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Carers needs

The following resources examine carers' needs for support in caring.

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).

The needs and service preferences of caregivers of youth with mental health and/or addictions concerns

Background: Caregivers experience significant strains as a result of navigating the complex mental health and/or addiction (MHA) system for their youth with MHA issues. We examined the characteristics of Ontario families with youth with MHA issues and their service needs.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey study investigated the characteristics and service needs of families with youth with MHA issues across the province of Ontario, Canada. A total of 840 caregivers were recruited.

Results: 259 participants (Mage = 45.94, SD = 7.11) identified as caregiving for at least one youth with MHA issues. The majority of the participants were female (70.7%), married (73.4%), and completed at least some college/Bachelor degree (59.1%). The mean age of youth was 16.72 years (SD = 5.33) and the most frequently reported diagnoses were Depression (30.1%), ADHD (27.8%) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (21.2%). Regression results demonstrated that presently accessing services, presently seeking services, and higher levels of barriers MHA services were significantly predictive of identifying navigation as helpful for finding appropriate MHA services (2(7) = 28.69, p < .001, Nagelkerke R2 = .16). Furthermore, presently accessing services was significantly predictive of identifying case management as helpful (2(7) = 29.59, p < .001, Nagelkerke R2 = .156), and of identifying a primary healthcare provider as helpful (2(7) = 38.75, p < .001, Nagelkerke R2 = .197) for finding appropriate MHA services.

Conclusion: Identifying the nature and extent of youth MHA issues, service needs, and family preferences can inform the development of services that address families' needs and lend vital support for accessing services within a complex system. 

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Psychosocial recommendations for the care of children and adults with epidermolysis bullosa and their family: evidence based guidelines

Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) is a group of rare genetic disorders resulting in skin fragility and other symptoms. Commissioned by DEBRA International and funded by DEBRA Norway, this evidence-bases guideline provides recommendations to optimise psychosocial wellbeing in EB.An international multidisciplinary panel of social and health care professionals (HCP) and people living with EB was formed. A systematic international literature review was conducted by the panel following the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) methodology. The resulting papers underwent systematic selection and critique processes. Included papers were allocated to 6 different outcome groups to allow data synthesis and exploration: quality of life, coping, family, wellbeing, access to HCP and pain. Based on the evidence in those papers, recommendations were made for individuals living with EB, family and caregivers and HCP working in the field.Few studies have investigated interventions and which factors lead to better outcomes, but general recommendations can be made. EB is a complex disease impacting enormously on every aspect of psychosocial life. People and families living with EB need access to multidisciplinary support, including psychological guidance, in order to improve quality of life and psychosocial wellbeing. Interventions should stimulate social participation to prevent isolation. People with EB and their families should be able to access a supportive network. HCP should be well supported and educated about the complexity of EB. They should work collaboratively with those around the individual with EB (e.g. schools, employers etc.) to provide psychosocial opportunity and care.Attention should be paid to the psychosocial impact of EB as well as physical needs. Directions for research are indicated. 

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Concerns and Needs of Support Among Guardians of Children on Cancer Treatment in Dar es Salaam: A Qualitative Study

Background: Cancer in children in Tanzania is a concerning health issue, yet there is a shortage of information about the experiences of the guardians of children who receive cancer treatment. Objective: To explore concerns and needs of support among guardians of children on cancer treatment in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Method: Using a qualitative design, 3 focus group discussions were held with 22 guardians of children aged 9 to 17 years. Guardians were recruited from Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam, where their children were receiving cancer treatment. Data were analyzed using thematic content analysis.

Results: Guardians experienced several issues during the initial stages of their child's cancer treatment, including the process of seeking a diagnosis, and experiences with care at the peripheral (regional) hospitals and national hospital. They also shared what they felt would lessen their difficult experiences. Seven themes emerged in this study: financial concerns, emotional concerns, barriers to cancer care, need for improved cancer care, need for information, need for tangible support, and gratitude and hope.

Conclusion: Guardians of children with cancer experience challenges during initial stages when seeking a diagnosis and have concerns and needs related to cancer care and treatment. Implications for practice: Improvements are needed regarding care at regional hospitals, the cancer diagnosis, and the recognition of early signs of cancer and quick referral to diagnostic centers, compassionate caring behaviors by healthcare workers, budgetary support from the government to meet the medication supply demands, and meeting stakeholders' support needs.

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Care coordination for children with medical complexity in Japan: Caregivers' perspectives

Background: Little is known about the provision of care coordination to children with medical complexity (CMC) and their families in Japan. The aim of this study was to describe provision of care coordination and explore the factors associated with quality of care coordination for Japanese CMC and their families.

Methods: We used an exploratory cross-sectional study design. Participants were recruited at a children's hospital located in one prefecture, Japan. Primary caregivers raising children aged between <1 and 20 years and receiving reimbursements for their home-based medical care at a children's hospital were eligible to participants in this study. The study examined the relationship between parents' ratings of care coordination as 'adequate,' 'inadequate' or 'not received' and characteristics of children, parents, and families.

Results: Ninety-nine parents caring for CMC were included in the analysis. Of those, 22.2% reported their child had a care coordinator. Caregivers were divided into three groups depending on the quality of care coordination: Group 1 reported adequate care coordination; Group 2 reported inadequate care coordination; and Group 3 had no need for care coordination. We compared the socio-demographics of children, parents and families, their service use and the health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) and caregiver burden scores of parents across the three groups. The parents' free time, access to timely care for children and service satisfaction were positively associated with adequate care coordination for CMC and their families.

Conclusions: Providing adequate care coordination for CMC and their families is essential for access to timely services and more positive psychological health of parents. High quality care coordination for CMC and their families is urgently needed in Japan.

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An intensive family-based treatment guided intervention for medically hospitalized youth with anorexia nervosa: Parental self-efficacy and weight-related outcomes

Recent studies suggest the efficacy of family-based treatment (FBT) among youth with anorexia nervosa (AN) in intensive treatment settings. This study aimed to assess weight outcomes in youth who received an FBT intervention while hospitalized for medical complications of AN. Parental self-efficacy among participating caregivers was also measured. Post-discharge weights of 49 participants were compared with weights of 44 youth who were hospitalized prior to the provision of the FBT intervention. Youth who received the FBT intervention gained significantly more weight than youth in the retrospective treatment as usual group at 3 and 6 months following discharge. FBT youth were 2.84 times more likely than retrospective treatment as usual youth to achieve at least 95% of treatment goal weight at 6 months post-discharge. Finally, parental self-efficacy significantly increased in caregivers who participated in the FBT intervention. Findings provided preliminary support for the provision of FBT to medically hospitalized youth with AN. 

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Parental feeding concerns of infants and young children with oesophageal atresia

Aim: Feeding problems have been described in young children with oesophageal atresia (OA). The primary aim of this study was to determine the specific concerns of parents and carers of infants and young children with OA regarding introducing solids and moving up to family foods.

Methods: A questionnaire was developed for parents and carers of infants and children with OA, aged 12 months to 6 years. Questionnaires were completed by 20 parents attending a multidisciplinary OA clinic between June 2016 and June 2017. Demographics and parental concern regarding feeding milestones were collected. The Montreal Children's Hospital Feeding Scale was completed.

Results: The majority of children (95%) had type C OA. Eleven (55%) parents agreed/strongly agreed that they were concerned about their child's feeding prior to the introduction of solids and about moving to more textured solids. The most common concern was choking and food impaction for both time points. Twelve (60%) parents agreed/strongly agreed that the majority of mealtimes in their child's first 1-2 years of life were stressful. Thirteen (65%) parents reported avoiding particular foods due to their child's OA. The majority of children (n = 17) had no feeding difficulty according to an objective scale, and the rest had minor difficulty.

Conclusions: Parental concern around feeding still exists in infants and children without a severe feeding difficulty. Multidisciplinary involvement, including a dietitian and speech pathologist, from an early age is important for infants and children with OA.

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Caregiver and Adolescent Patient Perspectives on Comprehensive Care for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Building a Family-Centered Care Delivery Model

Background: Children with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) require primary and gastrointestinal (GI) care, but little is known about patient and family preferences for care receipt. We aimed to understand caregiver perceptions of current healthcare quality, describe barriers to receiving healthcare, and elicit caregiver and adolescent preferences for how comprehensive care ideally would be delivered.

Methods: This was an anonymous survey of caregivers of 2- to 17-year olds with IBD and adolescents with IBD aged 13-17 years at a large, free-standing children's hospital. Surveys assessed patient medical history, family demographics, perceptions of health care quality and delivery, barriers to primary and GI care, and preferences for optimal care delivery.

Results: Two hundred and seventeen caregivers and 140 adolescents were recruited, 214 caregivers and 133 adolescents consented/assented, and 160 caregivers and 84 adolescents completed the survey (75% and 60% response rate, respectively). Mean patient age was 14 years (SD = 3); 51% male; 79% Crohn's disease, 16% ulcerative colitis, and 4% indeterminate colitis. Caregivers were primarily female (86%), Caucasian (94%), and living in a 2-caregiver household (79%). Most caregivers reported that their child's primary care physician (PCP) and GI doctor oversaw their primary care (71%) and their IBD care (94%), respectively. Caregivers were satisfied with communication with their PCP and GI providers (>90%) but did not know how well they communicated with one another (54%). Barriers to primary and GI care varied, and few caregivers (6%) reported unmet healthcare needs. Caregivers and adolescents saw PCPs and GI doctors having important roles in comprehensive care, though specific preferences for care delivery differed.

Conclusion: Caregivers and adolescent perspectives are essential to developing family-centered care models for children with IBD. 

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Parenting in Serious Pediatric Illness: A Mixed Methods Study (GP768)

Objectives: Describe how parents prioritize parenting tasks and goals for their seriously ill and healthy children Illustrate how the process of trading-off one child's needs to meet those of another can contribute to parents' distress in serious pediatric illness.

Importance: Nearly two-thirds of children requiring palliative care services have siblings, thus parents must consider their children's various needs. Exploring parenting in serious pediatric illness and palliative care provides insight into parents' challenges and sources of distress, as well as opportunities for support.

Objective(s): The objective of this study was to describe parenting seriously ill children and their healthy siblings.

Method(s): Concurrent, cross-sectional, mixedmethods study to describe challenges parents face prioritizing tasks and goals for each child with qualitative data, compare parents' tasks and goals for seriously ill children and healthy siblings with quantitative data using a discrete choice experiment of parenting attributes, and describe parenting in terms of the process of prioritizing tasks and goals for all children in the family.

Results: Participants included 31 parents of seriously ill children who have healthy siblings and were admitted to a children's hospital. Qualitative interviews revealed how parents managed children's needs and their perceptions of the toll it takes. Quantitative data revealed parents prioritized ''making sure my child feels loved'' highest for ill and healthy children. Other goals for healthy siblings focused on maintaining emotional connection and regularity within the family and for ill children focused on illness management. Mixed methods analysis revealed parents engaged in a process of decision-making and tradingoff competing demands by considering needs which ultimately transformed the meaning of parenting.

Conclusion(s): Parental attempts to balance family needs may prompt them to trade-off one child's needs in order to meet those of another, even if this does not align with their parenting goals or perceived duties. This discrepancy may lead parents to believe they are not fulfilling their definition of ''being a good parent.'' Impact. Without understanding the various duties among which parents feel pulled to fulfill, providers may have an incomplete picture of family life. Future research can examine trade-offs and associated effects and how to support parent problem-solving and decision-making around trade-offs.

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Pediatric Hearing Aid Management: Parent-Reported Needs for Learning Support

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate parent learning and support needs related to hearing aid management for young children, and factors that influence parent-reported hours of hearing aid use.

Design: A cross-sectional survey design was used to collect survey data in seven states. The child's primary caregiver completed a demographic form, a questionnaire to explore parent learning and support needs as well as their challenges with hearing aid use, and the patient health questionnaire to identify symptoms of depression. Three hundred and eighteen parents completed the questionnaires.

Results: Responses were analyzed for 318 parents of children (M = 23.15 months; SD = 10.43; range: 3 to 51) who had been wearing hearing aids (M = 15.52; SD = 10.11; range: <1 to 50 months). Even though the majority of parents reported receiving the educational support queried, approximately one-third wanted more information on a variety of topics such as loaner hearing aids, what their child can/cannot hear, financial assistance, how to meet other parents, how to do basic hearing aid maintenance, and how to keep the hearing aids on their child. The most frequently reported challenges that interfered with hearing aid use (rated often or always) were child activities, child not wanting to wear the hearing aids, and fear of losing or damaging the hearing aids. Forty-two percent of parents reported that, on good days, their child used hearing aids all waking hours. Multiple regression was used to compare the effect on parent-reported typical hours of hearing aid use based on good days for the variables of (1) presence of depressive symptoms for the parent, (2) child age, (3) family income, (4) primary caregiver education level, (5) presence of additional disabilities for the child, (6) degree of hearing loss, and (7) length of time since the child was fitted with hearing aids. There were statistically significantly fewer hours of reported hearing aid use when parents reported mild to severe symptoms of depression, lower income, less education level, and when children had mild hearing loss or additional disabilities.

Conclusion: Although parents reported overall that their needs for hearing aid education and support had generally been met, there were important suggestions for how audiologists and other service providers could better meet parent needs. Hearing aid use for young children was variable and influenced by a variety of factors. Understanding parent experiences and challenges can help audiologists more effectively focus support. Audiologists are more likely to meet the needs of families if they take care to provide access to thorough and comprehensive education and ongoing support that is tailored to address the unique needs of individual families.

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Medical alert card: a valuable tool in the management of Hirschsprung's-associated enterocolitis from parental perspective

Purpose: Awareness of Hirschsprung's-associated enterocolitis (HAEC) among patient's families and medical staff can lead to prompt recognition of symptoms and earlier implementation of management. We designed an HAEC medical alert card to raise awareness of HAEC among medical staff and carers of children with Hirschsprung's disease (HD). Our aim was to investigate parental opinion on the utility of this tool.; Methods: All patients diagnosed with HD in two institutions over a period of 14 years received an HAEC alert card and were invited to answer a 1-year follow-up structured questionnaire.

Results: A total of 123 patients received an HAEC card. The response rate for the follow-up questionnaire was 62% (n = 76). The majority 96% (n = 73) of the responders considered the card useful. A total of 89% (n = 68) of patients or parents stated that they carry the card with them, while 39% (n = 30) of them have used it on 57 occasions. The majority (83%; n = 25) of these declared that, when presented, the card increased awareness among medical staff and on 53% (n = 16) occasions prompted contact with the tertiary centre.

Conclusion: The HAEC medical card was found useful by most parents of HD patients. This tool increased awareness of HAEC and improved communication between peripheral hospitals and tertiary paediatric institutions. Therefore, we feel the HAEC alert card may be used in institutions with high HD addressability.

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Enablers of adherence to clinic appointments for children attending an antiretroviral clinic in Northern Nigeria: Perspectives of caregivers and care providers

Background: Nigeria has the highest burden of paediatric HIV infection, and the success of control efforts in the country is crucial to the global control of the HIV epidemic. However, defaults from schedules of care pose a threat to paediatric HIV control in Nigeria. This study was conducted in a pioneer facility for the implementation of the National HIV Prevention and Treatment Programmes.

Objective: The objective of this study was to explore factors that facilitate adherence to clinic appointments from perspectives of child caregivers and service providers.; Methods: This is a qualitative study using in-depth, face-to-face interviews conducted in 2016. Thirty-five participants were purposely sampled to comprise types of caregivers of HIV-exposed/infected children receiving care and from categories of service providers. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, thematically analysed and presented using a socioecological model.

Results: The themes that emerged from participants' narratives included advanced education, affluence and residing close to the clinic at the intrapersonal level. Stable family dynamics and support, HIV status disclosure and being a biologic parent or grandparent as caregiver emerged at the interpersonal level. At the community level, disclosure and support were identified, while at the health facility level, positive staff attitude, quality of healthcare and peer support group influence were factors identified to facilitate regular clinic attendance.

Conclusion: The factors that enable retention of children in care are multidimensional and intricately connected. Programme improvement initiatives should include regular assessment of clients' perspectives to inform implementation of strategies that could reinforce caregiver confidence in the health system. 

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Challenges Following Hospital Discharge for Children With Medical Complexity

Objectives: The transition from hospital to home is a period of risk, particularly for children with medical complexity. Our aim was to identify and address discharge challenges through execution of postdischarge phone calls.

Methods: In this prospective study, we designed and executed a postdischarge phone call for patients discharged from an inpatient complex care team between May and November 2018. The call included dichotomous and open-ended questions to identify challenges regarding health status, follow-up appointments, medications, home nursing, medical supplies and/or equipment, and discharge instructions. These were recorded in the electronic health record. Details regarding identified challenges and corrective actions were categorized by 2 reviewers and adjudicated by a third reviewer if disagreement occurred.

Results: Descriptive statistics were used to summarize these findings. Sixty-seven phone calls were completed within 1 week of discharge. Two-thirds of calls identified at least 1 challenge, and more than one-third of calls identified 2 or more challenges for a total of 90 challenges. The most common challenges involved health status (26.7%), follow-up appointments (21.1%), and medications (20%). The majority of challenges were addressed by either caregivers or the multidisciplinary team, with the exception of home nursing challenges.

Conclusions: Discharge challenges were commonly identified by caregivers of children with medical complexity. The majority of postdischarge challenges were addressed, with some addressed by families themselves. These results can inform health care providers about challenges to anticipate and suggest future interventions to mitigate anticipated challenges for a safe discharge and transition of care for these at-risk patients. 

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Reaching Independence Through Forced Learning: Learning Processes and Illness Management in Parents of Children Affected by Hemophilia

Hemophilia is a complex condition to manage, especially for parents to newly diagnosed children. This grounded theory study explores parents’ learning processes and illness management in daily life during the first year after the start of their child’s treatment. Using a longitudinal qualitative design, eight parents of four children were interviewed repeatedly during 12 to 14 months. The core category, reaching independence through forced learning, reflected the parents’ learning process and their experiences of the challenges during the first year after start of treatment. Incentives for learning were characterized by a longing to reach independence and regain control of one’s life situation. The emerging key incentive for learning was a desire to become independent of health care professionals. Early home treatment reduced the impact of the illness, and by supporting parents in different ways during the learning process, health care professionals can promote the parents’ trajectory toward independency.

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Handle the Autism Spectrum Condition during Coronavirus (COVID-19) Stay at Home Period: Ten Tips for Helping Parents and Caregivers of Young Children

COVID-19 has become pandemic [[1]] and many government decrees have declared restrictive measures in order to prevent its wider spread. In this situation the handling of young children with special needs such as autism spectrum condition (ASC) could be challenging for families and caregivers. Shared Video Game and/or Internet Sessions with Parents Video games and the internet are extremely attractive for children with ASC but they could become an absorbent interest [[12]], especially in this period when children are called to stay at home.

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Caregiver Decisional Conflict Before and After Consultation About Gastrostomy Tube Placement

Objectives: Families describe decision-making about gastrostomy tube (g-tube) placement as challenging. We measured caregiver decisional conflict before and after initial g-tube consultation to evaluate the potential benefit of a decision aid and feasibility in testing it.;

Methods: Families presenting for initial consultation about g-tube placement completed the decisional conflict scale (DCS) at 1 or 2 of 3 time points: before consultation, after consultation, and after viewing a video. The decision support consultation was a 2-hour structured meeting with a pediatric hospitalist, nurse practitioner, and dietitian that was focused on clarifying the indication, feasibility, safety, and family values around tube placement. The video described decision-making and lived experiences of families with tube feeding.

Results: We measured the decisional conflict of 61 caregivers. Preconsultation decisional conflict scores were high (mean = 38.7), but there was substantial variation between families (SD = 19.4). Baseline scores did not vary between clinically relevant subgroups. Postconsultation DCS scores were lower (17.9 and SD = 13.5 for consult alone; 12.7 and SD = 13.2 for consult with video). Three caregivers (7.7%) of families had residual decisional conflict scores >37.5, the threshold conventionally associated with decision delay.

Conclusions: Measuring decisional conflict among caregivers deciding about pediatric g-tube is feasible during the clinical encounter. Residual decisional conflict after our institution's current decision support consultation model (with or without an additional video) was low, so development of an additional structured decision aid is not warranted. Further study of preconsult DCS variability across different clinical subgroups may help identify families benefiting from additional decisional support. 

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A Latent Class Analysis to Identify Variation in Caregivers' Preferences for their Child's Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Treatment: Do Stated Preferences Match Current Treatment?

Objectives: To investigate variation in caregiver preferences for their child's attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) care and to determine if their stated preferences align with current care management.

Methods: Caregivers of a child aged 4-14 years and in care for ADHD were recruited from pediatric outpatient clinics and advocacy groups across the state of Maryland. Participants completed a survey collecting demographics, the child's treatment, and caregiver preferences-elicited using a best-worst scaling experiment (case 2). Latent class analysis was used to identify distinct preference segments and bivariate analyses were used to compare the association between segment membership with what the child was currently receiving for their ADHD.

Results: Participants (n = 184) were predominantly White (68%) and the child's mother (84%). Most children had ADHD for 2 or more years (79%). Caregiver preferences were distinguished by two segments: continuous medication (36%) and minimal medication (64%). The two groups had very different preferences for when medication was administered (p < 0.001), but they had similar preferences for provider-oriented and non-medication interventions (p > 0.05 for the caregiver behavior training, provider communication, provider specialty, and out-of-pocket costs). One third of the sample did not receive the preferred individualized education program and 42% of the minimal medication group reported using medication 7 days a week all year round.

Conclusions: Although behavior management training and school accommodations aspects of an ADHD care plan are more important to caregivers than evidence-based medication, fewer families had access to educational accommodations. Further research is needed to clarify how stated preferences for care align with treatments used in actual practice settings.

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Factors that influence family and parental preferences and decision making for unscheduled paediatric healthcare - systematic review

Introduction: Health systems offer access to unscheduled care through numerous routes; however, it is typically provided by general practitioners (GPs), by emergency medicine doctors in in emergency departments (EDs) and by GPs in out-of-hours GP services such as practitioner cooperatives. Unscheduled healthcare constitutes a substantial portion of healthcare delivery. A systematic review was conducted to establish the factors that influence parents' decision making when seeking unscheduled healthcare for their children. The systematic review question was "What are the factors that influence the decision making of parents and families seeking unscheduled paediatric healthcare?"

Method: Five databases (CINAHL, PubMed, SCOPUS, PsycInfo, EconLit) and four grey literature databases (Proquest, Lenus, OpenGrey, Google Scholar) were searched. The titles and abstracts of 3746 articles were screened and full-text screening was performed on 177 of these articles. Fifty-six papers were selected for inclusion in the review. Data relating to different types of unscheduled health services (namely primary care, the emergency department and out-of-hours services) were extracted from these articles. A narrative approach was used to synthesise the extracted data.

Results: Several factors were identified as influencing parental preferences and decision making when seeking unscheduled healthcare for their children. A number of the included studies identified pre-disposing factors such as race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status (SES) as impacting the healthcare-seeking behaviour of parents. Unscheduled healthcare use was often initiated by the parent's perception that the child's condition was urgent and their need for reassurance. The choice of unscheduled service was influenced by a myriad of factors such as: waiting times, availability of GP appointments, location of the ED, and the relationship that the parent or caregiver had with their GP.

Conclusion: Policy and planning initiatives do not always reflect how patients negotiate the health system as a single entity with numerous entry points. Altering patients' behaviour through public health initiatives that seek to improve, for instance, health literacy or reducing emergency hospital admissions through preventative primary care requires an understanding of the relative importance of factors that influence behaviour and decision making, and the interactions between these factors.

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Family‐centred care of children and young people in the acute hospital setting: A concept analysis

Aims and objectives: To provide an operational definition of family‐centred care as it applies to hospitalised children. The objective was to provide clarification of the concept by comprehensively analysing the evidence.

Background: Terms associated with family‐centred care include partnership‐in‐care, negotiated care, parental participation/involvement in care, care‐by‐parent and child‐centred care. The absence of a universally accepted definition contributes to its inconsistent implementation.

Design and Methods: Concept analysis is acknowledged as a form of inquiry to develop the knowledge base of nursing. Rodgers' evolutionary approach to concept analysis was used as a guiding framework. The systematic literature search yielded 30 theoretical papers; the results are outlined on a PRISMA flow diagram.

Results: Surrogate terms identified include partnership‐in‐care, negotiated care and parent participation. Parental participation in care, the development of respectful and trusting partnerships, information sharing and all family members as care recipients were identified as attributes to family‐centred care. There is limited evidence that family‐centred care enhances the child's, parents' and families' experience of hospitalisation and is associated with reduced anxiety for parents.

Conclusion: There is a lack of attention to cultural and societal changes, which impact on those receiving and delivering care. While we know that family‐centred care is widely endorsed and enhances well‐being, there is a lack of empirical evidence about the impact on health outcomes for children. While children's nurses have been applying some elements of family‐centred care to their clinical practice for decades, the concept continues to evolve.Relevance to clinical practiceFurther research examining the effects of family‐centred care for children, their families, healthcare professionals and healthcare organisations reflecting cultural diversity and norms must be conducted. This research should include the effects of family‐centred care on parents caring for their child in hospital, how family‐centred care supports parents to make healthcare decisions and the outcomes of family‐centred care for children and families.

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Facilitators and Barriers of Advance Care Planning Discussions with Adolescents, Young Adults, and Parents of Children with Serious Illness (RP403)

Objectives: Describe the advance care planning communication preferences of children and adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with serious illness and their families. Describe multidisciplinary clinicians' current approach to advance care planning communication as well as perceived facilitators and barriers to initiating advance care planning discussions with AYAs and parents of children with serious illness. Discuss opportunities for further research to improve advance care planning communication for children and AYAs with serious illness and their families.

Importance: Parents desire earlier and more opportunities for advance care planning (ACP); however, large scale adoption of ACP for seriously ill children and AYAs remains unrealized. Little is known about the perceived facilitators and barriers of ACP discussions. Objective(s). To explore multidisciplinary clinician perceptions about typical approaches and perceived facilitators and barriers to ACP discussions.

Method(s): Semi-structured focus groups and individual interviews were conducted with multidisciplinary clinicians at two centers from December 2018-April 2019. An interdisciplinary three-person team then conducted thematic analysis incorporating both prefigured and emergent codes. Through an iterative process, a comprehensive coding structure was created, and each transcript coded independently by two coders with the third serving as an adjudicator, achieving high interrater reliability (kappa>0.85). Utilizing grounded theory and framework analysis, we present findings related to clinician perceptions about current approaches to ACP, and facilitators and barriers to ACP discussions.

Results: The sample included 35 stakeholders including physicians, nurses, psychosocial clinicians, and chaplains. Overall, providers valued facilitating ACP conversations with patients and their families and aimed to do so by supporting, empowering, and establishing trust. Providers prioritized understanding family dynamics, establishing goals of care, and delineating the overall disease trajectory in ACP discussions. However, various factors impeded ACP discussions. Primary clinician-level barriers included limited communication skills, prognostic uncertainty, competing demands, and conflicting messaging associated with multidisciplinary team care, while perceived patient and family-level barriers included poor prognostic awareness, avoidance, complex patient/family dynamics, and the influence of culture and religion. Clinicians identified alignment with the patient's primary team and normalization as facilitators of ACP discussions.

Conclusion(s): Despite ubiquitous recognition of the importance of ACP communication, various clinicianand parent-level barriers were identified that do not meet the needs of children and AYAs with serious illness and their families. Impact. Improvement strategies should prioritize serious illness communication interventions to facilitate ACP and ensure care is aligned with patient and family goals and values.

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Psychosocial Needs and Facilitators of Mothers Caring for Children with Duchenne/Becker Muscular Dystrophy

Care guidelines for Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy (DBMD) include recommendations for assessment of caregivers of patients with DBMD followed by proactive psychosocial interventions. To inform clinical assessment, this study described appraisals of psychosocial needs and caregiving facilitators of mothers of individuals with DBMD. Two hundred and five mothers completed an online survey. More than 50% endorsed unmet needs for managing uncertainty about the future and managing DBMD fears. Higher levels of unmet need were associated with less disease progression/earlier stage of DBMD (rho = -0.166 p = 0.02). Twenty-one percent regularly used respite care and 57% worried about allowing others to care for their child. Highly-endorsed care facilitators included partner relationships (63%), child's approach to life (59%), and family relationships (49%). Our findings highlight the importance of psychological and social support for caregivers. Starting when children are young, clinicians should assess caregivers' unmet psychological needs, particularly uncertainty and fear. Exploring needs and facilitators may allow clinics to target and customize interventions that build upon existing strengths and supports. Our findings have implications for efforts to promote early diagnosis and newborn screening, in that increased needs in mothers of younger children should be anticipated and built into counseling. Further research can assess whether and how unmet needs change as new therapies become available.

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Parental Experiences of Raising a Child With Medium Chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency

Newborn screening enabling early diagnosis of medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD) has dramatically improved health outcomes in children with MCADD. Achieving those outcomes depends on effective management by parents. Understanding parental management strategies and associated anxieties and concerns is needed to inform provision of appropriate care and support. Semistructured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of parents of children aged 2 to 12 years. Thematic analysis identified two main themes. Managing dietary intake examined how parents managed day-to-day dietary intake to ensure adequate intake and protection of safe fasting intervals. Managing and preventing illness events explored parental experiences of managing illness events and their approach to preventing these events. Management strategies were characterized by caution and vigilance and influenced by a lack of confidence in others to manage the condition. The study identifies the need for increased awareness of the condition, particularly in relation to emergency treatment.

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Caregivers' Perceptions of Speech-Language Pathologist Talk About Child Language and Literacy Disorders

Purpose: This study examined caregiver perceptions of their child's language and literacy disorder as influenced by communications with their speech-language pathologist.

Method: The participants were 12 caregivers of 10 schoolaged children with language and literacy disorders. Employing qualitative methods, a collective case study approach was utilized in which the caregiver(s) of each child represented one case. The data came from semistructured interviews, codes emerged directly from the caregivers' responses during the interviews, and multiple coding passes using ATLAS.ti software were made until themes were evident. These themes were then further validated by conducting clinical file reviews and follow-up interviews with the caregivers.

Results: Caregivers' comments focused on the types of information received or not received, as well as the clarity of the information. This included information regarding their child's diagnosis, the long-term consequences of their child's disorder, and the connection between language and reading. Although caregivers were adept at describing their child's difficulties and therapy goals/objectives, their comments indicated that they struggled to understand their child's disorder in a way that was meaningful to them and their child.

Conclusions: The findings showed the value caregivers place on receiving clear and timely diagnostic information, as well as the complexity associated with caregivers' understanding of language and literacy disorders. The findings are discussed in terms of changes that could be made in clinical practice to better support children with language and literacy disorders and their families.

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Basic Needs of Mothers with Children Undergoing Hemodialysis: A Meta-synthesis of Qualitative Studies

Background: Mothers of children undergoing hemodialysis encounter severe changes in their daily lives. It is of utmost importance to raise the awareness of treatment teams about the needs of these specific groups of mothers and different problems they may experience. The reason is that it can help health care professionals to support the mothers to fulfill their roles as the primary caregivers of such children.

Aim: This study aimed to identify basic needs in mothers of children undergoing hemodialysis.

Method: This meta-synthesis review of qualitative studies investigating the needs and experience of mothers whose children had kidney disease and published from January 1997 to October 2017. The articles were searched in four databases, including Web of Science, EMBASE, PubMed, and ProQuest. The search process was accomplished using the keywords "chronic kidney disease," "hemodialysis," "children," "mothers," "parents," "caregivers," "needs," "experiences," "perspectives," and "perceptions". Finally, 7 articles were chosen out of 567 papers and theses. The MAXQDA software was used to facilitate data management.

Results: The systematic review of the qualitative studies revealed three main themes, including the need for child care management skills, the need to maintain family cohesion, and the need for emotional-psychological support.

Implications for Practice: Mothers of children under hemodialysis should be considered as nursing clients. Accordingly, a multidisciplinary team can empower mothers to take care of the children under hemodialysis and preserve family coherence, as well as supporting them emotionally and psychologically.

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Barriers and Facilitators to Caring for a Child with Cerebral Palsy in Rural Communities of the Western Cape, South Africa

Family members of children with disabilities have become more involved in their children's care and have adopted the role of primary caregiver. Due to the varying degrees of the condition, children with cerebral palsy (CP) often require greater involvement from their caregivers. Fifteen caregivers for children with CP residing in rural communities of the Western Cape, South Africa, were interviewed to explore the barriers and facilitators that they encountered. Thematic analysis revealed that some progress has been made in terms of service provision to caregivers from previously disadvantaged communities. However, a lot more needs to be done to help caregivers with children with CP. Social support, increased public awareness of the causes of disability, financial support by the government and access to disability friendly services, such as respite care, special education and transport-related services, have been identified as essential. It is important to take this into consideration when designing future interventions in order to provide caregivers with support and services necessary to make an impact. 

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Caring and living with Prader-Willi syndrome in Italy: integrating children, adults and parents' experiences through a multicentre narrative medicine research

Objectives: Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) significantly impacts health-related quality of life; however, its relational and existential aspects remain unknown in Italian clinical and social debate. The project aimed to investigate the impact of PWS on illness experience through narrative medicine (NM) to understand the daily life, needs and resources of patients with PWS and their caregivers, and to furnish insights for clinical practice.

Design and Setting: The project involved 10 medical centres of the Italian Network for Rare Diseases and PWS family associations and targeted underage and adult patients with PWS and their caregivers. Written interviews, composed by a sociodemographic survey and a narrative, were collected through the project's website. Three dedicated illness plots employed evocative and open words to facilitate individual expression and to encourage reflection. Narratives were analysed through NVivo software. Researchers discussed the results with the project's steering committee. 

Participants: Twenty-one children and adolescents and 34 adults with PWS joined the project, as well as 138 caregivers. A PWS diagnosis or the caregiving of a patient with PWS older than 5 years represented the eligibility criteria, as well as the willingness to share their illness experience by writing and the ability to communicate in Italian.; Results: The analysis of narratives led to understanding the PWS social and relational issues concerning diagnosis and current management, PWS daily experiences and social contexts, PWS implications in the working sphere and participants' future perspectives. Narratives demonstrated that PWS management affects relationships and work-life balance and that social stigma remains present.

Conclusion: The project represented the first effort to investigate the impact of PWS on illness experience in Italy through NM while considering the perspectives of patients with PWS and their caregivers. The findings indicated that a multiprofessional approach is fundamental to ensure adequate treatment and provided elements for its improvement. 

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Core outcome domains of pediatric palliative care for children with severe neurological impairment and their families: A qualitative interview study

Background: The interest in outcome measurement in pediatric palliative care is rising. To date, the majority of studies investigating relevant outcomes of pediatric palliative care focus on children with cancer. Insight is lacking, however, about relevant outcome domains for children with severe neurological impairment and their families.

Aim: The aim of this study was to identify meaningful outcome domains of pediatric palliative care for children with severe neurological impairment and their families.

Design: A qualitative research design following a constructivist research paradigm was employed. Guided interviews were conducted with parents of children with life-limiting conditions and severe neurological impairment and professional caregivers. The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.; Setting: Overall, 10 cooperating pediatric palliative care institutions across Germany (outpatient and inpatient settings) aided in the recruitment of eligible parents and professional caregivers. A total of 11 interviews with 14 parents and 17 interviews with 20 professional caregivers were conducted.

Results: Six core outcome domains of pediatric palliative care for children with severe neurological impairment and their families were identified, namely (1) symptom control, (2) respite and support, (3) normalcy, (4) security, (5) empowerment, and (6) coping with the disease, each consisting of 1 to 13 individual aspects.

Conclusion: As for other diagnostic groups, symptom control is a relevant outcome domain for children with severe neurological impairment. However, other outcome domains which focus on the whole family and take into account the long disease trajectory, such as respite and support, security, empowerment, and coping with the disease, are also crucial.

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Parents’ decision-making about attending an emergency department with their child

There is a possibility that front-line services, particularly out-of-hours services, are not accessible to some parents. The aim of this service evaluation was to gain a better understanding about visits to one emergency department (ED) in the south of England by children and their parents or carers. The specific focus was to elucidate the reasons behind frequent ED attendance and indicate a potential redesign of services.Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 parents. The overarching theme emerging from the transcripts was parents’ complex decision-making to ensure their children’s healthcare needs were addressed. Parents highlighted the absence of consistent specialist community services to support them in caring for their children at home and to act as a resource for decision-making relating to their child’s care. Telephone and online information services such as NHS 111 were perceived as not always helpful. Parents were able to identify models of out-of-hours care which they saw as potentially more accessible and useful, such as the provision of a specialist paediatrician at GP surgeries. Further evaluation is necessary to make it possible to integrate parents’ views and needs into service design and delivery.

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Discovering dad: paternal roles, responsibilities, and support needs as defined by fathers of children with complex cardiac conditions perioperatively

Background: Understanding perceptions of family caregivers' roles and responsibilities regarding their child with complex cardiac needs has potential to help care teams better support parents. Paternal experience has been under-explored in pediatric cardiac cohorts.;

Methods: Ten fathers of children undergoing cardiac surgery completed quantitative surveys on their knowledge needs and preferred format of communication. In face-to-face recorded interviews, they responded to open-ended questions about the definition of being a good father to a child with a complex cardiac condition, perceived paternal responsibilities, personal growth as a parent to a child with a complex heart condition, support needs, and recommendations to medical staff for paternal inclusion. Semantic content analysis was utilised. The study reports strictly followed COnsolidated criteria for REporting Qualitative research guidelines.

Results: The fathers reported high preference for knowledge about the child's heart condition, communication about the treatment plan, and desire for inclusion in the care of their child. Paternal role was defined thematically as: providing a supportive presence, being there, offering bonded insight, serving as strong provider, and acting as an informed advocate. The fathers revealed that their responsibilities sometimes conflicted as they strove to serve as an emotional and economic stabiliser for their family, while also wanting to be foundationally present for their child perioperatively.

Conclusion: This study provides insight into paternal experience and strategies for paternal inclusion. This summary of the self-defined experience of the fathers of pediatric cardiac patients offers constructive and specific advice for medical teams.

