and meeting care needs. This study has been aimed to explain the experiences of family caregivers of patients with a tracheostomy about patient care at home. Materials and Methods: This qualitative study was conducted using a conventional content analysis approach from September 2018 to January 2019. Participants included nine family caregivers and one professional caregiver who were selected through purposive sampling method. The in-depth interviews were conducted at home or in health centers using field notes. Data were recorded manually and analyzed using the five-step method proposed by Granehim and Lundman. Results: The data led to the emergence of 1591 initial codes, 23 subcategories, and 6 categories. Categories include the need for training, the need for receiving care support, care challenges, care burden, gaining experience, hope, and inner satisfaction. Conclusions: In this study, the family caregivers faced with lots of challenges in caring patients with tracheostomy so that they were in needs of training and support from professionals. Although they got skillful in care and endure burden, they were so hopeful and satisfied with their attempts. Hence, there is a need for official nongovernmental organizations with the aim of maintaining care and protecting their families. 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Feeling of grief and loss in parental caregivers of adults diagnosed with intellectual disability

Background: The diagnosis of intellectual disability in children can produce complex grief‐related feelings in their parents. Previous studies have focused on the moment of the diagnosis or the early life of the children, and little research has been conducted on their feelings of grief in adulthood. The objective was to analyse the process of grief/loss in parents of adult offspring with intellectual disability. Method: The intentional sampling included sixteen parents who responded to semi‐structured interviews. A qualitative study was conducted based on grounded theory. Results: Five categories were identified: "Reception of the diagnosis", "Emotional bonds with the child", "Experience of loss and feelings in response to intellectual disability diagnosis", "Recurrent grief" and "Coping strategies". Conclusions: Recurring feelings of loss experienced by parents in relation to their child's diagnosis persist over time. Specialized emotional interventions are needed to help parents to reduce the intensity of their feelings of grief.

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Features of primary care practice influence emergency care-seeking behaviors by caregivers of persons with dementia: A multiple-perspective qualitative study

Background: Persons with dementia use emergency department services at rates greater than other older adults. Despite risks associated with emergency department use, persons with dementia and their caregivers often seek emergency services to address needs and symptoms that could be managed within primary care settings. As emergency departments (EDs) are typically sub-optimal environments for addressing dementia-related health issues, facilitating effective primary care provision is critical to reduce the need for, or decision to seek, emergency services. The aim of this study is to explore how features of primary care practice influence care-seeking decisions by community-dwelling persons with dementia and familial caregivers. Methods: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 27 key dementia-care stakeholders (10 primary care/geriatrics providers, 5 caregivers, 4 emergency medicine physicians, 5 aging service providers, and 3 community paramedics) from multiple health systems. Transcripts from audio recordings were analyzed using a thematic analysis framework to iteratively code and develop emergent themes. Features of primary care were also synthesized into lists of tangible factors leading to emergency care-seeking and those that help prevent (or decrease the need for) ED use. Findings: Stakeholders identified eight categories of features of primary care encompassing the clinical environment and provision of care. These collapsed into four major themes: (1) clinic and organizational features—including clinic structure and care team staffing; (2) emphasizing proactive approaches to anticipate needs and avoid acute problems—including establishing goals of care, preparing for the future, developing provider–patient/provider–caregiver relationships, and providing caregiver support, education, and resources to help prevent emergencies; (3) health care provider skills and knowledge of dementia—including training and diagnostic capabilities; and (4) engaging appropriate community services/resources to address evolving needs. Conclusions: Features of primary care practice influence decisions to seek emergency department care at the system, organizational/clinic, medical, and interpersonal levels, particularly regarding proactive and reactive approaches to addressing dementia-related needs. Interventions for improving primary care for persons with dementia and their caregivers should consider incorporating features that facilitate proactive family-centered dementia care across the four identified themes, and minimize those leading to caregiver decisions to utilize emergency services.

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Feasibility of the Hand in Hand Relationship Intervention for Stroke Survivor–Caregiver Dyads: A Randomized Trial

Purpose: A strong interpersonal relationship after stroke is important for the prevention of depression in survivors and family caregivers. This study aimed to test the feasibility of quality of relationship intervention for stroke dyads called Hand in Hand (HiH). Methods: Sixteen dyads were randomized into either the HiH group (n = 8) or information, support, and referral (ISR) control group (n = 8). HiH dyads received up to eight sessions, with topics prioritized according to a 17-item screening tool. ISR dyads received up to eight sessions that included information, active listening, and referrals. Feasibility, acceptability, and outcomes data were collected for both groups. Results: The HiH and ISR groups were feasible and acceptable. Caregivers in both groups, as well as survivors in the ISR group, experienced improvements in depressive symptoms and other select outcomes. Conclusions: Findings suggest that HiH is feasible to implement with stroke dyads and that it merits further refinement and testing.

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Feasibility of an Intervention Study to Support Families When Their Loved One Has Life-sustaining Therapy Withdrawn

Background: This investigation addressed family member perceptions of preparation for withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment in the intensive care unit. These families are at a high risk for psychosocial and physical sequelae. Methods: The quantitative results of this mixed methods study are reported. A control group received usual care and an educational booklet component of the intervention. The experimental group received the above plus exposure to comfort cart items and additional psychological support. Results: Twenty-eight family members enrolled over a 13-month period. Sixty-one percent (10 intervention, 7 control) completed the follow-up. Fourteen family members (82%) recalled the booklet. Some family members reported moderate to severe depression (12.5%), anxiety (12.5%), and stress (12.6%). Satisfaction with care (83.7%-85.2%) and family member well-being (44.1) were within the norm. Short Form-36 physical component score was higher than the norm, and the mental component score was lower than the norm. Conclusions: This study demonstrated feasibility and acceptability of the interventions and follow-up questionnaires when families make the difficult decision to withdraw treatment. Strategies are suggested to strengthen statistical power.

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The fear of falls in the caregivers of institutionalized elders

Aims: To understand how the fear of falls emerges and manifests itself in caregivers of institutionalized elders. Methods: It is a qualitative study, based on the Grounded Theory and carried out with 24 informal caregivers, 5 nurses, 2 physicians and 2 directors of two Portuguese nursing homes. Data collection took place through interviews, participant observation, and documentation analysis, between October 2016 and January 2018. Data was collected and analyzed simultaneously, following the stages of open, axial, and selective coding. Results: The comparative analysis of the findings identified the conceptual category "Fear of falls in the caregivers of institutionalized elders". The main category is associated with the categories: maintaining safety, hidden fear of falls, the perceived self-efficacy in the prevention of falls, falls and interpersonal relations, previous experiences, and team support. Conclusions: The fear has an influence on the self-efficacy perceived in the prevention of falls; the quality of the teamwork, in turn, is affected by previous negative experiences and by the support of the team.

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Family-oriented interventions in long-term care residential settings: a scoping review protocol

Objectives: The objective of this review will be to identify the characteristics (eg, type, duration, and provider) of family-oriented interventions in long-term care residential settings. The authors will also identify which outcomes are reported in the literature when implementing family-oriented interventions. Introduction: An array of family-oriented interventions in long-term care residential settings exist. Given the heterogeneity of current literature, mapping characteristics and intended outcomes of family-oriented interventions is an essential step to inform how best to support families of patients in long-term care residential settings. Inclusion criteria: This review will consider studies describing family-oriented interventions for families of elderly patients in long-term care residential settings, with no exclusion based on country, gender, or comorbidities. Interventions that address any family-related issue, such as quality of life, psychological burden, and family involvement in patient care, are eligible for inclusion. Studies will be excluded if the patients are cared for at their own homes or institutionalized care is provided on a temporary basis. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method study designs will be considered for inclusion. Methods: A scoping review will be conducted using the JBI methodological approach. Seven databases will be systematically searched: MEDLINE, CINAHL, Scopus, Evidence-Based Medicine Reviews including Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, OpenGrey, and the Grey Literature Report. Citations will be screened against the inclusion criteria by two reviewers independently. Relevant data will be extracted from the included studies, and will be synthesized, summarized, and reported following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews. Findings will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

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Family-centered care with visitor limitations

Communication and support for patients and family members can be challenging, especially when in-person visitation is limited or eliminated entirely. This article discusses how healthcare teams can promote family- centered care during periods of limited visitation.

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Family‐centered care during a pandemic: The hidden impact of restricting family visits

The author discusses the importance of family-centered approach to care in nursing care, as well as the hidden effects of restricting family visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics include the implementation of infection prevention and control (IPC) measures in hospitals, as well as the importance of effective communication, shared decision-making, and expert care to dying patients and their families.

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

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

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Family Psychoeducation as an Intervention Tool in the Management of Schizophrenia and the Psychological Wellbeing of Caregivers

Background: Caregivers need to be imparted with specialized skills to retain their psychological well-being and to manage the patient with schizophrenia effectively. Aim: This study aims to understand the role of family psychoeducation (FPE) in the management of schizophrenia and the well-being of caregiver. Materials and Methods: The sample included 40 caregivers and patients, 20 each assigned randomly in treatment group (psychoeducation given) and the control group. Pre and post assessment of psychological wellbeing (PWB), symptoms of the patient, and emotional regulation was done through the scales mentioned in the study and analyzed through analysis of variance. Results: Statistically significant improvement in emotional regulation of caregivers and patient (P = 0.05) and improvement of PWB in caregivers (P = 0.01) as well as significant reduction in symptoms of patients (P = 0.01) found in the treatment group. Conclusion: FPE was found to be effective in improving PWB of caregivers and effective management of a patient with schizophrenia.

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Family physician’s and primary care team’s perspectives on supporting family caregivers in primary care networks

Background: Research, practice, and policy have focused on educating family caregivers to sustain care but failed to equip healthcare providers to effectively support family caregivers. Family physicians are well-positioned to care for family caregivers. Methods: We adopted an interpretive description design to explore family physicians and primary care team members’ perceptions of their current and recommended practices for supporting family caregivers. We conducted focus groups with family physicians and their primary care team members. Results: Ten physicians and 42 team members participated. We identified three major themes. “Family physicians and primary care teams can be a valuable source of support for family caregivers” highlighted these primary care team members’ broad recognition of the need to support family caregiver’s health. “What stands in the way” spoke to the barriers in current practices that precluded supporting family caregivers. Primary care teams recommended, “A structured approach may be a way forward.” Conclusion: A plethora of research and policy documents recommend proactive, consistent support for family caregivers, yet comprehensive caregiver support policy remains elusive. The continuity of care makes primary care an ideal setting to support family caregivers. Now policy-makers must develop consistent protocols to assess, and care for family caregivers in primary care. 

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Family perspectives on the acceptability and usefulness of the FAB Positive Behaviour Support program: A pilot study

Purpose: This pilot feasibility study aimed to gain preliminary insight into the acceptability and usefulness of the FAB-PBS program for providing behavior support to families following acquired brain injury (ABI) in community settings. Background: The FAB-PBS program is based on a Positive Behavior Support (PBS) framework and principles of Family-Centered Care and Family-Directed Intervention. It consists of an education phase followed by individualized sessions during which the family is supported to develop and implement a PBS plan. Methods: A mixed-methods design was utilized, with feedback obtained from family members via short questionnaires and semi-structured interviews post education phase and individualized sessions, and at three-month follow up. Results: Two family members completed the full FAB-PBS program and reported high satisfaction with the program and increased confidence in providing behavior support. Findings also suggested an increase in desired behaviors and a decrease in challenging behaviors presented by family members with ABI. Conclusions: The FAB-PBS program may be an acceptable and feasible approach to increasing the capability of family caregivers in providing behavior support following ABI. Further pilot testing is required to inform the development of a larger feasibility study. 

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Family members of Veterans with mental health problems: Seeking, finding, and accessing informal and formal supports during the military-to-civilian transition

Introduction: For some Canadian Armed Forces Veterans who are released, the military-to-civilian transition (MCT) process may be complicated by significant mental health problems (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety). Family members (i.e., spouses, adult children, parents) who serve as the primary caregivers for Veterans with mental health problems devote significant energy to seeking and finding social support as they navigate the MCT. Objectives: The primary purposes of this qualitative study were to 1) hear from these family members and learn about the obstacles to and successes in accessing formal and informal social supports during the MCT and 2) understand how accessing such supports was affected by the Veteran's mental health problems. Methods: A sequential, multiple qualitative design was used, involving both in-depth individual interviews and focus groups with English- and French-speaking family members (N =36) living in Eastern, Central, and Western Canada (i.e., individual, n = 27; focus groups, n = 9). Data coding was facilitated through the qualitative data analysis sot ware MAXQDA, and data analysis was conducted using grounded theory strategies. Results: Amid numerous indicators of significant resolve and commitment to health, family members revealed significant issues (e.g., mental health stigma of the Veteran, caregiver burden and burnout) that contributed to notable barriers in accessing both informal (i.e., extended family, friends, online support groups) and formal (i.e., Operational Stress Injury Social Support, Military Family Resource Centres) support systems helpful in navigating the MCT. Discussion: Results are discussed in the context of how the Veteran's mental health compounded barriers for family members who sought to access informal and formal support services that would provide comfort, financial aid, respite, and counsel to the Veteran family in the MCT. Conclusions: Building on the resilience of military-connected families, gaps in the systems of formal and informal care are discussed in the context of how bold and creative changes (e.g., proactive signposting) might facilitate the MCT for Veterans with mental health problems.

 

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Family involvement in the Namaste care family program for dementia: A qualitative study on experiences of family, nursing home staff, and volunteers

Background: Family caregivers may experience difficulty maintaining meaningful contact with a relative with advanced dementia. Nevertheless, some family caregivers prefer to remain involved in the care of their relative after admission to a nursing home. Family involvement in the care is important but little is known about how this works in practice and what exactly is needed to improve it. Objective: To examine experiences of family caregivers, staff and volunteers with family caregiver participation in the Namaste Care Family program, a psychosocial intervention to increase quality of life for people with advanced dementia that may help family caregivers to connect with their relative. Further, we aimed to examine facilitators of and barriers to family participation. Methods: exploratory qualitative design using semi-structured interviews. Ten nursing homes in the Netherlands. Ten family caregivers, 31 staff members and 2 volunteers who participated in the Namaste Care Family Program. Qualitative interview study using thematic analysis. Interviews were held with family caregivers, staff members, and volunteers about their experiences with the Namaste Care Family program. Results: In general, family caregivers experienced their involvement in the Namaste Care Family program as positive, particularly the meaningful connections with their relative. However, putting family involvement into practice was challenging. We identified three themes covering facilitators for and barriers to participation: (1) Preferences of family caregivers for activities with their relative (Activities): practical activities matching one's own interests were seen as facilitating, while perceived lack of knowledge and reluctance to engage with other residents were barriers. (2) Communication between family caregivers, staff and volunteers (Communication): providing clear information about the program to family caregivers facilitated their involvement. Feeling insecure inhibited family involvement. (3) Personal context of family caregivers (Personal circumstances): feeling fulfillment and being appreciated facilitated involvement. Older age, having a family of their own, a job and complex family relations were barriers to family caregiver involvement. Conclusions: To optimize family involvement, it is important to adopt a family-centered approach and provide training and guidance. Making a personal, comprehensive plan with family caregivers and offering them guidance can help them overcome their uncertainty and remove barriers to being more involved with a care program aiming to improve the quality of life of their relative. Also recommended is training for staff to improve communication with family caregivers. The Namaste study is registered with the Netherlands Trial Register (NTR5692).

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

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

 

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Family factors and health‐related quality of life within 6 months of completion of childhood cancer treatment

Objective: The transition from active cancer treatment to survivorship represents a period of uncertainty for youth and their families, but factors associated with adaptation during this period are understudied. We evaluated associations among cancer and treatment‐related variables, family factors (family functioning, caregiver health‐related quality of life [HRQL], and caregiver distress), and patient HRQL after treatment completion. We assessed the indirect effects of neurocognitive difficulties on youth HRQL through family factors. Methods: One hundred fifty‐four caregivers (of patients’ ages 0–18 years) and 52 youth (ages 7–18 years) completed questionnaires assessing family factors, neurocognitive difficulties, and HRQL for patients within 6 months following treatment completion. Electronic health records were reviewed for cancer and treatment‐related information. Bootstrapping analyses assessed whether neurocognitive function had indirect effects on HRQL through family factors. Results: Family factors were associated with self‐ and caregiver reports of children's HRQL. Controlling for demographic, cancer, and treatment covariates, caregiver reports of their child's neurocognitive difficulties had an indirect effect on their reports of child physical HRQL through family functioning. Caregiver reports of their child's neurocognitive difficulties indirectly related to caregiver reports of child psychosocial HRQL through family functioning and caregiver HRQL. Indirect effects for self‐reported neurocognitive difficulties and HRQL were not supported. Conclusions: Findings highlight the need for routine psychosocial screening for youth and caregiver reports of family adjustment and HRQL during the transition off treatment. Providers are encouraged to offer interventions matched to specific needs for families at risk for poor family functioning to improve patient outcomes as they transition off treatment.

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Family experiences of caregiving to patients with Alzheimer

Purpose: This paper aims to describe and understand the family experience of caregiving to their Alzheimer patients and to explore the impact of caregiving on the family's caregiver well-being. Design/methodology/approach: The study involved eight family caregivers from the outpatient department, specifically from the neurology-medical clinic. A descriptive phenomenological approach was used for data collection through in-depth semi-structured interviews. Findings: Four themes emerged: caregiver perception, tension, the sense of duty and commitment and altruism and sacrifice. The experience of family caregivers was different from their experiences with other chronic illnesses. Originality/value: The family caregivers experience new life when providing care to their patients with Alzheimer's. The impact of the process of caregiving on whole life appeared in both positive and negative aspects. The perception and awareness of family caregivers toward Alzheimer's disease were poor.

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Family Dynamics and the Alzheimer’s Disease Experience

Objectives: Using constructivist grounded theory, this study explored how family groups respond to Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages. Methods: Seven family units (N = 22) participated in a series of 26 longitudinal interviews and 14 other family caregivers took part in three focus groups at a later stage for refinement and verification of the findings. Results: Data analysis revealed four types of family dynamics: close dynamics at the start that were maintained throughout the experience, close dynamics at the start which became conflicting, conflicting dynamics at the start which remained problematic, and conflicting dynamic at the start which became closer over time. Factors such as prior relationships and family history, motivation to care, family organization, communication, and the family vision for future shaped the development of these dynamics. Conclusions: This theory of family dynamics in Alzheimer’s disease has the potential to inform the development of more adequate early interventions for families living with the illness.

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Family Caregiving Burden in Romantic Relationships: A Relational Turbulence Theory Analysis

Background: In addition to health and financial burdens, family caregivers can experience stress in their romantic relationships. Relational turbulence theory (RTT) is used to understand how family caregivers and caregivers' romantic partners navigate relational transitions and caregiver burden when one partner is providing informal care to another aging family member. Methods: Three hundred and nineteen participants, who were either the romantic partner providing care or the romantic partner of a family caregiver, completed an online survey. Results: Tests of RTT and caregiver burden revealed that relational uncertainty, partner facilitation, and relational turbulence were related to caregiver burden as predicted for family caregivers; relational uncertainty was unrelated to caregiver burden for romantic partners. Partner interference was unrelated to caregiver burden. Conclusions: Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. 

 

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Family caregivers' perceived level of collaboration with hospital nurses: A cross‐sectional study

Aim: To describe the extent of perceived collaboration between family caregivers of older persons and hospital nurses. Background: Collaboration between hospital nurses and family caregivers is of increasing importance in older patient's care. Research lacks a specific focus on family caregiver's collaboration with nurses. Method: Using a cross‐sectional design, 302 caregivers of older patients (≥70 years) completed the 20‐item Family Collaboration Scale with the subscales: trust in nursing care, accessible nurse and influence on decisions. Data were analysed with descriptive statistics and bivariate correlations. Results: Family caregivers rated their level of trust in nurses and nurses' accessibility higher than the level of their influence on decisions. Family caregivers who had more contact with nurses perceived higher levels of influence on decisions (p ≤ .001) and overall collaboration (p ≤ .001). Conclusion: Family caregivers' collaboration with nurses can be improved, especially in recognizing and exploiting family caregivers as partner in the care for older hospitalized persons and regarding their level of influence on decisions. Implications for Nursing Management: Insight into family caregivers' collaboration with nurses will help nurse managers to jointly develop policy with nurses on how to organise more family caregivers' involvement in the standard care for older persons.

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Family Caregivers' Emotional Preparedness for Death is Distinct from Their Cognitive Prognostic Awareness for Cancer Patients

Background: Cognitive prognostic awareness (PA) and emotional preparedness for a loved one's death are distinct but related phenomena. However, the distinction between these two concepts has not been studied in family caregivers. Objective: To examine whether these two concepts are distinct by comparing their evolution and predictors over cancer patients' last year. Methods: Agreement between emotional preparedness for death and cognitive PA was longitudinally evaluated for 309 family caregivers by percentages and kappa coefficients. Predictors of the two outcomes were evaluated by multivariate logistic regression models with the generalized estimating equation. Results: Agreement between family caregivers' emotional preparedness for death and cognitive PA decreased slightly (54.73%–43.64%) from 181–365 to 1–30 days before the patient's death, with kappa values (95% confidence interval) from −0.060 (−0.123 to 0.003) to 0.050 (−0.074 to 0.174), indicating poor agreement. Participants were more likely to report adequate emotional preparedness for death if they had financial sufficiency, more contact/communication with the patient, lower caregiving burden, and stronger perceived social support. Family caregivers were more likely to have accurate PA if they were 56–65 years old, the patient's adult child, and had more contact/communication with the patient and greater subjective caregiving burden. Conclusions/Implications: Family caregivers' emotional preparedness for death and cognitive PA were distinct, as supported by their poor agreement, lack of reciprocal associations, and two different sets of predictors. Health care professionals should facilitate family caregivers' accurate PA and cultivate their emotional preparedness for death by enhancing patient-family contact/communication and easing their caregiving burden to improve quality of end-of-life care.

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Family caregiver support—a facilitator to empower family caregivers

Background: Mental disorders are highly prevalent, placing an enormous burden on individuals, society and economy. Research shows that family members who provide care to individuals with chronic or disabling mental conditions are themselves at risk. As a response to this problem, the project 'Family Caregiver Support - Strategies and tools to promote the mental and emotional health of caregivers' emerged, funded by Erasmus + Program and carried out by 8 European partners including ESS|P.PORTO. Objectives: To empower family members as caregivers and to give them access to relevant medical information and to psychological support for their own needs. Methods: A Guide and a Resource Pack concerning 9 important mental health disorders were developed. An interactive e-platform and a mobile App were developed to make available these materials. Validation of the products was carried out, in each country, by caregivers and health/social care professionals through online questionnaires. Data were collected and processed in an anonymous manner, and the confidentiality was ensured. Results: In Portugal, 98% of respondents (25 caregivers/citizens interested on subject, and 25 health/social care professionals), consider the accessibility and attractivity of the platform very good or excellent; and more than 90% consider materials very effective for the caregiver's empowerment. Some issues were identified to add to Resource Pack. Conclusions: Data from partners is being processed but there is already strong evidence of the usability and efficacy of the project's outcome, and a strong contribution was done for adult education concerning physical, mental and emotional health promotion of family caregivers. 

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Family Caregiver Support of Patient Self-Management During Chronic, Life-Limiting Illness: A Qualitative Metasynthesis

Background: Family caregivers play an integral role in supporting patient self-management, yet how they perform this role is unclear. We conducted a qualitative metasynthesis of family caregivers' processes to support patient self-management of chronic, life-limiting illness and factors affecting their support. Methods: Methods included a systematic literature search, quality appraisal of articles, data abstraction, and data synthesis to produce novel themes. Results: Thirty articles met inclusion criteria, representing 935 international family caregivers aged 18 to 89 years caring for patients with various health conditions. Three themes characterized family caregivers' processes to support patient self-management: "Focusing on the Patient's Illness Needs," "Activating Resources to Support Oneself as the Family Caregiver," and "Supporting a Patient Living with a Chronic, Life-Limiting Illness." Factors affecting family caregivers' support included Personal Characteristics, Health Status, Resources, Environmental Characteristics, and the Health Care System. Conclusions: The family caregiver role in supporting patient self-management is multidimensional, encompassing three processes of care and influenced by multiple factors.

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Family Caregiver Suffering in Caring for Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in Korea

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to describe the meaning of the suffering experience of Korean ALS family caregivers. Methods: This is a descriptive phenomenological study that included ten participants using convenience sampling with maximum variation in a tertiary hospital in Seoul, South Korea. Colaizzi’s data analysis method was used to inductively determine themes and formulate meanings. Results: The three main themes derived from analysis were: “frustration with seeing a patient suffering”, “burnout at the cost of a life of dedication”, and “desperate need for help”. Conclusions: Caregivers experience high levels of suffering, which can come in various forms depending on the circumstances of the particular patient and family. Especially, distress from seeing a loved one suffering was another aspect of suffering in Korean ALS caregivers, reflecting strong family ties. At the same time, patients are in desperate need of help and support from their families. Thus, it is essential to provide care to lessen the causes of distress and meet the needs of not only patients, but also caregivers through family-centered care to improve overall quality of life for all involved.

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Family achievements in struggling with schizophrenia: life experiences in a qualitative content analysis study in Iran

Background: The challenges of living with and taking care of a patient with schizophrenia can lead to positive changes depending on the experiences and reactions of family caregivers. Such changes may directly affect the family performance and the patient’s recovery stage. Aims: Present study aimed to explain the positive experiences reported by family caregivers of patients with schizophrenia. Methods: The present study is a qualitative study of content analysis. Data were collected using semi-structured and in-depth interviews with 15 family caregivers of patients with schizophrenia referring to one of the psychiatric hospitals in Zahedan, Southeast part of Iran. Purposive sampling method was applied and data analysis was conducted using conventional content analysis proposed by Graneheim and Lundman. Results: Data analysis created a theme entitled “family achievements in struggling with schizophrenia”. This theme included four categories including Developing positive personality traits in family members, Strengthening family ties, developing insight into the life, and social mobility. Conclusions: The results provided insights that the experience of taking care of patients with schizophrenia led to positive consequences for family caregivers. Thus, it is recommended that psychiatrists or consultants help families rely on positive experiences and share these experiences with families with a newly-suffered patient.

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

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

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Factors related to the use of religious coping by informal caregivers: an integrative review

Objectives: to identify the factors related to the use of religious coping in informal caregivers. Methods: integrative literature review carried out through a search in the databases LILACS, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and CINAHL, in addition to the Virtual Health Library and SciELO. The study selected primary articles in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, using the descriptors Coping Behavior, Caregivers, Spirituality, and Religion, which were combined with each other and with synonyms. There was no time limit for the publications. Results: nine articles were selected. Factors related to the use of religious coping in informal caregivers included: having an advanced age, experiencing traumatic situations, being under overload, being a spouse or mother, caring for hospitalized individuals, or for those with chronic diseases and high degrees of dependence. Conclusions: the factors related to the use of religious coping are multifaceted and involve physical, psychological, psychosocial, and situational aspects.

 

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Factors associated with informal caregiving and its effects on health, work, and social activities of adult informal caregivers in Malaysia: findings from the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019

Background: The increase in the elderly population, chronic and degenerative diseases, as well as accidents at work and on the road in Malaysia would result in an increased demand for informal care. This paper aimed to determine the associated factors of informal caregiving and its effects on health, work and social activities of adult informal caregivers in Malaysia. Methods: The data from the 2019 National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS), a nationwide cross-sectional survey with a two-stage stratified random sampling design, was used in this research. The study included respondents who were 18 years and older (n = 11,674). Data were obtained via face-to-face interviews using validated questionnaires. Descriptive and complex sample logistic regression analyses were employed as appropriate. Results: 5.7% of the adult population were informal caregivers. Provision of informal care were significantly associated with the female sex (OR = 1.52, 95% CI [1.21, 1.92]), those aged 36–59 years (OR = 1.61, 95% CI [1.15, 2.25]), and those who reported illness in the past 2 weeks (OR = 1.79, 95% CI [1.38, 2.33]). The risk of having their health affected were associated with female caregivers (OR = 3.63, 95% CI [1.73, 7.61]), those who received training (OR = 2.10, 95% CI [1.10, 4.00]) and those who provided care for 2 years or more (OR = 1.91, 95% CI [1.08, 3.37]). The factors associated with the effects on work were ethnicity, received training and had no assistance to provide the care. In terms of effect on social activities, female caregivers (OR = 1.96, 95% CI [1.04, 3.69]) and caregivers who received training were more likely (OR = 2.19, 95% CI [1.22, 3.93]) to have their social activities affected. Conclusion: Our study revealed that sex, age, and self-reported illness were factors associated with being an informal caregiver in Malaysia. Informal caregivers faced effects on their health, work, and social activities which may be detrimental to their well-being. This understanding is crucial for planning support for caregivers.