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Case-Based Insights: Arab Muslim Mothers' Experiences of Managing a Child Newly Diagnosed With Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Mothers frequently fulfill the role of primary caregiver for children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). A T1DM diagnosis has a significant impact on the child and the wider family unit. The objective is to develop understanding of mothers' experiences caring for children diagnosed with T1DM in the cultural context of the Middle East to facilitate enhanced health service provision and support. This study used a qualitative design. Data were collected in individual semistructured interviews. Participants were mothers of Arabic descent and Muslim belief who had a child diagnosed with T1DM within the last 12 months. All mothers were registered at the health service where this research was conducted and resident in the United Arab Emirates at the time of this study. COREQ guidelines informed reporting of the research and findings. Participating mothers described initial reactions of shock and disbelief, followed by transition to near ordinary and near normal ( 85% normal ) family functioning. Family, culture, and faith emerged as critical supports in the whirlwind daily challenge of balancing the multiple demands and competing needs of the newly diagnosed child and the broader family. This study is the first of its kind from countries comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council. The findings provide insight into the challenges and support needs of mothers caring for children newly diagnosed with T1DM in an Arab Muslim context. The findings also provide a basis for enhancing health service support and suggest themes to inform further research.

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Understanding Different Aspects of Caregiving for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) a Narrative Review of the Literature

Background: There has been a considerable endeavor to understand associated challenges of caregiving for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) and to develop the necessary skills and approaches to assist parents of children with ASD. Different studies have been stressed the importance and need for parental involvement in the intervention process to increase positive impacts.

Methods: The process of caregiving and the associated challenges should be understood from different aspects to be able to facilitate parent involvement in intervention implementation. In a narrative literature review, ten selected reviews were considered and each review considered a special aspect of caregiving for an individual with ASD.

Results: Five main different factors in the available literature and reviews were considered as different themes that needed to be reconsidered in the studies on the impacts of caregiving for an individual with ASD.

Conclusions: It is concluded that to facilitate parental involvement in the intervention process, and to support caregivers of this group of individuals this review highlights the need for improved research in some proposed areas in this field and to bridge the gap between research and practice in this field.

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Challenges and contributors to self-efficacy for caregivers of toddlers with autism

In this qualitative study, 11 mothers of toddlers with autism participated in interviews to investigate how they perceived their roles and their competency to support toddlers' social learning in the context of both professional-implemented and parent-mediated early intervention models. The authors conducted a thematic analysis with multiple layers of independent coding. Four resulting themes highlighted challenges and contributors to parent self-efficacy. First, related to child characteristics, challenges were most prominent in the early period as participants adjusted to the diagnosis and reached to connect when social difficulties emerged. Second, having a peripheral role in early intervention challenged participants' confidence in their abilities, while receiving guidance to assume an active leadership role supported their sense of efficacy for facilitating toddlers' social learning. In a third theme, participants described specific and general examples of their expertise. Fourth, participants considered the transactional context of parent–child interaction and largely viewed their toddlers' independent wills, natures, and preferences as strengths upon which to build social engagement. The results support the need for early interventionists to promote and leverage family capacity for facilitating toddler learning as social challenges begin to appear for toddlers with autism. Parent-participatory early intervention practices are linked to parents' positive views of their own and their children's capabilities, beliefs that are associated with a range of parent and child outcomes. A qualitative study was conducted with 11 mothers of toddlers with autism who had experience with both professionally directed and parent-mediated early intervention. Participants were interviewed to explore their perspectives on their roles in relation to professionals and on how they viewed their ability to support their toddlers' social learning. An in-depth analysis of the transcribed interviews resulted in four themes. First, in the early stages, participants experienced challenges to their self-efficacy as they adjusted to the diagnosis and reached to connect with their child when social challenges emerged. Second, participants' views of their capability were stronger when they were provided with background knowledge enabling them to take the lead in guiding their children's learning than when professionals modeled predetermined intervention strategies for them to copy. Third, participants provided specific examples of their expertise to support their toddlers' social learning and viewed their close parent–child relationship and intimate knowledge of their children as valuable to the intervention. Fourth, participants voiced respect for their toddlers' natures and preferences, positioning them to build on their toddlers' strengths in everyday interactions. The results support the need for early intervention providers to promote and leverage family capacity for facilitating toddler learning as social challenges begin to appear for toddlers with autism. 

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The Parent Experience of Caring for a Child with Mitochondrial Disease

Introduction: Mitochondrial disease is a spectrum of progressive genetic disorders resulting from dysfunctions of cellular metabolism in the mitochondria that greatly compromise the lives of affected individuals, who are often children.

Purpose: This study described the parent experiences unique to caring for a child with mitochondrial disease.; Methods: Internet surveys were made available to parents of children with a known mitochondrial disease. Surveys included demographic items and two questionnaires: Parent Experience of Child Illness (PECI) and Pediatric Inventory for Parents (PIP). Descriptive data were collected and correlations calculated to determine relationships between the parent experience and stress.

Results: The majority of participants (n=231) were mothers (95%) of children with mitochondrial disease around the age of 10 years (M=9.85). Elevated scores were found in parent adjustment illness-related concerns regarding Guilt and Worry (M=2.30, SD=.650), Sorrow and Anger (M=2.09, SD=.730), Long-term Uncertainty (M=2.56, SD=.690), and Emotional Resources (M=2.36, SD=.615). Scores indicated elevated feelings of stress in terms of both difficulty and frequency. Significant correlations (p<0.01) were found between parent illness-related concerns and parenting stress.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that parents of a child with mitochondrial disease feel a burden of responsibility that exceeds the typical caregiver role, see their child as fragile, and have concerns about their child's future. Identification of these concerns can assist nurses to better meet the needs of these parents and families. 

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Family management affecting transition readiness and quality of life of Chinese children and young people with chronic diseases

Transition from pediatric to adult health care is a key milestone for children and young people (CYP) with chronic conditions. Family management (FM) and self-management are two important concepts during the process. This study aimed to explore the relationships between FM, self-management and transition readiness, and quality of life (QoL), and identify the potential CYP or family factors influencing the relationships. Data about FM, self-management and transition readiness, QoL, and various contextual factors were collected from 268 caregiver-child pairs. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the relationships between all variables. Results revealed that the easy aspects of FM mediated the relationships between the challenging aspects of FM, self-management and transition readiness, and QoL of CYP. Self-management and transition readiness mediated the relationship between the easy aspects of FM and QoL. Contextual factors indirectly influenced CYP's transition readiness and QoL through different aspects of FM. The results imply that to ensure the smooth transition from pediatric to adult health care and improve the CYP's QoL, strengthening CYP's independence and self-management competencies, combined with the support of the easy aspects of FM, seem to be useful strategies to increase CYP's readiness for transfer.

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Parent Perspectives on Pediatric Inpatient OpenNotes

Introduction: 169 U.S. health systems now engage in OpenNotes: a movement to share clinical notes with patients. Few studies have focused on releasing notes during hospitalization, pediatrics, or parents/caregiver perspectives.

Methods: A focus group was conducted with eight parents with experience caring for a hospitalized child at a Midwest children's hospital. In the 2-hour session, parents were asked about their perspectives of the idea of sharing inpatient doctors' daily notes with parents during their child's hospitalization. Qualitative analysis was conducted to elicit themes related to the potential benefits and challenges of sharing inpatient notes.

Results: The most mentioned benefits included notes providing information as a reference for improved family education/understanding, communication/continuity, and advocacy/empowerment. Challenges were primarily related to note content, impaired communication and negative impact on families.

Conclusion: Participants identified multiple potential benefits of and challenges to sharing notes with parents during their child's hospitalization but also acknowledged the impact on healthcare professionals who work alongside them.

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Respite needs of families receiving palliative care

Aim: The care of a child with a life-limiting condition proves an emotional, physical and financial strain on the family that provides care for their child. Respite care is one way which allows carers to receive some relief and support in the context of this burden of care. The provision of and the requirements for respite in this context is poorly understood. This survey aims to describe the types of respite care families receive, the respite that they would ideally receive and the barriers that prevent this.

Methods: A cohort of 34 families cared for by the Paediatric Palliative Care Service in Queensland were approached to participate in a 20-question survey about their current respite preferences for future respite, with 20 surveys returned.

Results: Three of the families (15%) reported receiving no respite in the previous 12 months. Families who received respite received a combination of formal respite (a structured care provider) and informal respite (family or friends). Ten families (50%) reported that they would want the time of respite changed. Barriers to receiving adequate respite included complexity of care of the child, financial barriers and lack of a respite provider. 

Conclusions: There is disparate provision of respite care with the main perceived barrier to attaining 'ideal respite' being the lack of a provider able to meet the complex care needs of their child. The provision of respite across diversity in geography; medical condition; social and cultural needs remains a challenge. 

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Physician and parent barriers to the use of oral corticosteroids for the prevention of paediatric URTI-induced acute asthma exacerbations at home

Objectives: Administration of oral corticosteroids at the onset of an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) can be effective in the management of acute asthma exacerbations in children. This study was designed to identify barriers to parent-initiated implementation of clinical practice guideline-recommended use of oral corticosteroids for prophylaxis against severe asthma exacerbations in children.

Methods: Twenty-seven children who presented to BC Children's Hospital with URTI-induced asthma exacerbations were recruited. Parents received a filled prescription for a course of oral corticosteroids to be used at the earliest onset of their child's next URTI. Each family was contacted monthly over a 1-year period to inquire about URTI events, asthma symptoms, medication use and health care utilization. Focus groups were held with family physicians, paediatricians and parents; transcripts were analyzed qualitatively to identify key themes.

Results: Incidence of URTI events among participants was high (85%). Uptake of study medication was low; 44% used the medication as directed at their first URTI event. Eleven per cent of the patients who used the study medication also visited the emergency department for an exacerbation. Focus groups identified four main barriers to the effective use of parent-initiated oral corticosteroids: physician resistance and conflicting messages from providers; parent uncertainty about oral corticosteroids; multiple caregivers and relative ease of access to an emergency department.

Conclusion: We have identified key barriers to the effective use of parent-administered oral corticosteroids as an asthma management strategy and gained important insights regarding the research that is required to enhance the applicability of the strategy.

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A study of health seeking behavior in families of children with Type 1 diabetes

Objectives: Importance of HSB is increasing being recognized in understanding patient compliance, adequacy of followup, and seeking of alternative therapies (AT), which impact glycemic control. We looked at HSB of T1D caregivers.

Methods: 56 families: Child's T1D duration >1 y, were interviewed: 49 coming to a private clinic, 7 in government hospitals. SES was low in 20, upper/middle ("non-poor") in 36.

Results: After diagnosis, 24/56 (43%) had consulted 2-10 (mean 3.3) doctors - 6/20 (30%) poor families, 18/ 36 (50%) non-poor. Conversely 11: 7 poor (35%) and 4/36 (11%) non-poor families consulted no doctor for 1-3 y (mean 1.25 y) after diagnosis. easons given: "nothing new to learn, can manage dose adjustment ourselves": 8; "did not know we were supposed to follow up": 2; "shifted out of Delhi, couldn't find pediatric endocrinologist": 1. During this gap, there were 3 admissions for hyperglycemia; and 5 episodes of severe hypoglycemia managed at home. AT was tried by 35/56 (62%: Ayurveda by 8, Homeopathy 10, Naturopathy/Home remedies 17 [bitter gourd, neem juice, fenugreek, jamun]): 40% AT triers were poor, 60% non-poor. Reasons given: Own beliefs, experiences of other diabetics, television, internet, social groups, magazines and seminars. Reasons for choosing medical provider: Doctor treating or referred to during admission: 26; own financial status: 11, distance: 7, their experience and level of satisfaction with doctor: 12. Of clinic patients, 25/49 have regular followup, 16 irregular, and 8 had no visits in the past year. SES-wise, 18/36 (50%) non-poor, 7/20 (35%) poor families have regular followup.

Conclusions: Doctor shopping, erratic followup, trying AT, are common problems, and need to be proactively discussed with families to find solutions. HSB is only partly determined by SES: Non-poor families did somewhat more doctor shopping; poor families had more irregular followup.

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Efficacy of Simulation for Caregivers of Children With a Tracheostomy

This study aimed to show simulation improves confidence and competence in caregivers of children with a tracheostomy and examined the impact on patient emergency department visits and mortality. All participants received standard classroom training. One group also received training using simulation. Confidence at post-test was significantly greater in the simulation group. Correlation between post-test confidence and competency measures was not statistically significant. Mortality in family homes was almost five times higher for children whose caregivers did not participate in simulation. Simulation should be considered an important adjunct when preparing caregivers to respond to tracheostomy emergencies at home.

• Parents who received simulation training on emergency tracheostomy care showed a significantly greater level of confidence at post-test when compared with those who did not.

• The correlation between post-test confidence and competency measures was not statistically significant.

• Emergency department visits increased in the simulation group. These results suggest simulation may make caregivers more sensitive to their child's distress and more likely to use the emergency department than expected.

• Mortality related to tracheostomy emergencies in family homes was nearly 5 times higher for children whose caregivers did not participate in simulation.

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Adaptation and Feasibility of the interRAI Family Carer Needs Assessment in a Pediatric Setting

Family carers of children with serious illness contribute many hours of medical care in addition to usual daily care. Assessing the needs and supports of family carers is not routine practice. This study is the first to utilize the interRAI Family Carer Needs Assessment in carers of children, seeking to evaluate and improve its ability to capture their needs. This is a prospective pilot study of family carers of children with serious illness receiving care at a pediatric hospice. Thirty carers completed the self-assessment form. Additional feedback was sought inquiring about the appropriateness of questions and missing information relevant to the pediatric setting. All participants reported the assessment captured important information across multiple domains. Additional questions surrounding extra costs, home and school supports, as well as direct impacts of caregiving activities on pain and relationships were identified as important adaptations. The most common unmet needs in carers and care recipients were episodic relief from caregiving (n=17) and housing adaptation (n=17), respectively. Overall, a comprehensive assessment form is feasible in identifying the diverse needs of family carers of children. Future research should focus on using pediatric specific interRAI tools to guide improvements in policy and practice that can address unmet needs.

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Relationships between caregiver decisions about communication approach and language outcomes for children using cochlear implants*

With regard to parents making communication approach decisions for their children with hearing loss, Crowe et al. (2014) suggested that key themes were: feasibility; sources of information; child characteristics; and, future opportunities. For children using cochlear implants (CI/s), the present study aimed to understand parental preferences regarding communication, the sources of information they used, and child language outcomes. Demographic and language data were available for 162 children using CI/s (mean age at CI 3.74 years; SD 3.83). Standard scores (SS) were reported for the PPVT-3/ PPVT-4. To enable inclusion of a more diverse group of children (including those with additional needs) data from the PPVT, PLS, CDI and RI-TLS were coded; receptive and expressive Categories of Linguistic Performance (CLIP; Dettman et al., 2017). Caregivers completed a one-off questionnaire; Parental Views about Communication (PVaC). Chi-square analyses explored the distribution and strength of caregiver responses to PVaC questions about the use of spoken language/Auslan within a Bilingual-Bicultural approach. Correlations between child/family characteristics, child language and parental preferences were explored. Parents’ decisions regarding communication with their children using CI/s were driven by multiple sources of information and influence. Changes in a child’s communication approach before and after hearing diagnosis and, following CIs were unrelated to child language outcomes or family characteristics but were influenced to an extent by parent values and child preferences. Of importance to the field, parents/caregivers require unbiased support from professionals to learn about their needs and to seek information (Young, 2002). Consistent with Watson et al. (2007) child preferences were influential on parental decision making; the present study demonstrated that child language and cognitive skills were also influential.

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Caregiver Stress, Coping Strategies, and Support Needs of Mothers Caring for their Children Who Are Undergoing Active Cancer Treatments

The diagnosis of childhood cancer not only affects the life of the child but also impacts the lives of the caregivers as well. This study aims to explore the caregiving stress, coping strategies, and support needs of mothers caring for children/adolescents with cancer during the active treatment phase. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted, and two authors independently and thematically analyzed data. Caregiving mothers went through a process of emotional changes and a change in lifestyles when their children were diagnosed with cancer and undergoing treatments. It is important to ensure that caregiving mothers of children/adolescents with cancer are well supported by family, friends, and healthcare professionals. Healthcare professionals can develop informational booklets on cancer treatment protocols and work together with mothers. Parent support groups and plans for psychoeducational and spiritual care programs for mothers as forms of informational and emotional support may also be established.

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Assessing the needs of caregivers of children with disabilities in Penang, Malaysia

Disability in a child not only affects the child but also presents socioeconomic and psychological impacts to the child's family. This study aims to describe the service needs of caregivers of children with disabilities in the state of Penang, Malaysia, and to determine the child and family characteristics predisposing to having more caregiver needs. A cross-sectional survey was conducted between February and June 2013 among caregivers of children aged 0-12 years with disabilities registered with the Penang Department of Social Welfare. Caregivers completed a self-administered mailed questionnaire containing a 20-item Caregiver Needs Scale (CNS). Each item in the CNS was rated on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 'help not at all needed' to 'help extremely needed'. A total of 273 surveys were available for analysis (response rate 34.0%). The CNS contained four domains. The 'Help getting Information and Services for child' domain had the highest mean score (3.61, 95% CI: 3.46, 3.77) followed by 'Help with Finances' (3.29, 95% CI: 3.13, 3.45) and 'Help Coping with child' (3.11, 95% CI: 2.97, 3.25), while the 'Help getting Childcare' domain had the lowest mean score (2.30, 95% CI: 2.13, 2.47). Multivariate regression analysis identified caregivers of younger children and with more severe disability as having more caregiver needs in all domains. Besides that, caregivers of children with learning disability needed more help getting information and help with coping. Caregivers of children with learning and multiple disabilities needed more help getting childcare compared to children with other disability. Caregivers of Indian ethnicity, who had less than a tertiary education and who themselves had medical problems needed more help with finances. The findings on caregiver needs in this study can help inform planning of family support services for children with disabilities in Penang, Malaysia.

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Perspectives on Palliative Care Among Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Patients and Their Families in Singapore

Introduction: With better medical care, patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) now live longer but face more complex medical and social needs. This study described the perceptions of DMD patients and their families of disease-specific palliative care services in Singapore.

Materials and Methods: A multicentre, cross-sectional study involving DMD patients and their families was carried out. Structured questionnaires were administered to them to collect data on their understanding of palliative care, health services accessed and desired by them and quality of life.

Results: A total of 30 pairs of DMD patients and their caregivers responded. Most patients were >13 years old (70%) and non-ambulant (86%). Most of them and their families (70%) were also not aware of palliative care and support services that were available to them in Singapore. Additionally, they perceived greater financial assistance and better transport services as resources that could better meet their care needs. The presence of scoliosis and need for ventilatory support were associated with lower quality of life in patients.

Conclusion: There is a need to improve awareness and provision of palliative care services for DMD patients in Singapore where discussion of end-of-life care is often considered taboo. Prevention and correction of scoliosis and provision of appropriate ventilatory support may improve quality of life in DMD patients.

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Parental psychopathology and expectations for the futures of children with autism spectrum disorder

Background: The influence of parental psychopathology and parental expectations on child well-being is well documented among typically developing populations. However, to date little research has examined the relationship among these factors in families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study examines an observed relationship between parental psychopathology and expectations in families with children with ASD in the light of research in other populations.; Method: Twenty-four parents of children diagnosed with ASD were assessed for symptoms of psychopathology. Parents completed measures of child ASD severity as well as their expectations for possible outcomes of their child.

Results: Two main effects were found: higher parental psychopathology and ASD severity were both related to lower expectations. Interaction of ASD severity and parental psychopathology in relation to parent expectations was not observed.

Conclusion: These results emphasize the necessity of providing services not only to individuals diagnosed with ASD, but to caregivers as well.

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Needs and preferences of parents of adolescents with multiple and complex needs in residential care

The perspective of parents whose children are in residential care, has received only minor attention in the literature, despite evidence pointing out the value of parental involvement in care delivery for their child. Drawing upon in‐depth interviews with 12 parents of adolescent girls with multiple and complex needs in residential child welfare, this exploratory study describes parents' own needs and preferences with regard to care delivery. Parents wish: (a) to have a true partnership between parents and professionals (involvement), (b) to feel respected by professionals (respect), (c) to have the information and mandate necessary for decision‐making (agency), and (d) to receive consideration and (emotional) support, besides advice on how to handle the challenges their family faces (support). Their plea draws attention to an aspect of the dimension of "parent–caregiver partnership" in family‐centred residential care that deserves more emphasis. Indeed, being attentive to the needs of parents can contribute to the optimization of services for the most vulnerable families. 

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Assessment of Physical Child Abuse Risk in Parents with Children Referred to Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Given the vulnerability of the child psychiatric population, this study examined whether parenting a child referred to a child and adolescent psychiatry department leads to a higher risk of physical child abuse and if that risk is associated with a specific child psychopathology. The clinical sample consisted of caregivers with a six-to-11-year-old child who consulted child and adolescent psychiatry for a psychiatric assessment. The Dutch Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAPI), socio-demographic data and child psychiatric diagnosis were collected from 59 caregivers of 59 children. Ten per cent of the sample obtained an Abuse scale score indicative of a potential risk for physically maltreating their child. Compared to a non-clinical sample, this study showed a two and a half times higher risk potential for physical child abuse in caregivers with children referred to child and adolescent psychiatry. The elevated risk was not associated with a specific child psychiatric diagnosis. The caregivers at risk were more unhappy and experienced more problems with their child, their family and with others. Results support the need for implementing a standard risk assessment for physical child abuse in a child psychiatric setting.

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Caregiver Needs Following Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse

Caregiver support is vital in improving outcomes for child sexual abuse victims; however, the disclosure can significantly affect caregivers, thus impacting their ability to meet their children's needs. To maximize the support from caregivers, their own needs following disclosure need to be met. This study investigated the impact of child sexual abuse disclosure and associated needs as identified by caregivers. Sixty needs assessment forms were collected from families who accessed a parenting support pilot program run in New Zealand. These forms were completed by nonoffending caregivers during an assessment session with their counselor and consisted of both open-ended and Likert scale questions focusing on both the needs of the child and the family. Caregivers identified a range of impacts of the disclosure on their children, themselves, and other families members and the related support that may be needed. In particular, caregivers identified that they needed support with child behavior management and with their own coping. The findings suggest that interventions with caregivers following disclosure of child sexual abuse may be a valuable adjunct to therapy provided directly to the child.

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Impact of Non-medical Out-of-pocket Expenses on Families of Children With Cerebral Palsy Following Orthopaedic Surgery

Purpose: Limited research has been conducted on the non-medical out-of-pocket expenses (NOOPEs) incurred by families of children with chronic health conditions. The study objectives were to: 1) calculate the estimated NOOPEs incurred by families during hospitalization of their child, 2) identify predictors of high NOOPEs, and 3) assess the impact of the child's chronic health condition on the family's finances. 

Design and Methods: Prospective observational study. Parents were included if their child was 3-20years old, had severe, non-ambulatory cerebral palsy (CP), and scheduled for hip or spine surgery. Parents reported all NOOPEs incurred during their child's hospitalization using the Family Expense Diary. Families completed the subscales of the Impact on Family Scale and the Assessment of Caregivers Experience with Neuromuscular Disease. Descriptive and univariate and multiple hierarchical regression models were used in the analysis.

Results: Fifty two parents participated. The total NOOPEs ranged from $193.00 to $7192.71 (M=$2001.92) per hospitalization representing an average of 4% of the family's annual earned income. Caregiver age (F=8.393, p<0.001), income (F=7.535, p<0.001), and distance traveled to the hospital (F=4.497, p=0.039) were significant predictors of high NOOPEs. The subscale scores indicated that a child's chronic health condition had a significant impact on family finances. 

Conclusions and Practice Implications: Hospitalization is associated with numerous NOOPEs that create additional financial demands for families caring for a child with severe CP. NOOPEs should be addressed when preparing families for their children's planned hospital admissions, especially those families of CSHCN who experience significant financial impacts secondary to their children's care. (Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.)

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The perceived health of children with epilepsy, sense of control,and support for their families

Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the perceived health of children with epilepsy as experienced by the respondents to a questionnaire, to assess the sense of control over their child's epilepsy, and how much support they feel they received in various environments.

Methods: In this observational study, the data were collected using a questionnaire that was sent to families of children with epilepsy, who were treated at University Children's Hospital in Ljubljana, Slovenia from January to September 2016. The questionnaire consisted of 29 questions related to their epilepsy.

Results: There were 1198 patients who met the entry criteria for the study and were sent the questionnaire, of which 181 (15.1%) responded. The diagnosis of epilepsy was established in 912% of patients (8.8% were patients after a first unprovoked seizure), of which drug-resistant epilepsy was reported in 33.3%. Patients had epilepsy diagnosed fora mean of 4.9 +/- 4.4 years. Of all patients, 82.4% of patients were taking antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) at the time of inquiry. The longer the patient had epilepsy diagnosed, the lower was the perceived health (p = 0.004). Patients with pharmacoresistant epilepsy, those who had seizures, and those who were receiving AEDs had significantly lower scores of perceived health compared with those who did not (p < 0.001; p < 0.001; and p = 0.016, respectively). Of all responders, 79.8% responded that they feel that they have their child's condition under control. The child's condition was considered under control more often if the child had no reported seizures (p < 0.001) and if the family had enough support in the health system (p = 0.002) or psychological support (p = 0.005). Patients with pharmacoresistant epilepsy more often replied that they do not have enough support in the health system (p = 0.006).

Conclusions: Our study suggests that the presence of seizures, pharmacoresistant epilepsy, years of epilepsy diagnosis, and prescription of AEDs have a significant negative effect on the perceived health of children with epilepsy. Enhancement of the support families received in different environments can offer an opportunity to improve the sense of caregivers control over child's epilepsy. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Parents' perspectives and experiences of kidney transplantation in children: A qualitative interview study

Background and Objective: Kidney transplantation offers greater life expectancy, quality of life and participation compared with dialysis, in children with end stage kidney disease. This study explores the perspectives and experiences of parents of children undergoing kidney transplantation, as the experiences of parents in the process of transplantation is not completely understood.

Methods: Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents of transplanted children across New Zealand. Data were analysed using thematic analysis to identify themes of participant experiences and perspectives.

Results: We interviewed 13 mothers and four fathers of the transplanted children. Four themes were identified: actively pursuing transplant (the urgency of transplant; needing to drive the transplantation process); lack of on-going support (needing access to specialists; feeling unprepared for demands of transplantation, and vulnerability of unmet emotional concerns), pressure on the family unit (strain of distance; disrupting parent team; added burden of parent as donor; financial stress) and constant concern for the future (living with enduring uncertainty; pressure of responsibility; apprehension of teenage years).

Conclusions: Parents of children need to play an active role in advocating and driving the transplantation process. Transplantation leads to parental role disruption, emotional and financial stress, and insecurity about the future for their child. These findings suggest the need for greater communication and transparency in the transplantation process with parents, improved emotional and financial support for families during and after transplantation, and explicit assistance for parental roles in families when a caregiver is the donor. 

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Primary caregivers of in-home oxygen-dependent children: predictors of stress based on characteristics, needs and social support

Aim: To identify the predictors of primary caregivers' stress in caring for in-home oxygen-dependent children by examining the association between their levels of stress, caregiver needs and social support.; Background: Increasing numbers of primary caregivers of oxygen-dependent children experience caregiving stress that warrants investigation.

Design: The study used a cross-sectional design with three psychometric scales - Modified-Parenting Stress Index, Caregiver Needs Scale and Social Support Index.

Methods: The data collected during 2010-2011 were from participants who were responsible for their child's care that included oxygen therapy for ≧6 hours/day; the children's ages ranged from 3 months-16 years. Descriptive statistics and multivariable linear regression were used.

Results: A total of 104 participants (M = 34, F = 70) were recruited, with an average age of 39·7 years. The average age of the oxygen-dependent children was 6·68 years and their daily use of oxygen averaged 11·39 hours. The caregivers' overall levels of stress were scored as high and information needs were scored as the highest. The most available support from family and friends was emotional support. Informational support was mostly received from health professionals, but both instrumental and emotional support were important. Levels of stress and caregiver needs were significantly correlated. Multivariable linear regression analyses identified three risk factors predicting stress, namely, the caregiver's poor health status, the child's male gender and the caregiver's greater financial need.

Conclusion: To support these caregivers, health professionals can maintain their health status and provide instrumental, emotional, informational and financial support. (© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.)

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Medical care experiences of children with autism and their parents: A scoping review

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families may benefit from the provision of additional supports in health care settings, particularly when preparing for and attending medical appointments. This review examined literature that describes experiences in medical care settings from the perspective of patients under age 18 with ASD and their caregivers. A scoping review was conducted to examine the experiences of children with ASD and their families in medical care settings. Twenty-nine studies meeting inclusion criteria were identified and reviewed. The review indicated a number of challenges (e.g., parent-reported problems in parent-provider communication and overwhelming environments) as well as factors that facilitate positive experiences (e.g., providing positive reinforcement and explaining exam steps) during medical appointments. Children with ASD and their families are faced with many challenges while receiving care in medical settings. The present review identified many challenges families face, as well as facilitators of positive experiences. Understanding the unique experiences of patients with ASD and their parents will help to improve experiences in medical care settings for children, caregivers, and health care providers. 

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Dads care too! Participation in paid employment and experiences of workplace flexibility for Australian fathers caring for children and young adults with disabilities

This study uses Australian survey data to explore whether caring for children and young people with disabilities affects paid employment participation of fathers who identify as the secondary caregiver. More fathers in the study were in full-time employment than those in the general Australian population, but they worked fewer hours, often in jobs they did not enjoy or roles with less responsibility. Over one third of fathers reported that caring had impacted on their job opportunities or career progression, particularly those whose children had more severe disabilities. The financial costs of raising a child with disabilities and their caring obligations informed many of the decisions fathers made in relation to employment. Fixed hours of work, lack of understanding from their employer, an income tied to hours worked and staff resources were cited as reasons why almost half of the fathers felt they were unable to access flexible working conditions to assist with their child’s care. Self-employment was seen by many fathers as desirable, but the perceived increase in flexibility may be accompanied by an increase in work hours. Implications for paternal well-being are discussed, along with the lifelong implications of caring on employment and financial security for families in the Australian context. 

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Walking in the shoes of caregivers of children with obesity: supporting caregivers in paediatric weight management

To incorporate the perspectives and experiences of family caregivers of children with obesity, the KidFit Health and Wellness Clinic, a paediatric weight management programme, embedded feedback opportunities into various stages of programme development. Caregivers were eligible to participate if their children had completed initial 4-week group-based pilot programming or were currently receiving treatment in 10 or 12 week group-based programming. Data were collected through feedback session discussions, audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically. In total, 6 caregivers participated in the pilot group feedback session and 32 caregivers participated in the structured group feedback sessions. Caregivers reported that healthy lifestyle strategies first communicated by clinic staff to children during group sessions provided expert validation and reinforcement when discussing similar messages at home. Caregivers reported feeling isolated and blamed for causing their children's obesity and appreciated the supportive forum that group-based programming provided for sharing experiences. Since experiences of blame and isolation can burden caregivers of children with obesity, paediatric weight management programmes might consider including peer support opportunities and discussion forums for ongoing social support in addition to education about lifestyle change. 

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Family caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease during the COVID‐19 journey

As is the whole world, we are also fighting the coronavirus (COVID‐19) pandemic in Turkey, which complicates and affects all aspects of life. The pandemic can negatively psychosocially affect every segment of society. To successfully get through this pandemic, it is important to consider all individuals in society, including ourselves. Patients with Alzheimer's disease are considered vulnerable, more helpless; they do not have the capacity to make the right decisions and they need the care and help of someone else. The needs of relatives who provide care for these patients may have been forgotten during this pandemic.

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Being 'alone' striving for belonging and adaption in a new reality – The experiences of spouse carers of persons with dementia

Background and aim: Spouse carers of a person with dementia report feeling lonely and trapped in their role, lacking support and having no time to take care of their own health. In Sweden, the support available for family carers is not specialised to meet the needs of spouse carers of people with dementia. The aim of the study described in this paper was to explore spouse carers' experiences of caring for a partner with dementia, their everyday life as a couple and their support needs. Methods: Nine spouse carers of a partner with dementia living at home were recruited through a memory clinic and a dementia organisation. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the participants, focusing on their experiences of providing care, their support needs in relation to their caring situation, their personal well-being and their marital relationship. The interviews were transcribed and underwent qualitative content analysis. Results: The analysis resulted in one overall theme Being 'alone' striving for belonging and adaption in a new reality, synthesized from four sub-themes: (1) Being in an unknown country ; (2) Longing for a place for me and us ; (3) Being a carer first and a person second ; and (4) Being alone in a relationship. Conclusions: The training of care professionals regarding the unique needs of spouse carers of people with dementia needs improvement, with education, in particular, focusing on their need to be considered as a person separate from being a carer and on the significance of the couple's relationship for their mutual well-being.

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Assessing How a Transplant Hospitality House for Patients and Families Can Promote Wellbeing

Background: Patients and caregivers face increasingly complex and unique challenges when they travel to distant hospitals for transplant care. They can find themselves in a strange city managing hospital stays and outpatient appointments, requiring lodging, food, transportation, financial assistance, and emotional support. Those unable to overcome these logistical challenges may lose access to lifesaving treatment. Transplant specific hospitality houses have emerged to support patients who travel long distances from home to seek care, though little is known about the impact of such programs. Can a transplant hospitality house impact opportunities for family-centered care, perceptions of physiological and physical security, and perceptions of belonging and esteem? Can their contributions also be linked to perceived positive health outcomes and what aspects of a transplant hospitality house are most significant for a patient's and caregiver's health journey? Design: One transplant hospitality house investigated these questions with 71 participating in focus groups or key stakeholder interviews: transplant patients and caregivers, transplant hospital social workers, volunteers, financial contributors, board members, and staff. Results: The findings suggest that while patients and caregivers were dependent and deeply grateful for the lodging and amenities that met their basic needs, it was the contact and support from other patients and caregivers at the transplant hospitality house that had the most profound positive impact on patient and family attitudes, outlooks, and perceived well-being.

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Caring alone: Why Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic young carers continue to struggle to access support

This briefing looks at Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) young carers and their specific and unique needs. BAME young carers have long been recognised as particularly vulnerable. The term BAME is inclusive of those who may have vastly different issues and vulnerabilities including within their own communities. For example, there are differences within Black, Minority Ethnic and many Asian families and communities. Asian communities themselves vary drastically also depending on their country of origin and time spent in the UK. Much of our research is focused on issues within Asian communities, predominantly South Asian, as that is the highest BAME demographic within our young carers’ services. The sheer breadth of different communities we work with is demonstrated in the chart below. Therefore, in this report the term BAME relates mostly to South Asian families.

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Gaps in end-of-life care and lack of support for family carers in Poland and Central Eastern Europe

The growth of life expectancy in Central Eastern Europe and increase in the number of older people in that region are the consequences of changes in the 1990s period, connected to transition from the communism into a market economy. Central Eastern Europe is already facing consequences of fast ageing and insufficient development of state health care and social services. Those result in gaps in the provision of end-of-life care and overburden of family caregivers. This essay addresses gaps in end-of-life care, showing the development of hospice-palliative care on one side, and highlighting main problems with long-term care on the other. There is scarce support for informal caregivers and lack of cooperation between health and social care. End-of-life care is over medicalized in hospice-palliative care and hardly existing in long-term care. Dying is more a social than medical event, and as such, it should be cared for by compassionate communities, encouraging cooperation of professionals with family caregivers and society. Unfortunately, to date, there is no adequate cooperation in social dimension of end-of-life care in most of Central Eastern Europe. The social dimension of end-of-life care has to be recognized and empowered with the health promoting palliative care and introduction of compassionate communities in Central Eastern Europe. 

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Social welfare needs of bereaved Australian carers: Implications of insights from palliative care and welfare workers

An individual and psychological emphasis has influenced practice and research on bereavement following informal care provision in the context of life-limiting illness. Consideration of the potential for bereavement to be shaped by intersecting social and structural inequities is needed; and should include an understanding of interactions with government institutions and social policy. This qualitative study employed interpretive description to explore the way in which palliative care workers and welfare sector workers perceive and approach experiences and needs of bereaved carers receiving government income support or housing assistance in Western Sydney, an area associated with recognised socioeconomic disadvantage. A total of 21 palliative care workers within a public health service and welfare workers from two government social welfare services participated in in-depth interviews. Data were analysed using framework analysis. Participants highlighted social welfare policy and related interactions that may impact bereavement, potentially related to financial, housing and employment precariousness. Personal, interpersonal and structural factors perceived to shape the navigation of welfare needs were explored, alongside needed professional and structural changes envisioned by workers. With limited forms of capital, vulnerably positioned carers may encounter difficulties that heighten their precariousness in bereavement. Transactional organisational cultures alongside health and welfare agencies that function in a siloed manner appear to contribute to structural burden for carers, following death due to life-limiting illness. Palliative care and welfare workers also associated elements of their work with bereaved carers with their own experiences of helplessness, frustration and distress. Findings point to a need for the development of interagency strategies in addition to policy underpinned by more nuanced understandings of vulnerability in bereavement, post-caring.

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Training Needs Among Family Caregivers Assisting During Home Health, as Identified by Home Health Clinicians

Objectives: To estimate the proportion of family caregivers assisting older adults during Medicare home health who have an identified need for activity-specific training and identify characteristics associated with caregiver training needs. Design: Nationally representative retrospective cohort study. Setting and Participants: 1758 (weighted n = 8,477,990) Medicare beneficiaries who participated in the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) and received Medicare-funded home health care between 2011 and 2016. Measures: Older adult and caregiving network characteristics before home health (sociodemographic factors, caregiver assistance, older adult health and function) were drawn from NHATS; characteristics during home health (family caregiver training needs, older adult health and function) were drawn from home health patient assessments. Weighted proportions of family caregivers with an identified need for activity-specific training were estimated. Weighted, multivariable logistic regressions modeled associations between older adult/caregiving network characteristics and family caregivers' identified activityspecific training needs during home health. Results: More than 1 in 3 (35.7%) family caregivers assisting older adults during Medicare home health had an identified training need with at least 1 caregiving activity. Rates of need for training varied widely, from 8.6% among caregivers helping with advocacy to 48.2% among caregivers helping with medical procedures. In weighted analyses that adjusted for older adults' health and function, family caregivers were less likely to have identified training needs when assisting older adults with ongoing disability or who received caregiver assistance before home health admission. Conclusions and Implications: Findings highlight the pervasiveness of family caregivers' training needs, particularly with medically oriented activities, and indicate that escalations in older adults' care needs are linked to caregiver training needs. Therefore, transitions of care may present critical opportunities to connect family caregivers with training resources. 