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Factors Associated with Health Check-up and Cancer Screening Participation among Family Caregivers of Patients with Dementia: A Cross-Sectional Study

Background: Providing care for patients with dementia can negatively influence the physical health and health behaviours of family caregivers. A better understanding of the factors associated with health check-up and cancer screening participation is vital for developing effective interventions. Thus, this study aimed to identify factors associated with health check-up and cancer screening participation among family caregivers of patients with dementia. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study that analysed the data of 2,414 family caregivers of patients with dementia collected by the Korea Community Health Survey in 2017. A binomial logistic regression analysis was performed to identify demographic, socioeconomic, and health status factors associated with health check-up and cancer screening participation among family caregivers of patients with dementia. Results: Health check-up and cancer screening rates among family caregivers of patients with dementia were 68.7% and 61.4%, respectively, which were significantly lower than the rates for individuals who were not caregivers of patients with dementia. Those with lower education levels had lower odds ratios (OR) for both health check-up (OR: 0.60) and cancer screening (OR: 0.59) participation. In addition, symptoms of depression were associated with lower participation (health check-up OR: 0.67; cancer screening OR: 0.65). Conclusions: More targeted disease prevention and management strategies must be developed for family caregivers of patients with dementia, particularly those with depressive symptoms and lower education levels. 

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Factor analysis of the relationship between PANSS score and family burden of patients with schizophrenia

Objective: This study aims to investigate the burden of family caregivers of patients with schizophrenia, and its influencing factors. Methods: A total of 105 patients with schizophrenia and their caregivers were investigated using the positive and negative symptom scale (PANSS) and family burden scale of disease (FBS). Results: There was a strong correlation between the patient's recovery and family burden, especially between positive and negative symptoms and family financial burden, family daily activities, family recreational activities, and family relationship. Conclusion: There is a strong correlation between the patient's recovery and family burden, and this is especially correlated to family economic burden, family daily activities, family recreational activities, and family relationship. Medical staff should pay attention to the psychological characteristics of patients and fully understand and avoid the adverse effects of family burden on the rehabilitation of patients. There is a strong correlation between the patient's recovery and family burden, and this is especially correlated to family economic burden, family daily activities, family recreational activities and family relationship. Medical staff should pay attention to the psychological characteristics of patients, and fully understand and avoid the adverse effects of family burden on the rehabilitation of patients. 

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Exposure to violence and risk of post-traumatic stress disorder in family caregivers of psychotic patients

Introduction: Family caregivers of psychotic patients are exposed to violence and stress. However, associated psychological outcomes are poorly characterized in this population. Objectives: The aim of this study was to clarify the relationship between violence directed towards caregivers of patients with psychosis and developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Methods: Participants were family caregivers of psychotic patients (n=95). They completed a questionnaire assessing sociodemographic characteristics. Sociodemographic and clinical data of patients were collected from medical records. We used the perceptions of prevalence of aggression scale (POPAS) to measure the frequency and severity of aggression directed at the respondent in the past and the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) to evaluate PTSD. Results: A rate of 75.8% of caregivers reported experiencing moderate to severe levels of aggression. Decreased contact with patient (p=0.00), male gender (p=0.00), older age (p=0.00) and parent relationship (p=0.01) of caregivers, diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (p=0,00) and poor adherence to treatment (p=0,00) in affected relatives were associated with experiences of moderate–severe aggression. More than a half of caregivers (54.7%) reported potentially significant levels of PTSD which correlated with the level of aggression (p=0.00). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that a large proportion of family caregivers of patient-initiated violence in psychosis reported experiencing a great distress and a high level of PTSD symptomatology. So, more attention should be paid to the support needs of caregivers who are faced with potentially life threatening aggressive behaviour by psychotic family members.

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Exploring the meaning of dignity at end of life for Chinese Canadians caregivers: A qualitative cross-cultural study

Background: Preserving patient dignity is a fundamental value in palliative care and is associated with an increased sense of meaning at end of life. The empiric Dignity Model, developed by Chochinov et al. (2002), identifies physical and psychosocial issues impacting dignity and provides guidance for dignity conserving care. Aim: This study's objectives are to explore the generalizability of the empiric Dignity Model to Chinese Canadians an immigrant population influenced by both Western and Asian values. The study will explore how dignity is culturally mediated. Design: Template analysis using NVivo was used to assess for themes and to explore new themes in focus group interviews. Participants: Three focus groups of thirty-one first generation Chinese Canadians were conducted in the community setting, in the metropolitan area of Greater Vancouver. Results: The three thematic categories of the Dignity Model were broadly supported. Themes of Family connectedness and the Confucian virtue of filial piety (duty that children have towards their parents), were found to be strongly relevant for Chinese Canadians. Subjects' acculturation within Canada led to an evolution of perception of dignity as new ideas are accepted or rejected and blended with pre-existing values. Conclusion: To the author's knowledge this is the first study on the Dignity Model done in a Chinese Canadian population. The conceptualization of dignity for first generation Chinese Canadians is influenced by both Western and Asian culture. This study highlights the unique constructs of dignity for Chinese Canadians and areas to enhance dignity preserving care in a cross-cultural context.

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

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

 

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Exploring Family Caregiver Communication Difficulties and Caregiver Quality of Life and Anxiety

Background: When family caregivers are involved in patient care, both patients and caregivers experience better clinical outcomes. However, caregivers experience communication difficulties as they navigate a complex health care system and interact with health care providers. Research indicates that caregivers experience a communication burden that can result in topic avoidance and distress; however, little is known about how burden stemming from communication difficulties with health care providers relates to caregiving outcomes. Objectives: To investigate how family caregiver communication difficulties with health care providers influence caregiver quality of life and anxiety. Methods: Data were collected in a cross-sectional online survey of 220 caregivers with communication difficulties resulting from caregiver avoidance of caregiving-related topics, inadequate reading and question-asking health literacy, and low communication self-efficacy. Results: Caregiver outcomes were not affected by reading health literacy level but did differ based on question-asking health literacy level. Adequate question-asking health literacy was associated with lower anxiety and a higher quality of life. Caregivers who avoided discussing caregiving topics reported higher anxiety and lower quality of life and caregivers with increased communication self-efficacy reported a higher quality of life. Conclusion: Involvement of family caregivers in care is likely to require tailored approaches that address caregiver communication and health literacy skills. Findings from this study suggest that hospice and palliative care providers should identify and provide support for caregiver communication difficulties in order to positively influence caregiver quality of life and anxiety.

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The experiences of well-being of family caregivers in palliative care: A qualitative study using thematic analysis

Background: Family caregivers play an important role in supporting patients at the end of life. Although providing care for palliative care patients can be inherently stressful, it is possible for family caregivers to experience both positive experiences and stress simultaneously. Understanding these positive experiences can be helpful to aid counterbalancing the negative aspect of caregiving. Methods: Therefore, we conducted a qualitative study using face-to-face interviews with semi-structured questions to explore the experiences of well-being of palliative care family caregivers from a positive perspective. The entire sample consisted of 18 family members caring for cancer patients and 2 family members caring for patients with motor neuron disease. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and thematically analyzed with qualitative research software NVIVO. Findings: The themes generated from the analysis are: (1) Acceptance, (2) Gratitude, (3) Hope, (4) Happiness and (5) Support. The 5 themes provide 6 constructs for independent intervention. Conclusions: Understanding these themes that promote caregiver well-being can be a guide for us to take care of our family caregivers.

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The experiences of the caring dyad: (Un)articulated realities of living with cardiometabolic risk, metabolic syndrome and related diseases in severe mental illness

Background: Informal carers play an important role in the care of patients with mental illness. Little is known of the relationship experience of the patient and their informal carer (caring dyad) as the context for the intersection between physical and mental health. Aim: This study aimed to explore the impact of comorbid cardiometabolic risk (CMR), metabolic syndrome (MetS) and related diseases and severe mental illness (SMI) on the caring dyad. Design: Between October 2018 and March 2020, we conducted 11 in-depth semi-structured interviews across 6 adult caring dyads, interviewing each individual separately. Setting: Dyads were recruited within the United Kingdom; informal carers were nominated by the patient as a person who provided a significant amount of support. Variable Being Studied: Participants were asked about the impacts of illness and caring on daily life. Data Analysis: Data were analysed at the dyad level using thematic analysis, comparing and contrasting responses from each individual. Results: Themes were identified: enhanced closeness, dissonance and balance within the caring dyad. Discussion and Conclusions: This study uses a particular population of patients with comorbid CMR factors, MetS and related diseases and SMI and their informal carers to explore the relevance and utility of caring dyads as an analytical framework to inform practice and policy. Future interventions should consider factors impacting on dyadic relationships to formulate effective and sustainable dyadic care and treatment to improve health outcomes for both patients with SMI and their informal carers. Patient/Public Involvement: In this study, patients and informal carers were participants. Topic guides were piloted with a patient and informal carer. 

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Experiences of Reciprocal Caring Among Adults With an Intellectual Disability Caring for an Older Family Member

Background: Internationally, many children and adults with intellectual disabilities are continually being supported by their family members to live within their family home. However, as a consequence of the ageing process some family members can struggle to continue to care because of their failing physical and/or mental ill‐health. This has resulted in a shift in the parameters of the relationship for some adults with intellectual disabilities with their formerly dependent role evolving into a caregiving one. This had become known as "reciprocity" or "mutual support." Limited information exists about these "hidden carers" and what services are available to support them. Aim: This article explored the lived experiences of nine adults with intellectual disabilities who provided emotional and tangible support to an ageing family member. Method: A qualitative methodology was employed using semi‐structured interviews. Nine participants with mild‐to‐moderate intellectual disabilities were interviewed within one region of the United Kingdom. The interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis. Findings: Five themes emerged within these narrative accounts: natural transition to caring; the health needs of the ageing family member; support; impact of caregiving and future planning. Discussion: The needs of these unknown hidden carers, and also ageing family members, are immediate and urgent. Policy makers, commissioners and service providers need to examine the type of "in‐house" support provided to these new carers if they are to continue living within their family home with their ageing family member, who will also need additional support. Neglecting both cohorts will lead to greater costs to services in the longer term and seriously threaten the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities and their family carers.

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The Experiences of Family Members of Ventilated COVID-19 Patients in the Intensive Care Unit: A Qualitative Study

Background: Visitor restrictions caused challenges for family members when their loved ones had coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and were ventilated. Limited studies have reported on family members' experiences and support needs. Aim: To explore the experiences and support needs of family members of ventilated COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). Design: Exploratory, qualitative design, using in-depth individual telephone interviews, and analyzed using thematic analysis. Setting/Participants: Ten family members of adult COVID-19 patients in the ICU. Result: Seven key themes represented family members' experiences: (a) reactions to the COVID-19 diagnosis, (b) COVID-19 as a destabilizing force on the family unit, (c) COVID-19's effects on bereavement outcomes, (d) desperately seeking information, (e) family member needs, (f) conflicting feelings about video calls, and (g) appreciation of care. Family members' feelings about the patient's diagnosis and how the virus was contracted exacerbated their stress and anxiety. They struggled to feel informed about care that they could not witness and had difficulty understanding information. Family members reported that video calls were unhelpful. While these experiences made them question the quality of care, they expressed their appreciation of the frontline healthcare providers taking care of their loved ones. Conclusion: The stress and uncertainty of family members of critically ill patients with COVID-19 were influenced by their inability to feel connected to the patient and informed about care. Healthcare providers should assess each individual family's burden and preferences, and this should include establishing structured, timely, and consistent communication regarding patient care during the pandemic including early referral to palliative care.

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Experiences of family caregivers with day-care centers for elders in Southern China: a qualitative study

Background: With its massive older population, China faces challenges related to elderly support and care. One of the proposed solutions is to diversify elderly support systems. Towards this goal, the establishment of day-care centres is a new Chinese endeavour. Methods: This qualitative study was conducted among the family caregivers of elderly residents enrolled in day-care centres in Shenzhen, a Southern Chinese city, to explore and understand the experiences and factors that might affect family caregivers of frail elders enrolled in day-care centres. Twenty participants were recruited from these centres. Data were collected through in-depth interviews and were analysed via thematic analysis. Findings: The three major themes were: 'I am a traditional person': the impacts of ren and xiao, 'caring made me tired': mobility and environment barriers, and 'I am not young': relaxation feelings of family caregivers. Conclusions: The findings indicated that the day-care centres presented both challenges and opportunities to family caregivers, and the psychological and cultural services at these centres must be further enhanced.

 

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The experiences of family caregivers of people with severe mental illness in the Middle East: A systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative data

Background: There is a wealth of literature exploring the experiences of family caregivers of people with severe mental illness (SMI) in western countries, however, this topic has been neglected in the Middle East, despite families being the main source of caregiving in this context. The purpose of this review was to conduct a systematic review and qualitative meta-synthesis to explore the experiences of family caregivers living in countries in the Middle East caring for a relative with severe mental illness. Methods: A systematic review and meta-synthesis were conducted, to comprehensively gain a thorough and detailed overview of what is known about family caregivers’ experiences from published qualitative research in the Middle East geographical area from inception to May 2021. The review protocol was pre-registered with PROSPERO (Ref: CRD42020165519). Results: The review identified twelve qualitative studies that explored caregivers’ experiences of caring for relatives with SMI in Middle East countries. Family caregivers’ experiences were captured under seven overarching themes. The participants across all studies reported negative consequences of providing care, increased burden and emotional distress. Many experienced issues with family/marital relationships and stigmatizing attitudes and behaviours from their communities. Caregivers expressed the need for increased support which was perceived to have a critical role in improving family caregivers’ experiences. Conclusions: The meta-synthesis revealed many challenges and issues that affect caregivers of people with SMI in the Middle East. Family caregivers experienced distress and burden, and reported significant impact on their psychological well-being. Their experiences highlight the urgent need to provide more support for family caregivers in Middle East countries.

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Experiences of family caregivers of patients with COVID-19

Background: Family caregivers of patients with COVID-19 face many challenges that affect their physical and mental health. Aim: The aim of the present study was to explore experiences of family caregivers of patients with COVID-19. Methods: This phenomenological study was performed based on 13 family caregivers who had experience in home caring for patients with COVID-19. Data were collected through purposive sampling with in-depth semi-structured interviews. The Colaizzi's 7-step method was used to determine themes. The MAXQDA10 software was used to manage qualitative data analysis. Results: Thirteen family caregivers participated. Five main themes describe family caregivers' experiences of caring for patients with COVID-19: nature of the disease; unmet needs; unpleasant physical, psychological, and social experiences; care facilitators and positive experiences. Conclusion: Information and financial support for COVID-19 should be provided to family caregivers. Also, community members should embrace patients and family caregivers and reinforce the positive experiences of caregivers.

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Experiences of family caregivers of patients with borderline personality disorder of social stigma

Background: Social stigma is the most common and challenging burden of care on the family of people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) In Iran, despite the cultural and social influences, this issue has been less studied. Therefore, present study was conducted to determine the lived experiences of caregivers of patients with BPD of social stigma. Materials and Methods: This qualitative study was performed at Ibn Sina hospital in Mashhad, Iran from 2017 to 2019. Participants were selected by purposive and snowball sampling method. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews. Data saturation was achieved after 16 interviews. Finally, the data were analyzed by the method proposed by Diekelmann (1989). Results: In data analysis, one main theme and two sub-themes emerged. The main themes include Black shadow. Two sub-themes consisted of society dagger and secrecy. The sub-theme of society dagger included the two common meanings (inner turmoil in response to the stigma of others and weakening of family status among relatives and acquaintances). The sub-theme of secrecy comprised of the three common meanings (concealment of disease, hide hospitalization, and seclusion). Conclusions: An understanding of the experience of family stigma can lead to the development of supportive strategies to manage this problem among caregivers of patients with BPD. Nurses can support caregivers by offering them opportunities to discuss how stigma is disrupting their caregiving roles. They can also support the caregivers in negotiating the experienced social and emotional distress and when necessary, refer them to the other members of healthcare teams. 

 

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Experiences of Daughters Caring for a Parent With Alzheimer's Disease Living at Home

Methods: The current study used purposeful and snowball sampling to interview 12 daughters who were care-givers to their parents with Alzheimer's disease. Data were collected through in-depth, semi-structured interviews and were analyzed using Colaizzi's descriptive phenomenological approach. Caregiving years ranged from 1 to 10 years, with a mean of 5 years. Findings: Six themes were uncovered: (a) Where Are You When I Need You?; (b) Safety First; (c) I Don't Know What to Say or How to Say It; (d) They Are Beautiful People, but They Aren't Trained; (e) Letting Go of Who They Were; and (f) It Affects Every Area of My Life. Conclusions: Findings suggest that caregiver daughters of parents with AD living at home are struggling and indicate a need for better support of caregivers. Implications for nursing practice, research, and education are significant and require a greater focus on the support of informal caregivers of persons with AD. 

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Experiences of Communicating with Older Adults with Alzheimer's Disease: A Phenomenological Study of Family Caregivers

Background: Communication allows people to make sense of the world, for people to connect, establish, maintain and change relationships. The declining communicative abilities of older adults with Alzheimer's disease, however, may affect the quality of life of both caregivers and older adults. This study aimed to explore and better understand the lived experiences of family caregivers in communicating with older adults with this disease. Design: An interpretative phenomenological approach was conducted in the province of Songkhla, Thailand between November 2018 to June 2019. Ten family caregivers were selected by purposeful sampling. Open-ended, semi-structured interviews were conducted. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim and analyzed using thematic analysis. Findings: Two main themes were identified that represented areas of communication: engaging in troublesome communication; and inability to relate to each other. Effective communication strategies and techniques to improve communication problems were identified such as showing respect, compliance, distraction and therapeutic lies. After understanding the findings of this study, nurse practitioners and nurses need to understand the importance of assessing and analyzing the communication issues between caregivers and their older relatives. Conclusions: Our findings can be a basis for planning and developing appropriate supports to enhance communication skill of the family caregivers within the context of daily communication with older adults with Alzheimer's disease.

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The Experiences of Caregivers of Persons Living with Dementia in Jamaica during COVID-19

Background: This article provides descriptive insights of the experiences of family caregivers of persons living with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were generated as part of a qualitative cross-national project to explore the costs and consequences of providing unpaid dementia care. Methods: Participants in Jamaica, who were recruited using community gatekeepers, information booths at health fairs, conferences, and other outreach events, were contacted by telephone to discuss their experiences of the pandemic. When face-to-face in-depth interview data collection was suspended due to the pandemic, ethical approval was received to contact all research participants who were informal unpaid family caregivers, both those whose care recipients had died and those who were active caregivers (N = 19). Participants in this study were the 10 active family caregivers (nF = 8; aged 45+; 60% from high socio-economic status). Their updates and reflections during these calls were documented in fieldnotes and analyzed for key themes. Findings: Data showed that the pandemic has illustrated the direct costs, both financial and otherwise, that informal dementia carers bear in Jamaica. It also intensified pre-existing challenges faced by family carers. We provide recommendations for sustainable support for family carers. 

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Experiences and needs of families with a relative admitted to an adult intensive care unit: a systematic review of qualitative studies

Objective: The objective of the review was to synthesize research studies that reported on the experiences and needs of families with a relative in an adult intensive care unit. Introduction: Having a relative in an intensive care unit has been reported to be a time of turmoil, stress, and disruption to the lives of family members. Primary research studies suggest such a crisis or even a planned intensive care unit admission can have not only emotional, physical, and psychological impact, but can also affect family member roles and function. A deeper understanding of the overall experience may assist intensive care unit staff to address specific family needs. Inclusion criteria: This review included qualitative studies of any design that described and explored the experiences and needs of family members with a relative admitted to an adult intensive care unit. Methods: The methods for the review followed the JBI meta-aggregation approach for synthesizing qualitative data. MEDLINE (EBSCO), CINAHL (EBSCO), PsycINFO (EBSCO), Embase (Embase.com) and Web of Science Core Collection (Clarivate Analytics) databases were searched for published studies. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database (Ovid) was searched for unpublished studies. Studies published from 2010 to November 2019 in the English language were selected for possible inclusion in the review. Results: From 7208 citations, 20 studies were agreed upon for inclusion in the review. From these studies, 112 findings were extracted and synthesized into 12 categories. Four synthesized findings were compiled by aggregating the categories. Broadly, these synthesized findings related to: psychosocial health, proximity, information needs, and the intensive care unit environment. Conclusions: Being a relative of a patient in an intensive care unit is a complex, emotional, and individual experience that can have physical, psychological, and emotional impact. The synthesized findings from this review can be used to support family-centered care practices in adult intensive care units, particularly in regard to information provision, visiting practices, and supportive care. Systematic review registration number: PROSPERO CRD42016053300

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The Experience of Working With a Faith Community Nurse Liaison of Care in a Primary Care Practice Among Older Adult Clients and Their Informal Caregiver

Background: Informal caregivers of older adults aging in place are at risk for adverse health and financial consequences. This descriptive qualitative study explored the experience of working with a faith community nurse (FCN) liaison of care in a Catholic health care system affiliated primary care practice among older adult clients and their informal caregiver. Methods: Semistructured face-to-face interviews were conducted with nine older adult client–informal caregiver dyads, three clients, and one caregiver (n = 22). Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using Braun and Clarke's reflexive thematic analysis method. Findings: The analysis generated one overarching theme, I'm Sorry the Study and FCN Visits Are Coming to an End, and two key themes, The FCN Was Always There to Help Us (older adult clients) and The FCN Took the Pressure Off of Caregiving for Awhile (informal caregivers). Participants viewed the FCN as an instrumental member of their health care team and considered prayer and spiritual support offered by the FCN an essential element of care.

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Experience of Caregivers Supporting a Patient through Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking

Background: Voluntarily stopping eating and drinking (VSED) is an ongoing voluntary choice to forego food and hydration in an effort to hasten death. Ongoing caregiving is necessary as patients become weak and lose focus as a result of dehydration, but little is known about the process of supporting a patient through VSED. Objective: To explore the experiences of caregivers who supported a patient through VSED. Methods: Qualitative study with thematic analysis of transcripts of semistructured interviews with 24 U.S. caregivers for 20 individuals who had attempted VSED. Results: Analysis produced four themes: (1) Caregivers believe that VSED is the best death available to the patient. (2) Caregivers act as advocates and worry that the patient's goals will be challenged by health care professionals, the community, or legal authorities; obtaining support from a hospice is an important way to legitimize VSED. (3) Through the VSED process itself, caregivers carry the responsibility for the patient's success as the patient becomes weaker and loses focus. (4) Because there is no social script to guide the VSED process, caregivers choose what roles to play during VSED, such as focusing on physical care or being emotionally present as the patient's spouse or child. Conclusions: Caregivers face unique challenges in helping patients undertake VSED. Many are uncertain about whether they will receive support from clinicians or the community. Support from health professionals may improve caregiver confidence and reduce worry.

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Existential distress in patients with advanced cancer and their caregivers: study protocol of a longitudinal cohort study

Introduction: At the end of life, patients with advanced cancer and their informal caregivers may confront multiple existential concerns. Despite the strong potential to alleviate existential distress through psychosocial interventions, existential distress and its impact on healthcare outcomes have not yet been studied systematically. We aim to investigate the frequency, longitudinal trajectory and predictive impact of existential distress on end-of-life outcomes. We further aim to determine patients’ and caregivers’ specific need for and utilisation of psychosocial support for existential distress. Methods: This longitudinal cohort study will consecutively recruit 500 patients with advanced cancer and 500 caregivers from oncological outpatient and inpatient clinics. Participants will complete self-report questionnaires (sociodemographic and disease-related characteristics, existential distress, end-of-life outcomes, resources and support needs) at five points of assessment (at baseline and after 3, 6, 9 and 12 months). At baseline and 6-month follow-up, we will conduct structured diagnostic interviews to assess mental disorders. Statistical analyses will include descriptive statistics to determine the prevalence of existential distress, mental disorders and end-of-life outcomes; multiple linear and logistic regression analyses to calculate the predictive impact of existential distress on end-of-life outcomes; and growth mixture models to analyse longitudinal trajectories of existential distress. Discussion: This study will provide comprehensive knowledge about patients’ and caregivers’ existential concerns. The longitudinal empirical data will allow for conclusions concerning the frequency and course of existential distress throughout 1 year. This important extension of existing cross-sectional research will contribute to further develop targeted psychosocial interventions. Profiles of existential distress may be applied by clinicians from multiple professions and help to address existential concerns effectively. Ethics and dissemination: The study was approved by the institutional research ethics committee (reference number LPEK-0177). Results will be presented at scientific conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. Other forms of dissemination will include sharing results on the psychometric properties of the structured demoralisation interview with international research groups and communication with healthcare professionals providing psychosocial treatment for patients and caregivers. Following scientific standards, our progress will be regularly updated on ClinicalTrials.gov.Trial registration numberNCT04600206.

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The everyday life situation of caregivers to family members who have had a stroke and received the rehabilitation intervention F@ce in Uganda

Background: Stroke is increasing in Africa and consequences such as limitations in the performance of activities in everyday life persist a long time. A family member might need to care for and assist the person who has had a stroke. The life situation of these caregivers thereby changes, which could lead to increased workload and new responsibilities in caring for which they lack but request knowledge. During the F@ce rehabilitation program, the caregivers received counseling, which is uncommon in the African context. The aim of the study was twofold; (1) to investigate the perceived caregiver burden and life satisfaction and, (2) to explore and describe the life situation for caregivers to persons that have had a stroke and received the mobile phone supported rehabilitation F@ce in urban areas in Uganda. Method: A mixed method design was used. Twelve caregivers took part in a semi-structured interview regarding their everyday life situation and responded to questionnaires on caregiver burden and life satisfaction. Latent qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the interviews. Results: Five categories were identified in the caregivers’ experiences of their life situation: Feels obligated but is just a natural commitment; a tightly scheduled everyday life; being the supporting relative; the caregivers´ approach as rehabilitators; and being supported by the rehabilitation intervention. The caregivers rated relatively high on the Caregiver Burden Scale and two thirds of the sample rated their satisfaction with life as a whole as dissatisfying. Further ratings on the Life Satisfaction checklist revealed that the financial, vocational, leisure and family situations were dissatisfying. Conclusions: Even if it was viewed as a natural commitment to be a caregiver when a family member had had a stroke, the life situation changed substantially for those who took on the caregiving role. Caregiving responsibilities were challenging as well as a heavy workload and a strained financial situation as many were giving up on jobs. The participants felt burdened and rated a low life satisfaction. The F@ce intervention was, however, expressed as valued and involved support and advice in their caregiving situation as well as information on stroke which relieved stress among them.

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Evaluation of depression symptoms among caregivers of children that take therapy in the national center for children rehabilitation and treatment during COVID-19 pandemic

Introduction: Raising a child with neurodevelopmental disorder is very challenging. Furthermore COVID-19 pandemic can increase stress levels especially among people that suffer from mental health disorders. On of the high risks group are children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Studies show that these difficult, challenging times have had a negative impact on most families, which have a child with neurodevelopmental disorders. Objectives: Evaluation of depression symptoms among caregivers of children that take therapy in the National Center for Children Rehabilitation and Treatment (NCCRT) during COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: The study was conducted during a two-month period March-April 2020. The sample involved 110 individuals, relatives, of children that were taking educative and rehabilitation therapy in NCCRT during last year, ambulatory or inpatients. Data were collected by clinical records and phone interviews with children’s caregiver. Instrument we used were: Demographic inventory and Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale for anxiety symptom evaluation. All data were statistically analyzed through excel. Results: Most of individual interviewed, whom are responsible for children wellbeing were their parents, 69% of them. 56% of individuals were among 31-45 years old and 92% of them were women. Depression symptoms were slightly present. We noticed that depressive symptomatology was a bit worse in caregivers in urban areas compared with ones in rural areas. Conclusions: It is necessary supporting with special attention caregivers whom have depressive symptoms. Yet has to be evaluated the connection, if it’s present, between parents with depressive symptoms and children progress, for ones that are being supported with development therapy.