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Supporting Double Duty Caregiving and Good Employment Practices in Health Care Within an Aging Society

Background: Due to the aging society the number of informal caregivers is growing. Most informal caregivers are women working as nurses within a health organization (also labeled as double-duty caregiver) and they have a high risk of developing mental and physical exhaustion. Until now little research attention has been paid to the expectations and needs of double duty caregivers and the role of self-management in managing private-work balance. Objective: The overall aim of this study was to investigate the expectations and needs of double duty caregivers in Netherlands, and to examine the meaning of self-management in managing work-life balance. Method: Different research methods have been applied in this exploratory study. Firstly, a scoping review has been conducted on the topics self-management and sustainable employability of double-duty caregivers using the search engines: CINAHL, MEDLINE, PubMed, and Google Scholar. Furthermore, a qualitative study has been conducted through focus groups with double duty caregivers. Results: Twenty studies that met the inclusion criteria (i.e., nurses with double duty caregiving tasks) could be identified. We found that double duty caregivers have different motivations for being a double duty caregiver based on internal and external expectations. Double duty caregiving causes a lot of mental and physical pressure for the caregiver. To be able to combine both duty's, double duty caregivers need flexibility and understanding from the workplace. Through two focus groups (N = 17) we found that social support from the workplace is not enough to be able to manage the situation. Self-management skills are important to be able to communicate effectively with the workplace and community care organizations about the kind of support needed. Also, health care organizations should offer the same support to double duty caregivers as any other informal caregiver. Discussion: Double-duty caregivers are at high risk of developing symptoms of overload and risk of reduced self-management quality and employability levels across time. Health care organizations and the double duty caregiver often wait too long to act instead of taking more preventive measures. Furthermore, community care organizations should dialog with double duty caregivers about their wishes concerning the division of caring tasks. This finding calls for special attention, with long-term solutions at both macro (health-care level), organizational (meso-level), and employee level (micro level).

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Quality of Life and Needs of Deaf Informal Caregivers of Loved Ones with Alzheimer's and Related Dementia

No studies have included the experiences and needs of informal caregivers who are deaf, use American Sign Language (ASL), and care for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or related dementias (ADRD). The CDC's BRFSS Caregiver Module and PROMIS-Deaf Profile measures were administered via an online bilingual English/ASL platform between October 2019 and March 2020. Out of 194 deaf adult signers who completed an online survey, 42 respondents (mean age = 66; SD = 12; 74% White) endorsed informally caring for someone with a medical condition. In this survey subsample of informal caregivers, more years of education was significantly associated with higher generic quality of life and higher deaf-specific quality of life. A smaller subset of informal deaf informal caregivers who were currently taking care of loved ones with ADRD were then invited to participate in a semi-structured interview. Among the 22 informal caregivers who were interviewed, there was a strong agreement among the participants who felt that their quality of life as informal caregivers was worse than hearing informal caregivers who took care of loved ones with ADRD. Findings highlight the importance of a call to action to address the needs of deaf informal ADRD caregivers.

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Supporting carers to succeed in Australian Higher Education

Extract from Executive summary: Australians who care for people with a disability, illness, or a broader need often embody many of the qualities sought by universities. In providing unpaid labour to support family members and friends, carers typically demonstrate resilience, selflessness, and a commitment to societal health, wellbeing, and cohesion. Provision of this critical support is often required while simultaneously managing high demands on time and limited financial resources (ABS 2018a, 2018b). Young carers in particular have been identified as holding relatively low levels of education (Department of Social Services [DSS], 2019). The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the challenges for carers. Collectively, evidence suggests both a need and an opportunity for universities to develop specific policies to attract and support those who care for others.... Through our national survey, we found student carers were highly motivated to succeed in higher education. Student carers identified a range of skills developed through their caring roles that were beneficial to themselves and their peers at university. These skills include time management, empathy, compassion and patience, as well as specific expertise with relevance to areas of study, including nursing skills and knowledge of disabilities. Carers also improved the broader student experience by sharing different perspectives, advocating for students, and providing direct assistance with coursework. Despite these strengths, juggling caring and study produced considerable time pressure, financial hardship, and lower levels of wellbeing compared with their non-caring peers. Circumstances were often made more difficult by the rigidity of course structures and study requirements.... Another notable finding was that a quarter of student carers never disclosed their carer status to anyone at university. This trend leaves many student carers invisible and makes it more difficult to provide appropriate and timely support where required. Among the most common reasons for not disclosing carer status were never being asked and seeing no benefit to disclosure. It is likely some carers also feared being stigmatised and/or defined by their caring role. These findings highlight the importance of increasing awareness and understanding of carers within the university community.

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Carer well-being index

Embracing CarersTM created the Carer Well-Being Index to determine the current and residual impacts of COVID-19 on unpaid carers, including its impact on their economic, physical and psychological well-being. While carers weren’t alone in experiencing 2020 as a highly emotional and unstable period, they faced unique pressures, demands and time commitments often overlooked by society. They must now navigate fast-changing care delivery models, learn new telehealth and technology, provide emotional support despite their own emotional needs, and handle increased responsibilities at home—all at once. Amid these rising responsibilities, many carers sacrifice their own health and well-being for the sake of people they love. They deal with emotional isolation. Financial strife hits hard as unemployment spikes and salaries are imperiled. Many lack the time to care for their own physical and emotional health. There are even more nuanced challenges when looking at women carers, younger, middle-aged and older carers, who encounter inequities. In taking a hard look at how the pandemic has affected the globe, carers have faced unprecedented challenges – they are undercounted, unheard and struggling. Now more than ever, governments, public entities, the private sector and all citizens have roles to play in addressing that problem. Carers should not have to face these hardships and inequities alone. They’re sacrificing for us, one by one. As a society, we can help them, together.

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Palliative and End-of-Life Care: More Work is Required

There is currently growing recognition of the complex care needs of patients with life-limiting conditions and their family members, prompting the need to revisit the goals of medicine. This Special Issue reflects a broad research agenda in the field of palliative and end-of-life care. A total of 16 papers of empirical studies and systematic review are included spanning five domains, namely, patient, caregiver, healthcare provider, policy, and methodology. The results generally suggest the merits of palliative care and reveal room for further improvement in palliative care education, manpower, infrastructure, and legal and policy frameworks.

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An online survey of informal caregivers' unmet needs and associated factors

Purpose/objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the frequency of unmet needs of carers among a convenience sample of carers, and the participant factors associated with unmet needs, to inform the development of interventions that will support a range of caregivers. The aims of this study were to: (1) assess the most frequently reported moderate-high unmet needs of caregivers; and (2) examine the age, gender, condition of the care recipient, and country variables associated with types of unmet needs reported by informal caregivers. Research method/design: An online cross-sectional survey among informal caregivers in English-speaking countries was conducted. Self-reported unmet needs were assessed using an unmet needs measure with the following five unmet needs domains: (1) Health information and support for care recipient; (2) Health service management; (3) Communication and relationship; (4) Self-care; and (5) Support services accessibility. Informal caregivers were asked "In the last month, what was your level of need for help with...", and the ten highest ranked moderate-high unmet needs presented as ranked proportions. Logistic regression modelling examined the factors associated with types of unmet needs. Results: Overall, 457 caregivers were included in the final analysis. Seven of the ten highest ranked unmet needs experienced by caregivers in the last month were in the Self-care domain, including "Reducing stress in your life" (74.1%). Significant associations were found between younger caregiver age (18–45 years) and reporting moderate-high unmet needs in Health Information and support for care recipient, Health service management, and Support services accessibility (all p's = <0.05). Conclusions/implications: Caregivers are not experiencing significant differences in unmet needs between countries and caree/care recipient conditions, suggesting that general interventions could be developed to support a range of caregivers across countries. Increased awareness of informal caregivers' unmet needs, particularly for younger caregivers, among health care providers may improve support provision to caregivers.

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Caring as a social determinant of health: review of evidence

Unpaid carers provide critical support for people with health and social care needs. The majority of recipients of unpaid care are older parents or spouses and partners, and changes in the make-up of our population indicate that the number of dependent older people in the UK will increase by 113% by 2051.

Supporting those who provide unpaid care to older people is therefore hugely important, and evidence is needed on how best to do this. The support provided by carers is often physically and emotionally demanding, with consequences for carers’ own health and wellbeing.

In this work, PHE commissioned Newcastle University to:

  • explore the consequences of being an unpaid carer of older people
  • identify evidence about how best to support this group of carers

To address these aims, a rapid review of existing evidence reviews (an ‘umbrella review’) was conducted, alongside analysis of data on carers (for any population) from the NHS England GP Patient Survey. The main findings are:

  • mounting evidence that unpaid caring should be considered a social determinant of health
  • carers experience poor physical and mental health but also have unmet care needs themselves
  • different groups of carers may have different support needs
  • a lack of clear and robust evidence about how best to support people caring for older populations, and gaps in evidence on key outcomes


This report proposes a logic model as a tool for evaluating the impact of carer interventions.

It also includes ‘access enablers’ as important in ensuring that carers are connected with relevant services and interventions on offer. Social prescribing is one of these enablers.

Information support system for Alzheimer's disease patients' caregivers in Croatia: a phenomenological approach

Introduction. The paper presents findings from a study that investigated information needs of caregivers of Alzheimer's disease patients' in Croatia, a country in which health and social care systems for such persons are insufficiently developed. Special emphasis is put on the barriers caregivers face in obtaining required information or services. Methods. Interviews with 11 Alzheimer's disease patients' caregivers from the area of Eastern Croatia were conducted. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was chosen as the best method to interpret the caregivers' experience of information support received from the Croatian system. Analysis. Topics were defined for each interview and then superordinate topics were defined for the whole sample. Results. Results show that Alzheimer's disease patients' caregivers in Croatia are faced with numerous obstacles. No organised information support system was detected. Conclusions. A more holistic approach to information support is needed. Authors suggest an Alzheimer's disease information package to be distributed through the family doctors' practices.

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Improving Dignity of Care in Community-Dwelling Elderly Patients with Cognitive Decline and Their Caregivers. The Role of Dignity Therapy

Demographic changes have placed age-related mental health disorders at the forefront of public health challenges over the next three decades worldwide. Within the context of cognitive impairment and neurocognitive disorders among elderly people, the fragmentation of the self is associated with existential suffering, loss of meaning and dignity for the patient, as well as with a significant burden for the caregiver. Psychosocial interventions are part of a person-centered approach to cognitive impairment (including early stage dementia and dementia). Dignity therapy (DT) is a therapeutic intervention that has been shown to be effective in reducing existential distress, mood, and anxiety symptoms and improving dignity in persons with cancer and other terminal conditions in palliative care settings. The aims of this paper were: (i) To briefly summarize key issues and challenges related to care in gerontology considering specifically frail elderly/elderly with cognitive decline and their caregivers; and (ii) to provide a narrative review of the recent knowledge and evidence on DT in the elderly population with cognitive impairment. We searched the electronic data base (CINAHL, SCOPUS, PSycInfo, and PubMed studies) for studies regarding the application of DT in the elderly. Additionally, given the caregiver's role as a custodian of diachronic unity of the cared-for and the need to help caregivers to cope with their own existential distress and anticipatory grief, we also propose a DT-dyadic approach addressing the needs of the family as a whole. 

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Important components for Dutch in-home care based on qualitative interviews with persons with dementia and informal caregivers

Background Dementia care in the Netherlands is increasingly dependent on informal care and has the aim to keep persons with dementia at home for as long as possible. However, little is known about the preferences and needs of people with dementia living at home. Including people with dementia and their informal caregivers in research and policy creation could help to identify necessary forms of support, and tailor care to their personal preferences and needs. Objective To identify important components of in-home care for persons with dementia and their informal caregivers in the Netherlands. Design Semi-structured interviews across the Netherlands, between March and June 2019 using thematic analysis. Setting and participants Persons with dementia (n = 5) and informal caregivers (n = 14) were primarily recruited through dementia care organizations. Additionally, a case manager was recruited to reflect upon the semi-structured interviews findings. Results Five themes concerning important care components were identified including the need for: a social network, formal care, information, emotional support and easier access to care. The complexity of the dementia care system posed a common difficulty for persons with dementia and informal caregivers. Conclusion This study suggests that a dementia care package should be developed that includes both informal and formal care, the provision of information and emotional support, and help with access to care. The creation of this care package could help to tailor dementia care to the preferences and needs of the persons with dementia and their informal caregivers.

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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on help-seeking behaviors in individuals suffering from eating disorders and their caregivers

To describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on help-seeking behaviors among individuals with eating disorders and caregivers. We analyzed service utilization data from the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC). We compared the number of contacts and symptom frequency between the pandemic period and previous years. NEDIC was contacted 609 times during March 1–April 30, 2020 (72.1% individuals affected by disordered eating, 20.4% caregivers). The number of total contacts significantly increased from 2018 to 2019 and 2018 to 2020 (X2(3) = 50.34, p <.001). Among affected individuals (80.4% women), the number of contacts during the pandemic period was significantly higher (n = 439; X2(2) = 92.74, p <.001) compared to 2018 (n = 197) and 2019 (n = 312). There were higher rates of eating disorder symptoms, anxiety, and depression in 2020 compared to previous years. Thematic analysis of instant chats from the pandemic year revealed four emerging themes: 1) lack of access to treatment, 2) worsening of symptoms, 3) feeling out of control, and 4) need for support. These findings point toward the impact of COVID-19 in individuals affected by disordered eating and hold implications for service delivery during times of crises.

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Grief, depression, and anxiety in bereaved caregivers of people with motor neurone disease: a population-based national study

Despite the traumatic and fatal nature of motor neurone disease (MND) and the caring experiences being described as unrelenting, little is known about risk of psychiatric morbidity and Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) for family caregivers. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of caregivers bereaved in 2016-2018 was distributed by the five MND Associations in Australia (2019). Validated tools for PGD (PG-13), anxiety, depression, and family functioning were included. Multinomial logistic regression was used to compare the factors associated with grief. Findings: Overall, 393 valid responses were received, a 31% response rate. The prevalence of ICD-11 PGD was 9.7%; moderate/severe anxiety 12.3%, moderate/severe depression 18.5% and 18.7% indicated poor family functioning. MND caregivers have higher bereavement risk prevalence than the general bereaved population, with 9.6% in the high-risk group (vs 6.4%) and 54% at moderate risk (vs 35%). Being in the PGD group was 8 or 18 times more likely when the respondent had anxiety or depression, respectively. Poor family functioning significantly increased the likelihood of PGD by four times. Other significant predictors of PGD were a recent bereavement (<12 months), being a spouse/partner of the deceased, insufficient support during the disease journey, the deceased being under 60 years of age, and a shorter period of caring (<1.5 years). Conclusion: In a large national population-based sample of bereaved MND caregivers, 63% required bereavement support over and above that provided by family and social networks. This is a neglected yet seriously ill population that calls for better care provision and clinical practice. 

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Family roles, challenges and needs in caring for traumatic brain injury (TBI) family members: a systematic review

Purpose - Advanced medical technology has reduced the mortality rate among traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients. This, however, has led to an increasing number of surviving patients with a major disability. As a consequence, these patients need attentive care which becomes an important issue for the society, particularly family members. Thus, this paper aims to review some of the salient roles, challenges and needs of the family caregivers in caring or nursing for their family members diagnosed with TBI. Design/methodology/approach - An inclusive search of the literature was undertaken to identify the family roles, challenges and needs in supporting and nursing TBI patients. Findings - Previous studies have shown that the family needs to address two important aspects of taking care of TBI patients, which involve emotional and physical affairs. Hence, it is essential for the family members to have adequate information on healing treatment, nursing and care methods, financial support, support groups, managing self-care and, more importantly, emotional and social support. Originality/value - This paper is not currently under consideration, in press or published elsewhere. In Malaysian culture, nursing disabled patients have always been a family responsibility. The role of nursing the patients has been done domestically and is considered a private affair. In order to execute the role, some put the patient needs as their priority and leave aside their needs and matters.

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Factors influencing quality of life of Asian breast cancer patients and their caregivers at diagnosis: perceived medical and psychosocial needs

INTRODUCTION We aimed to examine the relative importance of medical and psychosocial needs of Asian breast cancer patients and their caregivers, and to identify the determinants of quality of life (QoL) at the time of diagnosis. METHODS This is a prospective observational study of the perceived needs and QoL of 99 dyads of breast cancer patients and their caregivers at diagnosis. A self-administered questionnaire was used to measure the perceived importance of medical and psychosocial support needs. Short Form-36 health survey (SF-36) version 2 was used to measure QoL. We also collected patient and caregiver demographic profiles and disease-specific information. Descriptive analysis of perceived needs was performed. SF-36 scores for eight domains and composite scores were calculated. Bivariate analysis and linear regression were performed to identify significant independent predictors of QoL of patients and caregivers. RESULTS The mean ages of the patients and caregivers were 56.5 years and 51.7 years, respectively. To have family around (73%), prompt information about treatment and treatment options, including side effects (71%), and prompt treatment for side effects (71%) were the top three needs among patients and their caregivers. Supportive nurses and prompt treatment for side effects positively improved patients' social functioning and bodily pain scores. Stage of disease, age, education and ethnicity also influenced QoL. Only the presence of chronic disease influenced caregivers' physical functioning and role-physical scores. CONCLUSION Patients and caregivers have similar perceptions of needs at diagnosis. A supportive healthcare team can positively influence patients' QoL, highlighting the importance of tailoring support according to needs.

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The experiences and needs of relatives of intensive care unit patients during the transition from the intensive care unit to a general ward: A qualitative study

Background: Relatives of intensive care unit (ICU) patients play an important role as caregivers and can experience emotional distress, also referred to as post-intensive care syndrome-family. A deeper understanding of what relatives go through and what they need may provide input on how to strengthen family-centred care and, in the end, contribute to the reduction of symptoms of post-intensive care syndrome-family. Method: This is a qualitative descriptive study with semistructured face-to-face interviews after ICU transfers. Findings: A total of 13 relatives of ICU patients participated. Relatives of ICU patients expressed five types of experiences after transfer from the ICU to the general ward: (1) relief, (2) uncertainty, (3) need to be acknowledged in becoming a caregiver, (4) sharing expectations, and (5) need for continuity in care. Relatives experience major uncertainties and prefer to be more actively involved in care and care decisions. Conclusion: Relatives of ICU patients experience gaps in care during the transition from the ICU to a general ward. Nurses can play a crucial role in the need for continuity of care by proactively involving relatives during the care pathway of ICU patients. 

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The essential needs for home-care robots in Japan

Purpose This study aims to compare the level of needs for home-care robots amongst older adults, family caregivers and home-care staff and clarify the factors constituting these needs. Design/methodology/approach A cross-sectional, anonymous questionnaire survey was administered. It included 52 items related to needs for home-care robots rated on a four-point Likert scale. Means and standard deviations were calculated, and the Kruskal-Wallis test was performed for each item. Factor analysis was conducted on the needs of home-care staff. Findings Responses from 79 older adults, 54 family caregivers and 427 home-care staff were analysed. For all three groups, the level of agreement was high for the following needs: to inform family and support personnel immediately when older adults fall, about their location in case of natural disasters and about mismanagement of fire by older adults with dementia. For family caregivers and home-care staff, the level of need concerning monitoring was higher than for older adults. Extracted using factor analysis, the six factors representing the essential needs for home-care robots were risk minimisation, daily monitoring of the physical condition, supporting activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental ADL, pre-empting problems, communication and miscellaneous support. Originality/value The results showed that the education of caregivers and the co-design process of robot development should involve home-care staff, older adults and family caregivers, which are important for making decisions about the use of home-care robots for older adults.

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Differentiating needs of informal caregivers of individuals with ALS across the caregiving course: a systematic review

Background: Informal caregivers of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) experience a range of needs across the course of the disease. For the provision of adequate support, an examination of the empirical evidence is necessary.; Aim: The purpose of the systematic review was to synthesize evidence of needs of informal caregivers of people with ALS at different stages of caregiving.; Method: Systematic review of empirical research on needs of ALS informal caregivers in both English and German, from January 2000 to August 2018. We searched the databases EMBASE, MEDLINE (PubMed), PsycINFO, and CINAHL. Study selection, quality assessment, and data extraction was performed independently. Both quantitative and qualitative studies were included. Of the included studies, we additionally screened citing literature in Google Scholar (citation tracking). We linked the narrative synthesis to four stages of caregiving described by Williams and colleagues and used descriptive inductive thematic analysis to structure data within the stages.; Results: From 3275 abstracts screened, 48 manuscripts met our inclusion criteria. Our data analysis shows that needs differ across the four caregiving stages. While the stage of bereavement (stage 4) includes too little data for separate themes, themes for needs after diagnosis (stage 1), and terminal stage (stage 3) could be specified. As the maintenance (stage 2) stage comprised of themes relevant across the caregiving course, it became an overall stage.; Discussion: Healthcare professionals need to pay attention to current caregiving stages to provide support for informal caregivers. Further research is needed to tease out support needs for the bereavement phase.

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Comparison of Perceptions of Spiritual Care Among Patients With Life-Threatening Cancer, Primary Family Caregivers, and Hospice/Palliative Care Nurses in South Korea

This study aimed to compare perceptions of spiritual care among patients with life-threatening cancer, their primary family caregivers, and hospice/palliative care nurses. Data were collected using both structured and unstructured approaches. Structured questionnaire data were examined using statistical analysis methods, and unstructured data were examined using content analysis to compare the 3 participant groups. The questionnaire revealed that among all 3 groups, spiritual care was commonly perceived to relate to "having the opportunity for internal reflection," "finding meaning," "encouraging hope," and "listening to and being with patients." Content analysis of the unstructured data revealed 5 themes: "Caring with sincerity," "Strengthening spiritual resources," "Alleviating physical pain and discomfort" (among patients and primary family caregivers only), "Improving spiritual care service," and "Multifaceted cooperation" (among hospice/palliative care nurses only). Our findings suggest that for patients with life-threatening illnesses such as terminal cancer, spiritual care should not be limited to religious practice but should also satisfy inner existential needs, for example, by encouraging hope, providing empathy, and helping patients find meaning in their circumstances.

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We should care more about caregivers

Intro: 'Every day, about 28% of Canadians provide care for a family member, friend or neighbour, and nearly half will do so at some point. Although many Canadians with chronic conditions and disabilities need care, the most common needs requiring caregiver help are age related. With 93% of older Canadians living at home, unpaid or informal caregivers provide up to 75% of care services, which equates to about $24–$31 billion in unpaid work annually. We must and can to do more to acknowledge and support informal caregivers in bearing this burden.'

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Burdens experienced and perceived needs of relatives of persons with SMI − a systematic meta-synthesis

Background: Close relatives of people with severe mental illness (SMI) experience problems known as family burdens. In addition, they may have their own needs for support, something often overlooked by the healthcare system. Meta-syntheses in this area may help explore the meaning of the experience of living with someone who has a SMI. Aim: Our aim was to describe the burdens experienced and needs perceived on a daily basis by relatives to someone who has a SMI. Methods: The databases PubMed, CINAHL, and PsychInfo were searched using a systematic search strategy. Studies were screened for relevance and quality was appraised. A meta-synthesis of nine qualitative studies was then conducted. Results: The nine studies discerned the following themes. Burden themes; Forced to carry a sometimes unbearable burden; Burdened by own ill-health and disrupted relationships; Distressed and stigmatized by society. Needs themes; strengthening protective factors; Skills and practical support greatly appreciated. Conclusions: The burdens and needs of relatives of persons with SMI strongly influence their lives. They require relief from both practical and emotional burdens. Family interventions and other programs to support relatives should be encouraged with this knowledge in mind.

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

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

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

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

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What do family caregivers of people with dementia need? A mixed‐method systematic review

Caring for people with dementia is a major challenge for relatives and society worldwide. Understanding the family caregivers' needs is crucial to promote their care‐giving role during the disease trajectory. The aim of this mixed‐method systematic review was to identify and synthetise the existing literature on the needs of family caregivers of people with dementia at home. PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and PsycINFO databases were systematically explored to find quantitative, qualitative and mixed‐method studies published between 2009 and 2019. A total of 1,196 citations were retrieved and 34 studies were included in the review. The variety of interrelated needs emerged from studies has been summarised in four themes: (a) Being supported, (b) Receiving accessible and personalised information, (c) Being trained and educated to care for their beloved with dementia and (d) Finding a balance. Care‐giving for individuals with dementia is an ever‐changing process characterised by continuous adjustments to their needs. The majority of a family caregivers' needs are oriented towards receiving support, help in offering daily care and finding a balance between the care‐giving role and their own personal needs. For family caregivers, receiving information is a priority to improve their knowledge and to develop coping abilities, care skills and strategies aimed at promoting a balance between care assistance duties and their own needs. They also need social, psychological and emotional support and access to flexible, tailored and timely formal care. Further studies are recommended to detect changes in family caregivers' needs throughout the disease progression in order to tailor formal care offered by social and healthcare services. 

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Unmet needs of informal carers of the oldest old in Portugal

Oldest‐old individuals are a growing segment of the population that faces several challenges in terms of care demands. Informal caregivers experience more or less challenges, namely depending on the support they can access. The present study explores the unmet needs of a sample of informal caregivers of community‐dwelling older adults aged 80+ and analyses the association of such needs with sociodemographic information, care‐giving context (e.g., length of care),and health characteristics of the caregivers and care receivers (e.g., cognitive status and functionality). We recruited 175 care‐giving dyads from the North of Portugal. Descriptive statistics summarised the sample's characteristics. Informal caregivers were mainly women with a mean age of 60.6 years (SD = 9.8). Care receivers' mean age was 88.7 years (SD = 5.6) and were functionally dependent (9.3 points [SD = 7.0] and 27.0 points [SD = 3.5] for Basic and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, respectively). A thematic analysis of an open‐ended question on unmet needs was performed, revealing the presence of unmet needs. The most relevant ones (financial support, caregiver support, primary care/medical specialities, and labour regulation) were further analysed, concerning the care‐giving dyad's using Independent Student's t test or Mann–Whitney U Tests, and Chi‐squared test or Fisher's Exact test depending on the variable. The most frequent unmet needs were associated with the caregiver's age, care receivers' kinship, number of care‐giving hours, the caregiver's gender, professional status, the caregiver strain and medicines intake. Findings suggest the need for establishing policies that ensure adequate sustainability of the provision of informal care that takes into account the needs of care‐giving dyads in the planning process.

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Supporting the patients with advanced cancer and their family caregivers: what are their palliative care needs?

Background: The impact and consequences of cancer on the patients and their family caregivers (FCs) are closely intertwined. Caregivers' burdens can be increased due to the patients' unmet needs and unresolved problems. Additionally, the caregivers' unmet needs may adversely affect their own well-being and the patients' health outcomes. This study aims to determine the palliative care needs and the factors associated with these needs in patients with advanced solid cancer and their FCs.  Methods: In a cross-sectional survey, 599 patients with advanced solid tumours and 599 FCs were recruited from the largest ambulatory cancer centre and the inpatient ward of the largest hospital in Singapore. Determinants of patients' and FCs' needs were assessed by the Comprehensive Needs Assessment Tool (CNAT) and CNAT-C respectively. Clinical characteristics of patients were obtained from medical records. Results: The FCs (median age 51 years) were younger than the patients (median age 62 years), and were mostly female (62.6%) whereas the gender distribution of patients was quite balanced (49.2% male and 50.8% female). Both patients and FCs had "information" and "practical support" in their top three domains of palliative care needs. The second highest domain of needs was "psychological problems" (16.4 ± 21.5) in patients and "health-care staff" (23.4 ± 26.5) in FCs. The item that had the highest need score in "information" domain for both patients and FCs was "financial support for patients, either from government and/ or private organizations". Under clinical setting, the inpatients (19.2 ± 16.4) and their FCs (26.0 ± 19.0) tend to have higher needs than the outpatients (10.5 ± 12.1) and their FCs (14.7 ± 14.3). In terms of palliative care, higher total CNAT score was observed in both patients (16.6 ± 12.9 versus 13.3 ± 15.2) and their FCs (25.1 ± 18.6 versus 17.7 ± 16.7) who received palliative care. In terms of patients' KPS scores, patients with lower KPS scores tend to have higher needs. Conclusion: Overall, the findings confirm that patients with advanced cancer and their FCs have many palliative care needs irrespective of their clinical settings. Initiatives and interventions for the development of a comprehensive support system for both patients with advanced cancer and their FCs are warranted and can be derived from these findings. 

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Supporting people with an intellectual disability and dementia: A constructivist grounded theory study exploring care providers’ views and experiences in the UK

Background There is a need to better understand the experiences and support needs of paid and family carers of people with an intellectual disability and dementia, and the role of Intellectual Disability Dementia Care Pathways (IDDCPs). This study explored the experiences of carers, and IDDCPs and other support structures within those experiences. Methods A constructivist grounded theory methodology was implemented. Data were obtained through 23 semi‐structured interviews with two family carers, eight paid carers and eight healthcare professionals. Findings The study's theory produced five interrelated categories: Impact of Dementia, Challenging the Diagnosis Process, Continuum of Support, Continuity and Continuum of Understanding. Conclusions Findings have demonstrated the importance of planning and supporting carers’ holistic needs; the role of an IDDCP in the post‐diagnostic support (or lack of it) for carers; and the importance of a timely diagnosis of dementia. Recommendations for practice are offered.

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Support needs of Canadian adult siblings of brothers and sisters with intellectual/developmental disabilities

Background: It is becoming more common for siblings to fulfill a caregiving role for their brother or sister, particularly because people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD) are often living longer and outliving their parents. However, most of what we know about siblings of people with IDD is based on research with children, and limited studies on the adult sibling experiences in Canada have been published. To meet the support needs of Canadian adult siblings, "The Sibling Collaborative", a grass‐roots initiative, conducted a needs assessment. Specific Aims The purpose of this study was to better understand the current challenges siblings experience and how requested resources may differ across three age groups: adults between the ages of 20 and 29 years, 30 to 49 years, and 50 years of age and older. Method A total of 260 siblings of individuals with IDD from across Ontario completed an online survey. Findings Siblings endorsed a relatively low rating of intensity of support that they provided for their brothers or sisters with IDD at the time of survey completion; however, the majority indicated that they intended to take a greater caregiving role in the future. Ratings of support differed by sibling age groups, as did challenges related to supporting brothers or sisters with IDD. Overall, participants reported a range of desired resources and preferred methods of accessing resources. Discussion Siblings' caregiving relationships with their brothers and sisters with IDD differed across age groups. Results from the current study indicate different supports may be needed for different age groups. As policies around the world continue to encourage continued family involvement in caregiving for adults with IDD, it is important to understand how systems can better support sibling caregivers.

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Single-institution cross-sectional study to evaluate need for information and need for referral to psychooncology care in association with depression in brain tumor patients and their family caregivers

Background: The prognosis of patients with brain tumors is widely varying. Psychooncologic need and depression are high among these patients and their family caregivers. However, the need for counselling and need for referral to psychooncology care is often underestimated.; Methods: We performed a single-institution cross-sectional study to evaluate psychooncologic need, depression and information need in both patients and their family caregivers. The Hornheider Screening Instrument (HSI) and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) were used to evaluate psychooncologic need and depression, and a study-specific questionnaire was developed to evaluate information need. Multivariable analyses were performed to detect correlations.; Results: A total of 444 patients and their family caregivers were approached to participate, with a survey completion rate of 35.4%. More than half of the patients and family caregivers were in need for referral to psychooncology care and 31.9% of patients suffered from clinically relevant depression. In multivariable analysis, psychooncologic need were positively associated with mild (odds ratio, OR, 7.077; 95% confidence interval, CI, 2.263-22.137; p = 0.001) or moderate to severe (OR 149.27, 95% CI 26.690-737.20; p <  0.001) depression. Patient information need was associated with depression (OR 3.007, 95% CI 1.175-7.695; p = 0.022).; Conclusions: Unmet counselling need in brain tumor patients and their family caregivers associate to high psychooncologic need and depression. Adequate information may decrease the need for referral to psychooncology care and treatment of depression in these patients. Future studies should further explore these relations to promote development of supportive structures.

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Quality of life in caregivers of patients with multiple myeloma

Objectives: This study aimed to assess the relationship between sociodemographic, clinical, and psychological variables with quality of life (QoL) and the moderating role of caregivers' age and caregiving duration in caregivers of patients with Multiple Myeloma. Method: The sample included 118 caregivers who completed questionnaires that assessed psychological morbidity, satisfaction with social support, coping, burden, unmet needs, and QoL. Results: High psychological morbidity, burden and information, financial and emotional unmet needs were associated with lower QoL, while higher satisfaction with social support and more effective use of coping strategies were associated with better QoL. Women caregivers reported more satisfaction with social support and those who did not choose to care reported greater financial unmet needs and more use of coping strategies. The relationship between caregivers' psychological morbidity/social support and QoL was mediated by emotional needs and double mediated by coping and burden. The caregivers' age moderated the relationship between psychological morbidity/social support and emotional needs. Conclusion: Interventions to support the caregiver's emotional needs to promote their QoL are needed. These should be particularly tailored for older caregivers reporting greater psychological morbidity and younger caregivers less satisfied with their social support, as they have a negative indirect impact on their QoL. 

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A Qualitative Systematic Review of Caregivers' Experiences of Caring for Family Diagnosed with Schizophrenia

Objective: To synthesise qualitative research that explored caregivers' experiences of caring for family diagnosed with schizophrenia. Methods: Electronic databases including PsycINFO, PubMed, CINAHL and Scopus were searched to identify relevant journal articles published from 2000 to March 2019. Quality was assessed and thematic synthesis of the qualitative research evidence undertaken. Papers were screened and independently appraised by two reviewers using The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) for Qualitative Studies Checklist. The review was guided by Thomas and Harden's framework for thematic synthesis of qualitative research evidence. Results: The breadth of information across the 43 papers was noteworthy. Review of the findings noted that almost all of what was discussed fell into three broad themes: the 'feelings' of the caregiver towards their role, the patient and others, including the health system; the 'impacts' of the diagnosis and their caregiving role on the caregiver; and the 'needs' of the caregiver to improve the patient's quality of life and thereby the caregiver's quality of life. Within needs also came recommendations for future changes. Conclusion: Studies have shown that the caregiving process is a complex one, with both negative and positive emotional reactions, societal barriers, such as stigma and isolation, and unmet needs, such as timely, relevant and helpful information. Meeting the needs identified by caregivers has the capacity to address the impacts of the illness and caregiving and thereby reduce the negative feelings associated with the caregiver role.

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Qualitative Assessment of Unmet Information Management Needs of Informal Cancer Caregivers: Four Themes to Inform Oncology Practice

PURPOSE: Family and friends often provide informal care for patients with cancer, coordinating care and supporting patients at home. Stress, depression, and burnout are increasingly recognized among these informal caregivers. Although past research has described a range of needs, including the need for information, details about unmet informational needs for caregivers have not been fully described. We sought to assess unmet information management needs for informal caregivers in the digital era. METHODS: This was a qualitative research study with semistructured interviews and focus groups of nonprofessional caregivers for patients with cancer, facilitated using a discussion guide. Eligible caregivers supported patients in the community who were in treatment (chemotherapy or radiotherapy) or completed treatment within 3 years. Participants were recruited using informational flyers at an academic cancer center and in the local community of metropolitan Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sessions were transcribed verbatim and analyzed inductively to identify themes. RESULTS: Thirteen caregivers participated, the majority between 41 and 60 years of age: seven of 13, 53.8%, were predominantly women; 10 of 13 (76.9%) were educated, 10 of 13 (76.9%) had graduated from college; and of modest means, six of 13 (46.2%) had household incomes < $35,000. Four themes emerged: (1) the information overload paradox, where caregivers felt overloaded by information yet had unmet informational needs; (2) navigating volatility as a caregiver, with changing or unknown expectations; (3) caregivers as information brokers, which placed new burdens on caregivers to seek, share, and protect information; and (4) care for the caregiver, including unmet information needs related to self-care. CONCLUSION: This study identified several informational challenges affecting caregivers. Caregivers have dynamic and evolving informational needs, and strategies that support caregivers through just-in-time information availability or dedicated caregiver check-ins may provide relief within the stress of caregiving.

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

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

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

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

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Patient and caregiver experiences on care transitions for adults with a hip fracture: a scoping review

Purpose: The purpose of this scoping review was to explore the literature on experiences and perspectives of patients with hip fractures and their caregivers during transitions in care. Methods: Seven databases were searched for studies published between 1 January 2000 and 3 July 2018. Grey literature was also searched. Results: Eleven articles met the inclusion criteria. The scoping review found that patients and caregivers encounter several challenges during care transitions including the following: lack of information sharing, role confusion and disorganized discharge planning. Common suggestions reported in the literature for improving care transitions were: increasing written communication, offering a patient representative role, using technology for knowledge dissemination and increasing geriatrician involvement. Conclusions: The results of this scoping review provide a useful foundation from which to build strategies to address challenges such as lack of information sharing, role confusion and disorganized discharge planning experienced by patients and caregivers during care transitions. Further research needs to explore the development of strategies to promote patient-centered care especially during discharge from an acute care facility. Encourage health care providers to collaborate with patients with hip fracture and caregivers on decision-making about rehabilitation and recovery goals, discharge planning and safe patient transfer. Assess the needs of patients with hip fracture and caregivers before, during and after a care transition to deliver patient and family-centered care across multiple care settings. Provide patients with hip fracture and caregivers standardized information-exchange tools to increase timely, accurate exchange of information during care transitions. Encourage formal discussions about roles and responsibilities in the transitions in care process among patients with hip fracture, caregivers and health care providers. 

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Passages of cancer caregivers' unmet needs across 8 years

Background: Identifying and addressing caregivers' unmet needs have been suggested as a way of reducing their distress and improving their quality of life. However, the needs of family cancer caregivers are complex in the period of long‐term survivorship in particular because they may diverge as the patients' survivorship trajectory does, and that is what this study investigated. Methods: Family cancer caregivers completed prospective, longitudinal surveys 2, 5, and 8 years after diagnosis (n = 633). Early caregiving characteristics and demographics were measured at 2 years. Caregiver status (former caregivers–remission, current caregivers, and bereaved caregivers) and unmet needs were measured at 3 assessments. Results: Caregivers' unmet needs at 8 years were attributable to the passages of the caregiving status as their patients' illness trajectory diverged from the initial state of receiving care. Specifically, either prolonged caregiving or having a break from caregiving followed by bereavement during long‐term survivorship was related to various domains of unmet needs at 8 years (t > 2.35, P <.02). Early perceived caregiving stress also predicted all domains of unmet needs at 8 years (t > 2.50, P <.02). Unmet needs at 8 years were the highest across the 3 assessment time points (F > 37.51, P <.001). Conclusions: The caregiving status trajectory over 8 years was a substantial predictor of family caregivers' unmet needs at the 8‐year mark. Findings provide guidance for the development of evidence‐based programs and patient/caregiver‐centered care policies to reduce the unmet needs of family caregivers, which reflect the diverse trajectories of cancer caregivership, many years after the diagnosis of their patients. Caregivers' unmet needs are attributable to the caregiving status over 8 years as their patients' illness trajectory diverges from receiving care. Findings provide guidance for the development of evidence‐based programs and patient/caregiver‐centered care policies to reduce the unmet needs of family caregivers, which reflect the diverse trajectories of cancer caregivership, many years after the diagnosis of their relatives.