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Evaluating the provision of Further Enabling Care at Home (FECH+) for informal caregivers of older adults discharged home from hospital: protocol for a multicentre randomised controlled trial

Introduction: There are personal and societal benefits from caregiving; however, caregiving can jeopardise caregivers’ health. The Further Enabling Care at Home (FECH+) programme provides structured nurse support, through telephone outreach, to informal caregivers of older adults following discharge from acute hospital care to home. The trial aims to evaluate the efficacy of the FECH+ programme on caregivers’ health-related quality of life (HRQOL) after care recipients’ hospital discharge. Methods and analysis: A multisite, parallel-group, randomised controlled trial with blinded baseline and outcome assessment and intention-to-treat analysis, adhering to Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials guidelines will be conducted. Participants: (N=925 dyads) comprising informal home caregiver (18 years or older) and care recipient (70 years or older) will be recruited when the care recipient is discharged from hospital. Caregivers of patients discharged from wards in three hospitals in Australia (one in Western Australia and two in Queensland) are eligible for inclusion. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of the two groups. The intervention group receive the FECH+ programme, which provides structured support and problem-solving for the caregiver after the care recipient’s discharge, in addition to usual care. The control group receives usual care. The programme is delivered by a registered nurse and comprises six 30–45 min telephone support sessions over 6 months. The primary outcome is caregivers’ HRQOL measured using the Assessment of Quality of Life—eight dimensions. Secondary outcomes include caregiver preparedness, strain and distress and use of healthcare services. Changes in HRQOL between groups will be compared using a mixed regression model that accounts for the correlation between repeated measurements. Ethics and dissemination: Participants will provide written informed consent. Ethics approvals have been obtained from Sir Charles Gairdner and Osborne Park Health Care Group, Curtin University, Griffith University, Gold Coast Health Service and government health data linkage services. Findings will be disseminated through presentations, peer-reviewed journals and conferences.Trial registration number ACTRN12620000060943.

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Evaluating strategies to manage and endure challenging behaviors in mucopolysaccharidoses

The mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) are a group of rare, genetic, lysosomal storage disorders characterized by progressive, multisystemic accumulation of glycosaminoglycans. Individuals with severe MPS often present with significant neurological involvement and may exhibit challenging behaviors, including hyperactivity, aggression, and sleep disturbance. These behaviors can cause adverse outcomes and necessitate the development of specific measures to support affected families. Through an analysis of the results reported by Hoffmann et al. in their recent study, this letter outlines important factors that must be considered when evaluating the impact of challenging behaviors associated with MPS, including treatment history, age, sibling and family relationships, the feasibility of daily caregiving, and caregiver burden. These recommendations can help guide future studies to identify the most effective coping strategies to support families of people with MPS who have challenging behaviors.

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Estimating Service Demand for Intermediary Care at a Community Integrated Intermediary Care Center among Family Caregivers of Older Adults Residing in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand

Background: Thailand’s population is currently the third most rapidly aging in the world, with an estimated 20 million ageing population by 2050. Sustainability of the family based long-term care model is challenged by the chronic burden on family caregivers and by smaller family sizes. We aimed to introduce a new service model, Community Integrated Intermediary Care (CIIC), TCTR20190412004, including free of charge intermediary care services at CIIC centers in the local community, to help older adults whose caregivers are temporarily unable to sustain care at home. Since Thai society upholds values of gratefulness, it is better to estimate willingness to use such an intermediary care service first, before introducing the service. Methods: A total of 867 pairs of senior citizens and their family caregivers were interviewed with structured-questionnaires in 2019. Descriptive analysis and binary logistic regression were applied to determine the predictors of family caregivers’ willingness to use the CIIC service, guided by Anderson’s model of health services use. Results: About 26.8% of elderly participants and 24.0% of family caregivers were willing to use an intermediary care service. The family caregiver determinants of predisposing factors (kinship: spouse caregivers, other relatives, maid or friends; job types: own business and private company staff), enabling factors (original community residents and monthly income ≤9000 baht), and need factors (caregiver burden total scores ≥24, taking leave for caregiving, and having diabetes), were found to be significantly associated with willingness to use the CIIC service. Conclusions: The baseline survey data noted that caregivers’ sociodemographic factors and burden determined their willingness to use the intermediary care service, although the dependency of care recipients was low in this study. This, nonetheless, indicated that there is need for a backup respite care to strengthen current family based long-term aging care in Thailand.

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Establishing priorities for psychosocial supports and services among family carers of people with dementia in Ireland

Introduction: Many family carers, particularly those caring for people with dementia, report significant personal and social challenges associated with caring. The aim of this article is to identify the range of challenges experienced by family carers of people with dementia and to ascertain their preferences for various supports and services that address those challenges. Method: Three modified nominal group technique (NGT) focus groups were conducted with family carers of people with dementia. The NGT groups were conducted with 17 participants in two stages, focusing separately on personal and social domains. Family carers identified challenges and individually ranked preferences for both existing and new services and supports. Data analysis consisted of qualitative content analysis and summative scoring of individual rankings. Findings: Family carers identified the following personal-level challenges: needing a break, social isolation and relationship changes. Family carers’ combined preferences for personal-level supports and services to overcome these challenges were day care, family care support groups, short-term respite, long-break respite and social activities. Social challenges referenced by family carers included finances, rights and entitlements and stigma and awareness. Preferences for supports and services to address these social challenges were non–means-tested carer’s allowance, legal recognition, carer’s support grant, monthly wage and community awareness programmes. Conclusion: Participants ranked day care and non–means-tested carer’s allowance as their top priorities under personal and social headings. Increased government investment in these two areas would not only help to maintain family carers’ contributions to community-based care in dementia but would also facilitate social inclusion, social connectedness and economic sustainability. 

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Engaging the Family in the Care of Young Adults With Substance Use Disorders

Efforts to engage young adults with substance use disorders in treatment often focus on the individual and do not consider the role that the family can play in the recovery process. In summarizing the proceedings of a longitudinal meeting on substance use among young adults, this special article outlines three key principles concerning the engagement of broader family units in substance use treatment: (1) care should involve family members (biological, extended, or chosen); (2) these family members should receive counseling on evidence-based approaches that can enhance their loved one's engagement in care; and (3) family members should receive counseling on evidence-based strategies that can improve their own health. For each principle, we provide an explanation of our guidance to practitioners, supportive evidence, and additional practice considerations.

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Engaging family caregivers and health system partners in exploring how multi-level contexts in primary care practices affect case management functions and outcomes of patients and family caregivers at end of life: a realist synthesis

Background: An upstream approach to palliative care in the last 12 months of life delivered by primary care practices is often referred to as Primary Palliative Care (PPC). Implementing case management functions can support delivery of PPC and help patients and their families navigate health, social and fiscal environments that become more complex at end-of-life.  A realist synthesis was conducted to understand how multi-level contexts affect case management functions related to initiating end-of-life conversations, assessing patient and caregiver needs, and patient/family centred planning in primary care practices to improve outcomes. The synthesis also explored how these functions aligned with critical community resources identified by patients/families dealing with end-of-life. Methods: A realist synthesis is theory driven and iterative, involving the investigation of proposed program theories of how particular contexts catalyze mechanisms (program resources and individual reactions to resources) to generate improved outcomes. To assess whether program theories were supported and plausible, two librarian-assisted and several researcher-initiated purposive searches of the literature were conducted, then extracted data were analyzed and synthesized. To assess relevancy, health system partners and family advisors informed the review process. Results: Twenty-eight articles were identified as being relevant and evidence was consolidated into two final program theories: 1) Making end-of-life discussions comfortable, and 2) Creating plans that reflect needs and values. Theories were explored in depth to assess the effect of multi-level contexts on primary care practices implementing tools or frameworks, strategies for improving end-of-life communications, or facilitators that could improve advance care planning by primary care practitioners. Conclusions: Primary care practitioners’ use of tools to assess patients/families’ needs facilitated discussions and planning for end-of-life issues without specifically discussing death. Also, receiving training on how to better communicate increased practitioner confidence for initiating end-of-life discussions. Practitioner attitudes toward death and prior education or training in end-of-life care affected their ability to initiate end-of-life conversations and plan with patients/families. Recognizing and seizing opportunities when patients are aware of the need to plan for their end-of-life care, such as in contexts when patients experience transitions can increase readiness for end-of-life discussions and planning. Ultimately conversations and planning can improve patients/families’ outcomes.

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Engaging carers in co-design: Development of the carer readiness tool

Introduction: The Carer Support Unit (CSU) of the Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD), NSW, Australia, developed, trialled and implemented a Carer Readiness Tool (CRT) to help carers gauge their readiness to care at home, highlight to hospital staff areas for additional support for carers, and provide evidence of carer engagement in discharge planning. Methods: A rigorous co-design process was followed with carer consultation at key milestones in development of the CRT. The tool was piloted in two cancer/chronic renal disease inpatient units commencing November 2019. Results: The CRT was well-received by carers who appreciated the opportunity to complete the tool in their own time, not in front of the patient. Positive feedback was received from clinicians, including the breadth of the CRT’s content which contributed to better discharge planning. The need to manually incorporate a hard copy form into the electronic medical record is a limitation of the CRT. Conclusion: The CRT is context-specific and fit for purpose. During the development of the CRT, the project team focused on the face validity and usefulness of the tool. The next stage of the project will be formal evaluation of the tool to measure its impact. 

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End-of-Life Assessments and Communication for Dying Patients and Their Families

End-of-life assessments aim to help dying patients and their families plan clinical interventions in advance and prepare them for a peaceful end of life, in which the patient accepts life and death, and the family accepts the patient's departure. It is important to assess whether death is imminent within a few days, because critical hospice care is provided intensively during that period. The following five changes constitute objective evidence of the end of life: diminished daily living performance, decreased food intake, changes in consciousness and increased sleep quantity, worsening of respiratory distress, and end-stage delirium. As subjective evidence, it is suggested that sensitive perceptions of experienced nurses and the feelings of family members caring for patients should also be considered. When notifying a patient or family members that the end of life is approaching, the members of the multidisciplinary hospice team must communicate with each other, share accurate information, and provide consistent explanations. They must also listen to non-verbal communication in an empathic and supportive manner.

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Empowering Families to Take on a Primary Caregiver Role for Patients with Cancer in India: Promising Strategies, Persistent Challenges, and Tradeoffs (SCI928)

Objectives: 1. Identify the challenges and trade-offs for family members assuming a primary caregiving role to patients with cancer nearing the end of life in India. 2. Consider strategies for supporting family members assuming a primary palliative caregiving role in India. Background As the population on the Indian subcontinent is aging, so too is the incidence of cancer and the need for access to palliative care. Research Objectives Identify provider perspectives on empowering patient family members to assume a palliative caregiving role. Methods: This is a secondary analysis from the PC-PAICE (Palliative Care- Promoting Access & International Cancer Experience) study where we captured the perspectives of 44 interdisciplinary providers from 7 geographically diverse palliative care sites throughout India using a semi-structured interview guide. We identified emergent themes using qualitative content analysis methods with team consensus. Results: Theme 1: Challenge: Cultural beliefs exist that handing off or sharing any primary caregiving is a "sin" and "if they don't take care of the patient then they have done some mistake." Theme 2: Trade-off: Caregivers are overwhelmed with navigating the expectation to take on the caregiver role, when they feasibly cannot, given financial and time constraints. Theme 3: Strategies: Facilitate caregiver buy-in to the idea of palliative care includes linking caregivers to financial resources (e.g. NGO sponsored income-earning opportunities "conduct rehabilitation camps where they teach the patient or the family to make some products"), connecting caregivers to mental health support, and working with caregivers in accommodating other constraints. Conclusion: In India, family members are already primed with the expectation to assume the role of palliative caregiver; this expectation in the face of financial constraints creates a challenging situation for caregivers. Implications for Research, Policy, or Practice: Striking the right balance of what family caregivers in India take on requires acknowledging the trade-offs they might make in other parts of their lives, empowering them through training and linkage to resources, and facilitating a cultural shift to accept palliative care or help from others. Future work should explore these provider themes in interviews with caregivers and patients themselves.

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Employment and well-being among caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder

Methods: We used the 2016–2018 National Survey of Children’s Health to assess restricted work participation among caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and special health care needs (SHCN). Results: Caregivers of children with ASD (N = 2,041) were especially likely to avoid changing jobs to keep health insurance coverage (20%; 95% CI: 16%, 24%), compared to either caregivers of children with other SHCN (N = 18,189) or children without SHCN (N = 68,499). Conclusion: Identifying effective strategies to mitigate the effects of a child’s ASD diagnosis on parents’ withdrawal from the workforce would add an important piece to comprehensive, family-centered care for this at-risk population.

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Empirical evaluation of the association between daily living skills of adults with autism and parental caregiver burden

Background: Despite the joy of parenting, the burden of daily caregiving for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can be overwhelming and constant. Parents can expect to provide enduring care for their children with ASD. Given that the majority of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) remain in their family homes well into adulthood, often the need for assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) is placed on parents. Providing ongoing support to adult children who have difficulty with completing ADLs can increase parental caregiving demands. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the ability of adults with ASD to perform ADLs with parental perceptions of caregiver burden. Methods: Quantitative analysis of cross-sectional multi-state data gathered electronically using Qualtrics from 320 aging parents of adults with ASD was conducted. Regression models were fit to examine the association of ADL challenges with total caregiver burden and its four domains (emotional, financial, time dependence, and developmental). Results: Parental perceptions of caregiver burden decreased, particularly time dependence and developmental burden, when adult children were less dependent in ADLs, even after adjusting for parental health and behavioral challenges. Conclusions: Findings support the need for family-centered interventions to improve the capacity of adults with ASD to perform ADLs independently.

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Embarking to Caregiving Role: A Thematic Analysis of Malay Caregivers of Older Adults with Mental Health Problems Perspectives

Background: Religion and culture affect the meaning and practicalities of caring for families with mental illness in Malaysia. Such care also differs according to social background, family values and support, commitment, availability, practicality and the needs of the care recipient. Methods: This qualitative study explores 14 Malay caregivers of the older adults with mental health problems in Kelantan, Malaysia. A semi-structured interview was translated and transcribed and subjected to thematic analysis using NVivo software. Findings: The findings show that cultural values and religion shaped the meaning of care as provided by the caregivers. The nature of the relationship is also important in determining the best person in the family to take over the caregiving role.