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Participating in the personal care of a person living with a life-limiting illness in a hospice inpatient setting: the informal caregiver's perspective

Methods: Using semi-structured interviews, this descriptive qualitative research study examined informal caregivers' perspectives of participating in the personal care of a person living with a life-limiting illness within one hospice inpatient setting. Some 10 principal, informal caregivers of hospice inpatients were recruited by means of purposive sampling, using posters displayed in the hospice inpatient unit. Thus, participation was entirely 'opt-in'. A flash card was displayed at the beginning of each interview to determine a definition of personal care. Field notes and digital audio recording were used to capture data collected.; Results: Data were thematically analysed and demonstrated that informal caregivers' perceptions of personal care included everything that allowed the patient to remain the person they were. Informal caregivers reported an acceptable balance between being able to carry out personal care and hospice nursing staff involvement, despite no discussions being carried out to establish their wishes. Prior experiences of informal caregiving, and individual caregiver preparedness, contributed to negative and positive feelings about participating in personal care. Informal caregivers reported additional support and education needs associated with being able to participate in the personal care of patients on discharge and in the future.; Conclusions: The emergent themes provide palliative care practitioners with direction for professional practice and research around supporting informal caregivers participating in personal care. Healthcare professionals need to clarify terminology of personal care by having dialogues with informal caregivers and acting on these accordingly. However, not all informal caregivers want such conversations. Consequently, healthcare professionals should approach this topic sensitively. Healthcare professionals ought to be asking informal caregivers if they wish to participate in personal care. Hospice nurses need to engage, support and educate informal caregivers about personal care. Furthermore, they should help to maintain and develop the skills of those informal caregivers who want to continue to play this role and not allow them to become deskilled.

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Neuropsychiatric symptoms and caregiver burden in Parkinson's Disease: Mitigating the lack of awareness!

The article focuses on Parkinson's disease (PD) is quite challenging to deal with, for patients and their caregivers alike. Topics include the caregivers help PD patients deal with their symptoms even before a formal diagnosis is made, the family member while going through the tedious process of diagnosis and treatment to palliative care, and the PD commonly affects patients in the age when they are transitioning to retirement.

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"It's Like a Death Sentence but It Really Isn't" What Patients and Families Want to Know About Hospice Care When Making End-of-Life Decisions

Background: Hospice is underutilized, due to both lack of initiation from patients and late referral from clinicians. Prior research has suggested the reasons for underuse are multifactorial, including clinician and patient lack of understanding, misperceptions about the nature of hospice care, and poor communication during end-of-life discussions about hospice care. Little is known about the decisional needs of patients and families engaging in hospice decision-making. Objectives: To understand the decisional needs of patients and families making decisions about hospice care. Methods: We conducted focus groups with family caregivers and hospice providers and one-on-one interviews with patients considering or enrolled in hospice care. We identified participants through purposeful and snowball sampling methods. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Results: Four patients, 32 family caregivers, and 27 hospice providers participated in the study. Four main themes around decisional needs emerged from the interviews and focus groups: (1) What is hospice care?; (2) Why might hospice care be helpful?; (3) Where is hospice care provided?; and (4) How is hospice care paid for? Discussion: Hospice may not be the right treatment choice for all with terminal illness. Our study highlights where patients' and families' understanding could be enhanced to assure that they have the opportunity to benefit from hospice, if they so desire.

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“It’s a disease of families”: Neurologists’ insights on how to improve communication and quality of life for families of Parkinson’s disease patients

Objectives Parkinson’s disease presents an evolving challenge for patients and families due to an unpredictable disease trajectory and symptoms that complicate social interactions. In this study, we explore neurologists’ perspectives on the challenges Parkinson’s disease presents for families and the strategies they use to improve communication and quality of life. Methods We conducted hour-long semi-structured interviews with 16 neurologists at 4 care delivery institutions in the San Francisco Bay Area, focusing on techniques neurologists use to support families through the Parkinson’s disease journey. Results Neurologists identified strategies for addressing caregiver–patient disagreements around symptom accuracy and negotiating driving safety. Family education is needed to contextualize patient symptoms and to identify psychosocial support resources. Unmet caregiver needs remain, particularly in the form of psychosocial support, respite care and support for unequal gender dynamics in the Parkinson’s disease caregiving experience. Discussion Family members of Parkinson’s disease patients face unique caregiving and interpersonal challenges due to the nature of the disease. Targeted education and structural support are needed to alleviate current burdens and allow for improved patient- and family-centered care.

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Investigating the Smoking Cessation Informational Needs of Cancer Patients and Informal Caregivers

Continued smoking at the time of a cancer diagnosis can severely impact the efficacy of cancer patient treatment and survival. The time of diagnosis can serve as a "teachable moment" for smoking cessation education, since patients may be receptive to discussions about quitting. Caregivers may have a pivotal role in supporting patients with their cessation efforts. The purpose of this study was to identify the smoking cessation informational needs of cancer patients and their caregivers. A needs assessment survey was administered to both patients and caregivers that assessed information needs across five domains: (1) General Information and Support; (2) Smoking, Health and Disease; (3) Relationships; (4) Testimonials; (5) Interventions. Mean importance scores were determined based on the proportion of respondents who ranked how important individual items were within the broader domains. Forty patients and twenty-two caregivers completed the survey. Among patients, the mean age was 61 years, with 35% diagnosed with a head and neck malignancy and 62% reporting as current smokers. Among caregivers, the mean age was 58 years, with 81% reporting to be the patient's immediate family member and 50% as current smokers. The General Information and Support domain was rated as the most important domain for both cancer patients and caregivers. The top preferred modality for receiving smoking cessation education across all domains was pamphlets for both groups. This study identifies the key informational elements that should be considered in the development of smoking cessation resources to meet the informational needs of cancer patients and caregivers.

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Investigating the needs of family caregivers of older stroke patients: a longitudinal study in Iran

Background: The high burden of care associated with older stroke patients is a factor that threatens the health of family caregivers. Identifying the needs of family caregivers in this group of patients can help provide effective solutions. The present study aimed to determine the needs of family caregivers of older stroke patients. Methods: The sample size of this longitudinal study included 200 family caregivers of older stroke patients from two hospitals in Iran. Data collection included demographics, responses to family caregivers' needs questionnaires, and the Barthel Index which was taken in four stages including admission time, pre-discharge, two weeks and 12 weeks post-discharge. Results: The results showed that all participants at all stages of the study identified "respect for the patient when providing education, treatment, or rehabilitation" as one of their needs. There was a statistically significant relationship between the older adult survivor's age and the number of family caregivers' needs two weeks post-discharge (p = 0.012) and 12 weeks post-discharge (p = 0.008). There was a significant relationship between the patient's hospitalization period and the number of caregivers' needs three months after the patient's discharge (p = 0.028), and a significant statistical relationship between the pre-discharge physiotherapy of the patients and the number of their caregivers' needs during the two weeks post-discharge (p = 0.018). There was also a statistically significant relationship between the patient's level of dependence and the number of caregivers' needs (p = 0.0001). On the contrary, there was no significant relationship between the sex, place of living, and underlying disease history of the patient and the number of caregivers' needs (p > 0.05). Conclusion: The results of the present research indicate that the total number of caregivers' needs decreases with increasing duration of the disease. However, respite and care provision planning by other family members, seeking assistance from professional caregivers, and the search for community support resources can help reduce the burden of care of caregivers and give them the opportunity to meet their needs in different dimensions of patient care provided.

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Information Needs and Preferences of Family Caregivers of Patients With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Supplemental digital content is available in the text. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore the information needs and preferred sources of information of Korean family caregivers of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). METHODS: Family caregivers of patients with ALS (n = 108) completed a structured questionnaire to assess their information needs and preferred sources of information. RESULTS: Most of the caregivers obtained health information from Internet searches (89.8%) and healthcare professionals (85.2%). The source rated most helpful was healthcare professionals, and that rated least helpful was broadcast media. Family caregivers who were younger than 50 years and well educated and caregivers of bulbar-onset ALS patients had higher scores of information needs. CONCLUSION: Providing information through healthcare professionals and self-support groups could enhance family caregiver satisfaction. Family caregivers who are older and less educated need to be more empowered to be involved in information-based caring, and caregivers of patients with bulbar-onset ALS have substantial information needs.

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Identifying outcomes for depression that matter to patients, informal caregivers, and health-care professionals: qualitative content analysis of a large international online survey

Background: Many clinical trials have assessed treatments for depressive disorders and bipolar depression. However, whether, and which, assessed outcome domains really matter to patients, informal caregivers, and health-care professionals remains unclear.; Methods: We did an international online survey in French, German, and English. Participants were adult patients with a history of depression, informal caregivers, and health-care professionals, recruited by purposeful sampling. To identify outcome domains, participants answered four open-ended questions about their expectations for depression treatment. We disseminated the survey without restriction via social media, patient and professional associations, and a media campaign. Four researchers independently did qualitative content analyses. We assessed data saturation using mathematical models to ensure the comprehensive identification of outcome domains.; Findings: Between April 5, 2018, and Dec 10, 2018, 1912 patients, 464 informal caregivers, and 627 health-care professionals from 52 countries provided 8183 open-ended answers. We identified 80 outcome domains related to symptoms (64 domains), such as mental pain (or psychological or psychic pain, 523 [17%] of 3003 participants) and motivation (384 [13%]), and functioning (16 domains), such as social isolation (541 [18%]). We identified 57 other outcome domains regarding safety of treatment, health care organisation, and social representation, such as stigmatisation (408 [14%]).; Interpretation: This study provides a list of outcome domains important to patients, informal caregivers, and health-care professionals. Unfortunately, many of these domains are rarely measured in clinical trials. Results from this study should set the foundation for a core outcome set for depression.; Funding: Fondation pour la Recherche Medicale and NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre.

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"I needed someone to hold my hand": Experiences and Unmet Palliative Care Needs at Home from the Perspective of People with Dementia and Caregivers (GP741)

Objectives: • Describe 1-2 examples of experiences living and receiving care at home from the perspective of people with dementia and/or family caregivers • Describe 1-2 examples of unmet palliative care needs from the perspective of people with dementia and/or family caregivers receiving or providing care at home.  Importance: People with dementia (PWD) and their families represent a growing population who is increasingly accessing palliative care in the United States. Home-based palliative care interventions should incorporate the perspective of PWD and caregivers regarding experiences and unmet needs.  Objective(s): To characterize care needs and experience with palliative services at home among PWD and family caregivers.  Method(s) We recruited participants who received care at a tertiary behavioral neurology clinic for semi-structured interviews. Sampling targeted PWD in mild-to-moderate stages and family caregivers, both active and bereaved. Interviews explored palliative care needs and services for dementia care at home, based on domains of the 2018 National Consensus Project. Data were analyzed by an interdisciplinary team using the constant comparative method.  Results: Of 45 participants, 9 had dementia, 16 were active caregivers, 20 were bereaved caregivers; 57% had experience with Alzheimer’s disease, the remainder had less common syndromes like frontotemporal dementia. Every participant described multiple challenges and unmet palliative care needs while receiving or providing care at home. Challenges included changing relationship dynamics, uncertainty about the future, lack of knowledge of resources available, caregiver stress and burnout, isolation, cost and quality of paid caregivers. Unmet needs included anticipatory guidance, advance care planning, psychosocial support, symptom management, social connection, and the provision and coordination of services. PWD articulated fewer challenges and needs than caregivers. Many participants engaged hospice at some point. Positive experiences included receipt of guidance, emotional support, direct services; negative included one more care transition, insufficient time to build trust, or being discharged alive. Experience with specialty palliative care was rare and positive except when experienced as a step-down from hospice. When we presented a definition of palliative care, adapted from CAPC, nearly all said it sounded appealing and useful.  Conclusion(s) Stakeholders indicated multiple opportunities for palliative care approaches to address dementia challenges.  Impact: We will use this data to inform development of basic and specialty palliative care interventions for dementia.

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Heart failure caregivers' support services: Implications for palliative care

Palliative care initiatives strive to control symptoms and improve the quality of care for individuals with heart failure (HF) and their informal caregivers. Yet, caregiving is stressful for many caregivers and requires a delicate balancing act between providing quality care and maintaining other responsibilities. Support services are a crucial component of palliative care. Yet, little is known regarding what support services HF caregivers need to assist with caregiving duties. Thus, the purpose of this study was to identify support services informal caregivers perceive would be useful in caring for individuals with heart failure in the home. This secondary analysis was part of a cross-sectional, descriptive, exploratory study which included 530 heart failure caregivers, using an online self-report instrument. Content and quantitative data analyses were conducted. Caregivers were primarily Caucasian (n = 415; 78.3%) male (n = 270; 50.9% male), with an average age of 41.4 (±10.4) years. Individuals with heart failure were mostly male (n = 297; 56.0%), age 54.3 (± 14.8) years of age and had New York Heart Association Class I-II heart failure (n = 375; 70.7%). Needed support services identified by caregivers related to cost effective heart failure support, caregiver information/education/training, and caregiver support. These services had two or more components. Caregivers of individuals with heart failure experience complex problems in the home that require important services to enhance palliative care. Exploring ways to provide these important support services will assist in the development of interventions to reduce negative outcomes and enhance heart failure palliative care. 

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Figuring it out by yourself: Perceptions of home-based care of stroke survivors, family caregivers and community health workers in a low-resourced setting, South Africa

Background: In less resourced settings, formal rehabilitation services for stroke survivors were often absent. Stroke survivors were referred to community health workers (CHWs) who were untrained in rehabilitation.; Aim: To describe the experience and perceived needs of stroke survivors, their caregivers and CHWs in a context with limited access to and support from formal rehabilitation services.; Setting: The Breede Valley subdistrict, Western Cape, South Africa, a rural, less resourced setting.; Methods: A descriptive exploratory qualitative study. Four focus group interviews were held with purposively selected stroke survivors and caregivers and four with CHWs. A thematic approach and the framework method were used to analyse the transcripts.; Findings: A total of 41 CHWs, 21 caregivers and 26 stroke survivors participated. Four main themes and 11 sub-themes were identified. Because of the lack of knowledge, training and rehabilitation services, the main theme for all groups was having to 'figure things out' independently, with incontinence management being particularly challenging. Secondly was the need for emotional support for stroke survivors and caregivers. Thirdly, contextual factors such as architectural barriers and lack of assistive products negatively impacted care and function. Lastly, the organisation of health and rehabilitation services negatively impacted home-based services and professional support.; Conclusions: With appropriate training, the CHWs can be pivotal in the training and support of family caregivers and stroke survivors. Care pathways and the role and scope of both CHWs and therapists in home-based stroke rehabilitation should be defined and restructured, including the links with formal services.

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Exploring mental health carers’ caregiving experiences in France

Purpose France, once a pioneer in psychiatry, is now sinking as its population faces major mental health challenges. This includes the 12 Million French individuals with psychiatric conditions, the lack of appropriate structures and the shortage of skilled mental health professionals, but it also leaves families in critical situations. The purpose of this study is to explore the carers’ caregiving experiences and to suggest ways to organise educational programmes to support mental health carers in France. Design/methodology/approach The research was conducted from January 2018 to November 2019. It included French carers of patients with mental conditions. Recorded semi-structured interviews were used and findings were analysed through an inductive thematic analysis and regrouped into key themes. Findings Participants had overwhelming negative representations of “mental illness”. The fact that they were excluded from participating in the patient’s health management further added to their misconceptions around mental disability, it limited their communication with their family and amplified their burdens. Research limitations/implications There is an urgent need for carer empowerment; carers should be included in educational programmes, they should benefit from French Government subsidies and social-network assistance and receive quality assistance by trained mental health professionals. The critical situation of carers can only be addressed by combining these three steps and through the action of appropriate actors in the field of mental health, thus alleviating the current paradigm of psychiatric care in France. Originality/value Thousands of research papers regarding carers have been published in other countries. In addition yet, to the knowledge, only a few investigations on French mental health carers have been conducted to this day. The singularity of this research lies in the rare individual interviews, which provided us with first-hand testimonies of mental health carers in France. This data could be of vital aid for professionals and for policymakers when advocating for better support of carers in mental health.

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An Exploration of Questions from Informal Family Caregivers of Cancer Patients in Home Hospice (RP418)

Objectives: • Identify the domains of care as outlined by the National Consensus Panel Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care caregivers ask the majority of questions in a home hospice visit. • Recognize and discuss how to use questions from the informal caregiver in the home hospice environment to reveal caregiver misunderstandings and level of comprehension about the patient's plan of care. •Determine which domains of care caregivers state uncertainty and confusion yet caregivers do not ask questions in these areas.  Importance: With a growing number of people choosing home hospice care after a terminal cancer diagnosis, communication between the hospice nurse and the informal caregiver is at the forefront of hospice care. Expert communication is vital to convey not only how to carry out the plan of care but also how assess family caregiver's understanding that plan.  Objective(s): The aim of this project was to explore the scope of questions from caregivers of cancer patients in home hospice by categorizing caregiver questions using the National Consensus Panel Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care (NCP) as a template with the addition of the domain Relationship Building to be inclusive of all therapeutic communication.  Method(s): This was a secondary analysis of audio recordings of home hospice nurse visits (N= 32 visits). Coding was conducted in two waves using NVivo 11 software; first a deductive content analytic process was applied to caregiver questions to identify the NCP care domain; next questions were inductively coded into emerging subcategories.  Results: Questions (N = 224) from caregivers were found in four domains; Physical Aspect of Care (149), Care of the Imminently Dying (37), Relationship Building (36), and Cultural (1). In the domain, Physical Aspect of Care, Medication Management (43%) was the most common subcategory. In Relationship Building, 92% of questions focused on Personal Information about the nurse. In the domain, Care of the Imminently Dying, questions about Symptoms to Recognize (that death was imminent) (57%) were the most common.  Conclusions: Results suggest caregivers struggle with basic information acquisition and retention concerning the care of patient and what to expect as the patient deteriorates.  Impact: Caregivers have unmet educational needs in areas of medication management and need further explanation of what future care of the patient entails as the patient deteriorates. Future research is needed to explore how to elicit questions from domains caregivers have stated uncertainty in, yet tend to avoid, such as cultural and spiritual aspects of care.

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The Experiences of Multiple Sclerosis Patients' Family Caregivers at the First Hospitalization of Their Patients: A Qualitative Study

Background and Aim: Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis is usually accompanied by emotional trauma for patients and their families. The chronic, progressive, and unpredictable nature of the disease spells the patients' long-term need for care from their families. As soon as a diagnosis is made, family caregivers are faced with many challenges. The present study aims to identify family caregivers' experiences at the first hospitalization of their patients. Materials and Methods: The present study is a work of qualitative research and uses the conventional content analysis approach. It lasted from July 2019 to March 2020. The subjects were selected via purposeful sampling. To collect data, the researchers conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 18 family caregivers of patients with multiple sclerosis. The collected data were analyzed using MAXQDA 2007. Results: Analysis of the data yielded three themes: peaceful environment, need for continuing full support, and religion-based coping strategies. Conclusion: The findings of the present study can be used to develop support programs that address family caregivers' problems and needs to assist them in accepting and coping with the conditions of their patients, thereby increasing the quality of care provided to patients with multiple sclerosis. 

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The Experiences of Couples Affected by Stroke and Nurses Managing Patient Rehabilitation: A Descriptive Study in Singapore

Background: Stroke in a family affects both patients and their spousal caregivers. Despite advances in the medical management of stroke, less is known about the social and cultural factors that impact couples regarding stroke recovery. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of stroke from the perspectives of couples affected by stroke and the nurses managing patient rehabilitation. Methods: An interpretive descriptive study was conducted. Purposive sampling was used to enroll 17 participants, comprising eight nurses, five spousal caregivers, and four stroke survivors. Individual, in-depth interviews were performed at a rehabilitation hospital in Singapore in June 2018. Results: The primary theme was the diverse meanings of stroke recovery attributed to limited conversations about the care decisions made by couples and rehabilitation nurses. The second theme was the challenges in nursing responsibilities that hindered the recovery of patients with stroke. Conclusions/Implications for Practice: The meaning of recovery differs between patients and their informal and formal care providers. This issue should be explored in patient–provider conversations, as these conversations highlight the values and preferences that affect the stroke recovery trajectory. Enhancing shared decision making by patients, spousal caregivers, and healthcare providers during the stroke trajectory may promote the alignment of values that are critical to the stroke recovery experience. Further research into whether and how to incorporate shared decision making in rehabilitation hospital settings as an interventional component is warranted to better support stroke survivors before discharge. 

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Experiences of caregivers in a home-based palliative care model – A qualitative study

Background: Family caregivers are of vital support to patients receiving home-based palliative care. Aims and Objectives: This study sought to identify and comprehend the challenges that caregivers face while taking care of a terminally ill patient in a home-based palliative care setting and the mechanisms that facilitated their coping. Materials and Methods: A qualitative approach was employed to understand the perceptions of primary caregivers through 3 focus group discussions and 4 in-depth interviews, across 3 socioeconomic categories and 3 geographic zones of Mumbai. Results: Caregivers expressed that they wished they had been introduced to palliative care earlier. Being trained on minor clinical procedures and managing symptoms, and receiving emotional support through counselling were found beneficial. Caregivers did not perceive the need for self-care as the period of active caregiving was often short. Bereavement counselling was felt to be of much help. Conclusion: The study helped understand the caregivers' perceptions about the factors that would help them in patient as well as self-care. Recommendations for designing interventions for future caregivers and recipients were also made.

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Examining the support needs of older male spousal caregivers of people with a long‐term condition: A systematic review of the literature

Aim The aim of this review was to identify and synthesise literature reporting on support needs of older male caregivers, who are providing care for a chronically ill spouse/partner at home. Background Traditionally, informal caregiving has been perceived as a feminised activity. Consequently, caregiving research has been dominated by female samples, and male caregivers are grossly under‐represented. Given the growing recognition of caregiving as a gendered concept, and the rise in number of male caregivers, particularly in later life, the need for better understanding of the needs of male caregivers is important in order to plan effective support for this population. Design A systematic literature review. Methods Four electronic databases and grey literature were systematically searched. Results The systematic search resulted in 3,646 papers, eligibility criteria were applied to the full texts of 104 papers, and 11 papers met the inclusion criteria. Two core themes were identified: the need to maintain masculinity and the provision of social support. Conclusion Findings suggest that men may have a gendered approach to caregiving based on dominant masculine norms. This can be manifested in a reluctance to ask for or accept help and a desire to retain control over caregiving. Findings also revealed isolation and loneliness experienced by older male caregivers, along with a preference for support to address this within a male‐specific context. It is suggested that healthcare professionals should be cognisant of the male caregiver approach and should have an increased awareness of male caregivers support preferences, and of their own gendered assumptions, in order to provide effective support for this population. Implications for practice Nurses have a key role in providing family support. Findings from this review suggest that nurses should be aware of the specific needs of older male spousal caregivers if they are to provide effective care and support to this population group.

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End‐of‐life care in rural and regional Australia: Patients', carers' and general practitioners' expectations of the role of general practice, and the degree to which they were met

The study objective was to explore the characteristics of rural general practice which exemplify optimal end‐of‐life (EOL) care from the perspective of people diagnosed with cancer, their informal carers and general practitioners (GPs); and the extent to which consumers perceived that actual EOL care addressed these characteristics. Semi‐structured telephone interviews were conducted with six people diagnosed with cancer, three informal carers and four GPs in rural and regional Australia. Using a social constructionist approach, thematic analysis was undertaken. Seven characteristics were perceived to be essential for optimal EOL care: (1) commitment and availability, (2) building of therapeutic relationships, (3) effective communication, (4) psychosocial support, (5) proficient symptom management, (6) care coordination and (7) recognition of the needs of carers. Most GPs consistently addressed these characteristics. Comprehensive EOL care that meets the needs of people dying with cancer is not beyond the resources of rural and regional GPs and communities. 

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Empowerment of family caregiver in front of stroke in hospital environment

Objectives: to understand how the empowerment of family caregivers of people with stroke occurs in the hospital environment.; Methods: a qualitative research, participatory action research, articulated with Paulo Freire's Research Itinerary, developed in April 2018 with family caregivers, in a Stroke Unit.; Results: three predominant codes were coded: the need for empowerment and autonomy to experience the care situation; the challenges experienced in becoming a caregiver; and family support. Participants presented a lack of information inherent to the care process, with distancing from empowerment to perform the function in dehospitalization. Dialogue revealed empowerment as a possibility for critical awareness and skill development.; Conclusions: it highlights the importance of directing health promotion for caregivers, inserting them in the care process, recognizing their needs and intensifying practices that promote empowerment for care, bypassing curative actions.

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Dysphagia-Related Caregiver Burden: Moving Beyond the Physiological Impairment

Purpose: The biopsychosocial ramifications of dysphagia are widespread. However, its influence on informal caregivers and families is often overlooked. Ultimately, the health and well-being of an entire family is central to care provision. This tutorial introduces readers to the current literature on dysphagia-related caregiver burden and third-party disability, illustrates the consequences of such burden on both caregivers and patients, and suggests strategies for better supporting patients' informal caregivers. Conclusions: It is essential that speech-language pathologists recognize that the consequences of dysphagia are not limited to the impairment itself and acknowledge dysphagia's substantial impact on the entire family system. More general health care literature suggests that asking caregivers individual questions, modifying the language used to talk with them, providing them with targeted education and resources, and organizing support groups may all be beneficial for increased perceived support and self-efficacy. Ultimately, in order to best meet the needs of our patients with dysphagia, we must also better meet the needs of their families and other informal caregivers.

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Development of a psychosocial intervention to support informal caregivers of people with end-stage kidney disease receiving haemodialysis

Background Patients with end-stage kidney disease, receiving haemodialysis rely increasingly on informal carers to help manage their debilitating chronic disease. Informal carers may experience a negative impact on their quality of life exacting a toll on their physical, social and emotional well-being. Informal carers of patients with end-stage kidney disease receiving haemodialysis have significant unmet needs which may include physical and psychological issues, financial disadvantage and social isolation. Poor experiences of informal carers may also impact the experience of the patients for whom they care. The needs of this group of informal caregivers have been largely neglected, with little emphasis placed on supportive interventions that might assist and support them in their caring role. The aim of this study is therefore to explore the experiences and unmet needs of informal carers of people with end-stage kidney disease receiving haemodialysis and develop a psychosocial intervention to support them in their caring role. Methods This qualitative study will include a systematic review, semi-structured interviews with 30 informal carers and focus groups with renal health care professionals. Perceptions of care provision, caregiving experiences as well as contextual factors impacting the design and delivery of a psychosocial intervention for informal carers of patients with end-stage kidney disease, will be explored and will inform the development of a supportive intervention. Discussion The needs of informal carers of patients with end-stage kidney disease have been neglected with little emphasis placed on supportive interventions that might assist and support this group in their care giving role. This is in contrast to other chronic disease groups such as stroke, cancer and dementia. In these conditions well developed supportive interventions have significantly improved outcomes in regard to informal caregivers' preparedness, competence, positive emotions and psychological well-being in terms of informal care provision. Support interventions could potentially improve the quality of life of those informal carers who provide care to patients with end-stage kidney disease receiving haemodialysis.

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Developing Unique Insights From Narrative Responses to Bereaved Family Surveys

Context: Although bereaved family surveys (BFS) are routinely used quantitatively for quality assessment, open-ended and narrative responses are rarely systematically analyzed. Analysis of narrative responses may identify opportunities for improving end-of-life (EOL) care delivery. Objectives: To highlight the value of routine and systematic analysis of narrative responses and to thematically summarize narrative responses to the BFS of Veterans Affairs. Methods: We analyzed more than 4600 open-ended responses to the BFS for all 2017 inpatient decedents across Veterans Affairs facilities. We used a descriptive qualitative approach to identify major themes. Results: Thematic findings clustered into three domains: patient needs, family needs, and facility and organizational characteristics. Patient needs include maintenance of veteran's hygiene, appropriately prescribing medications, adhering to patient wishes, physical presence in patient's final hours, and spiritual and religious care at EOL. Family and caregiver needs included enhanced communication with the patient's care team, assistance with administrative and logistical challenges after death, emotional support, and displays of respect and gratitude for the patient's life. Facility and organizational characteristics included care team coordination, optimal staffing, the importance of nonclinical staff to care, and optimizing facilities to be welcoming, equipped for individuals with disabilities, and able to provide high-quality food. Conclusion: Systematic analysis of narrative survey data yields unique findings not routinely available through quantitative data collection and analysis. Organizations may benefit from the collection and regular analysis of narrative survey responses, which facilitate identification of needed improvements in palliative and EOL care that may improve the overall experiences for patients and families. 

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Change Over Time in Caregiving Networks for Older Adults With and Without Dementia

Objectives We provide national estimates of caregiving networks for older adults with and without dementia and examine how these networks develop over time. Most prior research has focused on primary caregivers and rarely on change over time. Method We identify a cohort of older adults continuously followed in the National Health and Aging Trends Study between 2011 and 2015 and receiving help from family members or unpaid caregivers in 2015 (n = 1,288). We examine differences by dementia status in network size, types of assistance and task sharing, and composition—differentiating between "specialist" and "generalist" caregivers helping in one versus multiple activity domains. Multinomial regression is used to estimate change over time in network task sharing and composition. Results In 2015, older adults with dementia had larger caregiving networks involving more task sharing than those without dementia and more often relied on generalist caregivers, especially the subset assisting with medical, household, and mobility or self-care activities. Uniformly greater reliance over time on these more intensely engaged generalist caregivers chiefly accounts for larger dementia networks. Discussion Findings lend support to the need for caregiver training on managing multiple task domains and—for dementia caregivers in particular—task-sharing skills. More generally, the design of new approaches to better support older adults and their caregivers should consider the complexity, heterogeneity, and change over time in caregiving networks. 

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Challenges and support service preferences of informal caregivers of people with systemic sclerosis: a cross-sectional survey

Purpose: To evaluate the importance of different challenges experienced by informal caregivers to persons with systemic sclerosis (SSc) and identify priorities for support services that could be developed. Materials and Methods: Caregivers of people with SSc from three continents completed an online questionnaire to rate the importance of possible caregiver challenges and likelihood of using different forms of support services. Importance of challenges and likelihood of using support services were rated from 1 (not important; not likely to use) to 4 (very important; very likely to use). Results: Two hundred and two informal caregivers completed the survey (79 women, 123 men). Mean age was 58 years (standard deviation = 13). The most important challenges were related to supporting the care recipient with emotional difficulties and physical discomfort. Caregivers indicated that they would be more likely to use support services that involved online or hard-copy information resources, including those provided soon after diagnosis, compared to support that involved interacting with others. Conclusions: Supporting the care recipient in managing emotional difficulties and physical discomfort were important challenges among caregivers. Interventions delivered through hardcopy or online resources, including those delivered soon after the care recipient's diagnosis, were rated as being most likely to be used by caregivers. Many caregivers for individuals with systemic sclerosis report struggling to support their care recipient with emotional difficulties and physical discomfort. Rehabilitation professionals can aid in the development of support services that caregivers have identified as being likely to use and can refer caregivers to resources that they have identified as being helpful, such as educational information about the disease. The development of support services should focus on aspects of caring that caregivers found most challenging and be delivered in a format that considers caregiver preferences. 

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Caregivers' role in using a personal electronic health record: a qualitative study of cancer patients and caregivers in Germany

Background: Particularly in the context of severe diseases like cancer, many patients wish to include caregivers in the planning of treatment and care. Many caregivers like to be involved but feel insufficiently enabled. This study aimed at providing insight into patients' and caregivers' perspectives on caregivers' roles in managing the patient portal of an electronic personal health record (PHR). Methods: A descriptive qualitative study was conducted comprising two study phases: (1) Usability tests and interviews with patients with cancer and caregivers (2) additional patient interviews after a 3-month-pilot-testing of the PHR. For both study parts, a convenience sample was selected, focusing on current state of health and therapy process and basic willingness to participate and ending up with a mixed sample as well as saturation of data. All interviews were audio-recorded, pseudonymized, transcribed verbatim and qualitatively analyzed. Results: Two main categories emerged from qualitative data: 'Caregivers' role' and 'Graduation of access rights' - consisting of four subcategories each. The interviewed patients (n = 22) and caregivers (n = 9) felt that the involvement of caregivers is central to foster the acceptance of a PHR for cancer patients. However, their role varied from providing technical support to representing patients, e.g. if the patient's state of health made this necessary. Heterogeneous opinions emerged regarding the question whether caregivers should receive full or graduated access on a patient's PHR. Conclusions: In order to support the patient and to participate in the care process, caregivers need up-to-date information on the patient's health and treatment. Nevertheless, some patients do not want to share all medical data with caregivers, which might strain the patient-caregiver relationship. This needs to be considered in development and implementation of personal health records. Generally, in the debate on patient portals of a personal health record, paying attention to the role of caregivers is essential. By appreciating the important relationship between patients and caregivers right from the beginning, implementation, of a PHR would be enhanced. Trial Registration: ISRCTN85224823 . Date of registration: 23/12/2015 (retrospectively registered).

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

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

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Caregiver Experiences of Care Coordination for Recently Discharged Patients: A Qualitative Metasynthesis

Caregivers of patients often provide key support for patients after hospitalization. This qualitative metasynthesis describes caregiver perspectives about care coordination for patients discharged from the hospital. A literature search of Ovid Medline and CINAHL completed on May 23, 2018, identified 1,546 studies. Twelve articles were included in the final metasynthesis. Caregiver perspectives about care coordination were compiled into overall themes. A subanalysis of studies in which patients were discharged with home health services was completed. Five main themes emerged related to caregiver perspectives on care coordination after hospitalization: (a) Suboptimal access to clinicians after discharge, (b) Feeling disregarded by clinicians, (c) Need for information and training at discharge, (d) Overwhelming responsibilities to manage appointments and medications, and (e) Need for emotional support. Findings from this metasynthesis suggest the need for clinicians to engage with caregivers to provide support, training, and communication after hospital discharge. 

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Building trust and facilitating goals of care conversations: A qualitative study in people with heart failure receiving home hospice care

Background: Despite a majority of persons receiving hospice care in their homes, there are gaps in understanding how to facilitate goals of care conversations between persons with heart failure and healthcare providers. Aim: To identify barriers and facilitators which shape goals of care conversations for persons with heart failure in the context of home hospice. Design: A qualitative descriptive study design was used with semi-structured interviews. Setting/participants: We conducted qualitative interviews with persons with heart failure, family caregivers, and interprofessional healthcare team members at a large not-for-profit hospice agency in New York City between March 2018 and February 2019. Results: A total of 39 qualitative interviews were conducted, including with healthcare team members (e.g. nurses, physicians, social workers, spiritual counselors), persons with heart failure, and family caregivers. Three themes emerged from the qualitative interviews regarding facilitators and barriers in goals of care conversations for better decision-making: (1) trust is key to building and maintaining goals of care conversations; (2) lack of understanding and acceptance of hospice inhibits goals of care conversations; and (3) family support and engagement promote goals of care conversations. Conclusion: Findings from this study suggest that interventions designed to improve goals of care conversations in the home hospice setting should focus on promoting understanding and acceptance of hospice, family support and engagement, and building trusting relationships with interprofessional healthcare teams.

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Awareness, utilization and influencing factors of social supports for main informal caregivers of schizophrenia patients: a cross-sectional study in primary care settings in Beijing, China

Background: Most schizophrenia patients are supported by main informal caregivers at home in China. This study aims to investigate the further needs of social supports for main informal caregivers of schizophrenia patients and to analyze influencing factors on the awareness and utilization of social supports in Beijing. The results of this study could potentially act as reference for health professionals to implement appropriate and effective support programs. Methods: A mixed-methods approach was used in this study. Awareness, utilization and influencing factors of social supports for main informal caregivers were investigated using questionnaires in 6 urban districts in Beijing. Meanwhile, individual in-depth interviews with 10 main informal caregivers from the urban districts of Beijing were conducted to identify the caregivers' perspective on social supports and their further needs. Results: Quantitative results showed that although the government provided multi-channel resources for schizophrenia patients and their families, awareness and utilization of the resources such as rehabilitation and relevant subsidies were less than 10.0 and 5.0% respectively. Most caregivers in in-depth interviews expressed that they had negative experiences with respect to obtaining social supports, and they emphasized that more support would be needed in terms of financial support, respect, and rehabilitation institutions. Conclusions: The awareness and utilization of social supports are low for main informal caregivers of schizophrenia patients. More services and improved public attitudes are needed for schizophrenia patients and their caregivers. 

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COVID-19 Education for Caregivers

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyday life in the United States and around the world. Considering persons with mild symptoms may recover at home, education for caregivers is critical. They need instruction on how to care for a family member with COVID-19 and how to prevent themselves from getting the virus.

The article discusses the need for caregivers to receive instruction on how to care for a family member with COVID-19 and how to prevent themselves from getting the virus. Topics mentioned include the use of over-the-counter medication for relief of fevers, responsibility of caregivers to practice a certain amount of distancing from a person with COVID-19, and disinfection of electronics with appropriate device-approved solutions.

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Experiences and Needs of Caregivers of Persons With Dementia in India During the COVID-19 Pandemic-A Qualitative Study

Objective: To describe the experiences and needs of caregivers of persons with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown in a city in India. Design: Qualitative study using a telephonic semistructured interview. Setting: A specialist geriatric outpatient mental health service based in a nongovernmental organization in Chennai, India. Participants: A purposive sampling of family members of persons with dementia registered in the database and seen within the previous 6 months. Results: Thirty-one caregivers participated. Thematic analysis of the data showed two sets of issues that the caregivers of persons with dementia faced in their experiences during the pandemic. The first set was unique to the caregivers that directly related to their caregiving role, while the second set did not relate directly to their caregiving role. These two sets also appeared to have a two-way interaction influencing each other. These issues generated needs, some of which required immediate support while others required longer-term support. The caregivers suggested several methods, such as use of video-consultations, telephone-based support and clinic-based in-person visits to meet their needs. They also wanted more services postpandemic. Conclusion: Caregivers of persons with dementia had multiple needs during the pandemic. Supporting them during these times require a pragmatic multilayered approach. Systemic changes, policies and frameworks, increased awareness, use of technology, and better access to health are necessary.