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Electronic Health Record Portal Use by Family Caregivers of Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: United States National Survey Study

Background: As family caregivers of patients undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation have multifaceted caregiving responsibilities (such as medical, household, financial) of long duration, they also have multiple physical, social, psychological, and informational needs. Objective: This study explored the prevalence of electronic health record patient portal use by family caregivers for managing both their own and their hematopoietic cell transplantation care recipient’s health, as well as potential factors associated with portal use. Methods: An electronic caregiver health survey, first developed via cognitive interviewing methods of hematopoietic cell transplantation caregivers, was distributed nationally (in the United States) by patient advocacy organizations to family caregivers of hematopoietic cell transplantation patients. It was used to assess self-reported caregiver demographics, caregiving characteristics, depression and anxiety with the Patient Health Questionnaire–4, coping with the Brief COPE, and caregiver portal use to manage care recipient’s and their own health. Results: We found that 77% of respondents (720/937) accessed electronic health record patient portals for their care recipients, themselves, or both. Multivariate models indicated use of care recipient electronic health record portals by caregivers was more likely with young, White, married, low-income caregivers caring for a parent, residing with the care recipient, and experiencing more caregiver depression. Caregiver use of their own electronic health record portal was more likely with young, White, high-income caregivers caring for a parent and experiencing chronic medical conditions of their own. Partially due to multicollinearity, anxiety and coping did not contribute independently to this model. Conclusions: Findings from the survey could open avenues for future research into caregiver use of technology for informational support or intervention, including wearables and mobile health. International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID): RR2-10.2196/4918

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Effects of Physical Activity Programs on Health Outcomes of Family Caregivers of Older Adults with Chronic Diseases: A Systematic Review

Objectives: This systematic review was conducted to analyze and capture the most recent trends in physical activity interventions for family caregivers of older adults with chronic disease as found in randomized clinical trials over the last 10 years (2010–2020). Methods: We used PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, PsycInfo, and the Cochrane Library. We synthesized participants’ demographics, physical activity interventions and family caregivers’ health outcomes. The Cochrane Collaboration Risk of Bias Tool was used to assess risk of bias of the included studies. Sixteen studies were included and most studies (n = 11) had a moderate risk of bias. Results: Physical activity programs with mixed modes (e.g., aerobic and resistance exercise), mixed delivery methods (e.g., in-person and telephone) and mixed settings (e.g., supervised gym-based sessions and unsupervised home-based sessions) were used most frequently. Physical activity interventions significantly improved psychological health but had inconsistent effects on physical health. Conclusions: This review provides current trends and research findings that suggest types of physical activity interventions and components that improve family caregivers’ health and wellness. 

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Effects of Meditation on Mental Health and Cardiovascular Balance in Caregivers

Background: Caring for a loved one can be rewarding but is also associated with substantial caregiver burden, developing mental outcomes and affecting happiness. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of a four-week, 16-h presential meditation program on physiological and psychological parameters and vagal nerve activity in high-burden caregivers, as compared to a control group. Methods: A non-randomized repeated-measures controlled clinical trial was conducted. Results: According to the ANCOVA results, the global happiness score (F = 297.42, p < 0.001) and the scores for all subscales were significantly higher in the experimental group than in the control group at 5 weeks. Anxiety levels were also significantly reduced in the experimental group (F = 24.92, p < 0.001), systolic (F = 16.23, p < 0.001) and diastolic blood (F = 34.39, p < 0.001) pressures, and the resting heart rate (F = 17.90, p < 0.05). HRV results revealed significant between-group differences in the HRV Index (F = 8.40, p < 0.05), SDNN (F = 13.59, p < 0.05), and RMSSD (F = 10.72, p < 0.05) in the time domain, and HF (F = 4.82 p < 0.05)) in the frequency domain, which were all improved in the experimental group after the meditation program. Conclusions: Meditation can be a useful therapy to enhance the mental health and autonomic nervous system balance of informal caregivers, improving symptoms of physical and mental overload.

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Effects of Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) Techniques and Psychoeducation on Self-Efficacy and Care Burden in Families of Patients with Schizophrenia

Objectives: This study aims to investigate the effects of two different interventions on the self-efficacy and care burden in caregiver family members of patients with schizophrenia. Method: This semi-experimental study involved those caring for family members with schizophrenia. The family members were divided into two experimental groups and one control group. Interpersonal psychotherapy techniques and psychoeducation interventions were together applied to the first group, the second group received only the psychoeducation. Results: Interpersonal psychotherapy techniques applied together with psychoeducation were found to be more effective in reducing the burden of care and increasing the self-efficacy.

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The Effects of Group Art Therapy on the Primary Family Caregivers of Hospitalized Patients with Brain Injuries in South Korea

Introduction: This study examined the effects of group art therapy on depression, burden, and self-efficacy in primary family caregivers of patients with brain injuries. Method: This was a quasi-experimental, nonequivalent control group and a pre- and post-test design. This study was carried out in one national rehabilitation hospital targeting 41 primary family caregivers of patients with brain injuries. Group art therapy intervention was carried out three days per week comprising 12 sessions over four consecutive weeks. The experimental group (n = 20) received group art therapy, whereas the control group (n = 21) did not. We used a time difference method to minimize the risk of contaminating the control group by sampling sequentially. Results: For depression, although there was a significant difference after the intervention (t = 3.296, p = 0.004), the mean difference score was not statistically significant between the experimental group and the control group (t = 0.861, p = 0.395). The experimental group showed a significantly greater decrease in burden (t = 2.462, p = 0.020) and significantly greater improvement in self-efficacy (t = −6.270, p < 0.001) than the control group. Conclusions: Group art therapy may be an effective nursing intervention for primary family caregivers of patients with brain injuries.

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Effects of family participatory dignity therapy on the psychological well-being and family function of patients with haematologic malignancies and their family caregivers: A randomised controlled trial

Background: Strong family ties appear to buffer patient's and family members' difficult experiences during life and health crises. The family participatory dignity therapy programme, a patient-family-centred psychological intervention, was developed based on dignity therapy and performed by one therapist in the form of interview according to a specific question prompt. This study aimed to confirm the efficacy of the family participatory dignity therapy programme in improving the psychological well-being and family cohesion and adaptability of patients with haematologic malignancies and their family caregivers. Method: A single-blinded, two-arm parallel group, randomised controlled trial was conducted. Participants: Participants were patient-family caregiver dyads recruited from Fujian Medical University Union Hospital from March to September 2019. A total of 68 eligible dyads agreed to participate and were randomly assigned to the intervention group (n = 33) or control group receiving usual care (n = 35). Each pair of patient-family dyads in the intervention group received two or three interviews (each interview approximately lasting 45 to 60 min) performed by one therapist according to a specific question prompt containing 10 questions for patients and 10 corresponding questions for their family caregivers. To evaluate the effects of the intervention, we assessed patients' hope, spiritual well-being, and family cohesion and adaptability, as well as their family caregivers' depression, anxiety, and family cohesion and adaptability at baseline (T0), 1 week (T1), 4 weeks (T2), and 8 weeks post-intervention (T3) and compared the scores between the groups. A two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance was conducted to examine the effects of time, group, and their interaction. Results: For patients, there was a significant difference in hope (p = 0.001), spiritual well-being (p = 0.002), and family cohesion (p <0.001) and adaptability (p <0.001) between the intervention and control groups. The difference over time was also significant in family cohesion (p = 0.018) and adaptability (p = 0.003). The interaction effects were significant for hope (p = 0.034), spiritual well-being (p <0.001), and family cohesion (p <0.001) and adaptability (p <0.001). For family caregivers, there was a significant difference in anxiety (p = 0.037), depression (p = 0.001), and family adaptability (p = 0.036) between the intervention and control groups. Within groups, a significant difference in family adaptability (p = 0.012) was found. Moreover, the interaction effects were significant on anxiety (p = 0.001) and family cohesion (p = 0.038). Conclusions: The family participatory dignity therapy programme showed a positive effect on promoting patients' hope, spiritual well-being, and family cohesion and adaptability; amongst family caregivers, it decreased anxiety and depression, and enhanced family cohesion and adaptability. 

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The Effects of Counseling about Death and Dying on Perceptions, Preparedness, and Anxiety Regarding Death among Family Caregivers Caring for Hospice Patients: A Pilot Study

Purpose: This pilot study aimed to examine the influence of death counseling on perceptions, preparedness, and anxiety regarding death and dying among family caregivers of hospice patients. Methods: Death counseling developed based on the SPIKES model was provided to 37 family caregivers in a hospice and palliative care unit. Perceptions, preparedness, and anxiety regarding death were assessed with a self-administered structured questionnaire, and participants' scores before and after counseling were compared using the paired t-test. Results: Significant changes were found in perceptions, preparedness, and anxiety regarding death after counseling. Compared to before counseling, the scores for perceptions of death (t=-4.90, P<0.001) and preparedness for death and dying (t=-16.23, P<0.001) improved, while anxiety (t=3.72, P=0.001) decreased after counseling. Some changes were also found in the types of support that family caregivers needed to prepare for the death of their family members in the hospice care unit. Conclusion: The findings demonstrate that death counseling could help family caregivers prepare for the death of their loved ones. Hospice and palliative care providers should play a key role in supporting family caregivers of hospice patients by developing strategies for counseling.

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

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

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

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

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Effects of an educational peer-group intervention on knowledge about dementia among family caregivers with a Turkish or Moroccan immigrant background: A cluster randomised controlled trial

Objective: The aim of this paper is to examine the effects of an educational peer-group intervention on knowledge about dementia, perceived ability to talk about it, received support and self-perceived pressure from informal care among family caregivers with a Turkish or Moroccan immigrant background who cared for a person with dementia. Methods: This paper is based on a cluster randomised controlled trial with three measures, including participants who knew or cared for a person with dementia. For the purpose of this study, a selection was made of participants who cared for a person with dementia. Knowledge about dementia, perceived ability to talk about dementia, support received and self-perceived pressure from informal care were assessed inthe intervention and the control condition. Multi-level analyses were conducted to examine the effects. Results: Data for 386 participants was analysed. Improvement in knowledge about dementia over time was significantly greater in the intervention condition than in the control condition. In the intervention condition, there was also a significant increase over time in the support received from home-care staff, which was not found in the control condition. No effects were found on other types of support received, the ability to talk about dementia or the self-perceived pressure from informal care. Conclusion: Offering a culturally sensitive educational peer-group education intervention enhances knowledge about dementia and has a small but positive effect on the support received from home-care staff in these groups. Practice Implications: Offering peer-group-based education about dementia to family caregivers with Turkish or Moroccan immigrant backgrounds is important for multicultural dementia care. 

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

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

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The effects of a psychosocial support program on perceived stress of family caregivers of patients with mental disorders

Background: Taking caring of patients with mental disorders is stressful and people who take care of these patients need to receive enough support and training to overcome this challenging situation. The present study was aimed at investigating the effects of a psychosocial support program on perceived stress of family caregivers of patients with mental disorders. Materials and Methods: This randomized controlled clinical trial was performed on 64 family caregivers of patients with mental disorders referred to Noor and Hazrat-e-Ali Asghar hospital in Isfahan, Iran, in 2018-19. The participants were randomly assigned to the intervention and control groups using a random number table. In the intervention group, the training program was held in 6 sessions of 90-minute training classes twice a week. Data were collected using a demographic characteristics form and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) before, immediately after, and 1 month after the intervention. Descriptive and inferential statistical tests such as Chi-square, Mann-Whitney, independent t-test, repeated measures ANOVA, and Kolmogorov-Smirnov test were used to analyze the data in SPSS software. Results: The result of the study showed that the total mean score of perceived stress in the intervention group was significantly less than the control group immediately after (F2=66.29, p<0.001) and 1 month after the intervention (F2=66.29, p<0.001). Conclusions: Delivering a training program on the different dimensions of support family caregivers need will reduce the perceived stress of family caregivers of patients with mental disorders. Therefore, the implementation of this intervention is recommended in this group of caregivers. 

 

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The effects of a multidisciplinary supportive program on caregiver burden among the family caregivers of patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A randomized controlled field trial

Background & Objective: The family caregivers of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience heavy caregiver burden (CB). This study investigated the effects of a multidisciplinary supportive program on CB in the family caregivers of patients with advanced COPD. Materials & Methods: This randomized field trial was conducted in the pulmonary subspecialty clinic of Birjand University of Medical Sciences, in 2019. In the present study, 92 eligible family caregivers of COPD patients were randomly allocated into intervention and control groups. The study intervention included eight sessions. Three educational sessions on COPD were held by a pulmonary disease specialist and an experienced nurse in COPD care, two educational sessions were held on coping strategies by a psychiatric nurse and three peer support sessions. CB was assessed before, immediately after and two months after the study intervention. SPSS (v. 21.0) was used for data analysis. Results: CB significantly decreased in the intervention group (P=0.01). It did not change significantly in the control group (P=0.63). Between-group differences, with respect to the mean score of CB at the baseline (P=0.66) and the first posttest (P=0.72) were not significant. The mean score of CB in the second posttest was significantly lower in the intervention group, compared to the control group (P=0.007). Conclusion: Multidisciplinary supportive program is effective in reducing CB among the family caregivers of patients with advanced COPD. © 2021, This is an original open-access.

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Effects of a Modified Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Family Caregivers of People With Dementia: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Background and Objectives: Family caregivers of people with dementia (PWD) experience high levels of stress resulting from caregiving. This study aimed to investigate the effects of a modified of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for dementia caregiving. Research Design and Methods: 113 family caregivers of PWD were randomized to either the intervention group, receiving the 7-session modified MBCT for a period of 10 weeks with telephone follow-up or the control group, receiving the brief education on dementia care and usual care. The caregiving stress (primary outcome) and various psychological outcomes of caregivers and the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in the care recipients were assessed and compared at baseline (T0), postintervention (T1), and at the 6-month follow-up (T2). Results: At both T1 and T2, the intervention group had a statistically greater improvement in stress (p = .02 and .03), depression (p = .001 and .04), anxiety (p = .007 and .03), and BPSD-related caregivers' distress (p = .003 and p = .04). A significant greater improvement was also demonstrated in mental health-related quality of life at T2 (p = .001) and BPSD of the care recipients at T1 (p = .04). The increased caregivers' level of mindfulness was significantly correlated with the improvement of various psychological outcomes at T1 and T2 with a correlation coefficient −0.64 to 0.43. Discussion and Implications: The modified MBCT enhanced the level of mindfulness in the caregivers and was effective to reduce the caregivers' stress and promote their psychological well-being during a 6-month follow-up. Future research is recommended to further examine its effects on the varieties of psychological and behavioral outcomes of both caregivers and care recipients and their dyadic relationships, as well as explore its mechanism of action in facilitating dementia caregiving.