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The alleviation of suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic

During the current global public health emergency, clinicians may likely struggle to meet the psychological, spiritual, social, and emotional needs of patients and family caregivers. [...]the burnout and existential distress experienced by healthcare professionals worldwide prior to COVID-19 will likely increase significantly amid the current pandemic (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2019; Parks, 2020; Pessin et al., 2015). Responding to suffering during COVID COVID-19 is magnifying a collective fear and anxiety about impending destruction, as mortality rates rise steadily and we learn more about healthcare system capacity constraints, the possibilities of resource rationing and blanket do-not-resuscitate orders, and low survival rates linked to advanced stages of COVID-19. The clinical progression of COVID-19 for many patients has escalated so quickly there has been little time for patients or family caregivers to discuss the reality of the disease, adjust to the caregiving role, clarify goals of care, or create a legacy as life ends. Given the unique, high-risk vulnerabilities of seriously ill patients and those at the end of life who are COVID-19 positive, many palliative care organizations are guiding clinicians to employ presence, use deep listening skills, and promote cultures of professionalism and calm in interactions with patients, families, and colleagues (CAPC,; End-of-Life Nursing Educational Consortium, ELNEC,; National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, NHPCO,;,

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Caregiver burden and health-related quality of life among primary family caregivers of individuals with schizophrenia: a cross-sectional study

Purpose This study aimed to examine correlates of caregiver burden and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among primary family caregivers of individuals with schizophrenia in inpatient psychiatric rehabilitation facilities. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted with 157 Taiwanese primary family caregivers of individuals with schizophrenia residing in inpatient psychiatric facilities. Measures included socio-demographic questionnaires and clinical information, Mutuality Scale, Family Crisis-Oriented Personal Evaluation Scales, Zarit Burden Interview, and World Health Organization Quality of Life-brief version. To describe the degree of caregiver burden and domains of HRQoL, descriptive statistics were computed. Independent sample t test, one-way analysis of variance, and Pearson's correlation analysis followed by multiple regression analyses were performed to determine correlations and relationships between characteristics of patients and primary family caregivers with caregiver burden and domains of HRQoL. Results Primary family caregivers experienced mild to moderate caregiver burden and poor HRQoL. Primary family caregivers who were older and unemployed, caring for patient's severe psychiatric symptoms, and had low monthly incomes, decreased mutuality, and fewer family coping strategies were associated with greater caregiver burden and poor HRQoL. Greater mutuality and family coping strategies of reframing and seeking spiritual support were the most significant factors in improving caregiver burden and all domains of HRQoL, respectively. Conclusion Family-focused interventions for caregivers of institutionalized persons with schizophrenia that include psychological support and peer support groups are recommended to enhance mutuality and family coping strategies, reduce caregiver burden, and improve HRQoL.

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Palliative care in the context of immune and targeted therapies: A qualitative study of bereaved carers' experiences in metastatic melanoma

Background: Immune and targeted therapies continue to transform treatment outcomes for those with metastatic melanoma. However, the role of palliative care within this treatment paradigm is not well understood. Aim: To explore bereaved carers' experiences of immune and targeted therapy treatment options towards end of life for patients with metastatic melanoma. Design: An interpretive, qualitative study using a social constructivist framework was utilised. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using grounded theory methods. Setting/participants: Participants (n = 20) were bereaved carers of patients who had received some form of immune and/or targeted therapy at one of three Australian metropolitan melanoma treatment centres. Results: Carers struggled to reconcile the positive discourse around the success of immune and targeted therapies in achieving long-term disease control, and the underlying uncertainty in predicting individual responses to therapy. Expectations that immune and targeted therapies necessarily provide longer-term survival were evident. Difficulty in prognostication due to clinical uncertainty and a desire to maintain hope resulted in lack of preparedness for treatment failure and end of life. Conclusion: Immune and targeted therapies have resulted in increased prognostic challenges. There is a need to engage, educate and support patients and carers to prepare and plan amid these challenges. Educational initiatives must focus on improving communication between patients, carers and clinicians; the differences between palliative and end-of-life care; and increased competency of clinicians in having goals-of-care discussions. Clinicians must recognise and communicate the benefit of collaborative palliative care to meet patient and family needs holistically and comprehensively.

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Approaches to and outcomes of future planning for family carers of adults with an intellectual disability: A systematic review

Background People with intellectual disabilities are living longer, with family homes and family caregivers increasingly identified as a key support to this ageing population of people with intellectual disabilities. Method This systematic review sets out existing evidence from empirically evaluated intervention studies of future care planning for adults with intellectual disability by family carers. Results This systematic review identified a scarcity of systematic approaches to future care planning for adults with intellectual disabilities and their family carers. However, evidence from the review suggests positive outcomes for families once they engage in a future planning process. Conclusions Contemporary social policy orientation, which emphasizes reliance on families to provide care, along with an ageing population of people with intellectual disabilities, and diminishing caring capacity within family networks, suggests an urgent need for a more expansive research base that evaluates approaches to supporting adults with intellectual disabilities and their family carers to plan for their futures.

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The Student Carer Experience in Scotland

The research illuminates the lived experiences of student carers across Scotland’s colleges and universities, including the perspectives of those supporting them. Through an investigation of the challenges student carers face, and the barriers to accessing support, the research makes recommendations and suggestions to improve the studying experience for carers.

Key points

  • Applying to college and university can be difficult for carers, faced with difficult considerations, such as whether or not they can move away from the person they care for to study.
  • Studying itself can be difficult, with multiple demands on carers’ time making it difficult for them to attend all their classes, meet coursework deadlines and socialise with peers.
  • Accessing support can be difficult, as student carers find it hard to reach out for support, and college and university staff face challenges in reaching their student carer population.
  • To allow carers to flourish in their studies, the report recommends and suggests that support should be proactive, flexible and tailored to suit their unique circumstances.
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People with learning disabilities and/or autism and their carers getting older: Confronting a Looming Crisis

Increased longevity means that an increasing proportion of people living with a learning disability are aged 45 and over and are transitioning into older age/retirement. It also means that ageing family members are increasingly playing an extended caregiving role into later life. A small scale study was carried out in the New Forest, Hampshire during 2018-19. Twenty-one older carers (5 were male) were interviewed about their experiences of caring for their older adult family members with learning disabilities and/or autism. The average age of the carers was 75 though 20% of the sample were over 80 years old.

Key findings:

Older carers are struggling to continue to care for their loved ones. Four main themes described their struggles:

1. Transition to retirement was felt to be a misnomer in the face of continuing responsibilities and duties to care and/or manage care. Little respite was available to take a break, take stock, or just do the things that most other ‘retired people’ do.

2. The Care Act 2014, despite its laudable goals, is yet to be applied sufficiently well to make a difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities and/or autism or their carers who took part in this study.

3. Challenges with social service provision including lack of continuity of social worker input, variable and declining levels of expertise, and pejorative attitudes towards carers appears to be worsening. That said, carers are understanding of the pressures on health and social care and are willing to work with them to improve the situation.

4. Carers’ fears for the future as they contemplate who will care for their loved one once they are no longer able to care for them.

There is a need for age-appropriate housing, weekend activities for people with learning disabilities, and respite for carers. Transformational change which includes trust-building and co-production between health and social services and carers is  needed to improve relationships between the parties. Meaningful partnerships between social workers and carers will reduce the problem of the frequent need of carers to urge social services to provide adequate care and support. Information on options for people with learning disabilities transitioning into old age as well as practical support will help reduce the risk of crisis situations happening when older carers can no longer care. 

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The invisible workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic: Family carers at the frontline [version 1; peer review: 2 approved]

This is an open letter to acknowledge the essential and increasingly challenging role unpaid family carers are playing in the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter is written by members of the CAREWELL team, a HRB-funded project that aims to promote health and self-care behaviours among working family carers. Family carers provide care to family and friends in the community who need support due to old-age, disability and chronic illness. In many cases, family carers are supporting those who are considered most at risk in this pandemic meaning carers must reduce their own risk of infection in order to protect their dependent family members. The temporary reduction of some home care services, as well as school and creche closures, means that family carers are providing increased levels of care with little or no support. At a time when both worlds of work and care have been dramatically transformed, we wish to shed light on those who are currently balancing paid employment with a family caregiving role. We argue that there is much to be learned from the recent work restrictions that could benefit employees, including working family carers, beyond this pandemic. We also wish to build on the potential positives of a transformed society and encourage policy makers and employers to focus on what is currently being implemented, and to identify which measures could be used to create a bedrock of policies and practices that would offer robust and effective support to family carers. It is hoped that family carers will receive greater recognition for the significant role they play in society, providing essential care and alleviating the strain on health and social care systems, both during and post the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Caring and Coping with Dementia during COVID-19

Research Aim: This aim of this research is to explore how the experiences and needs of people with dementia and carers have changed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and to understand how these needs can be appropriately addressed. Summary: This report presents the findings of national research undertaken by The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) between 8th and 26th June 2020, which explored how people with dementia and their carers are coping during COVID-19 and to understand their challenges and needs. This report follows on from a national survey carried out at the start of April 2020, when dementia services ceased operating and COVID-19 restrictions were imposed.

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Caregivers’ failure to thrive: A case for health and continuing care systems transformation

Excluding family caregivers and their goals from healthcare thinking and system design has contributed to their “failure to thrive.” Family caregivers are diverse, with dynamic, enduring, and variable life course care trajectories that are largely ignored. Using a co-design approach, caregivers prioritized their goals across seven life domains in an on-line survey. Physical, mental, and emotional health goals were top priorities across all ages. However, care-related goals were not caregivers’ highest priority. Goals related to financial well-being, social connections, employment, education, and care were variable across ages. Our findings suggest that transforming health and continuing care systems begins with recognizing variability of caregivers’ goals across their life courses. Adopting a co-design approach with family caregivers may serve as a model to develop a collaborative health and continuing care system. One that recognizes and supports family caregivers to achieve their goals, so that they not only survive but thrive.

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COVID-19 and the impact of the Closure of day services on People with intellectual disabilities

In mid-March Disability day services closed to people with intellectual disabilities with a small number of exceptions. In May and early June, Inclusion Ireland surveyed the people who use these services and their families on the impact the closure of service has had on them and the supports they have received in this time. In total, 291 family members answered our survey and 55 people with intellectual disabilities responded to an easy-to-read version of our survey giving a total response of 346. Peoples engagement with their service over the Covid period has been variable with some people reporting regular contact, daily online activities, and some face to face support while more than half of respondents have had very little meaningful  contact at all. The closure of day services impacting on the mental health of people cannot be underestimated. A significant number of respondents reported increased loneliness, increased anxiety, and increased challenging behaviour or anger. At the same time more that 20% of people reported being happier during the lock down. As services reopen and start to support people with intellectual disabilities in a ‘different or remote’ manner the needs of people with high support needs and complex disabilities must be considered carefully. This group of people tell us they cannot access virtual technology even with one on one family support to do so.

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Tensions in dementia care in China: An interpretative phenomenological study from Shandong province

Aims: The study aims to analyse the tensions and the challenges of dementia care that are experienced by people with dementia and their family caregivers in China. Background: China has the largest dementia population in the world; however, dementia care services and related support services are still developing. Caring for a person with dementia is very challenging, as evidenced by many studies. As the majority of people with dementia are looked after by their family in their homes in China, it is very important to understand what people with dementia and their family caregivers are experiencing in the context of dementia care services that are in the process of developing. Design: Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used. Method: Semi-structured individual interviews with 24 participants (10 people with dementia and 14 unrelated family caregivers) recruited from a mental health centre in Shandong Province. Findings: Three main themes emerged that highlighted unmet need: (a) Lack of support services, (b) Insufficient institutional care and (c) Social attitude and social stigma towards dementia. Conclusions: These themes reveal the challenges that the participants face in the context of dementia care services that are in the process of development in China; and how their lived experiences have been affected by the constraints of social support, public services, healthcare access, long-term care services and social stigma. Implications for practice: This study highlights the tensions that are identified by people with dementia and family caregivers. The research recommends that more support services would be beneficial for this group and would also enhance family support dementia care in China. Looking after an older family member is a culturally, socially and legally embodied norm in Chinese society, so it is important to address education for dementia awareness and the sustainability of family support care services in China by providing dementia services and resources to support both people with dementia and family caregivers.

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Emerging Issues of Intelligent Assistive Technology Use Among People With Dementia and Their Caregivers: A U.S. Perspective

The increasing number of older adults with cognitive deficits, including dementia, poses a major challenge for public health in the United States. At the same time, the limited number of informal and professional caregivers available to support this rapidly growing population is of mounting concern. Not only does population aging limit the number of potential caregivers, but extant caregivers often lack skills to provide quality care. The integration of intelligent assistive technologies (IAT), including devices, robotics and sensors in many forms, into eldercare, may offer opportunities to reduce caregiver burden and enhance healthcare services while improving the quality of life among older adults with mild to severe cognitive deficits. However, many caregivers and their care recipients lack access to these technologies. The reasons for this reduced access are multifactorial, including the digital divide, sociocultural factors, and technological literacy. This mini review investigates the emerging use of IAT available to caregivers and older adults with cognitive deficits and explores the challenges in socioeconomic status and technological literacy as well as ethical and legal implications that should be considered in the design and development of IAT for older adults with cognitive deficits. Drawing from existing literature, it will suggest frameworks for design and adoption aimed at increased and equitable access for this vulnerable population. 

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Understanding family caregivers' needs to support relatives with advanced progressive disease at home: An ethnographic study in rural Portugal

Background: Family caregivers play an important role supporting their relatives with advanced progressive disease to live at home. There is limited research to understand family caregiver needs over time, particularly outside of high-income settings. The aim of this study was to explore family caregivers' experiences of caring for a relative living with advanced progressive disease at home, and their perceptions of met and unmet care needs over time. Methods: An ethnographic study comprising observations and interviews. A purposive sample of 10 family caregivers and 10 relatives was recruited within a rural area in the north of Portugal. Data were collected between 2014 and 16 using serial participant observations (n = 33) and in-depth interviews (n = 11). Thematic content analysis was used to analyse the data. Results: Five overarching themes were yielded: (1) provision of care towards independence and prevention of complications; (2) perceived and (3) unknown caregiver needs; (4) caregivers' physical and emotional impairments; and (5) balancing limited time. An imbalance towards any one of these aspects may lead to reduced capability and performance of the family caregiver, with increased risk of complications for their relative. However, with balance, family caregivers embraced their role over time. Conclusions: These findings enhance understanding around the needs of family caregivers, which are optimally met when professionals and family caregivers work together with a collaborative approach over time. Patients and their families should be seen as equal partners. Family-focused care would enhance nursing practice in this context and this research can inform nursing training and educational programs. 

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Caregiving Self-efficacy and Knowledge Regarding Patient Positioning Among Malaysian Caregivers of Stroke Patients

Background Most family caregivers of stroke patients in Malaysia do not receive adequate prior preparation or training. This study aimed to determine levels of patient positioning knowledge and caregiving self-efficacy among caregivers of stroke patients. Methods This cross-sectional study was conducted at an urban teaching hospital involving 128 caregivers of stroke patients. The caregivers were conveniently sampled and completed the data collection forms, which comprised their socio-demographic data, patients' functional status, the Caregiving Knowledge For Stroke Questionnaire: Patient Positioning (CKQ-My(C) Patient Positioning) to measure caregiver's knowledge on patient positioning, and the Family Caregiver Activation Tool (FCAT(C)) to measure caregivers' self-efficacy in managing the patient. Descriptive and multivariate inferential statistics were used for data analysis. Results Among the caregivers sampled, 87.3% had poor knowledge of positioning (mean score 14.9 +/- 4.32). The mean score for FCAT was 49.7 +/- 6.0 from a scale of 10 to 60. There was no significant association between knowledge on positioning and self-efficacy. Multiple linear regression showed that caregivers' age (B = 0.146, p = 0.003) and caregiver training (B = 3.302, p = 0.007) were independently associated with caregivers' self-efficacy. Conclusion Caregivers' knowledge on the positioning of stroke patients was poor, despite a fairly good level of self-efficacy. Older caregivers and receiving caregiver training were independently associated with better caregiver self-efficacy. This supports the provision of caregiver training to improve caregiver self-efficacy.

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The experiences and perspectives of family surrogate decision-makers: A systematic review of qualitative studies

Objective: Surrogate decision-makers play an increasingly important role in the lives of older adults who have lost their ability to make decisions. Currently, there is a lack of evidence to support family surrogates in making a variety of decisions. Additionally, a greater understanding of family caregivers’ experiences and perspectives toward making surrogate decisions is needed. Methods: This study employed a qualitative systematic review and thematic synthesis of the research evidence using the methodologies of the Joanna Briggs Institute (2014) and Thomas and Harden (2008). Results: Decisions were classified per three main types: intensive care treatment, end-of-life treatment, and placement. Six themes were identified concerning surrogates’ experiences: struggle and reluctance, seeking reassurance, communication with healthcare professionals, family support, older adults’ wishes, and negative impact. Conclusion: Family surrogates often lack adequate preparation and education regarding decision-making. Quality communication between surrogates and healthcare providers helps reduce the anxiety and guilt experienced when making surrogate decisions. Further research is required to elucidate these experiences with more cultural and racial nuances. Practice implications: This review informs healthcare providers’ awareness of the challenges faced by surrogates and fosters improved surrogate decision-making experiences.

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Challenges Faced by Family Caregivers: Multiple Perspectives on Eldercare

The focus of this study was to identify challenges to family eldercare provision from the perspectives of both caregivers and community stakeholders. This qualitative study used data from 306 family caregivers and 116 stakeholders (aging, social, and health service professionals who work with older adults and their families) in North Dakota. Data sources included an American Association of Retired Persons-ND survey of 110 caregivers, a survey by the ND Family Caregiver Support Program (196 participants), and a Statewide Caregiving Stakeholder Survey (116 participants). Thematic analysis identified five themes: (a) financial burden of providing eldercare, (b) insufficient access to respite care, (c) difficulty finding and navigating available services and programs, (d) lack of knowledge and training on care provision, and (e) challenges related to environmental context of caregiving. Implications for working with family caregivers and developing policies for eldercare are discussed.

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Living with Chronic Heart Failure: Exploring Patient, Informal Caregiver, and Healthcare Professional Perceptions

Due to the complexity of heart failure (HF) and its treatment process, a high level of patient and informal caregiver engagement is required for management results. We aimed to explore the views of HF patients, informal caregivers, and healthcare professionals about personal experiences, perceived needs, and barriers to optimal HF management. A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews with HF patients (n = 32), their informal caregivers (n = 21), and healthcare professionals (n = 5) was conducted in the outpatient HF clinic in Slovenia in 2018. A content analysis method was used to analyze the data. Negative emotional response to disease and its limitations (especially the inability to continue with work) and changes in family roles were the most prevalent topics regarding the impact of HF on livelihood. Among the most common barriers to HF self-care, were the difficulties in changing lifestyle, financial difficulties due to the disease, traditional cuisine/lack of knowledge regarding a healthy diet and lack of self-confidence regarding physical activity. Despite psychological and social difficulties due to HF being highlighted by patients and informal caregivers, only healthcare professionals emphasized the need to address psychosocial aspects of care in HF management. Established differences could inform the implementation of necessary support mechanisms in HF management.

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Covid-19: Impact & Need for People with Dementia and Family Carers

This report produced by The ASI summarises the results of three surveys that were distributed to people living with dementia, family carers, and Community Champions (Understand Together). The aims of this report are threefold:

1. To identify the current challenges experienced by people with dementia and family carers in the current Covid-19 Pandemic through simple surveys.

2. To bring together suggestions from people with dementia and family carers of how ASI can continue to support them in lieu of suspended services.

3. To communicate the above work in an accessible way to the committee in such a way that will enable the committee to review and shortlist the evidence in a timeline manner.

Results are presented for each individual cohort: People living with dementia, Family Carers, and Community Champions. 

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The development of a web-based resource to provide information and psychosocial support to informal cancer carers in hospitals in Vietnam

Objective: Vietnam, like many low/middle income countries, lacks the infrastructure to provide information and psychosocial support to cancer patients and their carers. We undertook a codesign process to develop a web resource to inform and support carers. Methods: Cancer carers and health care professionals' perspectives regarding information and support needs and the content and delivery of web-based supports, were explored via five focus groups (n = 39) and semistructured interviews (n = 4) in Vietnam in 2018. Focus groups and interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using thematic analysis. Resource components were verified at two joint stakeholder workshops attended by 40 participants. Results: The development of a web-based resource was identified as an urgent need. A web-based resource was viewed as a suitable interface to provide support across regions in a sustainable way. The structure of the resource should include peer-led videoed advice, signposting to services and include official endorsement. The potential resource components identified includes (a) cancer causes and consequences; (b) hospital administration, treatment processes, and prices; (c) daily living; (d) emotional and supportive information; (e) skills training; and (f) nutrition and traditional medicine. Conclusion: The development of a web-based resource to deliver information and psychosocial supports to cancer carers and by-proxy patients is an urgent requirement in Vietnam. Next steps will include resource development and testing the resources ability to address the unmet needs of cancer carers and patients. A web-based resource to support cancer carers has the potential for application to other developing countries. 

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Information Needs of Informal Caregivers in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Researchers examined questions of caregivers for individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by means of a) a content analysis and b) a thematic analysis of posts on an online peer support forum. A total of 292 question posts were analyzed. Content analysis categories were based on previous research and included question motivation (cognitive, emotional, and social) and content (symptoms, prognosis, medication/treatment, coping, support, and seeking reassurance). Three newly identified themes (PTSD behavior identification and response, interpersonal interactions with trauma survivors, and healthcare system concerns) were generated through the thematic analysis. These overarching themes regarding information needs, and their subcategories, are discussed in detail. This study provides a preliminary examination of the information needs of PTSD caregivers, offers suggestions for future research, and discusses implications for the healthcare system. 

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Spiritual Dimension at the End of Life: A Phenomenological Study from the Caregiver’s Perspective

The lives of healthy and sick people are structured according to a variety of conceptual matrices. One of these matrixes consists of philosophical, spiritual, and religious convictions, being this especially relevant in the process of the end of life. The objective of the study is to understand the meaning that individuals at the end of life and the relatives of such individuals award spiritual and/or religious beliefs through an examination of caregiver narratives. Multicentric study was developed that used a qualitative design and a phenomenological approach. The study was conducted in the autonomous community of Andalusia, specifically in the provinces of Almeria, Malaga, Seville, Granada, and Huelva. The selection method was purposive sampling. Caregivers who had lost a relative in a period between 2 months and 2 years previously and who were not in a process of pathological grieving were selected for inclusion in the study. The method involved five discussion groups and 41 in-depth interviews, with a total of 87 participants. A change of paradigms is necessary in which, among other elements, the focus of palliative care is centered on the ability to address these spiritual needs, and healthcare professionals are trained to assist in the provision of such care. Another important consideration is the inequality of spiritual supported provided by clergy from various religions. At least in the cultural context of the research, Catholic chaplains were the only institutional figures whose presence was assumed necessary by health organizations. However, the cultural and/or religious diversity in the autonomous community in which the study was conducted is increasingly broad and complex. It appears necessary to incorporate a variety of clergies in health units so that all patients may find support, whether in terms of companionship or celebration. 

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Exploring the experiences of people treated with immunotherapies for advanced melanoma and those caring for them: “real-world” data

Background: Recent advances in the development of immunotherapy drugs have resulted in durable responses and improved overall survival for a proportion of patients with advanced melanoma; however, toxicities can be potentially life-threatening. The patients' family and friends (carers) are relied upon to support patients at home post treatment; however, we know little about their experiences. Objectives: This study aimed to understand the experiences of patients with advanced melanoma who received immunotherapy and their carers; and to explore the impact of immunotherapy treatment on patients' and carers' quality of life (QoL). Methods: A cross-sectional, exploratory design was employed. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients: diagnosed with stage IV melanoma, attending an Australian public cancer hospital, had completed or were receiving treatment with immunotherapies; and the people caring for them at home. Results: Patients (n = 22) described how immunotherapy impacted emotional health, functional ability; and had damaging economic consequences. Fatigue was reported consistently as having a considerable negative influence across all domains of QoL. Carers (n = 9) were anxious about their ability to correctly identify, report and manage side effects at home. Conclusions: Results demonstrate how immunotherapy can impact the QoL of both patients and carers, either directly through toxicities or indirectly through mechanisms such as stress, financial toxicity, or fatigue that limits participation in life activities. Implications for Practice: Supportive care resources and interventions are needed for those receiving immunotherapy to minimise negative impacts on QoL. Carers likewise require better preparation and information to assist in identifying potential treatment toxicities and ensure patient safety.

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Partnering with Family Caregivers in Pain Management


Family caregivers play a pivotal role in supporting the efforts of healthcare providers for individuals with chronic diseases or disabling conditions ( Chi & Demiris, 2017 ). According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, in 2015 approximately 43.5 million adult family caregivers in the United States had provided unpaid care to family members in the previous 12 months ( National Alliance for Caregiving & AARP Public Policy Institute, 2015 ). As the population of aging Americans with chronic conditions continues to increase, the demand for family caregiver assistance will further rise ( Chi & Demiris, 2017 )...

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Guidance for behavioural interventions aiming to support family support providers of people with spinal cord injury: A scoping review

Rationale: Research has extensively examined the adverse outcomes of being family support provider also known as a family caregiver, of someone with spinal cord injury (SCI) such as psychological distress, poor health, and burden. Despite clear evidence of the negative impact of this social role, few interventions exist aiming to support family support providers of people with SCI. Objective: This scoping review aimed to guide future intervention development by identifying the components necessary to develop an intervention to support SCI family support providers using the Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW). Methods: Electronic databases (CINAHL, PsycINFO, Medline, Embase) were searched in May 2017. Articles relating to outcomes and/or behaviours of support providers of people with SCI were identified. Intervention components of the BCW, including behaviours, factors influencing behaviours, intervention content, and evaluation methods, were extracted from included articles. Results: Of the 59 included articles, most emphasized the outcomes of being a support provider but provided little evidence of behaviours, which may influence such outcomes. The most commonly identified behaviours included engaging in leisure time or daily activities, problem-solving, and providing support. Very few measures were used to measure engagement in behaviours objectively. The literature suggests that behaviours are often influenced by family support providers' physical and social environments. However, barriers may vary between behaviours and contexts. Conclusion: The results of this review show that there are many viable behavioural targets for intervention. Therefore, intervention efforts may need to be tailored to individuals' needs. A promising intervention approach may be to use a theory which promotes change in the ecological context of family support providers while encouraging behavioural strategies to overcome individual barriers. Future research should further examine the factors that influence specific behaviours to more comprehensively understand the context of the behaviour as well as effective intervention strategies to promote change.

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The Lived Experiences of Family Caregivers of Persons Dying in Home Hospice: Support, Advocacy, and Information Urgently Needed

Death in America is changing from hospital to home, which demands complex skills by family caregivers. However, information from family members about the challenges of providing home hospice care until death is scant. To understand the challenges a family caregiver confronts when he/she decides to deliver hospice care and during the actual delivery of the hospice care, we used descriptive phenomenology methods to document the experience of 18 family caregivers as they delivered home hospice care. We learned the decision to begin home hospice was made by a physician, followed frequently by family resistance and refusal to assist. Family caregiver burden is enormous, compounded by fatigue, sleeplessness, and confusion on issues such as morphine dosage and administration. The stages and process of dying, such as transition, baffled family caregivers. All family caregivers agree financial and emotion support, empathic advocacy, and affirmation of their worth are needed to sustain them to care for the dying. The peacefulness following offering a home death comes at a high price to family caregivers. Evidence is needed from a randomized controlled trial as to effectiveness of advocacy support for family caregivers to increase their resiliency and higher probability of a good death for the dying.

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Unmet needs of family caregivers of hospitalized older adults preparing for discharge home

Objectives: To describe unmet needs of caregivers of hospitalized older adults during the transition from hospital back home, and identify subgroups with different needs. Methods: Patients and family caregivers were recruited from an acute care hospital in Montreal, Canada. Measures included Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Zarit burden scale, and Family Inventory of Needs. Dimensions of unmet needs were explored with principal component analysis; regression tree models were used to identify subgroups with different unmet needs. Results: A total of 146 patient-caregiver dyads were recruited. Three categories of caregiver unmet needs were identified: patient medical information; role clarity and support; and reassurance. Caregiver subgroups with highest unmet needs were those with high burden of care plus depressive symptoms (n = 46) and those caring for patients with low IADL scores (n = 10). Discussion: Caregivers with high burden and depression are those with the greatest unmet needs during the care transition.

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Receptivity of Hospitalized Older Adults and Family Caregivers to Prognostic Information about Aging, Injury, and Frailty: A Qualitative Study

Background: Frailty is the leading prognosticator for poor outcomes and palliative care among older adults. Delivery of negative prognostic information entails potentially difficult conversations about decline and death. Objective: The study aims were to: 1) examine hospitalized older adults' and family caregivers' receptivity to general (vs. individualized) prognostic information about frailty, injury, and one-year outcomes; and 2) determine information needs based on prognostic information. Design: Provision of general prognostic information followed by semi-structured interview questions. We deductively analyzed qualitative data within the context of problematic integration theory. Setting: An academic medical center in the Southeast region of the U.S. Participants: Purposive sampling was utilized to obtain a distribution of patients across the frailty continuum (non-frail [N=10], pre-frail [N=9], frail [9=6]). Twenty-five older adults (≥ age 65) hospitalized for a primary injury (e.g. fall) and 15 family caregivers of hospitalized patients were enrolled. Methods: Hospitalized older patients and family caregivers were shown prognostic information about one-year outcomes of injured older adults in the form of simple pictographs. Semi-structured interview questions were administered immediately afterwards. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Demographic and medical information data were used to contextualize the responses during analysis. Results: Overall, participants (patients [56%], caregivers [73%]) were open to receiving prognostic information. A small number of family caregivers (N=3) expressed reservations about the frankness of the information and suggested delivery through a softer approach or not at all. Qualitative data was coded using categories and constructs of problematic integration theory. Four codes (personalizing the evidence, vivid understanding, downhill spiral, realities of aging) reflected probabilistic and evaluative orientation categories of problematic integration theory. One code (fatalism vs. hope) represented manifestations of ambivalence and ambiguity in the theory; and another code (exceptionalism) represented divergence and impossibility. Two codes (role of thought processes, importance of faith) reflected forms of resolutions as described in problematic integration theory. Information needs based on prognostic information revealed four additional codes: give it to me straight, what can I do? what can I expect? and how can I prevent decline? A consistently reported desire of both patients and caregivers was for honesty and hope from providers. Conclusion: This study supports the use of general prognostic information in conversations about aging, injury, frailty and patient outcomes. Incorporating prognostic information into communication aids can facilitate shared decision making before end-of-life is imminent. 

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The supportive care needs of people living with pulmonary fibrosis and their caregivers: A systematic review

Background: People with pulmonary fibrosis often experience a protracted time to diagnosis, high symptom burden and limited disease information. This review aimed to identify the supportive care needs reported by people with pulmonary fibrosis and their caregivers. Methods: A systematic review was conducted according to PRISMA guidelines. Studies that investigated the supportive care needs of people with pulmonary fibrosis or their caregivers were included. Supportive care needs were extracted and mapped to eight pre-specified domains using a framework synthesis method. Results: A total of 35 studies were included. The most frequently reported needs were in the domain of information/education, including information on supplemental oxygen, disease progression and prognosis, pharmacological treatments and end-of-life planning. Psychosocial/emotional needs were also frequently reported, including management of anxiety, anger, sadness and fear. An additional domain of “access to care” was identified that had not been specified a priori; this included access to peer support, psychological support, specialist centres and support for families of people with pulmonary fibrosis. Conclusion: People with pulmonary fibrosis report many unmet needs for supportive care, particularly related to insufficient information and lack of psychosocial support. These data can inform the development of comprehensive care models for people with pulmonary fibrosis and their loved ones. 

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Reasons for Drug Administration Problems and Perceived Needs for Assistance of Patients, Family Caregivers, and Nurses: A Qualitative Study

OBJECTIVE: Investigation of drug administration problems, respective causes, and needs for assistance. METHODS: Focus group discussions with patients, family caregivers, and nurses were conducted using a semi-structured interview guideline for a focused exploration of the participants' drug administration experiences and perceived needs for assistance. All discussions were audio-recorded and video-recorded, verbatim transcribed, and analyzed according to Mayring's qualitative content analysis. RESULTS: In total, 6 focus group discussions were conducted. The qualitative content analysis revealed that patients and family caregivers frequently trivialized drug administration, were unaware of errors, and primarily blamed the dosage form of causing administration problems. Nurses also considered health-care system-related conditions and patient factors as potential causes of administration problems. CONCLUSIONS: The administration problems and perceived causes were multifaceted and often directed toward inappropriate dosage forms or health-care system-related conditions rather than critically questioning the medicine user's administration skills. To increase medicine users' motivation to scrutinize wrong administration practices, health-care professionals should consider individual perspectives on administration problems and perceived causes, assist medicine users' to identify the true cause of a distinct problem, and provide individualized support.

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Comparing perspectives of family caregivers and healthcare professionals regarding caregiver burden in dementia care: results of a mixed methods study in a rural setting

BACKGROUND: Persons with dementia (PwD) need support to remain in their own homes as long as possible. Family caregivers, homecare nurses and general practitioners (GPs) play an important role in providing this support, particularly in rural settings. Assessing caregiver burden is important to prevent adverse health effects among this population. This study analysed perceived burden and needs of family caregivers of PwD in rural areas from the perspectives of healthcare professionals and family caregivers. METHODS: This was a sequential explanatory mixed methods study that used both questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Questionnaires measuring caregiver burden, quality of life and nursing needs were distributed to the caregivers; health professionals received questionnaires with adjusted items for each group. Additionally, in-depth qualitative interviews were carried out with eight family caregivers. RESULTS: The cross-sectional survey population included GPs (n = 50), homecare nurses (n = 140) and family caregivers (n = 113). Healthcare professionals similarly assessed the psychosocial burden and stress caused by behavioural disturbances as most relevant. Psychological stress, social burden and disruptive behaviour (in that order) were regarded as the most important factors from the caregivers' perspective. It was found that 31% of caregivers reported permanent or frequent caregiver overload. Eight themes related to caregiver burden emerged from the subsequent interviews with caregivers. CONCLUSIONS: Professional support at home on an hourly basis was found to be highly relevant to prevent social isolation and compensate for lack of leisure among caregivers of PwD. Improvement of interprofessional dementia-related education is needed to ensure high-quality primary care. 

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Conceptual Framework to Guide Intervention Research Across the Trajectory of Dementia Caregiving

This article presents a comprehensive conceptual framework designed to foster research in the changing needs of caregivers and persons with dementia as they move through their illness trajectory. It builds on prior theoretical models and intervention literature in the field, while at the same time addressing notable gaps including inadequate attention to cultural issues; lack of longitudinal research; focus on primary caregivers, almost to the exclusion of the person with dementia and other family members; limited outcome measures; and lack of attention to how the culture of health care systems affects caregivers' quality of life. The framework emphasizes the intersectionality of caregiving, sociocultural factors, health care systems' factors, and dementia care needs as they change across time. It provides a template to encourage longitudinal research on reciprocal relationships between caregiver and care recipient because significant changes in the physical and/or mental health status of one member of the dyad will probably affect the physical and/or mental health of the partner. This article offers illustrative research projects employing this framework and concludes with a call to action and invitation to researchers to test components, share feedback, and participate in continued refinement to more quickly advance evidence-based knowledge and practice in the trajectory of dementia caregiving.

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The experiences of, and need for, palliative care for people with motor neurone disease and their informal caregivers: A qualitative systematic review

Background: Despite being a terminal neurodegenerative disease, the role of palliative care is less recognised for motor neurone disease than for other life-limiting conditions. Understanding the experiences of, and need for, palliative care for patients and carers is key to configuring optimal policy and healthcare services. Aim: To explore the experiences of, and need for, palliative care of people with motor neurone disease and their informal carers across the disease trajectory. Design: A systematic review of qualitative research conducted using Thematic Synthesis – PROSPERO registration CRD42017075311. Data Sources: Four electronic databases were searched (MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Social Science Citation Index) using terms for motor neurone disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, palliative care, and qualitative research, from inception to November 2018. Included papers were data extracted and assessed for quality. Results: A total of 41 papers were included, representing the experiences of 358 people with motor neurone disease and 369 caregivers. Analytical themes were developed detailing patients’ and carers’ experiences of living with motor neurone disease and of palliative care through its trajectory including response to diagnosis, maintaining control, decision-making during deterioration, engaging with professionals, planning for end-of-life care, bereavement. Conclusion: The review identified a considerable literature exploring the care needs of people with motor neurone disease and their carers; however, descriptions of palliative care were associated with the last days of life. Across the disease trajectory, clear points were identified where palliative care input could enhance patient and carer experience of the disease, particularly at times of significant physical change. 

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Exploring Experiences of Survivors and Caregivers Regarding Lung Cancer Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survivorship

Background: Advances in screening and treatment approaches alongside changing population demographics have the potential to influence the experience of living with lung cancer. There is potential for improved outcomes and quality of life for those diagnosed with the disease. Objectives: This exploratory study was undertaken to gain insight regarding the current experiences of individuals diagnosed with lung cancer and their family caregivers given the evolving changes in lung cancer screening and treatment. Method: A qualitative descriptive design was utilized and in-depth interviews conducted with 8 survivor and 4 family caregivers. Interviews were subjected to a conventional content analysis. Results: Participants identified challenges related to being diagnosed in a timely manner, being told the diagnosis with compassion, coping with multiple symptoms during treatment, and regaining a new normal following treatment. Dealing with late effects of treatment (ie, fatigue, shortness of breath, neuropathy) was frustrating when individuals were not aware the effects would emerge or had not had relevant self-management instructions. Conclusions: Lung cancer survivors constitute an emerging cadre of survivors. Attention is needed to their preparation for, and coping with, the survivorship transition.

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Young carers research project: Summary of findings

A number of recent studies have highlighted the challenges facing young people as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like their peers, young people aged 16 to 25 who are caring for a family member or friend have experienced significant change and instability during this unprecedented period.

During the peak of the COVID-19 lockdown, Carers NSW conducted online interviews and focus groups with 28 young carers to better understand their experiences and support needs and to learn how to engage with them more effectively. This summary report includes powerful stories of young people caring for loved ones while juggling study, work, family and social responsibilities.

This report shares insights from young carers across a range of themes, including education, employment, service provision and relationships, embedding the young carer voice throughout. These insights will help to inform ongoing and future service provision, research and systemic advocacy conducted by Carers NSW and our partners and stakeholders.

A review of existing research literature (see Appendix I) and internal consultation with Carers NSW staff working with young carers, conducted in the scoping phase of this project, identified that young carers are often isolated and experience socio-economic disadvantage as a result of their caring responsibilities. However, they are often reluctant to disclose their caring responsibilities to others and commonly perceive their own needs and experiences as less important than those of the person they care for. These factors can make it more difficult for researchers and others to successfully engage with young carers.

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

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

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Support needs and health-related quality of life of family caregivers of patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation and admission to a specialised weaning centre: A qualitative longitudinal interview study

Objectives: Family caregivers of patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation may experience physical and psychological morbidity associated with a protracted intensive care unit experience. Our aim was to explore potentially modifiable support needs and care processes of importance to family caregivers of patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation and transition from the intensive care unit to a specialised weaning centre. Research methodology/design: A longitudinal qualitative descriptive interview study. Data was analysed using directed content analysis. Setting: A 6-bed specialised weaning centre in Toronto, Canada. Findings: Eighteen family caregivers completed interviews at weaning centre admission (100%), and at two-weeks (40%) and three-months after discharge (22%) contributing 29 interviews. Caregivers were primarily women (61%) and spouses (50%). Caregivers perceived inadequate informational, emotional, training, and appraisal support by health care providers limiting understanding of prolonged ventilation, participation in care and decision-making, and readiness for weaning centre transition. Participants reported long-term physical and psychological health changes including alterations to sleep, energy, nutrition and body weight. Conclusions: Deficits in informational, emotional, training, and appraisal support of family caregivers of prolonged mechanical ventilation patients may increase caregiver burden and contribute to poor health outcomes. Strategies for providing support and maintaining family caregiver health-related quality of life are needed. 

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Care, poverty and coronavirus across Britain

Carers, paid and unpaid, are at the forefront of our response to the Coronavirus, putting themselves at risk to protect us all. Yet, if you are a carer, for adults or children, you are more likely to be living in poverty. This is not right.

This briefing note updates our Make Care Count report which focuses on the link between care and poverty before the crisis. It describes carers’ experiences of the pandemic, prioritising the voices of carers throughout, before detailing how we can take the first steps towards ending poverty for carers in Britain.

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Supporting informal carers during the covid-19 pandemic

A working list of things to be aware of/ consider in supporting informal carers (family and friends who support patients in an unpaid role) impacted by COVID-19. This is partly evidence-based and partly grounded in our combined experience of working in applied research on informal carer support needs

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

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

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Profiles of family caregivers of patients at the end of life at home: A Q-methodological study into family caregiver' support needs

Background: Family caregivers of patients at the end of life often experience care-related burden. To prevent caregiver burden and to enhance the capacity to provide care it is important to have insight in their support needs. The purpose of this study was to identify profiles of family caregivers who provide care to patients at the end of life at home. Methods: A Q-methodological study was conducted in which family caregivers ranked 40 statements on support needs and experiences with caregiving. Thereafter they explained their ranking in an interview. By-person factor analysis was used to analyse the rankings and qualitative data was used to support the choice of profiles. A set of 41 family caregivers with a variety on background characteristics who currently or recently provided care for someone at the end of life at home were included. Results: Four distinct profiles were identified; profile (1) those who want appreciation and an assigned contact person; profile (2) was bipolar. The positive pole (2+) comprised those who have supportive relationships and the negative pole (2-) those who wish for supportive relationships; profile (3) those who want information and practical support, and profile (4) those who need time off. The profiles reflect different support needs and experiences with caregiving. Conclusions: Family caregivers of patients at the end of life have varying support needs and one size does not fit all. The profiles are relevant for healthcare professionals and volunteers in palliative care as they provide an overview of the main support needs among family caregivers of patients near the end of life. This knowledge could help healthcare professionals giving support. 

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Perceived Learning Needs of Patients With Heart Failure in Jordan: Perspectives of Patients, Caregivers, and Nurses: A Cross-Sectional Survey

Background Identifying learning needs is an important component of care among patients with heart failure (HF). There is a discrepancy in the level of importance of information as perceived by patients, caregivers, and nurses. No studies have been conducted to identify learning needs among patients with HF in Jordan. Objective The aim of this study was to identify the learning needs of patients with HF in Jordan from the perspective of patients, family caregivers, and their nurses. Methods A descriptive comparative design using a convenience sample of 67 patients with HF, 67 family caregivers, and 67 nurses was used. The Heart Failure Learning Needs Inventory was used to identify the learning needs. The mean scores were compared among the 3 groups and ranked by importance for each item to determine the most important areas of perceived needs for each group. Results All groups had high total Heart Failure Learning Needs mean scores: patients, 4.12 ± 0.92; caregivers, 4.14 ± 0.65; and nurses, 4.08 ± 0.54. The top priority learning need for both patients and caregivers was "the recommended daily salt intake," whereas for nurses, it was "why I am taking each medication and its side effects"; nurses significantly perceived it as more important to learn than patients and caregivers did. Younger and employed patients requested more information than other patients. Conclusions Although some similarities exist, there are important differences among the 3 groups on perceived importance of information. Understanding these differences may be critical in developing a tailored educational program for patients and caregivers and improving nursing practice.

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Seeking relational information sources in the digital age: A study into information source preferences amongst family and friends of those with dementia

Despite an increasing number of sources providing information and advice about dementia, those living with the condition feel inadequately informed. The reasons for this remain unclear. This study has three aims: to identify where people with dementia and their carers currently access dementia-related information from; to determine how accessible, credible and comprehensible people with dementia and their carers consider the available sources of information; and to determine how people with dementia and their carers would like to receive information. An online or postal survey was completed by 171 female and 41 male participants with a close family member or friend with dementia. Accessibility above quality held the greatest influence over an individual’s use of an information source. Participants preferred relational sources such as healthcare professionals as these were able to give individualised information, yet these were poorly accessible and lacked dementia specific knowledge. Therefore, individuals used non-relational sources such as the internet. However, increased use of the internet was linked to feeling overwhelmed by information. It was not the end result of the information search but the effort taken to reach the information that influenced participant’s perception of information gathering. Future research should look at ways of designing and providing accessible information sources that act and feel like relational contact. 

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Palliative care for family caregivers

Family caregivers provide substantial care for patients with advanced cancer, while suffering from hidden morbidity and unmet needs. The objectives of this review were to examine risk factors associated with caregiving for patients with advanced cancer, evaluate the evidence for pertinent interventions, and provide a practical framework for palliative care of caregivers in oncology settings. We reviewed studies examining the association of factors at the level of the caregiver, patient, caregiver-patient relationship, and caregiving itself, with adverse outcomes. In addition, we reviewed randomized controlled trials of interventions targeting the caregiver, the caregiver-patient dyad, or the patient and their family. Risk factors for adverse mental health outcomes included those related to the patient’s declining status, symptom distress, and poor prognostic understanding; risk factors for adverse bereavement outcomes included unfavorable circumstances of the patient’s death. Among the 16 randomized trials, the most promising results showed improvement of depression resulting from early palliative care interventions; results for quality of life were generally nonsignificant or showed an effect only on some subscales. Caregiving outcomes included burden, appraisal, and competence, among others, and showed mixed findings. Only three trials measured bereavement outcomes, with mostly nonsignificant results. On the basis of existent literature and our clinical experience, we propose the CARES framework to guide care for caregivers in oncology settings: Considering caregivers as part of the unit of care, Assessing the caregiver’s situation and needs, Referring to appropriate services and resources, Educating about practical aspects of caregiving, and Supporting caregivers through bereavement. Additional trials are needed that are powered specifically for caregiver outcomes, use measures validated for advanced cancer caregivers, and test real-world interventions. 

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The COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges and opportunities for carers in NSW

Carers NSW has been closely monitoring COVID-19 developments in NSW, the ongoing government response and the wide ranging impacts the virus and associated social distancing requirements have had on carers. Carers have experienced a variety of impacts, both in relation to the people they care for and in relation to their own health and overall wellbeing. Many carers provide care and support to people who are in higher risk categories, and many are in higher risk categories themselves due to age or an existing health condition. These factors have resulted in complexities surrounding provision of care, particularly in maintaining social distancing.  [...]

Carers NSW determined that it was crucial to hear directly from carers and other key stakeholders in order to gain a clear and accurate picture of the key issues, challenges and opportunities for carers during the pandemic. This report identifies the key findings of consultation conducted to inform Carers NSW service adjustments and systemic advocacy. 

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Caring behind closed doors: Forgotten families in the coronavirus outbreak

Carers UK carried out an online survey between 3rd April and 14th April 2020. A total of 5,047 carers and former carers responded to the survey. This included 4,830 current carers and 217 former carers. Compared to the carer population as a whole, respondents to this survey were more likely to be female and caring for a high number of hours every week. As not all respondents completed every question in the survey, a number of the figures given in this report, including those presented here, are based upon responses from fewer than 5,047 carers.

Of current carers responding to the survey:

  • 67% live in England, 19% live in Scotland, 9% live in Northern Ireland, and 6% live in Wales.
  • 81% identify as female and 18% identify as male.
  • 23% consider themselves to have a disability.
  • 1% are aged 0–24, 4% are aged 25–34, 13% are aged 35–44, 27% are aged 45–54, 32% are aged 55– 64, 17% are aged 65–74, and 5% are aged 75 and over.
  • 4% identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual.
  • 4% described their ethnicity as black or minority ethnic.
  • 18% also have childcare responsibilities for a nondisabled child under 18.
  • 36% have been caring for 15 years or more, 17% for between 10–14 years, 24% for 5–9 years, 20% for 1–4 years, 2% for less than one year and just 1% have been caring since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. 
  • Most (71%) care for one person, 20% care for two people, 6% for three people, and 2% care for four or more people. 
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Caregiving work: The experiences and needs of caregivers in Australia

A considerable evidence base exists demonstrating the high prevalence of family caregiving in the community; however, there is a paucity of in-depth research examining the impact of family caregiving on the living and employment needs of those providing this unpaid service. This study employed a qualitative interview design with purposive sampling to examine the experiences of family caregivers, in order to examine how family caregiving decisions are made, the nature and challenges of caregiving work, and living and work supports that may enhance the caregiving experience. A sample of 12 adults providing care and assistance to family members with a range of disabilities, chronic conditions and long-term illnesses were interviewed. The results showed that family caregivers ‘fall into’ the caregiving role and often continue to provide care indefinitely without pay and with little or no financial support from others. In describing the best aspects of their experience many caregivers talked about helping their care recipient remain in their home and maintain their independence. In describing the worst aspects of their experience, all referred to the living and financial challenges of the caregiving work, and many highlighted the impact of their caregiving work on their employment and career needs. In conclusion, there is a need for public policies, programs and health services in Australia to better respond to the living, financial and support needs of family caregivers as health service providers, as well as their employment, development and career needs which are seriously impacted upon by caregiving work.

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Stress-related vulnerability and usefulness of healthcare education in Parkinson's disease: The perception of a group of family caregivers, a cross-sectional study

Parkinson's Disease is associated with a high assistive complexity, thus generating in caregivers a burden proportional to the intensity of the care provided. This study aims to evaluate whether the stress-related level of caregivers is related to their perception of the need for healthcare education. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 69 family caregivers that completed the Stress-related Vulnerability Scale (SVS scale) with a tool of proposed interventions stratified according to caregivers' need as “nothing”, “somewhat”, “moderately” and “extremely”. A direct association between the SVS scale and the perception of the usefulness of interventions was detected, and significant differences were observed for “Caregivers tele-support group” and “Peer-led support group” interventions, thus suggesting an important role for caregivers' emotional status in considering of training courses. Caregivers are split between low vulnerability, with minimal perception of training need, and high burden state with the acute necessity of support to manage patients.

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

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

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Psychometric validation of the Turkish version of the Supportive Care Needs Survey for Partners and Caregivers (SCNS-P&C-T) of cancer patients

Objective: To evaluate the validity and reliability study of the Supportive Care Needs Survey for partners and caregivers of cancer patients in Turkish society (SCNS-P&C-T).; Methods: This cross-sectional survey followed by a test-retest reliability and psychometric validation study was conducted with 270 participants. The research data were collected using a patient and caregiver demographic survey, the SCNS-P&C-T, the Caregiver Strain Index, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.; Results: Ten expert opinions were found to be consistent for content validity of the scale (I-CVI = 0.993, S-CVI = 0.956). The confirmatory factor analysis could not confirm the factor structure of the original scale. Therefore, an exploratory factor analysis was performed and the scale factor structure was determined. These factor structures are (a) psychological and emotional needs, (b) health care and information, (c) work and social needs, (d) communication and family needs.; Conclusion: The SCNS-P&C-T is a valid and reliable tool which can be used to identify unmet needs among caregivers in Turkish populations.

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Predictors of Unmet Need among Informal Caregivers

Objectives: This study investigates the relationship of caregiver demographics, caregiving intensity, caregiver support use, and aspects of the caregiving situation to a self-reported measure of unmet need among U.S. informal caregivers of older adults living at home with various conditions.; Methods: Response data from 1,558 caregiver participants interviewed by telephone during the December 2016 baseline period of the Outcome Evaluation of the National Family Caregiver Support Program were used. Caregivers who responded "Definitely No" to the question "Are you receiving all the help you need?" were classified as reporting unmet need. Logistic regression was used to find significant factors associated with unmet need among the full sample and among caregivers tiered by three levels of burden.; Results: Unmet need was reported by 22% of the caregivers. In a fully adjusted model, unmet need was predicted by higher levels of caregiving intensity, non-White race of the caregiver, and the caregiver not feeling appreciated by their care recipient. Other predictors associated with unmet need were no use of caregiver educational services, fewer respite hours, not living in a rural area, and caregiver having an education past high school.; Discussion: Caregivers who do not feel appreciated by their care recipient and non-White caregivers should be identified as potential targets for intervention to address unmet need, especially if they are also reporting higher levels of caregiver burden. Understanding the factors associated with self-reported unmet need can assist caregiver support programs in measuring and addressing the needs of informal caregivers to support their continued caregiving.

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Lung cancer and family-centered concerns

Background: Genetic and environmental interactions predispose certain groups to lung cancer, including families. Families or caregiving units experience the disease interdependently. We have previously evaluated the concerns and preferences of patients in addressing the lung cancer experience and cancer risks in their families. This qualitative study evaluates the concerns and preferences of family members and caregivers of patients with lung cancer in the lung cancer experience and familial cancer risks.; Methods: We held focus groups to discuss the format and timing of addressing these preferences and concerns. Qualitative data generated was analyzed using a grounded theory approach.; Results: Five focus groups totaling 19 participants were conducted. Seven themes were identified: (1) journey to lung cancer diagnosis has core dimensions for patient and family, (2) importance of communication between patients, families, and providers, (3) challenges for caregivers and family, (4) mixed perceptions of lung cancer causation among relatives, (5) discussion of cancer risk with relatives has complex dynamics, (6) impact of diagnosis on family health behaviors and screening, (7) role of genetic counseling.; Conclusions: Family members of patients with lung cancer are interested in discussing risk factors, prevention, and diagnoses and also would like access to other supportive services do learn about and cope with some of the stresses and barriers they experience in the family lung cancer journey. The diagnosis represents a potential teachable moment with the opportunity to reduce the risk of LC development or improve early detection in LC patient's family members.

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Implementing routine communication about costs of cancer treatment: perspectives of providers, patients, and caregivers

Objectives: Rising costs in oncology care often impact patients and families directly, making communication about costs and financial impacts of treatment crucial. Cost expenditures could offer opportunities for estimation and prediction, affording personalized conversations about financial impact. We sought to explore providers', patients', and caregivers' preferences towards implementing communication about cost, including when, how, and by whom such information might be provided.; Methods: We conducted semi-structured phone interviews with a diverse population including 12 oncology providers, 12 patients, and 8 patient caregivers (N = 32). The constant comparative method was used to identify mutually agreed upon themes.; Results: Participant groups differed in their concerns surrounding cost communication, namely whether they want to receive this information and how such information might impact provider and patient treatment decisions. All participants agreed that oncology providers should not be leading cost conversations. Patients and caregivers identified social workers or financial advisors as most equipped to communicate about cost. Participants emphasized timely cost conversations, ideally around the time of diagnosis. Participants favored various metrics of financial impact beyond overall costs of care including disability, days lost from work, and out-of-pocket expenses.; Conclusion: Cost transparency should be incorporated into usual care; however, there are several challenges to making cost conversations a part of everyday practice. Patients and family members need resources related to cost to aid in decision-making and those delivering cost information should have competency in oncology, financial advisement, and patient-centered care.

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Factors associated with family functioning among people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and primary family caregivers

Introduction: Families provide frontline caregiving support for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. However, research primarily addresses correlates of family functioning from primary family caregivers' perspectives.; Aim: To examine perceived family functioning, particularly its concordance within patient-caregiver dyads, and associated factors in families of people living with schizophrenia.; Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive correlational design was used. A total of 133 dyads of patients and primary family caregivers from inpatient psychiatric rehabilitation services participated. Descriptive statistics, independent sample t test, one-way ANOVA, Pearson's correlation coefficients, Intraclass correlation coefficient, and stepwise multiple linear regression analyses were applied.; Results: Family functioning was perceived as impaired by patient-caregiver dyads, and there existed a concordance in this regard. Patients' and family caregivers' education levels, patients' suicidality, number of previous hospitalisations, and quality of family-centred care correlated with patients' and primary family caregivers' family functioning.; Discussion: Findings highlight the importance of patient- and family-reported family functioning with implications to address individual and collective concerns.; Implications For Practice: Evidence-based family interventions are crucial for assisting vulnerable families in promoting family functioning. Mental health nurses should facilitate collaboration and open dialogue concerning perspectives of patients and families to improve delivery of comprehensive mental health care.

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Facilitating pathways to care: A qualitative study of the self-reported needs and coping skills of caregivers of young adults diagnosed with early psychosis

Introduction: Caregivers play a critical role in detecting and managing psychotic symptoms before young people diagnosed with early psychosis present to care. Little is known about the specific needs of caregivers in navigating pathways to care for their loved one.; Aim: The purpose of this study is to understand the needs of family caregivers and their ways of coping on the pathway to care for early psychosis.; Method: Twenty family caregivers of individuals diagnosed with early psychosis participated in three focus groups that explored caregiving needs provision for early psychosis. Thematic analysis was conducted.; Results: We identified four major themes: education and skill training; raising wider awareness, such as police offers and teachers; adopting technologies for coping; effective coping strategies.; Implications For Practice: These findings provide important insights into caregiving needs and the ways for nurses to address those needs and better equip carers to recognize early symptoms, monitor behavior changes, and navigate care to support people with first episode psychosis. Nursing researchers can use the information to develop on-demand and tailored family-centered intervention in addressing caregivers' needs in education, increasing awareness of early psychosis, and fostering effective coping strategies.

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Exploring perceptions and practices of cancer care among caregivers and care recipients of breast cancer in India

Background: Cancer care is physically and psychologically challenging both for care recipients and caregivers. Caregiving in cancer is an area that needs urgent attention in India. Much of caregiving literature in India is limited to mental illnesses. This study thus examines the perceptions and practices of psychological caregiving among caregivers and care recipients of breast cancer in India.; Methods: Participants were interviewed with the aid of a semi-structured qualitative interview guide. Participants included 39 caregivers and 35 care recipients in different breast cancer stages. Interviews were transcribed, translated to English, coded and themes were derived for further analysis. Informed consent from participants, and ethical clearance and permission from a tertiary hospital was obtained prior to data collection.; Results: Psychological caregiving as perceived by the participants included actions such as encouraging, convincing care recipients, companionship, and maintaining a stress free environment. Caregivers in particular felt that psychological caregiving meant, reacting calmly to sensitive queries of non-family members, providing emotional support to other family members and involvement in religious activities. Taking on such diverse responsibilities gave rise to several unmet psychological needs such as motivation and support in decision-making from other family members.; Conclusion: Irrespective of the status (caregiver or care recipient), participants in this study felt the need for structured counselling services to be incorporated into the standard care protocol. This is an area that needs to be further explored in the context of the breast cancer caregiver and care recipient dyad. 

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Exploring Information and Referral Needs of Individuals with Dementias and Informal Caregivers in Rural and Remote Areas

Objectives: The provision of information and referral (I&R) and connection to support services is crucial for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) and their informal caregivers, especially in rural and remote regions where care and support resources may be limited. The purpose of this study was to develop a deeper understanding of needs for I&R from community stakeholders across a rural and remote state. Methods: A series of town hall meetings were conducted across ten communities in a frontier state. Results: Participants were 175 adults with a mean age of approximately 60 years (SD = 15 years); a majority were non-Hispanic white, female, and self-identified as informal caregivers. Three themes emerged as primary areas of need: (1) to address stigma related to ADRD; (2) to improve the availability of dementia-related I&R; and (3) to efficiently disseminate dementia-related I&R. Conclusions: Findings suggest the importance of a single point of access for I&R with presence in local communities as well as initial and ongoing assessment and provision of appropriate I&R throughout the course of ADRDs. Clinical Implications: Existing community resources and funding support should be leveraged for multiple points and means of access to reliable I&R.

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Experiences and support needs of informal caregivers of people with multimorbidity: a scoping literature review

Objective: Describe and synthesise existing published research on the experiences and support needs of informal caregivers of people with multimorbidity. Design: Scoping literature review. Primary database and secondary searches for qualitative and/or quantitative English-language research with an explicit focus on informal carers of people with multimorbidity (no date restrictions). Quality appraisal of included papers. Thematic analysis to identify key themes in the findings of included papers. Results: Thirty-four papers (reporting on 27 studies) were eligible for inclusion, the majority of which were rated good quality, and almost half of which were published from 2015 onwards. The review highlights common difficulties for informal carers of people with multiple chronic illnesses, including practical challenges related to managing multiple health care teams, appointments, medications and side effects, and psychosocial challenges including high levels of psychological symptomatology and reduced social connectedness. Current gaps in the literature include very few studies of interventions which may help support this caregiver group. Conclusion: Interest in this research area is burgeoning. Future work might fruitfully examine the potential benefits of audio-recorded health care consultations, and digitally delivered psychosocial interventions such as online peer support forums, for supporting and enhancing the caring activities and wellbeing of this caregiver group. 

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Effects of supporting patients with dementia: A study with dyads

Purpose: This study aimed to examine the factors associated with the development of higher burden in informal caregivers of patients with dementia, using dyadic data.; Design and Methods: Seventy-two dyads of patients with dementia and their informal caregivers were assessed, the former in terms of behavioral-psychological symptoms and autonomy, the latter in terms of burden and individual needs.; Findings: Caregivers at risk for developing higher burden are those who are female, whose care recipient present psychiatric symptoms and lower autonomy, and those who recognize the need for more information/support.; Practice Implications: Interventions should offer caregivers the tools to provide care, maintaining their psychological well-being. Interventions should target not only common aspects of caregiver burden but also the specificities of caring for a person with dementia.

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Die häusliche Situation eines Ehepaares Challenges in dementia care at home - The situation at home of a married couple

Background: People with dementia and their relatives are faced with major challenges due to complex dementia symptoms. Families need information and counselling in order to find adequate dementia care services tailored to their needs. Aim: This case report's objective is to exemplify the domestic situation of a married couple who is faced with significant challenges within the family and the care system due to the husband's dementia and Parkinson's disease. Methods: The Dementia Care Nurse project included case monitoring; by means of different assessments relevant information was recorded and the family's situation described. Results: The family's problems and their need for support were multifaceted and entailed reimbursement of costs, application for care services as well as management of challenging behaviours and reduction of the caregiver's psychosocial burden. Conclusions: The family, particularly the spouse caregiver, was effectively supported in meeting the challenges of dementia, e. g. by drawing on professional services and sorting out entitlement to benefits. From the perspective of the experience in the project, independent counselling structures such as a case management approach are indispenable in order to stabilise the domestic situation.

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Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations: Rehabilitation, Recovery, and Community Participation following Stroke. Part Two: Transitions and Community Participation Following Stroke

The sixth update of the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations for Transitions and Community Participation following Stroke is a comprehensive set of evidence-based guidelines addressing issues faced by people following an acute stroke event. Establishing a coordinated and seamless system of care that supports progress achieved during the initial recovery stages throughout the transition to the community is more essential than ever as the medical complexity of people with stroke is also on the rise. All members of the health-care team engaged with people with stroke, their families, and caregivers are responsible for partnerships and collaborations to ensure successful transitions and return to the community following stroke. These guidelines reinforce the growing and changing body of research evidence available to guide ongoing screening, assessment, and management of individuals following stroke as they move from one phase and stage of care to the next without "falling through the cracks." It also recognizes the growing role of family and informal caregivers in providing significant hours of support that disrupt their own lives and responsibilities and addresses their support and educational needs. According to Statistics Canada, in 2012, eight million Canadians provided care to family members or friends with a long-term health condition, disability, or problems associated with aging. These recommendations incorporate aspects that were previously in the rehabilitation module for the purposes of streamlining, and both modules should be reviewed in order to provide comprehensive care addressing recovery and community reintegration and participation. These recommendations cover topics related to support and education of people with stroke, families, and caregivers during transitions and community reintegration. They include interprofessional planning and communication, return to driving, vocational roles, leisure activities and relationships and sexuality, and transition to long-term care.

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Barriers and facilitators to cancer treatment adherence for older Rural African Americans: Understanding the experience from the view of patients and their caregivers

The purpose of the present study was to understand the barriers that a particularly vulnerable sub-population of older adults experience in adhering to cancer treatments in rural eastern North Carolina. Qualitative descriptive interviews were completed with 16 individuals (8 cancer patients and their caregivers) about the challenges they face in adhering to cancer treatments. Three themes emerged based on the analysis which included transportation and financial barriers, and assistance that facilitated patients to adhere to treatment protocols. Transportation barriers were those associated with both the formal and informal systems. Financial barriers were related to costs associated with treatment. Participants also reported on ways in which adherence was facilitated via both formal and informal means. Our findings support those of previous research on treatment adherence and add information on the actions patients take in response to barriers that can negatively impact their disease trajectory. The knowledge gained can inform service providers about the issues in treatment adherence and help identify interventions that could support caregivers and patients to circumvent such challenges. 

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Challenges and needs of informal caregivers in elderly care: Qualitative research in four European countries, the TRACE project

Background: Providing informal care may affects caregivers' life in different ways. Determining the needs of caregivers and supporting them can improve both the quality of life of the caregivers, as well as the elderly they take care of. Objective: To explore the experiences and needs of the informal caregivers in four countries. Design: Qualitative research method was used in the study. Methods: The qualitative data was collected through focus groups and individual interviews between December 2016–May 2017. In all countries interviews were conducted in the mother language of the informants. Informants of the qualitative research were adult people who take primary care of an individual with chronic diseases, aged 65 years or older. Data were collected from 72 informal caregivers from four European countries. Inductive content analysis was performed. Results: Informal caregivers identified 2 themes, 5 subthemes, 19 categories and 7 subtcategories. The themes highlighted two major issues: informal caregiver's challenges and needs related to the management of care of elderly and caregivers' personal needs. Conclusion: The important and charming results of the present study are, difficulties of managing caregiver's own life, and coping with emotions are common in four countries. Identifying challenges and needs of informal caregivers enable healthcare professionals to develop care strategies and plan interventions focused to support and help to reduce the burden of care for elderly with chronic diseases. 

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When Death With Dementia Is "A Memory Seared in My Brain": Caregivers' Recommendations to Health Care Professionals

The purpose of this study is to determine family caregivers' recommendations for professional health care professionals on how to help prepare them for the death of an elder with dementia. Purposive criterion sampling was employed to identify 30 bereaved caregivers of family members aged 65 and older who died with a dementia-related diagnosis. In-depth, qualitative interviews were conducted over a 12-month period, and qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the data. Three primary themes emerged: (a) Educate Caregivers, (b) Lead Caregivers, and (c) Provide a Caring and Compassionate Presence. The results highlight the importance of various health care professionals' roles in preparing family caregivers for a death. In doing so, both the dying and their caregivers may have a better end-of-life experience with improved bereavement outcomes.

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What information and resources do carers require pre and post bereavement in the acute hospital setting? A rapid review

Purpose Of Review: This mixed-method, rapid review of published research from 2014 to 2019 aims to explore the experiences of pre and postbereaved carers, and the information that they receive in the acute hospital setting. The quality of articles was evaluated using a standardized quality matrix. The techniques of conceptual analysis and idea mapping were used to create a structured synthesis of the findings.; Recent Findings: From the initial search of 432 articles, ten studies met the inclusion criteria for this review. These studies generated data from 42 patients, 1968 family/carers and 139 healthcare staff. Themes that were generated from a synthesis of the included articles were clear and timely communication, workforce provision and environment.; Summary: This review has highlighted the need for improvements in information provision for carers as part of end of life care. Furthermore, the need for specific staff education and training to enable staff to confidently communicate with dying patients and their relatives in the acute setting is also warranted. Understanding and addressing gaps in knowledge and practice are essential to develop strategies in this complex area. Simple strategies can be implemented to improve the care of carers both pre and post bereavement in acute care.

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What do caregivers value and is there agreement in perception of met needs between nurses and caregivers?

Introduction: There is an increasing reliance on informal caregivers to continue the care of patients after discharge. This is a huge responsibility for caregivers and some may feel unprepared for the role. Without adequate support and understanding regarding their needs, patient care may be impeded. This study aimed to identify the needs valued by caregivers and if there was agreement between acute care nurses and caregivers in the perception of whether caregiver needs were being met. Methods: We conducted face-to-face interviews with 100 pairs of acute care nurses and caregivers. Participants were recruited from inpatient wards through convenience sampling. Questionnaires included demographic data of nurses and caregivers, patients' activities of daily living, and perception of caregiver needs being met in six domains of care. Independent t-test was used to compare mean values in each domain, and intraclass correlation coefficient was used to compare agreement in perception. Results: Caregivers valued reassurance the most. Three domains of care needs showed significant differences in perception of caregiver needs being met:reassurance (p = 0.002), honesty and timeliness (p = 0.008), and kindness and genuine care (p = 0.026). There was poor agreement in all six domains of caregiver needs being met between nurses and caregivers. Conclusion: Although caregivers valued reassurance the most, there was poor agreement between acute care nurses and caregivers in the perception of caregiver needs being met. Hence, more attention should be paid to the caregiver's needs. Further studies can examine reasons for unmet caregiver needs and interventions to improve support for them.

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Rare health condition 27: Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome; and the role of informal caregivers

The purpose of this series is to highlight a range of rare health conditions. Rare health conditions are those that affect no more and usually less than 1 person in every 2000 and many HCAs and nurses will encounter some of these conditions, given the high number of them. This 27th article will explore one of these conditions—Mayer-Rokitansky-KüsterHauser syndrome—and the role and support needs of the ‘informal’ family caregiver.

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Quality of Care for Huntington's Disease in the United States: Findings from a National Survey of Patients and Caregivers

Background: Little is known about the quality of care for people living with Huntington's disease (HD) in the United States. Objective: To document the current HD care experience and identify gaps in care provision in the United States. Methods: Web-based surveys for persons self-identifying as being affected by HD (PAHD, which included individuals with, or at risk for HD) or as caregivers/family members, were developed and refined with targeted input from focus groups comprised of caregivers and family members. The surveys were disseminated via social media and patient advocacy partners from April-May 2017. Results: Total valid responses numbered 797, including 585 caregiver/family respondents and 212 PAHD responses. Respondents reported care provision from HD specialty centers, primary care, movement disorder clinics, and other settings. One in five respondents reported that the person with HD was not currently receiving medical or community care. Respondents generally reported a good level of care, with HD specialists providing the highest rated healthcare experience. Caregiver/family respondents reported helping with a range of activities including budget/finances (60.5%), housekeeping (57.1%) and daily help (53.2%). Most respondents (97.9%) reported searching online, including general information about HD (86.4%), using HD social media channels (61.3%) and looking up clinical trials (59.8%). Respondents emphasized a need for support in financial planning and accessing care, and also for more HD education in the medical community. Conclusions: There is need for more support for HD patients and families. People desire more credible, accessible information. Improving resources available to patients and families should be a goal for HD organizations, along with measurement of patient outcomes. 

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Planning for the future: Exploring the experiences of older carers of adult children with a learning disability

Accessible summary: There are a large number of adults with learning disabilities who live with and are cared for by their parents.There is a need for interventions to support older carers with their caring role and to plan for a time when they can no longer continue caring.This research looked at a local support service in England that aimed to support carers over 55 who had an adult child with a learning disability living at home.Twelve carers were interviewed individually.The study highlights the unmet needs of older family carers and shows the value of support from a carer perspective.

Background: There are a significant number of adults with a learning disability who live with and are cared for by their parents. There is a pressing need for interventions to support older parent carers with their role and to plan for a time when they can no longer continue caring. This article reports on the experiences of older parent carers who have been in receipt of an intervention to support future planning, in a rural part of England, delivered to older carers of their adult children with learning disabilities. Methods: Semi‐structured carer interviews (n = 12) were conducted and analysed thematically. Results: Four themes were identified (a) emotional needs of carer, (b) future planning, (c) accessing other services and resources and (d) links to adult care services. Carers welcomed the flexibility of the intervention and its focus on support for them, relieving their sense of isolation. Conclusions: The research highlights the unmet needs of older family carers and shows the value of tailored support from a carer perspective. The findings have implications for national social care provision delivered to carers of adult children with learning disabilities in rural areas.

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Needs of people with dementia and their informal caregivers concerning assistive technologies: A scoping review

Background and objective: Assistive technologies might be a suitable option for supporting people with dementia and their informal caregivers. To avoid "one-fits-all"-solutions and to design useful technologies, it is essential to consider the end-users' needs. The objective of this review was to examine the needs of people with dementia and their informal caregivers with regard to assistive technologies. Methods: We conducted a scoping review based on a comprehensive literature search in databases, handsearching, and free web searching. Additionally, we performed citation tracking of included studies. We included all types of study designs. Two researchers independently selected the studies. The results were thematically categorised by two researchers. Results: The search yielded 7160 references. 18 of 24 included studies were qualitative. The studies had been conducted in 13 different countries, mostly in Europe. The sample size ranged between two and 270 participants. Most of the studies involved people with dementia as well as informal caregivers. The analysis resulted in eleven themes. The themes could be assigned to three domains: "needed technologies", "characteristics of needed technologies", and "information about technologies". Conclusions: The results might guide future usage, development and research addressing end users' needs with regard to assistive technologies.

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A Mobile Health App (Roadmap 2.0) for Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant: Qualitative Study on Family Caregivers' Perspectives and Design Considerations

Background: Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT), also referred to as blood and marrow transplantation (BMT), is a high-risk, but potentially curative therapy for a number of cancer and noncancer conditions. BMT Roadmap (Roadmap 1.0) is a mobile health app that was developed as a family caregiver-facing tool to provide informational needs about the health status of patients undergoing inpatient HCT.; Objective: This study explored the views and perceptions of family caregivers of patients undergoing HCT and their input regarding further technology development and expansion of BMT Roadmap into the outpatient setting (referred to as Roadmap 2.0).; Methods: Semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted among 24 family caregivers. Questions were developed from existing literature coupled with prior in-depth observations and interviews in hospital-based settings to explore the study objectives. Participants were recruited during routine outpatient clinic appointments of HCT patients, and all interviews were conducted in the participants' homes, the setting in which Roadmap 2.0 is intended for use. A thematic analysis was performed using a consistent set of codes derived from our prior research. New emerging codes were also included, and the coding structure was refined with iterative cycles of coding and data collection.; Results: Four major themes emerged through our qualitative analysis: (1) stress related to balancing caregiving duties; (2) learning and adapting to new routines (resilience); (3) balancing one's own needs with the patient's needs (insight); and (4) benefits of caregiving. When caregivers were further probed about their views on engagement with positive activity interventions (ie, pleasant activities that promote positive emotions and well-being such as expressing gratitude or engaging in activities that promote positive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors), they preferred a "menu" of positive activities to help support caregiver health and well-being.; Conclusions: This study involved family caregivers as participants in the development of new components for Roadmap 2.0. Our research provided a further understanding of the many priorities that hematopoietic stem cell transplant family caregivers face while maintaining balance in their lives. Their schedules can often be unpredictable, even more so once the patient is discharged from the hospital. Our findings suggest that expanding Roadmap 2.0 into the outpatient setting may provide critical caregiver support and that HCT caregivers are interested in and willing to engage in positive activities that may enhance well-being and attenuate the stress associated with caregiving.; International Registered Report Identifier (irrid): RR2-10.2196/resprot.4918

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Limited engagement in, yet clear preferences for advance care planning in young-onset dementia: An exploratory interview-study with family caregivers

Background: The significance of advance care planning in dementia is widely acknowledged. Despite the suggestion that younger people with dementia and their family might have distinct needs and preferences in this area, studies on advance care planning in young-onset dementia are absent. Aim: We aim to explore (1) whether family caregivers had already engaged in advance care planning with patients and/ or professionals and the accompanying reasons and (2) family caregivers' preferences for how to ideally engage in the process with patients, family and professionals. Design: A qualitative study was conducted: we analysed semi-structured interviews (n = 15) through the method of constant comparative analysis. Setting/participants: We included Flemish family caregivers of persons with young-onset dementia. Results: Plans for the future typically concerned non-medical affairs. Participants' limited engagement in advance care planning was clarified through several reasons: not considering it useful, hindering patient behaviour, adopting a day-to-day attitude, caregivers emotionally protecting themselves and uncertainty about patients' cognitive competence. However, endorsement for advance care planning showed from respondents' preferences that it should be initiated timely, by a third party, and emphasize patients' remaining capacities. Finally, the need for information and high-quality care emerged. Conclusion: A gap of knowledge, of information and in care intertwiningly hinder advance care planning. In young-onset dementia, engaging in advance care planning is not an option equally accessible as not doing so. Policy makers, institutions and professionals could reflect on their responsibility in providing these patients and caregivers an actual choice to engage in advance care planning or not.

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"It's More than Just Needing money": The Value of Supporting Networks of Care

It is well established in research, practice, and policy that unpaid caregivers (family and friends of people with care needs) experience stress in their role. Supports that have been put in place by policy planners and program developers to support caregivers may not be accessed by caregivers at all or may do little to reduce their stress. Accessing personal resources (education, finances), in addition to social resources (individual connections) and societal resources (community supports) are critical in fostering resilience in caregivers (helping them adapt to stress and adversity). Social capital theorists argue that creating connections at various levels can improve access to resources. This research, through qualitative interviews (n = 21), identifies the different levels of resources required to address the needs of caregivers. Our findings indicate that interventions that focus on access to personal-level resources (education, funding) are important, but are on their own insufficient. Of more importance were interventions that work to improve relationships between formal providers and families; access to interdisciplinary teams; cross-sectoral collaborations; and inter-organization relationships, highlighting that a system that works together is likely to improve caregivers' access to resources.