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The effectiveness of ROM (Range of Motion) mobilization education on informal caregivers of stroke patients in the inpatient room

Introduction: Stroke is a neurologically deficit acute disease attributable to a focal vascular cause and is one of the leading causes of disability and death. Disability caused by stroke has a major impact on the family members as their formal caregivers, who in turn have to provide the treatment and care with sufficient knowledge. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of education on ROM (Range of Motion) mobilization techniques to the informal caregivers on stroke patients in the care room of RUSD Dr. Soekardjo, Tasikmalaya. Methods: This is a quantitative study and analysis was carried out using non parametric Wilcoxon tTest. The total sample for this study was 27 respondents and were selected by convenience technique. Result: The result revealed a significant difference in the mean value on the study of ROM mobilization education on caregivers before and after the intervention (p-value<0.05). Conclusion: Family caregivers should seek more information on managing stroke using mainly non-pharmacological components on stroke patients in order to minimize stroke reoccurrence and also to prevent further complications. 

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The Effectiveness of Group Hope Therapy Training on the Quality of Life and Meaning of Life in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis and Their Family Caregivers

Objective: Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, progressive neurological disease that, due to its special nature, has various physical and mental influences on the patients and their family's lives, decreasing the quality of life and threatening the meaning of life. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the group hope therapy training on the quality and the meaning of life in patients with multiple sclerosis and their family caregivers. Method: This quasi-experimental study was performed using pretest-posttest and control group. Thirty patients with multiple sclerosis along with 30 family caregivers who got low to medium scores on the Meaning in Life questionnaire by Steger (MLQ), Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS-29), and the Iranian Quality of Life questionnaire (IRQOL) for the caregivers were selected purposively. Then, the patients were randomly divided into two groups of 15 individuals in experimental and 15 individuals in control groups. The caregivers were grouped in the same manner. The protocol of group hope therapy training was carried out through eight two-hour sessions in two weeks separately on two experimental groups (the patients and the caregivers), and finally the posttest was given to four experimental and control groups. Results: The results of the data showed that the meaning of life in both the patient and the caregiver experimental groups increased significantly (P < 0.001), but there was no significant change in the patient and the caregiver control groups. Conclusion: Group hope therapy training is an effective intervention for improving the meaning of life and the quality of life in patients with multiple sclerosis. Also, any psychological intervention that aims to improve the quality of life in patients in an advanced stage of the disease requires attention to both the physical and the mental issues at the same time. Although group hope therapy training has improved the meaning of life in such patients, it did not have a significant impact on the quality of life. Therefore, paying attention to the stages of multiple sclerosis and the physical condition of the patients during the therapeutic intervention and adopting necessary complementary interventions seems to be essential. 

 

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Effectiveness of dyadic psychoeducational intervention for stroke survivors and family caregivers on functional and psychosocial health: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Objectives: Stroke is the third leading cause of disability worldwide, influencing the whole family's health and well-being. Dyadic (i.e., stroke survivor and family caregiver) psychoeducational intervention is a potential alternative to disease management and support, targeting at the dyads of stroke survivors and their caregivers as active participants in partnership. This review aimed to evaluate the current evidence on supporting the dyadic psychoeducational intervention for the functional and psychosocial health of stroke survivors' and their family caregivers. Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis Data sources: Nine English databases (Cochrane Library, Medline, CINAHL, PsycINFO, EMBASE, British Nursing Index, PubMed, Web of Science and Digital Dissertation Consortium) and two Chinese databases (CNKI and Wanfang) were searched to identify eligible studies published from their inception to April 2020. Additional relevant studies were identified from the reference lists and bibliographies of the identified articles and a manual search of relevant journals. Review methods: Studies were searched using keywords based on the 'PICOS' framework. The eligibility of individual full-text articles was independently assessed by two reviewers in accordance with the selection criteria. The risk of bias of the included studies was assessed using Cochrane RoB 2.0. The main outcomes were subjected to meta-analysis whenever possible; otherwise, narrative syntheses were conducted. Results: Eleven studies with 1769 stroke survivors and 1578 family caregivers were identified. The meta-analysis of pooled data suggested that the dyadic psychoeducational intervention had a significant immediate (<1 month) effect on family caregivers' burden (SMD = −0.25, 95% CI: −0.50 to −0.01, p = 0.04) and a long-term (≥6 months) effect on survivors' quality of life (SMD = −0.30, 95% CI: −0.53 to −0.07, p = 0.01). Subgroup pooled analyses indicated that the interventions initiated in hospitals could significantly improve the survivors' functional independence immediately after intervention (SMD = 0.40, 95% CI: 0.08 to 0.72, p = 0.01). Conversely, the interventions initiated at home did not significantly affect this functional outcome. Conclusions: This review supports the notion that the dyadic psychoeducational intervention can be effective in improving the stroke survivors' functional independence and their family caregivers' burden for a short period and the survivors' quality of life in the long run. However, its effectiveness is not conclusive because other psychosocial health outcomes for the stroke survivors and their family caregivers have not yet been found to significantly improve after intervention. Therefore, further large-scale randomised controlled trials with a high-quality design are warranted to evaluate their effectiveness in diverse functional and psychosocial health outcomes for stroke survivors and their family caregivers.

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The Effectiveness of Bereavement Support for Adult Family Caregivers in Palliative Care: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Purpose: This meta-analysis aimed to summarize and synthesize the effectiveness of bereavement support for adult family caregivers in palliative care. Methods: Meta-analysis was conducted. The databases of the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Cochrane, Embase, Medline, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science were comprehensively searched from inception until January 2020. This study followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and standard methods for conducting a meta-analysis. Data analysis was performed using Comprehensive Meta-analysis version 3.0, and the random-effects model was adopted. Findings: In total, 19 randomized controlled trials with an overall sample size of 2,690 participants met the inclusion criteria. The study showed that bereavement support had a significant effect on reducing grief (Hedges' g score = -0.198; 95% confidence interval [CI] -0.310 to -0.087), depression (Hedges' g score = -0.252; 95% CI -0.406 to -0.098), and anxiety (Hedges' g score = -0.153; 95% CI -0.283 to -0.023); however, high heterogeneity was present. No statistically significant difference was shown for traumatic feelings. Based on moderator analysis, a group format was more effective for grief, a combined individual and group format for depression, and an individual format for anxiety. Bereavement support was more effective when delivered by professionals, when delivered in more than six sessions, and need to be evaluated within 6 months. Conclusions: Bereavement support was effective in reducing grief, depression, and anxiety. The majority of the included studies had moderate heterogeneity, which limited the comparability of the evidence. Therefore, more robust randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm these study results. Clinical Relevance: This meta-analysis provides evidence that bereavement support delivered in the palliative care setting is effective for reducing grief, depression, and anxiety. Nurses and other healthcare professionals can make recommendations for adult family caregivers based on this study in reducing psychological symptoms due to a loss in the palliative care domain.

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Effectiveness of a support intervention for family caregivers and stroke survivors*

Objective: to analyze the effectiveness of a support intervention on the burden and stress of family caregivers and on the stroke survivors’ independence level, compared to the Control Group. Method: a quasi-experimental study conducted with 37 participants (Intervention Group, n=20; and Control Group, n=17). The intervention lasted 8 months. The outcomes of the caregivers (burden and stress) and of the survivors (independence level) were measured by the Zarit, Perceived Stress and Katz scales, at the following moments: pre-intervention, the fourth month of the intervention and post-intervention. The differences of these outcomes between groups and intra-group and the effect size were calculated using the Mann-Whitney and Friedman tests (Bonferroni adjustment by Wilcoxon) and the Kendall’s W coefficient. Results: the Intervention Group reduced burden (p=0.039) and stress (p=0.009), mainly, after 8 months of intervention, which was not observed in the Control Group. The independence level did not change between the groups or moments (p>0.05). The intervention presented moderate effect size (p=0.45 and p=0.54). Conclusion: the intervention was effective to reduce the burden and stress of family caregivers, but did not alter the stroke survivors’ independence level, when compared to the Control Group. 

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Effective integration of caregivers and families as part of the care team for people with cancer

Informal caregivers (referred to as caregivers within this article) play a significant part in enabling community-based models of cancer care and survivorship, whereby patients manage much of their disease and treatment outside of clinical settings. Caregivers are fundamental to healthcare in Australia, with a replacement value of $77.9 billion. Caregivers are a highly important group as they allow people diagnosed with cancer to remain at home and out of hospitals for longer than would have been possible without the caregivers involvement. [...]impacts on quality of life, a lack of sleep, reduced time for themselves and impacts on their own relationships can contribute to caregivers' levels of burden and distress. Given the experience of care provision, it is not surprising that cancer caregivers report high levels of anxiety, distress and burden. However, it is also important to acknowledge that many caregivers are able to identify positive aspects to the role, including allowing the person with cancer to remain home for longer and spending time together. The role of the general practice team The general practice team - including GPs, practice nurses, allied health professionals and administrative staff - is ideally positioned to support cancer caregivers. There are three key barriers to identifying and supporting caregivers in primary care. First, taking on the care of another person is often gradual, and it is hard to recognise the commencement of caregiving. Second, as the health of the person with cancer deteriorates, the caring role becomes all-encompassing and caregivers are unable to manage their own needs and supports. Finally, there is ambiguity regarding the legitimacy of caregiver needs. Health professionals have noted that caregivers can stand on the sidelines and be outsiders, with health professionals facing their own challenges to incorporate caregivers into the unit of care. There are two key ways in which GPs and others in the primary healthcare team can deliver support for caregivers. Acknowledging and integrating caregivers as part of the care team As caregivers are not explicitly involved in the relationship between the patient and healthcare provider, they can be rarely invited to participate. Given that the oncology team - including oncologists, hospital-based specialists, nurses and allied health professionals - can be focused on the patient's physical and mental health, the GP is someone who is well positioned to be able to check on the caregiver's physical and mental health.

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Effect of main family caregiver’s anxiety and depression on mortality of patients with moderate-severe stroke

Background: Anxiety and depression are common mental illness in stroke caregivers, resulting in significant stress to the emotion health of caregivers. Caregivers’ emotion can seriously affect the recovery rate of stroke patient, therefore, how to control and affect the caregivers’ anxiety and depression is of great importance. Method: Here three multiple centers observation and validation study were performed to screen out the risk factors for development of anxiety and depression in main family caregiver, and the effect of anxiety and depression of family caregivers on 6-month mortality of patients with moderate-severe stroke. Results: The severity of the stroke, the duration of care time and the medical payment associated with increased risk of anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression of main family caregivers are associated with increased risk 6-month mortality of patients with moderate-severe stroke. Conclusions: Therefore, the support provided to the family caregivers might have positive effect on prognosis of the patients with stroke.

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

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

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Effect of family nursing therapeutic conversations on patients with heart failure and their family members: Secondary outcomes of a randomised multicentre trial

Aims and objectives: This study evaluates the short‐term (3 months), medium‐term (6 months) and long‐term (12 months) effect of family nursing therapeutic conversations added to conventional care versus conventional care on social support, family health and family functioning in outpatients with heart failure and their family members. Background: It has been emphasised that increased social support from nurses is an important resource to strengthen family health and family functioning and thus improve the psychological well‐being of patients with heart failure and their close family members. Design: A randomised multicentre trial. Methods: A randomised multicentre trial adhering to the CONSORT checklist was performed in three Danish heart failure clinics. Consecutive patients (n = 468) with family members (n = 322) were randomly assigned to either the intervention or control group. Participants were asked to fill out family functioning, family health and social support questionnaires. Data were measured ahead of first consultation and again after 3, 6 and 12 months. Results: Social support scores increased statistically significant both at short‐term (p = 0.002) medium‐term (p = 0.008) and long‐term (p = 0.018) among patients and their family members (p = <0.001; 0.007 and 0.014 respectively) in the intervention group in comparison with the control group. Both patients and their family members reported increased reinforcement, feedback, decision‐making capability and collaboration with the nurse. No significant differences between the intervention and control groups were seen in the family health and family functioning scales among patients and family members. Conclusions: Family nursing therapeutic conversations were superior to conventional care in providing social support from nurses. Relevance to clinical practice: Family nursing therapeutic conversations are suitable to improve the support from nurses among families living with heart failure.

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Effect of an Educational Support Programme on Caregiver Burden Among the Family Members of Patients Undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery

Objectives: The family caregivers of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery experience considerable physical and emotional distress. This study aimed to investigate the effect of an educational support programme on caregiver burden among the family caregivers of patients undergoing CABG surgery in Iran. Methods: This non-randomised controlled clinical trial was conducted from January to April 2017 at a cardiovascular centre in Tehran, Iran. A total of 80 family caregivers of patients undergoing CABG surgery were sequentially selected and non-randomly assigned to intervention and control groups. The control group received routine care, whereas the intervention group received additional education sessions at baseline, prior to surgery, the day after surgery and before discharge. Caregiver burden was compared at baseline and six weeks post-discharge using the Persian-language versions of the Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI) and Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living (IADL). Results: A significant difference was observed between family caregivers in the control and intervention groups with regards to pre-post differences in mean CBI scores (+1.67 ± 19.23 versus +17.45 ± 9.83; P <0.001), with an effect size of −1.14. In addition, there was a significant increase in mean post-discharge IADL scores among CABG patients in the intervention group compared to the control group (4.42 ± 1.05 versus 3.07 ± 1.09; P <0.001). Conclusion: An educational support programme significantly reduced caregiver burden among the family members of patients undergoing CABG surgery in Iran. As such, in addition to routine care, healthcare providers should provide educational support to this population to help mitigate caregiver burden. 