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Integrating Family Caregivers of People With Alzheimer's Disease and Dementias into Clinical Appointments: Identifying Potential Best Practices

Family caregiver engagement in clinical encounters can promote relationship-centered care and optimize outcomes for people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD). Little is known, however, about effective ways for health care providers to engage family caregivers in clinical appointments to provide the highest quality care. We describe what caregivers of people with ADRD and people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) consider potential best practices for engaging caregivers as partners in clinical appointments. Seven online focus groups were convened. Three groups included spousal caregivers (n = 42), three included non-spousal caregivers (n = 36), and one included people with MCI (n = 15). Seven potential best practices were identified, including the following: "acknowledge caregivers' role and assess unmet needs and capacity to care" and "communicate directly with person with ADRD yet provide opportunities for caregivers to have separate interactions with providers." Participants outlined concrete steps for providers and health care systems to improve care delivery quality for people with ADRD.

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Informal caregivers' experiences of caring for persons with dementia in Estonia: A narrative study

This paper presents the results of a qualitative study aimed at exploring the experiences and needs of informal caregivers of persons with dementia and identifying caregiver expectations for support. The research was based on phenomenological and social constructionist approaches; it also took experience-centred and culturally oriented approaches to narratives. It was conducted in Estonia in 2017 by means of unstructured in-depth interviews with 16 informal caregivers who had relatives with dementia. The narrative approach used in this study proved to be an appropriate and valuable method to understand the situations of the caregivers of the people with dementia, in identifying their needs and expectations, and in developing social understanding for caregivers. The results are divided under four thematic headings: awareness of dementia; process of caregiving and different caregiving roles; influence of caregiving on personal life; and expectations of empowerment. We found that it is necessary to raise public awareness of dementia and develop person-centred support services for the people living with dementia.

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Improving the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) process: A qualitative study of family caregiver perspectives

Objective: The road to legalization of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) across Canada has largely focused on legislative details such as eligibility and establishment of regulatory clinical practice standards. Details on how to implement high-quality, person-centered MAID programs at the institutional level are lacking. This study seeks to understand what improvement opportunities exist in the delivery of the MAID process from the family caregiver perspective.; Method: This multi-methods study design used structured surveys, focus groups, and unstructured e-mail/phone conversations to gather experiential feedback from family caregivers of patients who underwent MAID between July 2016 and June 2017 at a large academic hospital in Toronto, Canada. Data were combined and a qualitative, descriptive approach used to derive themes within family perspectives.; Result: Improvement themes identified through the narrative data (48% response rate) were grouped in two categories: operational and experiential aspects of MAID. Operational themes included: process clarity, scheduling challenges and the 10-day period of reflection. Experiential themes included clinician objection/judgment, patient and family privacy, and bereavement resources.; Significance Of Results: To our knowledge, this is the first time that family caregivers' perspectives on the quality of the MAID process have been explored. Although practice standards have been made available to ensure all legislated components of the MAID process are completed, detailed guidance for how to best implement patient and family centered MAID programs at the institutional level remain limited. This study provides guidance for ways in which we can enhance the quality of MAID from the perspective of family caregivers.

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Family carers' perspectives of managing activities of daily living and use of mHealth applications in dementia care: A qualitative study

Aim: To examine the needs, barriers and challenges experienced by family carers of people with dementia concerning the management of their care recipients' functional disabilities, and their experiences and opinions of using mobile health (mHealth) applications in health information seeking.; Background: Functional disability is a significant problem among people with dementia and management can be challenging for family carers. Evidence suggests that mHealth applications can support knowledge needs of patients and families.; Design: A qualitative descriptive exploratory study.; Methodology: In-depth interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of family carers using a semi-structured interview guide. An inductive thematic analysis method was used. The COREQ reporting guideline was followed.; Results: Five spousal and five child carers participated in this study. Four key themes were identified: (a) Challenges faced that contribute to psychological distress and burden; (b) Essential role of support systems in dementia care; (c) Information and educational needs of family carers, and (d) Experiences and attitudes of mHealth applications as an educational and supportive resource.; Conclusion: Providing functional care is demanding, challenging and stressful, and leads to carer burden. The complexity of dementia is a barrier in the organisation of functional care and access to a support network is vital to care provision. The information needs of family carers can potentially be addressed through an mHealth application.; Relevance To Clinical Practice: This study provides important information on family carers' needs, and the barriers and challenges related to functional care for people with dementia. Findings from this study can assist nurses and other health professionals in the planning of educational and supportive programs for family carers. Furthermore, the use of mHealth applications could positively contribute to the delivery of these programs.

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Family caregivers' perspectives on communication with cancer care providers

Purpose/Objectives: Family caregivers of individuals living with cancer are often highly involved in communication with healthcare teams, yet little is known about their experiences, needs, and preferences in this role. To address this gap in the knowledge base, researchers sought to explore family caregivers' perspectives on communication with oncology care providers. Design and Methods: Researchers conducted a secondary inductive thematic analysis of qualitative interviews originally collected as part of a randomized clinical trial of a supportive intervention for family caregivers of patients with cancer (N = 63). Participants: Participants were family caregivers of adult patients with cancer. Most were patients' spouses/long-term partners (52.3%) or adult children/grandchildren (29.2%). Caregivers of patients with all cancer types and stages of disease progression were eligible for study enrollment. Findings: Caregivers valued communication with healthcare providers who were attentive, genuine, broadly focused on patients and caregivers' experiences, sensitive to unmet information needs, and responsive to the potentially different communication preferences of patients and caregivers. Interpretation: Family caregivers expressed a strong preference for person-centered communication, conceptualized as communication that helps healthcare providers meet the needs of patients and caregivers both as individuals and as an interdependent unit of care, and that acknowledges individuals' experiences beyond their prescribed roles of "cancer patient" and "caregiver." Implications for Psychosocial Oncology Practice: Psychosocial oncology providers' strong orientation to the biopsychosocial and spiritual aspects of cancer care delivery make them uniquely positioned to support family caregivers. Findings suggest that providers should explicitly communicate their commitment to both patient and family care, involve family caregivers in psychosocial assessment activities and subsequent intervention, and strive to honor patients and caregivers' potentially different communication preferences. 

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Experiencing the care of a family member with Crohn's disease: a qualitative study

Objectives: To explore the experiences of caregivers living with relatives affected by Crohn's disease (CD) in a context in which the family provides social support.; Design: A qualitative study based on a phenomenological approach was conducted through in-depth interviews.; Setting: Participants living in Alicante (Spain) were recruited Participants: Eleven family caregivers of people with CD were interviewed.; Methods: The in-depth interviews took place in the participants' homes and were audio recorded and then transcribed for a qualitative thematic analysis.; Results: Five themes and accompanying subthemes were identified: (1) adaptation to the caring experience, (2) dichotomy 'with or without me', (3) unending burden, (4) need for knowledge and control of the disease, and (5) getting used to CD and normalising life.; Conclusion: The findings contribute to an increase in the knowledge and comprehension of the experience of being the caregiver of a relative with CD, which could be useful for professionals towards improving the quality of the CD caring process. Due to the temporal dimension of CD with frequent bouts of exacerbation and remission, family caregivers must adapt and acquire skills during chronic illness evolution. Moreover, the lack of family caregivers' inclusion and follow-up within the Spanish health system makes them feel invisible and useless, which may contribute to caregivers' burdens.

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Experiences of informal caregivers after cardiac surgery: a systematic integrated review of qualitative and quantitative studies

Objectives: To provide a comprehensive synthesis of informal caregivers' experiences of caring for a significant other following discharge from cardiac surgery.; Design: Systematic integrated review without meta-analysis.; Data Sources: A bibliographic search for publications indexed in six databases (Cochrane Library, CINAHL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, AMED and PsycINFO), including a scan of grey literature sources (GreyNet International, Google Scholar, Web of Science, WorldCat and the Clinical Trials Registry) was conducted in October 2018.; Eligibility Criteria For Selecting Studies: Studies were included if they described views and perspectives of informal caregivers of cardiac surgery patients (non-intervention studies (qualitative and quantitative)), and the effectiveness of interventions to evaluate support programme for informal caregivers of cardiac surgery patients (intervention studies).; Results: Of the 4912 articles identified in searches, 42 primary research studies were included in a narrative synthesis with 5292 participants, including 3231 (62%) caregivers of whom 2557 (79%) were women. The median sample size across studies was 96 (range 6-734). Three major themes emerged from the qualitative study data: (1) caregiver information needs; (2) caregiver work challenges and (3) caregivers adaption to recovery. Across the observational studies (n=22), similar themes were found. The trend across seven intervention studies focused on caregiver information needs related to patient disease management and symptom monitoring, and support for caregivers to reduce symptoms of emotional distress.; Conclusion: Informal caregivers want to assist in the care of their significant others after hospital discharge postcardiac surgery. However, caregivers feel insecure and overwhelmed and they lack clear/concise discharge information and follow-up support during the early at-home recovery period. The burden of caregiving has been recognised and reported since the early 1990s, but there remains a limited number of studies that assesses the effectiveness of caregiver interventions.; Prospero Registration Number: CRD42018096590.

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End-of-Life Communication Between Providers and Family Caregivers of Home Hospice Patients in a Rural US-Mexico Border Community: Caregivers' Retrospective Perspectives

Introduction: Family caregiver-provider communication is essential to making an effective hospice care transition for patients. Despite the importance of this topic, there is little information about how caregivers in rural US-Mexico border regions navigate hospice care transition and their needs. This study explores the family caregivers' experience relating to their end-of-life (EOL) communication and needs for hospice care transition.; Methods: In-depth interviews using qualitative methods were conducted with 28 informal caregivers of patients who are enrolled in home hospice care in a rural US-Mexico border region. Thematic analysis was applied to analyze the data.; Results: Qualitative themes that emerged include (1) lack of/insufficient EOL communication and (2) informational needs, including (a) signs of symptom changes, (b) EOL treatment options and goals of care, and (c) hospice care and its benefits. Limited caregiver-provider EOL communication was observed, in which the majority of the caregivers (n = 22, 78.6%) were informed of the patient's terminal condition, but only half (n = 15, 53.6%) had a discussion with the providers about hospice care.; Conclusion: Timely EOL communication between caregivers and the providers is key to the patient's optimal transition to hospice care. Providers need to be aware of the caregivers' informational needs relating to patient symptoms and health condition as well as hospice care. It is important to be aware of the impact of cultural values on hospice care placement. A clear explanation about the purpose and functions of hospice care and its benefit can better guide the family caregivers in making hospice care decisions.

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The emotional and mental health needs of young carers: what psychiatry can do

Aims and Method: To review the literature on the emotional and mental health needs of young carers of parents with mental illness and the extent to which such needs are recognised and supported by professionals. Three databases were systematically searched from 2008 to 2018, and five studies met the inclusion criteria.; Results: The key findings were that young caregivers had a significantly higher dose-response mortality risk than their peers; were at increased risk of mental health difficulties, especially where the ill family member was a parent and had mental illness or misused substances; were overlooked by professionals owing to a lack of awareness; but could derive benefits from their caring role when appropriately supported.; Clinical Implications: Young carers are at increased risk regarding emotional and mental health needs; this risk could be mitigated by professionals recognising the young carer's role and including them in their parent's treatment plan.

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Dying in acute hospitals: voices of bereaved relatives

Background: Internationally there is an increasing concern about the quality of end-of-life care (EoLC) provided in acute hospitals. More people are cared for at end of life and die in acute hospitals than in any other healthcare setting. This paper reports the views of bereaved relatives on the experience of care they and the person that died received during their last admission in two university adult acute tertiary hospitals. Methods: Relatives of patients who died were invited to participate in a post-bereavement postal survey. An adapted version of VOICES (Views of Informal Carers - Evaluation of Services) questionnaire was used. VOICES MaJam has 36 closed questions and four open-ended questions. Data were gathered in three waves and analysed using SPSS and NVivo. 356 respondents completed the survey (46% response rate). Results: The majority of respondents (87%: n = 303) rated the quality of care as outstanding, excellent or good during the last admission to hospital. The quality of care by nurses, doctors and other staff was highly rated. Overall, care needs were well met; however, findings identified areas of care which could be improved, including communication and the provision of emotional and spiritual support. In addition, relatives strongly endorsed the provision of EoLC in single occupancy rooms, the availability of family rooms on acute hospital wards and the provision of bereavement support. Conclusions: This research provides a powerful snapshot in time into what works well and what could be improved in EoLC in acute hospitals. Findings are reported under several themes, including the overall quality of care, meeting care needs, communication, the hospital environment and support for relatives. Results indicate that improvements can be made that build on existing good practice that will enhance the experience of care for dying persons and their relatives. The study adds insights in relation to relative's priorities for EoLC in acute hospitals and can advance care providers', policy makers' and educationalists' priorities for service improvement.

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Determining the Needs of Family Caregivers of Stroke Patients During Inpatient Rehabilitation Using Interview, Art, and Survey

The purpose of this study is to explore the needs of family members at the bedside of stroke patients (n = 12) admitted to an inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF). Family members' needs were determined through semistructured interviews, "Draw a Bridge" art therapy technique, and the Family Inventory of Needs. Family members described a family-centered approach to care that addressed the following needs: assistance with preparing for discharge, staff caring for family members, communication about the plan of care and what to expect postdischarge, and trusting the care provided by IRF staff. Art therapy revealed that stroke was a crisis with many unmet needs for the interviewer to explore. Descriptive statistical analysis of the Family Inventory of Needs revealed that both met and unmet needs were consistent with the interviews and the interpretations of the drawings. These findings inform the need for interventions during IRF to enhance communication, support, and effective caregiver education amidst the crisis of stroke.

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Coping and Support Needs of Caregivers of the Mentally Ill: A Phenomenological Study in the Philippines

There are currently very few studies exploring the area of mental health in the Philippines. The topic on mental illness remains widely stigmatized that even the concerns of the caregivers of the mentally ill stay unexplored on the background. This qualitative study aims to help families, mental health professionals, and the general community, understand the different coping and support needs of caregivers of the mentally ill. The researchers employed a phenomenological method of identifying the coping and support needs of these caregivers whose mentally ill family members were admitted in a Mental Health Facility in Leyte, Philippines. Data collection was made through in-depth interviews with carers/caregivers/relatives of five (5) mentally ill persons. Library and internet desk research in its related literature were also employed. Results of the study revealed two major themes, namely 1) coping strategies of caregivers of the mentally ill, and, 2) support to caregivers of the mentally ill. In the theme of coping strategies of caregivers of the mentally ill, three sub-themes emerged, namely 1.1) religious practice, 1.2) being productive, preoccupied and proactive, and 1.3) acceptance and resolve. Several support programs and services such as provision of mental health education and counseling regarding facts about the illness, its treatment and management, and leniency on watcher requirements during hospital admission are among the recommended support needs identified by the caregivers of the mentally ill.

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A concerns report survey of physical activity support needs of people with moderate-to-severe MS disability and family caregivers

Purpose: To identify the most pressing needs for community resources to support physical activity participation, determinants of perceived need, and barriers to co-participation in physical activity among people with multiple sclerosis (MS) who have moderate-to-severe disability and the family caregivers providing assistance to such individuals. Methods: Seventy-eight people with MS and 46 family caregivers participated in this cross-sectional survey study, guided by the Concerns Report Methodology. Results: The results show differences between groups in rankings for some need items. However, three need items were prioritized by both people with MS and the family caregivers: (1) information about available resources to support physical activity participation, with Need Indexes of 76.6% and 52.3%, respectively; (2) programs that support joint participation of people with MS together with their caregivers in physical activity, with Need Indexes of 62.0% and 68.9%, respectively; and (3) programs that have affordable total cost of participation, with Need Indexes of 50.7% and 52.3%, respectively. A broad range of factors (i.e., education, living situation, type of community, marital status, employment, and income, as well as comorbidity status) was significantly associated with one or more of these need items. Several modifiable impairment-related, personal and logistical factors were identified by both groups as barriers to co-participation in physical activity. Conclusions: The findings highlight the complexity of developing community resources that target physical activity promotion in MS dyads. Importantly, our findings suggest that resources designed to influence dyadic physical activity participation need to include content that are responsive and tailored to both the needs of the person with MS and the unique needs of the family caregiver. The results also underscore the importance of reinforcing physical activity as a shared behavior and providing information about affordable options for exercising together to the benefit of each individual and the dyad (i.e., partnership). Overall, our findings provide a possible starting point to guide the identification of potential participants that might benefit the most from future intervention development work. MS has life-altering consequences for people with the disease and the family caregivers who support such individuals. Rehabilitation professionals need to reinforce physical activity as a shared behavior and provide information about affordable options for exercising together to the benefit of each individual and the dyad. A "one-size-fits-all" approach is not appropriate, therefore, clinicians need to identify flexible and pragmatic strategies to increase dyadic participation in the presence of unique caregiver and care-recipients barriers that might impede such an increase.

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Characteristics and Consequences of Family Support in Latino Dementia Care

The purpose of this study is to explore variations in family support for Latino dementia caregivers and describe the role of the family in dementia caregiver stress processes. Content analysis is utilized with themes derived inductively from 16 in-depth interviews with Latino caregivers recruited in California from 2002 to 2004. Three types of family support are described: extensive (instrumental and emotional support from family, n = 3), limited (instrumental support from one family member, n = 7), and lacking (no support from family, n = 6). Most caregivers report limited support, high risk for burnout and distress, and that dementia-related neuropsychiatric symptoms are obstacles to family unity. Caregivers with extensive support report a larger family size, adaptable family members, help outside of the family, and formalized processes for spreading caregiving duties across multiple persons. Culturally competent interventions should take into consideration diversity in Latino dementia care by (a) providing psychoeducation on problem solving and communication skills to multiple family members, particularly with respect to the nature of dementia and neuropsychiatric symptoms, and by (b) assisting caregivers in managing family tensions - including, when appropriate, employing tactics to mobilize family support.

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Caregiving tasks and unmet supportive care needs of family caregivers: A U.S. population-based study

Objective: To describe the type of care provided by a nationally-representative sample of informal caregivers, the frequency of unmet supportive care needs, and examine characteristics associated with unmet needs.; Methods: Using data from the Health Information National Trends Survey, we identified caregivers of an adult care recipient. Descriptive statistics examined support provided by caregivers for activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) and caregiver perceptions of their needs in five areas: medical/nursing tasks, accessing services, respite care, support groups, and counseling for caregivers. Bivariate statistics examined sociodemographic and caregiver characteristics associated with each need.; Results: Among 316 caregivers, 30.9% reported at least one unmet supportive care need. Caregivers most often provided support for 0-2 ADLs and 5-7 IADLs. Younger age and longer duration of time caregiving were associated with unmet supportive care needs for medical/nursing training (p = 0.02 and 0.04, respectively). Caregivers providing assistance with more ADLs reported needs for respite care support (p=0.03).; Conclusion: Subgroups of caregivers that may be most vulnerable with greater unmet supportive care needs are those that are younger, have provided care for longer, and those assisting with more ADLs. Future research should explore these factors to inform intervention development.

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Caregivers' Need for Support in an Outpatient Cancer Setting

PURPOSE: To investigate the needs of caregivers for individuals with cancer and to gain insight into how to provide support for caregivers. PARTICIPANTS & SETTING: 47 caregivers for patients with cancer in an outpatient setting in Denmark. METHODOLOGIC APPROACH: This qualitative study used focus group interviews. Data were analyzed using a hermeneutics framework and Malterud's systematic text condensation. FINDINGS: Results of the nine focus groups showed the experiences of caregiving. Theme 1 was interdependence, which consisted of the subthemes responsibility, a moral obligation and loneliness and talking. The results also revealed a second theme, different needs for support, which contained three subthemes: support through personal time, support through peers, and support through talking to healthcare professionals. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: Caregivers for individuals with cancer do not distinguish their own needs and perspectives of support from those of the patients. Caregivers' need for support includes having support from peers, talking to healthcare professionals, and having personal time. Support of caregivers should allow for focusing on the family as a unit instead of solely addressing the patient.

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Caregivers' interactions with health care services – Mediator of stress or added strain? Experiences and perceptions of informal caregivers of people with dementia – A qualitative study

Background: There are an estimated 46.8 million people worldwide living with dementia in 2015, being cared for usually by family members or friends (informal caregivers). The challenges faced by informal caregivers often lead to increased levels of stress, burden and risk of care-recipient institutionalisation. Aim: The overarching aim of this study was to explore the experiences and perceptions of informal caregivers of people with dementia when interacting with the health care system, and whether the support received acted as a mediator of caregiver stress. The secondary aim was to investigate healthcare professionals' views and current practice regarding people with dementia and their interactions with informal caregivers. Method: We employed a qualitative research design, using focus groups and one face-to-face interview with a purposive sample of informal caregivers and healthcare professionals in Lincolnshire, UK. Data were collected between March and July 2015. We used the stress-process model of stress in caregivers as a theoretical framework. Results: We interviewed 18 caregivers and 17 healthcare professionals. Five themes, mapped to the stress-process in caregivers' model, captured the main challenges faced by caregivers and the type of support they wanted from health care services. Primary stressors included the challenge of diagnosing dementia; caregivers' needs and expectations of an in-depth knowledge and understanding of dementia from healthcare professionals; and need for carer education. Secondary role strain included lack of support and mismatch of communication and expectations. Caregiver involvement in monitoring care and disease was a potential mediator tool. Conclusions: Fragmentation of dementia care services, lack of training for healthcare professionals and the dearth of information for caregivers means health care services are only partially fulfilling a support role. In turn, lack of support may be intensifying caregiver stress leading to worsening in their health and well-being; thus, potentially increasing the risk of institutionalisation of their care-recipient.

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

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

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The Capacity of Learning in the Quality of Life of the Informal Caregiver

Introduction The presence in the home of a dependent family member is a problematic situation for the whole family. By implementing training programs it is possible to achieve health gains and improve care management, as well as increase the capacity to seek information and take responsibility. Objectives To synthesize the effects of training programs of the informal caregiver in a home context in their quality of life. Methods Integrative review of the literature carried out during the month of March 2019, in the databases: Scielo, Mediclatina, Scopus, Cinahl and Medline, through the PICO methodology, whose guiding question was: “What are the effects caused on the quality of life by... [The remainder of the abstract is not freely accessible]

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A Review of the Complex Role of Family Caregivers as Health Team Members and Second-Order Patients

In Palliative Care, the unit of care is the patient and their family. Although members of the health care team often address the family caregiver's opinions and concerns, the focus of care remains on the needs of the patient. The readiness and willingness of the family caregiver is often overlooked as they are expected to assume a complex caregiving role. When family caregivers are not intellectually or emotionally prepared or physically capable, the caregiver is at high risk for serious health issues and cognitive, emotional, and physical decline particularly as caregiving extends over time. Family caregivers are often a neglected and at-risk population. Illustrated through the use of a case study, this article addresses the complex role of family caregivers, as both health team members and second-order patients. It emphasizes the importance of family assessment and interventions to balance the burdens and benefits of family caregiving and protect caregivers' health and well-being.

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Needs management in families affected by childhood-onset dystrophinopathies

Purpose: To collect information about the needs of families affected by childhood-onset dystrophinopathies residing in the United States. Methods: Individuals with an eligible dystrophinopathy were identified by the Muscular Dystrophy Surveillance, Tracking, and Research network. Between September 2008 and December 2012, 272 caregivers completed a 48-item survey about needs related to information, healthcare services, psychosocial issues, finances, caregiver demographics, and the individual’s functioning. Results: Overall, at least 80% of the survey items were identified as needs for more than one-half of caregivers. Among the needs identified, physical health and access to information were currently managed for most caregivers. Items identified as needed but managed less consistently were funding for needs not covered by insurance and psychosocial support. Conclusions: Healthcare providers, public health practitioners, and policymakers should be aware of the many needs reported by caregivers, and focus on addressing gaps in provision of needed financial and psychosocial services.

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Understanding informal caregivers' motivation from the perspective of self-determination theory: an integrative review

Background A long-term illness is stressful both for the person with the diagnosis and for his or her informal caregivers. Many people willingly assume the caregiving role, so it is important to understand why they stay in this role and how their motivation affects their health. Self-determination theory (SDT) is a theory of human motivation that has been successfully applied in human research domains. To our knowledge, there is no literature review on the application of SDT in a caregiver context. A systematic review of the literature could improve the understanding of motivation in caregiver work and contribute to the utility of SDT. Aim To describe and explore empirical studies of caregivers' motivation from the perspective of self-determination theory. Methods An integrative literature review according to Whittemore and Knafl was conducted with systematic repetitive searches in the MEDLINE, Scopus, PsychInfo, PsycNET, Chinal, Cochrane Library and EMBASE databases. The searches were performed from May through December 2018. The PRISMA diagram was used for study selection, and papers were assessed for quality based on the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Data analysis consisted of a four-stage narrative analysis method. Result Of 159 articles, 10 were eligible for inclusion. All studies considered satisfaction of the three basic psychological needs for competence, autonomy and relatedness as essential in predicting the quality of caregivers' motivation and thereby their well-being. In this review, autonomous motivation was the most important determinant of caregivers' well-being. Conclusions Findings showed that SDT can be applied to identify, categorise, explain, predict, promote and support motivation among caregivers. This lends interesting support for SDT and promotes further study and application of the theory as a psychological approach to caregivers' health and health promotion.

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

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

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

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

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

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Will I care? The likelihood of being a carer in adult life

The report finds that 65% of UK adults can expect to care unpaid for a loved one in their lifetime. The findings released in this report add crucial new data. Past studies have often relied on ‘snapshot’ data (which capture a moment in time), or research that shows what caring means for individuals but that is not representative of the whole population. Our new findings are from the highest quality UK surveys, based on data collected over decades from large representative samples of people regularly asked about caring and other aspects of their lives. We hope this new analysis will also contribute to achieving progress for carers, who, across the UK, urgently need better services and more support to manage work and care.

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Transition from child to adult health services: A qualitative study of the views and experiences of families of young adults with intellectual disabilities

Aims and objectives To explore the experiences of the families of young adults with intellectual disabilities at the point of transition from child to adult health services. Background The population of people with intellectual disabilities is changing rapidly, with young people with increasingly complex needs surviving into adulthood and requiring transition from child to adult health services. Design An interpretative qualitative design. Methods Semi-structured interviews were held with ten family carers of young adults with intellectual disabilities and complex care needs, who were in the process of or had recently completed a transition from child to adult health services in Scotland. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. The COREQ checklist was used. Results Transition emerged as a highly emotional and challenging period for family carers. Their experiences were captured in five main themes: “a deep sense of loss,” “an overwhelming process,” “parents making transitions happen,” “a shock to the adult healthcare system” and “the unbearable pressure.” Nurses were often seen as instrumental to counteracting some of these challenges. Conclusions There is an urgent need to respond to the challenges experienced by carers at the point of transition and beyond, by ensuring early and coordinated planning, effective information sharing and communication and clear transition processes and guidelines. A person-centred and family-centred approach is required to minimise negative impact on the health and well-being of the young adult with intellectual disabilities and their carers. Relevance to clinical practice Registered nurses have a key role in providing information and support, along with coordinating care at the time of transition from child to adult health services for young adults with complex intellectual disabilities. It is vital that their input is person-centred and responds effectively to the expert knowledge of family carers, while at the same time ensuring their needs for information and support are also addressed.

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How to improve eRehabilitation programs in stroke care? A focus group study to identify requirements of end-users

Background: A user-centered design approach for eHealth interventions improves their effectiveness in stroke rehabilitation. Nevertheless, insight into requirements of end-users (patients/informal caregivers and/or health professionals) for eRehabilitation is lacking. The aim of this study was to identify end-user requirements for a comprehensive eHealth program in stroke rehabilitation. Methods: Eight focus groups were conducted to identify user requirements; six with patients/informal caregivers and two with health professionals involved in stroke rehabilitation (rehabilitation physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, team coordinators, speech therapist). The focus groups were audiotaped and transcribed in full. Direct content analysis was used to identify the end-user requirements for stroke eHealth interventions concerning three categories: accessibility, usability and content. Results: In total, 45 requirements for the accessibility, usability and content of a stroke eRehabilitation program emerged from the focus groups. Most requirements concerned content (27 requirements), followed by usability (12 requirements) and accessibility (6 requirements). Patients/informal caregivers and health professionals each identified 37 requirements, respectively, with 29 of them overlapping. Conclusions: Requirements between stroke patients/informal caregivers and health professionals differed on several aspects. Therefore, involving the perspectives of all end users in the design process of stroke eRehabilitation programs is needed to achieve a user-centered design. Trial registration: The study was approved by the Medical Ethical Review Board of the Leiden University Medical Center [P15.281].

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Comparing the Barriers and Facilitators of Heart Failure Management as Perceived by Patients, Caregivers, and Clinical Providers

Background: Heart failure (HF) management requires the participation of patients, their significant others, and clinical providers. Each group may face barriers to HF management that may be unique or may overlap. Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the barriers and facilitators of HF management as perceived by patients, significant others, and clinical providers. Methods: Participants were recruited from a Veterans Health Administration facility. Eligible patients had a diagnosis of HF (ICD9 code 428.XX), 1 or more HF-related visit in the previous year, and a significant other who was their primary caregiver. Significant others were adults with no history of cognitive impairments caring for patients with HF. Providers were eligible if they cared for patients with HF. All participants completed semistructured interviews designed to elicit barriers to managing HF and strategies that they used to overcome these barriers. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using latent thematic analysis, and recruitment continued until thematic saturation was attained. Results: A total of 17 couples and 12 providers were recruited. All 3 groups identified poor communication as a key barrier to HF management, including communication between patients and their significant other, between couples and providers, and providers with each other. Significant others noted that the lack of direct communication with clinical providers hindered their efforts to care for the patient. All 3 groups emphasized the importance of family members in optimizing adherence to HF self-management recommendations. Conclusions: Providers, patients, and significant others all play important and distinct roles in the management of HF. Tools to enhance communication and collaboration for all 3 and supporting the needs of significant others are missing components of current HF care.

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Support to informal caregivers of patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A qualitative study of caregivers' and professionals' experiences in Swedish hospitals

Objectives Informal caregivers of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience a heavy caregiver burden, but few studies have explored what support they need. The aim of this study was to describe perceptions of healthcare support to informal caregivers, both from the family caregiver's and the staff's perspective. Design A qualitative interview study involving semi-structured interviews and analysed with content analysis. Participants In total, 54 participated: 36 informal caregivers of patients with severe (stage 3-4) COPD and 17 healthcare staff. Results Two main themes emerged from the analysis: (1) Ambiguity impedes provision of support. Both caregivers and staff experienced ambiguity. The informal caregivers needed emotional, practical and informational support but talked about unclear expectations, while the staff described an uncertainty about their duties regarding the families. There were no routines to unburden the families. Moreover, language and cultural barriers hampered their efforts. (2) Knowledgeable and perceptive communication is key to support. Both caregivers and staff described positive experiences of dialogue. The dialogue may facilitate means to caregiver support and was a support in itself. Conclusions Our findings suggest that strategies and routines for caregiver support, including communication skills among the staff, should be developed, to move toward the family perspective advocated in palliative- and nursing family care. 

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Influence of time lapse after cancer diagnosis on the association between unmet needs and quality of life in family caregivers of Korean cancer patients

Objective This study explored the association between healthcare needs and quality of life (QoL) of Korean cancer family caregivers according to the time lapse after cancer diagnosis. Methods Self‐administered comprehensive needs assessment tool and EuroQol‐5‐dimension index for 686 cancer family caregivers were classified into four groups according to time lapse after cancer diagnosis (≤12, 13–36, 37–60,>60 months). We estimated the association between unmet needs and QoL by multiple linear regression analyses after adjusting for age, sex, cancer site and caregivers’ comorbid conditions. Results Female or elder caregivers had lower QoL and higher unmet needs. The highest unmet needs existed in healthcare staff domain followed by information/education domain persistently along all periods. QoL of caregivers was significantly associated with family/social support and health/psychological problem during the time lapse of ≤12 months as well as >60 months. Practical support was consistently associated with QoL across all time lapses. Religious/spiritual support and hospital facilities and services showed significant association with QoL only in ≤12 months and >60 months respectively. Conclusions The QoL of Korean cancer family caregivers was differentially associated with their unmet needs according to the time lapse after cancer diagnosis and by specific domains of needs.

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The Family Support Movement and Schizophrenia in India

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review the evolution of family support movement for schizophrenia in India and to report perspectives of family caregivers who are running family support groups across the country in the backdrop of recent legislations in India. RECENT FINDINGS: Family support movement started in the 1990s, mostly by family caregivers independently in multiple cities across the country. Apart from periodic support meetings, they have successfully influenced recent legislations to address the felt needs of families. Mental health professionals need to gain skills to work collaboratively with assertive family caregivers to develop services to support those diagnosed with mental illness. Though there is a need for such movement, funding is poor and very few caregivers of persons with schizophrenia are forthcoming to participate. The formation of national federation with government and non-government partnership could help give the required impetus to the family support movement for persons with schizophrenia in India.

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Family caregivers experiences of the pre-diagnostic stage in frontotemporal dementia

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a neurodegenerative disease with symptoms that differs from other dementias. Commonly early symptoms in FTD are changes in personality and behavior, which can be interpreted as psychiatric disease. The delay in FTD diagnosis contributes to the burden of family caregivers. Therefore, it is important to have more knowledge about the pre-diagnostic stage. In this qualitative interview study, we explored fourteen family caregiver's experiences of the pre-diagnostic stage of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Our findings suggest that the family caregivers experienced the pre-diagnostic stage of FTD as changes in the interpersonal relationship with their loved one. These changes were often subtle and difficult for family caregivers to explain to others. The findings from our study illuminate the importance of medical staff paying attention when a next of kin is concerned about subtle changes in a loved one. The findings also illuminate that awareness of FTD should be raised. 

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

The reviewed study addresses the needs of the family caregivers of transplant patients in Iran and as the title suggests examines both psychosocial needs and quality of life (QoL), the results of which highlighted the importance of the provision of assurance and information for family caregivers.

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

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

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

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

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The support needs of family caregivers of persons with dementia in India: Implications for health services

The World Alzheimer’s Report estimates that 4.1 million people in India have dementia. Caregivers of persons with dementia face physical, psychological, social and financial problems related to caring for a person with dementia. Literature on the caregiving experience however is highly specific to the sociocultural context and cannot be generalized. In low and middle income countries much of the caregiving takes place in people’s homes and is provided by family caregivers. Aim This study aims to explore the needs and challenges of family caregivers in Chennai, India. Method Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were conducted using a topic guide. Participants were divided based on socio-economic status to ensure homogeneity. An inductive thematic approach was used to analyse and code the data. A total of 19 participants took part in the study. Results The results capture the experience of caregivers of persons with dementia in seeking help and accessing treatment. Priority caregiver needs were identified, including the need for sensitised, skilled health workers, information on dementia and advanced care needs and cost effective services. Conclusion The findings of this study strongly support the need to strengthen health systems capacity, make the health care services dementia friendly and cost effective. The influence of culture in shaping help seeking was evident in our findings. Interventions for caregivers and persons with dementia need to be developed and tested so they might be made fit for purpose and scaled up. It will be important to identify how these services can be adapted for use in low and middle income country resource setting like India. 

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Stakeholder Perspectives on the Biopsychosocial and Spiritual Realities of Living With ALS: Implications for Palliative Care Teams

Context: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an all-encompassing, life-limiting disease, resulting in the eventual paralysis of all voluntary muscles and concurrent loss of independence. As the disease advances, both patients and their family caregivers develop complex biological, psychological, and social needs, leading to increasing calls for the involvement of palliative care teams in the management of ALS. Objective: The purpose of this study was to generate a rich description of the realities of living with ALS, equipping palliative care teams with an in-depth understanding of the experiences and needs of patients with ALS and their family caregivers. Methods: This study employed a mixed-methods design, with quantitative data supplementing a larger body of qualitative data. Semi-structured interviews with 42 key stakeholders, including patients, family caregivers, and health-care providers, were analyzed for themes essential for effective understanding of ALS. Results: Identified themes were organized into 2 broad categories: (1) biopsychosocial needs of patients with ALS and family caregivers and (2) the impact of ALS on spiritual and emotional well-being. Quantitative data supported the recognized themes, particularly with regard to challenges associated with preserving independence, securing sufficient social support, and managing the emotional complexities of the disease. Conclusion: Study findings illustrate the intricacies of living with ALS and the importance of eliciting individualized values when caring for patients with ALS and their families. The complex biopsychosocial needs experienced by patients and family caregivers suggest numerous opportunities for meaningful palliative care involvement. 

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Home modifications for older people with cognitive impairments: Mediation analysis of caregivers’ information needs and perceptions of fall risks

Aims and objectives The aims were to (a) identify how many older people with cognitive impairments are living in modified homes and (b) explore associated factors, and (c) examine the mediating effects that their caregivers’ information needs and perceptions of fall risk and other factors. Background Older people and their informal caregivers may consider implementing home modifications as an effective strategy for fall prevention. However, there is a lack of information on which older people's homes receive modifications and the various factors associated with such modifications among community‐dwelling older people with cognitive impairments. Design This cross‐sectional and correlational study utilises a secondary data analysis. Methods The data for this secondary analysis were taken from the 2015 National Online Survey of Caregivers, which includes information provided by 226 adult caregivers for older people with cognitive impairments. Descriptive analyses, hierarchical binary logistic regression and structural equation modelling were performed based on the Andersen and Newman framework of health services utilisation. Results Overall, 46.5% of the older people lived in modified homes. Older people's impaired activities for daily living (ADLs), caregivers’ information needs and perceptions of fall risk were all associated with home modifications (all p values<0.05). Caregivers’ information needs mediated the relationship between impaired ADLs and home modifications (indirect effect = 0.026, p < 0.05), whereas the caregivers’ perceptions of fall risk did not. Conclusions Older people with both cognitive and functional impairments are more likely to modify their home on behalf of care recipient's staying at home. Caregivers’ information needs should thus be prioritized when considering home modifications to facilitate caring for older people with impaired ADLs. Implication for practice Nurses and other healthcare professionals should be prepared to offer appropriate information and comprehensive assessments of older people's conditions with regard to home modifications.

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International perspectives on best practice when working with family carers of people with an intellectual disability from across the life course

In order to maintain an ethos of involvement and collaboration, there is a need for services and professionals to work with carers in ways that complement and enhance their roles so that they are able to maximize their capacity to care for their relative. 