 

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The Educational Needs of Family of Patients Discharged from the Intensive Care Units: The Viewpoints of Nurses and the Patients' Families

Background: Thousands of patients are admitted to the intensive care units annually, which are stressful for patients and their families. The discharged patients and their families face different challenges in the caring process of the patients. Objectives: This study aimed to determine the educational needs of the families of patients discharged directly home from the postintensive care units and to compare the views of families and nurses about these needs. Method: This was a cross-sectional study. One hundred forty nurses and 140 family members of the patients discharged from intensive care units participated in the survey by convenience sampling method. A questionnaire of sociodemographic information and a researcher-made questionnaire on the educational needs of the family of patients discharged from the postintensive care units were used for data collection. Results: The mean total score of the educational needs of the patients’ families was 31.81 and 35.33 from views of families and nurses, respectively. Nurses significantly estimated the educational needs of families more than what they did (). The families and nurses reported the educational needs of self-care as well as nutrition and medicine at the highest level, respectively. Both groups reported the educational needs of defecation at the lowest level. Nurses estimated higher educational needs in all dimensions, except for the patient’s mental health and family self-care than families ().  Conclusion: According to the present study, the educational needs were high from the views of nurses and families. Family need assessment is essential in designing and applying instructional interventions. Given the high level of family needs, implementing educational and practical interventions is necessary to enhance their skills.

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Dying within dyads: Stress, sense of security and support during palliative home care

Objectives: To examine similarities and dissimilarities in patient and family caregiver dyads in their experience of stress, support, and sense of security. Methods: 144 patients and their family caregivers participated. Patients were admitted to six Swedish specialist palliative home care units and diagnosed with a non-curable disease with an expected short survival. We analysed similarity patterns of answers within dyads (correlations) as well as dissimilarities, expressed as the difference between within-dyad responses. The latter were subjected to a model-building procedure using GLM, with 13 sociodemographic and clinical characteristics as independent variables. Results: Within dyads, patients and family caregivers scored similar in their perception of support and sense of security with care. There was also dissimilarity within dyad responses in their perception of stress and support that could be attributed to sociodemographic or clinical characteristics. When patients scored higher levels of stress than family caregivers, the family caregiver was more likely to be male. Also family caregiver attachment style (attachment anxiety), patient age and the relationship of the family caregiver to the patient explained dissimilarities within the dyads. Conclusions: Patients and family caregivers within the dyads often, but not always, had similar scores. We suggest that it is important that the healthcare staff identify situations in which perceptions within the dyads regarding stress and perception of support differ, such that they can recognise patients' and family caregivers' unique needs in different situations, to be able to provide adequate support and facilitate dyadic coping. 

 

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

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

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The DWQ-EMR Embedded Tool to Enhance the Family Physician-Caregiver Connection: A Pilot Case Study

Background: The number of family caregivers to individuals with dementia is increasing. Family physicians are often the first point of access to the health care system for individuals with dementia and their caregivers. Caregivers are at an increased risk of developing negative physical, cognitive and affective health problems themselves. Caregivers also describe having unmet needs to help them sustain care in the community. Family physicians are in a unique position to help support caregivers and individuals with dementia, but often struggle with keeping up with best practice dementia service knowledge. Methods: The Dementia Wellness Questionnaire was designed to serve as a starting point for discussions between caregivers and family physicians by empowering caregivers to communicate their needs and concerns and to enhance family physicians’ access to specific dementia support information. The DWQ aims to alert physicians of caregiver and patient needs. This pilot study aimed to explore the experiences of physicians and caregivers of people using the Questionnaire in two family medicine clinics in Ontario, Canada. Interviews with physicians and caregivers collected data on their experiences using the DWQ following a 10-month data gathering period. Data was analyzed using content analysis. Results: Results indicated that family physicians may have an improved efficacy in managing dementia by having dementia care case specific guidelines integrated within electronic medical records. By having time-efficient access to tailored supports, family physicians can better address the needs of the caregiver–patient dyad and help support family caregivers in their caregiving role. Caregivers expressed that the Questionnaire helped them remember concerns to bring up with physicians, in order to receive help in a more efficient manner.

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Dual caregiving by grandmothers with older relatives: Personal factors influencing health and stress

Background: Grandmothers in the "sandwich generation" are considered as those women who are potential caregivers for two generations: older relatives and grandchildren. Methods: With the goal of understanding the factors that affect their stress and health, 149 women from southwestern Spain were interviewed using an ad hoc questionnaire that included standardized scales and subscales. Results: The results showed that age, coping strategies based on emotional support and acceptance, as well as optimism and social support improved the health of these women by reducing their perceived stress. Although caring for older relatives is related to family conflicts and worse health, conversely, caring for grandchildren is related to slightly better health. Conclusions: The results are useful for planning psychological interventions with these women and highlight the need to include family interventions.

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Double child and elder care responsibilities and emotional exhaustion of an older sandwiched generation: The mediating effect of self-care

Background: The number of informal caregivers over the age of 50 who care for multiple family members including children and elderly relatives – a practice termed 'double care' – has steadily increased in Asian countries. Despite the rise in depression and stress among such caregivers, few studies have examined factors that may mitigate their emotional exhaustion. Methods: This research examines relationships between care responsibilities and emotional exhaustion, and the mediation effects of self-care on people in their 50s through 70s who provide care to multiple family members including children and elderly parents or relatives. The participants of this study were 183 people who were providing double care. The authors used care responsibilities as the independent variable, self-care as a mediator, and emotional exhaustion as the dependent variable. Results: Results indicate that care responsibilities significantly affect emotional exhaustion, and that emotional exhaustion is mediated by self-care. Conclusions: The findings suggest that attention to self-care may reduce emotional exhaustion among caregivers in this older age group.

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Does the advice requested by carers of people who live with dementia reflect the level of commissioned post-diagnostic support? A retrospective evaluation of calls to the Me2U dementia day centre 24-hour advice line

Aims: The aim was to examine the reasons for advice requests by carers of people who live with dementia (PLWD) that attend the Me2u dementia day centre in order to identify key explanatory themes. We hypothesised that requests were related mainly to coordinating care and clinical issues due to limited post-diagnostic support (PDS) in our area. Background: The Me2u dementia day centre (Merseyside) cares for PLWD and also supports carers. As part of the service, a 24-hour advice line is included for PLWD and their carers who attend the centre. Locally, there is limited PDS and most carers navigate the health and social care system alone mirroring the findings by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH). Method: We undertook a retrospective evaluation of 244 advice calls, from 64 carers, between 01/06/2019 and 31/12/2019. We analysed time of call, type of advice, type of dementia, age and whether the advice was for the PLWD or for the carer. Results: Of the 244 calls, the most common time to call was between 09.00 - 14.00 (n = 168; (68.8%) peak 09.00 - 10.00 (n = 38). Average age of the person about whom the advice was sought was 79.08 years. 91.4% of the advice calls related to PLWD (most common dementia Alzheimer's) and 8.6% to the carer only. The mean number of calls per person was 3.8 (range 1–24).Advice data were grouped into 9 broad themes namely, related to symptoms/behaviour (32.79%, n = 80), request for Me2u to coordinate care (20.08%, n = 49), general advice (14.75%, n = 36), personal care (9.42%, n = 23), carer only advice (8.60%, n = 21), social issues (6.14%, n = 15), social care (4.50%, n = 11), safeguarding (2.46%, n = 6), non-health and social care issue (1.23%, n = 3).ConclusionReasons for limited/poor PDS given by the NCCMH are; absence of named coordinators of care, over-reliance on families and carers to manage and facilitate appointments, poor recognition and management of comorbidities. This data show that 52.87% of calls were for clinical advice and coordination of care reflecting NCCMH findings. The interventions post-call reduced the impact on providers of urgent care. Conclusions: These findings provide support for the provision of a [24-hour] advice line as a routine part of post-diagnostic support services, especially in areas that have limited or poor PDS. Commissioners of PDS services in areas that have limited or poor PDS should make this a priority to prevent unplanned admissions to hospital and carer breakdown.

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Do informal caregivers experience more burnout? A meta-analytic study

Background: Informal caregivers often report exhaustion when providing care, which can be related to forms of burnout. Yet, there is no systematic inventory of studies comparing caregivers and non-caregivers in terms of burnout. Methods: For the present meta-analysis, studies comparing burnout in informal caregivers and non-caregivers were screened and included. Findings: Two categories of studies were found: those on family care burnout (spousal or parental burnout) and those on professional burnout (mostly in healthcare). For family care burnout studies, informal caregivers reported more emotional exhaustion, and, to a lesser extent, depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment than non-caregivers. For studies on professional burnout, workers providing informal care also reported more emotional exhaustion than workers not providing such a care. Conclusion: Overall, the results indicate that providing informal care represents a risk for role burnout. In family care burnout studies, these results confirm the assumption that providing informal care adds extra weight on the individuals’ shoulders. In professional burnout, these results support the role accumulation theory, pointing that an additional weight in one’s role, i.e., providing informal care, has an impact on another role, work. This work emphasizes the consideration of the multifaceted impact that the caregiving role can have on the individual. 

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

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

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Dignity of informal caregivers of migrant patients in the last phase of life: a qualitative study

Background: A key aim of palliative care is to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. To help ensure quality of life for the families of patients with migrant backgrounds, this study sought insights into the dignity of informal caregivers in migrant communities. This could improve understanding of family-centered care for migrant patients. Methods: Twenty semi-structured interviews with informal caregivers of Turkish, Moroccan, or Surinamese background living in the Netherlands were analyzed thematically. Results: The dignity of the patient and that of their informal caregivers were found to be strongly interrelated. Most important for the dignity of caregivers was ensuring good care for their patients and preserving the patients' dignity. Ensuring good care involved advocating for good and dignified care and for satisfaction of a patient's wishes. For many informal caregivers, it also included delivering care to the patient by themselves or together with other family members, despite having to give up part of their own lives. Providing care themselves was part of maintaining a good relationship with the patient; the care was to cater to the patient's preferences and help preserve the patient's dignity, and it could be accompanied by valuable aspects such as times for good conversations. Positive interaction between an informal caregiver and a patient positively influenced the informal caregiver's dignity. Informal caregiver and patient dignity were often compromised simultaneously; when informal caregivers felt healthcare professionals were undermining a patient's dignity, their own dignity suffered. According to informal caregivers, healthcare professionals can help them preserve dignity by taking seriously their advice about the patient, keeping them informed about the prognosis of the disease and of the patient, and dealing respectfully with differences in values at the end of life. Conclusion: The dignity of migrant patients' informal caregivers in the last phase of a patient's life is closely entwined with ensuring good care and dignity for the patient. Healthcare professionals can strengthen the dignity of informal caregivers by supporting their caregiving role.

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A Digital Mobile Community App for Caregivers in Singapore: Predevelopment and Usability Study

Background: With increasing life expectancy and aging populations, the global prevalence of chronic diseases and the long-term care required for people with comorbidities is rising. This has led to an ever-growing need for caregiving. Previous literature has shown that caregivers face problems of isolation and loneliness. However, many health organizations mainly focus their efforts on in-person community groups that require participants to meet physically. This is not always convenient or accessible for caregivers who are often juggling caring for their care recipient with family and work responsibilities. Objective: With medical advancements such as the proliferation of mobile phones and internet technology, caregivers may have opportunities for easier access to resources and support. Technological innovations could help empower the caregiving community to seek assistance for improving their quality of life at their convenience. A community network app called Caregivers’ Circle was conceptualized in response to the needs of the caregivers on a day-to-day caregiving journey. This paper traces the predevelopment inquiry and technical details of this app to provide a clear understanding of its implementation along with a usability study to gauge user opinion of the app within Singapore. Methods: A predevelopment survey was conducted to identify specific needs of caregivers and gaps in the currently available web-based community networks. The survey consisted of questions on demographical data, health-related issues of the care recipient, mental and physical health–related issues of the caregiver, digital media use, information seeking, and support. This pre–app development survey was completed by 103 caregivers. Qualitative enquiries were also conducted with caregivers within Singapore to identify issues related to caregiving, support provided, and what caregivers would want from a caregiving mobile app. Results: From the feedback garnered from the caregivers, the developers were able to identify several caregivers’ needs and gaps within the current support networks. This feedback was integrated into the mobile app called Caregivers’ Circle upon development. The features of this app include a public forum for community discussions, a marketplace to buy and sell items, care groups to hold private discussions with friends or other users of the app, and a friends feature to search and add new caregiving friends. Conclusions: In general, the caregivers liked the Caregivers’ Circle app and were confident that this app could help them have a better quality of life. The Caregivers’ Circle app is unique in its integrated approach. The integration of many features that caregivers need on a daily basis into an easy app can save their time as well as help them navigate their life smoothly.

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Differences in Burden Severity in Adult-Child Family Caregivers and Spousal Caregivers of Persons with Dementia

Background: Researchers are continuing to focus on the nature and sources of burden of family caregivers of persons living with dementia. Caregiving stress and burden are assessed and addressed by social workers, including at high-risk times such as hospitalization. Methods: This study tested whether adult-child family caregivers experience greater perceived burden than spousal caregivers, accounting for risks of acute stress which can accompany hospitalization for their care recipient, where social workers may be meeting with family caregivers for the first time. Family caregivers (N = 76; n = 42 adult-child; n = 34 spouse) were recruited during care-recipient clinical treatment. The settings of care included an outpatient memory care program and an inpatient geriatric psychiatry service. Results: Results showed that adult-child caregivers reported greater burden as compared with spousal caregivers, but no differences regarding depressive symptoms, perceived stress, or grief. After controlling for demographics and location of care, being an adult-child caregiver remained a predictor of greater burden severity. Being an adult-child family caregiver may place an individual at increased risk for experiencing high burden. Conclusions: These findings suggest socials workers should consider how adult-child caregivers may benefit from strategies to address and reduce burden, beyond those typically offered to spousal caregivers.

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Differences among Caregivers on Coping Resources and Mental Health

Background: Given the growing number of family members who provide care to adults with a disability or illness, this study examined differences in coping resources and mental health among family caregivers of persons with various health conditions. Methods: Within the context of Ensel and Lin’s stress paradigm, 234 family caregivers participated in an online study by completing validated measures of resourcefulness, spiritual practices, caregiver burden, anxiety, and depression. Caregivers were categorized into nine groups according to their care recipient’s condition. Results: The groups differed significantly on burden and resourcefulness. Greatest burden and lowest resourcefulness were found in caregivers of persons with traumatic brain injury, stroke, and dementia. Caregivers across all groups were found to be at a similarly high risk for anxiety and depression. Conclusions: These results provide insights for tailoring interventions for caregivers, particularly those whose care recipients have traumatic brain injury, stroke, or dementia, who may benefit from resourcefulness training.

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