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A Formative Evaluation of Patient and Family Caregiver Perspectives on Early Palliative Care in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease across Disease Severity

Rationale: Little direction exists on how to integrate early palliative care in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).Objectives: We sought to identify patient and family caregiver early palliative care needs across stages of COPD severity. Methods: As part of the Medical Research Council Framework developmental phase for intervention development, we conducted a formative evaluation of patients with moderate to very severe COPD (forced expiratory volume in 1 s [FEV1]/FVC < 70% and FEV1 < 80%-predicted) and their family caregivers. Validated surveys on quality of life, anxiety and depressive symptoms, and social isolation quantified symptom severity. Semi-structured interviews were analyzed for major themes on early palliative care and needs in patients and family caregivers and across COPD severity stages. Results: Patients (n = 10) were a mean (±SD) age of 60.4 (±7.5) years, 50% African American, and 70% male, with 30% having moderate COPD, 30% severe COPD, and 40% very severe COPD. Family caregivers (n = 10) were a mean age of 58.3 (±8.7) years, 40% African American, and 10% male. Overall, 30% (n = 6) of participants had poor quality of life, 45% (n = 9) had moderate-severe anxiety symptoms, 25% (n = 5) had moderate-severe depressive symptoms, and 40% (n = 8) reported social isolation. Only 30% had heard of palliative care, and most participants had misconceptions that palliative care was end-of-life care. All participants responded positively to a standardized description of early palliative care and were receptive to its integration as early as moderate stage. Five broad themes of early palliative care needs emerged: 1) coping with COPD; 2) emotional symptoms; 3) respiratory symptoms; 4) illness understanding; and 5) prognostic awareness. Coping with COPD and emotional symptoms were commonly shared early palliative care needs. Patients with very severe COPD and their family caregivers prioritized illness understanding and prognostic awareness compared with those with moderate-severe COPD. Conclusions: Patients with moderate to very severe COPD and their family caregivers found early palliative care acceptable and felt it should be integrated before end-stage. Of the five broad themes of early palliative care needs, coping with COPD and emotional symptoms were the highest priority, followed by respiratory symptoms, illness understanding, and prognostic awareness.

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Information, communication, and online tool needs of Hispanic family caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias

Purpose: To identify the information and communication needs of Hispanic family caregivers for individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) and the manner in which online tools may meet those needs. Methods: We conducted 11 participatory design sessions with 10 English- and 14 Spanish-speaking urban-dwelling Hispanic family caregivers and gathered data using a survey, collage assemblage, and audio and video recordings. Four investigators analyzed transcripts of audio recordings with a coding framework informed by several conceptual models. Results: Participants had an average age of 59.7 years, were mostly female (79.2%), and had cared for a family member with ADRD for an average of 6.5 years. All participants accessed the Internet at least once a week with 75% ≥ daily. Most used the Internet to look up health information. All participants reported caregiver attributes including awareness of the disease symptoms or behaviors. The majority reported information needs/tasks (91.7%), communication needs/tasks (87.5%), and need for online tools (79.2%). Conclusion: Hispanic caregivers of individuals with ADRD reported key information and communication needs/tasks. Only Spanish-speaking participants reported Internet and technology use deficits suggesting the requirement for further technology support. Data show a need for online tools to meet the needs of caregivers. 

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

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

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Assistive robots for socialization in elderly people: results pertaining to the needs of the users

Background/aim: Technological solutions can support the elderly, improve their quality of life and reduce isolation and loneliness. The Euro-Japan ACCRA (Agile Co-Creation for Robots and Aging) project has the objective of building a reference co-creation methodology for the development of robotic solutions for ageing. The aim of this study is to provide a pilot qualitative analysis of the real needs of elderly people and their caregivers when exposed to conversational activities with robots and to identify priority needs that should be developed from end-user perspectives. Methods: A qualitative research design was adopted to define a pre-structured questionnaire that was administered to the elderly taking part in the piloting sessions. Three groups of end-users were included: subjects with an age ≥ 60 years, informal caregivers and formal caregivers. Results: The interviews were carried out in Italy and Japan. A total of 17 elderly and 36 caregivers were recruited. Common needs in the two sites were categorized into 3 groups: Communication; Emotion Detection and Safety. General robot acceptance level is good and perception is positive among participants in the pilot sites. Conclusion: A positive perception of the elderly on the application of a robotic solution was found and many are the needs that could be addressed by an appropriate and careful robotic development taking into account the real needs and capabilities of the involved subjects. 

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Utilizing the Advances in Digital Health Solutions to Manage Care in Cancer Patients

In recent years, the clinical context for cancer has changed, and it is now characterized by extended survival rates and more diverse and complex cancer trajectories and symptomatology. The changes in the landscape of cancer care also include a shift towards the home setting or the outpatient setting with an increased amount of care being delivered at home or transferred to the patients themselves and their family caregivers. These changes have also impacted the type and amount of information required by the patients and their caregivers as well as the type of care needs that are to be addressed by health-care professionals. Finally, the transitions within the health-care setting might also create a caring gap that the patient is left to deal with independently or with minimal support. These changes have led to the emergence of innovative digital/technological solutions for supporting patients during their cancer care continuum.

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Psychometric Evaluation of the Caregiver Needs Screen in Neuro-Oncology Family Caregivers

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The informal care demands of primary malignant brain tumor (PMBT) patients include unique issues associated with neurological and cognitive symptoms. Existing caregiver needs questionnaires do not include these disease-specific symptoms, which are particularly distressing. Therefore, we have developed the neuro-oncology Caregiver Needs Screen (CNS) and evaluated its psychometric properties. METHODS: The 32-item instrument was developed based on PMBT caregiver interviews (N = 109) and expert review. The CNS was tested along measures of depression, anxiety, burden, and mastery in 122 PMBT caregivers. Principal components analysis was used to examine item properties and internal structure. Internal consistency reliability and construct validity were assessed. RESULTS: Six subscales were identified with internal consistency ranging between alpha = .653 and .857. Convergent validity was verified by moderate/high correlations between measures of caregiver well-being and CNS scale scores. CONCLUSIONS: Findings provide preliminary evidence of reliability and validity for the CNS. This instrument can be useful when assessing caregivers' needs for supportive care. 

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Measuring the Needs of Family Caregivers of People With Dementia: An Assessment of Current Methodological Strategies and Key Recommendations

While dementia caregivers are regarded as a population with high unmet needs, there is little consensus as to how caregivers’ needs should be conceptualized and measured. This article describes how dementia caregivers’ needs are currently assessed in the scientific literature with the goal of suggesting guidelines for the enhancement of future measurement of caregiver needs. A review of 26 articles identified overarching themes within measurement approaches including variation in methodological rigor, proxy indicators of need, dual needs assessment of caregiver and person with dementia (PWD), and third-party needs assessment. We recommend future research dedicate theoretical attention to the conceptualization and classification of caregivers’ needs to build a stronger foundation for measurement. The measurement development process should capitalize on mixed-methodology and follow instrument development and validation guidelines set forth by measurement theory. Reliable and valid instruments are essential to developing services and policies that address dementia caregivers’ needs. 

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Including Family Caregivers In Seriously Ill Veterans' Care: A Mixed-Methods Study

Family caregivers often serve as unpaid members of the home and community-based care workforce for people with serious illness; as key partners in the home-clinic continuum, they should be included in health care teams. The Campaign for Inclusive Care is an initiative within the Veterans Affairs health care system to improve provider practices for including caregivers of military members in treatment planning and decisions. We defined inclusive care using a literature review, provider interviews, and a caregiver survey. We found that inclusive care involves clear definition of the caregiver role, system policies for inclusion, assessment of caregivers' capacity, explicit involvement of caregivers, and mutuality in caregiver-provider communication. We recommend solutions based on this definition that can inform development of a national caregiver strategy, required of the Department of Health and Human Services by the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage Family Caregivers Act of 2018.

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Informal caregivers in stroke: Life impact, support, and psychological well-being-A Swedish Stroke Register (Riksstroke) study

Background: Informal caregivers provide a large amount of day-to-day assistance and are crucial for the ability of survivors to recover and adapt to life after stroke.; Aim: The development of caregiver support programs is limited by lack of large long-term follow-up studies. We present a comprehensive study of Swedish stroke caregivers' life situation in relation to degree of functional dependency of the survivor.; Patients and Methods: In 2016, the Swedish Stroke Register, Riksstroke, conducted a long-term follow-up survey on caregivers to patients with stroke three and five years earlier. Items on psychological well-being were adapted from the 36-item short-form health survey and poor outcome was defined using the 36-item short-form health survey reference material. Survivor degree of dependency was indicated by the caregiver as independent, partially dependent, or completely dependent.; Results: A total of 5063 community dwelling dyads were included: 56.5% of survivors were independent, 33.4% partially dependent, and 10.1% completely dependent. Caregiver life impact, need of support, and proportion of poor psychological well-being increased incrementally with survivor degree of dependency. In the completely dependent group where 41.1% of survivors could not be left unattended for more than 1 h, 23.7% of caregivers expressed unmet need of caregiver support; 51.4% reported poor psychological well-being compared to 19.3% in the independent group.; Conclusion: The caregiver situation varies greatly with degree of survivor dependency which makes generalizations of caregiver needs difficult. Our results emphasize the need for integrating support aimed specifically at caregivers to survivors of stroke with a large degree of dependency.

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Cancer, a relational disease exploring the needs of relatives to cancer patients

Purpose : In this qualitative interview study we investigated the experiences of family members to cancer patients. Our objective was to explore and to differentiate their needs from the needs of cancer patients. Methods : Five focus groups and six individual narrative interviews with 17 family members to cancer patients in Sweden were conducted and compared with 19 cancer patient interviews. Our analysis was inspired by classic grounded theory. Results : Family members to cancer patients expressed own morbidity connected to high stress levels and difficulties in recognizing own stress due to ongoing comparisons with the cancer patient. Family members were trapped in a momentary terror-like situation where they became their sick relative’s safety net. A percieved inability to improve their loved one’s well being contributed to a feeling of guilt. The longing for it all to end was encumbered with shame since the end included possible death. Conclusions : By recognizing cancer as a disease striking both body and relationships, family members are given precedence over their own struggles, differentiated from the patient’s experiences. We define differences in needs between cancer patients and family members. Family members to cancer patients may be supported in developing balancing strategies towards less stress, increased safety and moments of contentment.

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Neurological patients’ and caregivers’ post-discharge challenges explored in a World Café

Problem/background: Post-discharge healthcare for patients with neurological conditions is indicated to be suboptimal. Aim: To capture hospital discharge experiences and ramifications among patients with neurological conditions, and informal caregivers, and their recommended solutions. Methods: A modified World Café was held November 2016. A facilitator moderated structured group discussions about post-discharge challenges, displayed real-time in GroupMap. Using the software's voting, ratings of priority challenges/issues and solutions were tabulated to identify whole group consensus. Findings: Eleven adults with neurological conditions (five females) and four adult informal caregivers (three females) participated. Major post-discharge challenges were: (i) inadequate self-management instruction, (ii) feeling discharged too early, (iii) family pressured to support patient without capacity, (iv) financial impact, (v) difficulties accessing social services, (vi) social isolation, (vii) inadequate support services, and (viii) poor communication with, and between, healthcare providers. Top-ranked solutions were: (i) counseling services at symptom onset, (ii) community neurological nurse referrals to, and liaison with, services, (iii) improved communication with general practitioner, (iv) community neurological nurse facilitating financial assistance, and (v) social worker in pre-diagnostic period facilitating financial assistance and support. Discussion: Peridischarge, patients and informal caregivers face a complexity of information and services, and struggle to self-manage conditions, experiencing burden that jeopardises their health and wellbeing. Proposed solutions to post-discharge challenges emphasise self-management, psychosocial support, care coordination, health system navigation, and communication. Conclusion: Generic community neurological nurses could link hospital and community-based services. Research is required regarding which translational and after hospitalisation care model improves care coordination and continuity, and care recipients’ capacity.

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Informal carers' experiences and feelings during rehabilitation

The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences and feelings of people caring for patients with long-term diseases in a rehabilitation centre. A qualitative research approach was used. Fifteen informal carers were interviewed. The study was conducted in a rehabilitation centre in Greece. Three themes emerged. The first was feelings regarding the patient and the carers themselves, as well as the type of care provided and life at home after discharge from the rehabilitation unit. The second was experiences regarding health professionals and delivered care, and other carers. The third theme was expectations and thoughts about the future. Health professionals should plan and implement support interventions within rehabilitation settings in order to address carers' needs in terms of practical guidance not only within the framework of patient care but also relating to the psychological and physical wellbeing of informal carers.

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Competence and Compassion: Key Elements of Professional Care at the End of Life From Caregiver's Perspective

In the act of caring for and helping people in the end-of-life process, the professional who provides care and assistance must know how to maintain a relationship of closeness, empathy, and compassion for the pain and suffering of the person who is going to die. The objective was to understand, elaborate on, and characterize the key elements of end-of-life care of patients from a caregiver's perspective through a qualitative phenomenological multicenter study. Participants were caregivers who had lost a family member at least 2 months but less than 2 years in the past. The techniques used were 5 discussion groups and 41 in-depth interviews, which included a total of 81 participants. To analyze the information, a protocol developed by Giorgi was followed. Two dimensions or units of meaning, with subdimensions, emerged: (1) Technical competence, with the subdimensions "Control of symptoms" and "Continuity of care," and (2) Compassion, with the subdimensions "Effective/affective communication," "Attitudes of kindness and closeness toward the patient and the family," and "Generosity and personalized flexibility of care." Assistance at the end of life requires the proper preparation of professionals who care for these patients, in addition to a compassionate attitude on the part of professionals and the people accompanying the dying person, that fosters a more humanized and dignified treatment in the dying process.

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Needs of people with dementia and their spousal carers: A study of those living in the community

Objective: To identify care and support needs, as reported by people with dementia and their spousal carers living in the community in metropolitan Western Australia. Methods: An interpretive description approach was utilised. Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 10 dyads of spousal carers and people with dementia. Comparative analysis was used to develop themes regarding need, which were reviewed using two focus groups of spousal carers. Results: Three major themes were developed through analysis of data from the interviews and were refined by the focus groups: (a) environmental enablers to support care; (b) strong caring relationships; and (c) adaptation of daily life roles. Conclusions: As dementia progresses, continued support to maintain participation in meaningful activity is needed. Strong caring relationships, knowledge and an understanding of dementia among health professionals, service providers and family members were key to maintaining support for the needs of people with dementia and their spousal carers.

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How are caregivers involved in treatment decision making for older people with dementia and a new diagnosis of cancer?

Objective: To explore how caregivers are involved in making treatment decisions for older people living with dementia and a new diagnosis of cancer. Method: A systematic review of PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and Scopus databases was conducted. Studies recruiting formal or informal caregivers for older people with dementia and a diagnosis of cancer were considered for inclusion. Results: Of 1761 articles screened, 36 full texts were assessed for eligibility, and six were included in the review. This review has identified that health care professionals (HCPs) are often unaware of the coexistence or severity of dementia in cancer patients, and therefore fail to properly address care needs as a result. While caregivers are relied on to help make decisions, they have unmet information needs and feel excluded from decision-making. Conclusion: Treatment decision making in the context of older adults with dementia and a new diagnosis of cancer needs further research. This will help HCPs to understand their needs and improve the experience of decision making for both caregivers and the people that they care for. 

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Experiences and perceptions of spousal/partner caregivers providing care for community-dwelling adults with dementia: a qualitative systematic review

Objective: The objective of this review was to synthesize evidence on the experiences and perceptions of spousal/partner caregivers of community-dwelling adults with dementia.; Introduction: Currently 47 million people in the world have a diagnosis of dementia and this number is predicted to climb to 75 million by 2030. The majority of care is provided by family members, particularly spouses/partners. Quantitative systematic reviews of spouse/partner caregivers demonstrate negative health effects for these caregivers. This review synthesized the qualitative evidence on the experiences of spousal/partner caregivers of people with dementia to further understanding how this care and the context of care contribute to the health and wellbeing of spousal/partner caregivers.; Inclusion Criteria: This review considered qualitative studies that explored the experiences of spousal/partner caregivers providing care for adults with dementia. The focus was on qualitative designs including, but not limited to, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, action research, critical research and feminist research.; Methods: The search strategy used a three-step approach and was aimed at locating both published and unpublished studies. Key databases included: MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO, Sociological Abstracts, ISI Web of Science, and Dissertation Abstracts International. Grey literature was searched using keywords from the database searches. The databases were searched from inception to February 2017 and a mix of controlled vocabulary (i.e. MeSH, CINAHL headings) and keywords were used to capture all existing qualitative studies related to the experiences and perceptions of spousal/partner caregivers providing unpaid care for adults with dementia. During the title and abstract screening, only English and French articles were included. The recommended Joanna Briggs Institute approach to study selection, critical appraisal, data extraction and data synthesis was used. Seven of the 10 critical appraisal criteria were deemed essential, with exceptions identified for criteria 1, 6 and 7.; Results: Nineteen studies were included in the review. Study designs included phenomenology (eight), grounded theory (five), qualitative description (four), ethnography (one) and narrative inquiry (one). The total number of participants was 248 (164 women and 84 men). The overall quality of the studies was rated as moderate on the ConQual score, with dependability rated as moderate and credibility rated as high. One hundred and fifty-five findings were aggregated into four categories and two synthesized findings. The two synthesized findings were: "the expectation to care in the midst of uncertainty and unpredictability", and "the caregiver as hostage".; Conclusions: This review provides a comprehensive understanding that can inform spousal/partner caregiver policies and programs. Evidence is required on the experiences and perceptions of caregivers across the gender continuum. Interventions and interventional research that mobilizes the evidence to date is essential for the future of caregivers. The limitations to this review include: the possibility of missed studies, all study participants being in heterosexual relationships, and the majority of participants being Caucasian. Recommendations for practice, policy and research include: the need for awareness of the extent of change in the lives of the person with dementia and the spousal/partner caregiver, the importance of support and respite, the need to tangibly recognize the value of the unpaid caregiver in a way that preserves the health and wellbeing of this group, and research is required that is culturally sensitive and reflects the experiences of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual (LGBTTQQIAAP) populations.

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Experiences of caregivers of family member with schizophrenia in China: A qualitative study

Purpose: To explore the experience of caregivers of family members with schizophrenia.; Design and Methods: A qualitative approach was adopted to examine the experience of caregivers of people with schizophrenia. The researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with 16 participants recruited through purposive sampling.; Findings: The change findings encompassed five major themes: (a) loss of personal life, (b) mixed emotions, (c) changes in family relationships, (d) the need for professional support and help, and (e) coping strategies.; Practice Implications: Clinicians, including nurses, must be aware of the cultural importance of mental illness, particularly the widespread cultural beliefs and patterns of help-seeking behaviors, to provide culturally sensitive health care and develop empirical strategies for helping both these caregivers and their dependents.

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End‐of‐life priorities of older adults with terminal illness and caregivers: A qualitative consultation

Background: As older adults approach the end‐of‐life (EOL), many are faced with complex decisions including whether to use medical advances to prolong life. Limited information exists on the priorities of older adults at the EOL. Objective: This study aimed to explore patient and family experiences and identify factors deemed important to quality EOL care. Method: A descriptive qualitative study involving three focus group discussions (n = 18) and six in‐depth interviews with older adults suffering from either a terminal condition and/or caregivers were conducted in NSW, Australia. Data were analysed thematically. Results: Seven major themes were identified as follows: quality as a priority, sense of control, life on hold, need for health system support, being at home, talking about death and competent and caring health professionals. An underpinning priority throughout the seven themes was knowing and adhering to patient's wishes. Conclusion: Our study highlights that to better adhere to EOL patient's wishes a reorganization of care needs is required. The readiness of the health system to cater for this expectation is questionable as real choices may not be available in acute hospital settings. With an ageing population, a reorganization of care which influences the way we manage terminal patients is required.

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Family Caregivers' Unmet Needs in Long-term Cancer Survivorship

Objectives: To review the family caregivers' unmet needs in the long-term phase of survivorship to identify unique challenges faced by family caregivers.; Data Sources: Research-based articles and published reports.; Conclusion: Family caregivers diverge into three distinct groups in the long-term survivorship phase: those remaining in care, those whose patients have survived and where care is no longer needed, and those whose patients have died. Their primary unmet needs vary by the different caregivership trajectories.; Implications For Nursing Practice: Comprehensive understanding of family caregivers' unmet needs is required to develop family caregiver care plans in long-term survivorship.

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Care for Caregivers: Understanding the Need for Caregiver Support

Most long‐term care for older adults in the United States is provided by informal caregivers (Ahmad, [Ahmad, K., 2012]), the majority of whom experience an intense range of emotions from satisfaction to loneliness. Counselors must consider this emerging population of caretakers and learn methods to encourage clinical services to address their need for support. This article delineates experiences and challenges of informal caregivers and provides suggestions for effective clinical services for caregiver populations.

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Providing Care for Persons with Dementia in Rural Communities: Informal Caregivers' Perceptions of Supports and Services

Dementia is one of the costliest and most time-consuming diseases among older persons. Although informal caregivers provide the majority of care for persons with dementia, little is known about the self-perceived need for social services of caregivers of persons with dementia within rural areas. This pilot study examined the knowledge, access and intent of the practice-oriented service model of caregivers of persons with dementia in rural communities in the Midwest U.S. After a systematic training, researchers interviewed 11 rural caregivers of persons with dementia (n = 11). Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Although similarities with other caregivers of persons with dementia were found, important differences suggesting unique issues among these rural caregivers of persons with dementia. Many participants found strength in their community, which often served as a safety net of support. Consistent with existing literature, participants expressed financial concerns, geographic barriers and lack of dementia-specific services when using formal services. The need for more specialized formal services in rural areas to supplement existing informal care networks is discussed. Policies and services based on rural caregivers' unique concerns and challenges and that build upon their existing care networks are recommended.

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Qualitative study of bereaved carers' experiences in advanced melanoma

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. In Australia, where this study was conducted, there were 1,281 deaths from melanoma in 2016. Treatments for melanoma have changed rapidly in recent years with the introduction of immune and targeted therapies. These have resulted in longer term survival for some, but it is not clear which patients these treatments will work for, and for how long. This study aimed to understand the impact of melanoma treatments, as they relate to diagnosis and prognosis, on the experiences of family carers. Interviews were conducted with twenty carers of patients who were treated at three melanoma centres in Australia and who subsequently died. The study found that diagnosis of advanced melanoma was a time of uncertainty as carers struggled to understand the implications of the diagnosis. Treatment options in the form of relatively new immune and targeted therapies added to uncertainty around prognosis (i.e. the likely outcome, such as chance of survival). Carers reported unclear communication of prognosis by medical specialists. Some carers reported that medical specialists did not want or were not able to give a prognosis. Many carers expected that treatments would have positive outcomes. The study findings indicate that medical specialists should recognise and address carer understanding of and need for information about prognosis as early as possible following diagnosis. Communication of the uncertain benefit of these new therapies can help patients and carers make decisions about treatment preference and care planning

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

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

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Risk factors associated with the family care of people with serious mental illness

Background: The aim of the present study is to analyse the variables associated with the family care of people diagnosed with serious mental illness.; Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out involving caregivers of people with serious mental illness (SMI) who were known to the mental health services in Valencia (España) and associations for those with SMI. The sample comprised 417 caregivers who completed a sociodemographic questionnaire and the Zarit Burden Interview. Bivariate analyses (t-test, analysis of variance and Pearson correlation) were performed, as was a multiple linear regression model. Values of p < .05 were considered significant. The study was carried out in accordance with the recommendations of the ethics committees of the participating institutions.; Results: The statistical analyses showed significant associations between the sociodemographic and clinical variables of the caregivers and patients and the burden felt by caregivers of people with SMI. The importance of both formal and informal social support stands out as a protective factor against the consequences of the illness's impact on the main caregiver.; Conclusions: The role of spaces of mutual support is crucial. The results suggest that family psychoeducational programmes should be created, applied and evaluated in all mental healthcare services so as to reinforce training in mental health matters and provide support and assessment to caregivers in order to ease their burden.

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“This is our life now. Our new normal”: A qualitative study of the unmet needs of carers of stroke survivors

Many stroke survivors require care from informal carers such as family members and friends who may experience adverse impacts. This study aimed to qualitatively explore the unmet needs of carers of stroke survivors, and their preferences for interventions and support services. We conducted 24 semi-structured, qualitative interviews with carers of stroke survivors from the Hunter region, Australia. Inductive thematic analysis was used in the context of a needs-led framework to identify key themes of their unmet needs. Key unmet needs identified by carers of stroke survivors in this study centred on four main themes: (1) social relationships and support; (2) adequacy of information; (3) taking care of oneself; and (4) accessing appropriate services. Carers of stroke survivors desired the development of services which provide connectivity to information, training, education and community support; and inclusion in a community with social relationships and other carers of stroke survivors. Ongoing unmet needs often result in adverse health and quality of life outcomes for carers of stroke survivors. Co-designed programs and resources for carers, particularly relating to unmet needs in social, information, self-care and service access domains are needed.

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Towards sustainable family care: using goals to reframe the user-centred design of technologies to support carers

Technology has been identified as an important strategy in making caring sustainable. This article takes the design process for carer support technology as a lens on the divergent definitions that are in play when governments, technology developers and carers contemplate 'sustainability'. We argue that a central impediment to finding a productive point of overlap among the three perspectives is a predominant focus on carers' needs. We contrast this needs-based approach, and its focus on doing the tasks of care, with a goal-oriented approach focused on being in relationships. Reframing the conversation around goals is important to achieving truly sustainable caring.

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A forgotten Army: Coping as a carer

Unpaid carers are the backbone of our society who often go unrecognised for their dedication and compassion. They face a range of challenges as they attempt to juggle their work-life-care responsibilities. That’s why we decided to commission YouGov to conduct a UK-wide research project focused on identifying gaps in support and sought to understand the views of unpaid carers.

Key findings

The impacts of loneliness, poor mental and physical health, financial worries and a lack of flexibility to learn or train are placing unpaid carers under increasing strain.

  • Two thirds (64%) of carers were most likely to feel the effect of caring on their social life, causing loneliness, which most commonly manifested as a result of having less time to themselves (48%), socialising less (47%) and generally having less contact with others (41%).
  • The next most common impact was mental ill health (49%). This included increased stress (42%), anxiety (33%) and depression (27%).
  • Almost half (45%) mentioned impacts that caring had on their family life, most notably spending less time with family.
  • Two in five carers reported an impact of caring on their physical health, most often mentioning tiredness (35%), trouble in sleeping (28%) and reduced fitness (20%).
  • More than two in five (44%) unpaid carers noted the impact of caring on their financial situation. The qualitative phase of the research also revealed many hidden costs of caring, including paying for medical supplies and transport to and from appointments.
  • Three in ten unpaid carers aged 16-34 said that their education or training had been affected.

When carers were asked about their support needs, a sizable majority (74%) of carers felt that further support in some form would be useful to them, with a common desire for emotional support (33%). Carers also sought information and advice about the support available, respite care, and finances. Our report also found that there was a need for advice about maintaining good mental and emotional health, shining a light on the often unexpected levels of stress, isolation and despondency felt by unpaid carers.

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Needs and rights awareness of stroke survivors and caregivers in urban and rural China: a cross-sectional, multiple-centre questionnaire survey

Objectives: Stroke survivors require assistance and support in their daily lives. This survey aims to investigate the needs and rights awareness in Chinese stroke survivors and caregivers in rural and urban settings.; Setting: This survey was adapted from the one created by the World Stroke Organization. The questionnaire included demands for psychological support, treatment and care, social support and information. From January 2015 to January 2016, the survey was pilot tested with urban and rural-dwelling stroke survivors and caregivers from 12 hospitals. Stroke survivors were invited to participate if they were over 18 years old and had experienced a stroke. Exclusion criteria were patients who had disorders of consciousness, significant cognitive impairment, aphasia, communication difficulties or psychiatric disorders. Only caregivers who were family members of the patients were chosen. Paid caregivers were excluded.; Participants: One thousand, one hundred and sixty-seven stroke survivors and 1119 caregivers were enrolled.; Primary Outcome Measures: The needs of stroke survivors and caregivers in rural and urban areas were compared. The correlations between needs of rural and urban stroke survivors and caregivers and potential effect factors were analysed, respectively.; Results: Among the cohort, 93.5% reported the need for psychological support, 88.6% for treatment and care, 84.8% for information and 62.7% for social support. The total needs and each aspect of needs of stroke survivors in urban settings were greater than of those in rural settings (p<0.01). In rural areas, total needs and each aspect of needs were positively correlated with education level (p<0.01).; Conclusions: Needs and rights awareness of stroke survivors should also be recognised in both urban and rural China. According to the different needs of patients and their caregivers, regional and individualised services were needed by stroke survivors and their caregivers.

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Needs and Experiences of Family Caregivers of Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders Across the Lifespan

Both service needs and needs of the caregiver may differ across the lifespan for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). As individuals with ASD age, they may need different services, which can place different burdens on the family. The present study aimed to determine the needs of both the individual with ASD and the family caregiver across the lifespan, as well as what experiences are important to families that may not be captured by quantitative measures. Data for the present study were taken from a large, online survey of family members of individuals with ASD. Participants were primarily mothers, with children ranging from early childhood to adulthood. The survey used a list of various services that could be used by individuals with ASD and the Family Needs Questionnaire to examine service needs and usage. Service needs and usage were compared by age category (childhood, adolescence, and adulthood). Most categories of service needs and usage differed by age, although the percentage of unmet service needs was quite high across all ages. Family members of adolescents or adults tended to report fewer individual needs than did family members of children. In open‐ended responses, families frequently discussed lack of services, worry about the future, and challenges with family and social relationships. Overall findings indicate a still‐high level of unmet service needs for individuals with ASD and their families. Although most basic health needs are met, more specific needs, such as therapy services and employment services, are received by comparatively few families. This has the potential to negatively impact families as the child with ASD ages, despite caregivers reporting fewer personal needs for older individuals. 

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Home Hospice Caregivers' Perceived Information Needs

Background: Although home hospice organizations provide essential care for and support to terminally ill patients, many day-to-day caregiving responsibilities fall to informal (ie, unpaid) caregivers. Studies have shown that caregivers value receiving clear information about end-of-life (EoL) care. Meeting the information needs of this group is critical in improving their experience in hospice.; Objectives: To identify the information needs of informal home hospice caregivers.; Design: One hundred five semi-structured phone interviews with informal caregivers were conducted. Study data were analyzed using a standard qualitative method (ie, content analysis).; Participants: Informal home hospice caregivers whose loved ones have been discharged (death or live discharge) from an urban, nonprofit hospice organization.; Measured: Participants' information needs were ascertained by assessing whether information regarding hospice was or was not fully explained or whether there was information they wished they knew prior to the hospice transition.; Results: Among study participants, 48.6% had unmet information needs related to (1) general information about hospice (n = 17, 16.2%), (2) what to expect at the EoL (n = 19, 18.1%), and (3) support provided by hospice (n = 30, 28.6%). Specifically, caregivers expressed the need for more information on what hospice is, caring for a dying patient, and the day-to-day care hospice provides.; Conclusion: Our study indicates that approximately half of the informal caregivers had unmet information needs. Further research is needed to identify efficacious strategies to best meet the information needs of this group. Specific topics that need emphasis include what hospice care is, what to expect at the EoL, and what level of support hospice offers.

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

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

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Using photo-elicitation to explore the lived experience of informal caregivers of individuals living with dementia

Objectives: This study aims to explore the subjective lived experience of informal caregivers supporting an individual with dementia.; Design: This study uses the interpretive phenomenological approach utilizing the method of photo-elicitation and in-depth semi-structured interviews.; Methods: Six individuals were given a disposable camera to capture photographs which they felt illustrated their own lived experiences of being a caregiver of an individual living with dementia. Photographs were printed and used to form discussion within an in-depth semi-structured interview. The photographs provided an innovative way of capturing the lived experiences of formal dementia caregivers and allowed the interview data to be grounded in their daily living, centring around their own lived experiences.; Results: Three themes emerged from data analysis: 'conceptualising the role of informal caregiver', 'support for the informal caregiver', and 'the caregivers own needs'.; Conclusions: Findings demonstrated the complexity of the relationship between the caregiver and the person living with dementia, and the shift in this relationship specifically due to the role of carer, with notable differences between spousal caregivers and adult-child caregivers. The importance of social, emotional, and practical support for caregivers was highlighted, as well as significance of the caregiver's individual needs. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? Informal caregivers of individuals living with dementia cover much of the associated health care costs. Informal caregiving of individuals living with dementia can lead to negative health outcomes of the carer. Health outcomes of informal caregivers living with dementia are grounded in culture and are influenced by multiple factors. What does this study add? The complexity of the transition from family member to informal caregiver has both a physical and emotional impact on caregivers. The transition, and experiences of informal caregiving, is dependent on the relationship to the individual living with dementia. Caregiver support and recognizing the caregiver's individual needs were imperative to caregiver well-being.

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Needs and preferences of informal caregivers regarding outpatient care for the elderly: a systematic literature review

Background: Informal caregivers are an essential pillar for ensuring and maintaining the outpatient care of the frail elderly. Due to demographic changes, including an increase in the number of people in need of care as well as changing social structures (full-time employment of women, increasing number of single households, etc.) these informal care structures are fraught by considerable challenges. To support and facilitate informal caregivers in their role of nursing, it is important to identify their preferences, needs, and thus create a preference-oriented system.; Methods: A systematic review was conducted to identify preferences and needs regarding the organization of informal care. The database searches were performed by using EMBASE, Scopus and Dimdi.; Results: A total of 44 studies were included in the present review. Studies from 17 different countries provide broad international perspectives. Besides the preferences for long-term care structure, the following four principal topics were identified: (1) informational needs; (2) support needs; (3) organizational needs, and (4) needs for societal recognition.; Conclusion: To meet the current challenges in the outpatient or home-based care of elders, it is essential to strengthen the role of informal caregivers. Therefore, it is necessary to adopt and further develop informal care structures according to the needs of informal caregivers. However, demographic, financial and cultural aspects of each country need to be considered as these may influence the preferences and needs of informal caregivers.

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

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

[The same article is also published in British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing Vol 14, no. 6 ]

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Current Advances in Palliative & Hospice Care: Problems and Needs of Relatives and Family Caregivers During Palliative and Hospice Care-An Overview of Current Literature

Palliative and hospice care aims to improve quality of life of patients' relatives, but still little is known about their specific problems and needs. We present a comprehensive literature update. Narrative review to present an expert overview of peer-reviewed, English-written original research publications and reviews on psychosocial and existential problems, supportive needs as well as interventions for relatives during the patients' disease trajectory published between January 2017 and November 2018. A total of 64 publications were included. Relatives report high rates of psychological and existential distress, burden and psychological morbidity during the total disease trajectory of the patient. In addition, relatives report an alarmingly high number of unmet needs with information being the central issue. Relatives' problems and needs are part of complex systems influenced by various socio-demographic factors and patient⁻relatives-interactions and dependency between different psychological phenomena. First support interventions for relatives during disease trajectory have proven feasible and secondary data from randomized studies suggest beneficial effects of providing early palliative care also for relatives. Relatives should be addressed to a still larger extent in the daily practice of palliative and hospice care, thus further research to reveal more detailed systematic information is needed to improve relatives' psychological burden and quality of life.

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Identifying and Addressing Family Caregiver Anxiety

Family caregivers are an increasingly diverse group of individuals who provide significant amounts of direct and indirect care for loved ones with long-term chronic illnesses. Caregiver needs are vast, particularly as these relate to the caregiver"s quality of life. However, caregivers are often unlikely to address their personal and health-related concerns. Unmet needs combined with the caregiving role often lead to high levels of caregiver anxiety. Unaddressed, this anxiety is likely to result in poor health and low quality of life. Nurses, along with the health care team, are well positioned to assess, monitor, intervene, and reassess anxiety levels in caregivers using standardized screening tools across care settings. This article focuses on the family caregiver anxiety symptom in community-based settings, where health care providers have unique opportunities to detect this symptom in a familiar environment and begin immediate intervention leading to promotion of quality of life for the caregiver and subsequently the care recipient. Additional research efforts should be focused on health care provider goals of care, dyadic assessments, and monitoring of caregiver needs while caring for their loved ones aging in place.

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Perceived Needs of The Family Caregivers of People with Dementia in a Mediterranean Setting: A Qualitative Study

The purpose of this study was to identify, classify and analyze the perceived needs of caregivers of elderly people with dementia during the care process. A descriptive phenomenological qualitative study using seven focus groups was conducted in different primary health care centers in the province of Jaén (Spain) between July 2012 and February 2013. Eighty-two family caregivers who were caring for people with dementia in different stages of the disease were selected by purposeful maximum variation sampling. Data were analyzed and organized thematically, considering the semantic and pragmatic content and field notes. Two main categories of the perceived needs of caregivers were identified. The first was related to the management of caring for a relative with dementia, and the second was related to the management of the caregivers' own care. Our findings support the provision of comprehensive interventions for the improvement of caregivers' emotional health that encompass more than one care need. This is where psycho-educational interventions aimed at managing the various aspects of dementia and self-care in caregivers can be accommodated. In addition, proactive interventions to develop important skills to care for a relative with dementia, which are not perceived as needs by the caregivers, are needed. These include skills in family negotiation, planning and searching for resources outside the family.

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Informational needs of family caregivers of people with intellectual disability who require palliative care: a two-phase integrative review of the literature

Background: People with intellectual disabilities are living longer, with increasingly complex needs and their family caregivers may have a broad scope of unmet needs. Aims: To identify the most common needs of family caregivers, to identify gaps in the literature, and distinguish the information needs of family caregivers of people with intellectual disabilities who require palliative care. Methods: This two phase literature review used five electronic databases (CINAHL, PsycINFO, Medline, Cochrane and Pubmed). Phase 1 involved a review of systematic reviews of the needs of family caregivers across healthcare settings. Phase 2 explored the commonly reported information needs from phase 1, in relation to family caregivers of people with intellectual disability who require palliative care. There was no research explicit to the information needs of these family caregivers. Findings: This review reveals potential information needs which may exist, guided by the palliative caregiving literature; alluding to information needs surrounding the disease, finances, and psychological or practical support. Conclusion: It is surmised that a greater scope of informational need exists for this population and further research is pertinent for international healthcare settings. 

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Palliative care for patients with motor neurone disease and their bereaved carers: a qualitative study

Background: Internationally, it is widely accepted that holistic care is as an integral part of the care for people with motor neurone disease (MND), and their informal carers. However the optimal role of generalist and specialist palliative care, and how it integrates with specialist neurology services, is not fully established. Using a qualitative approach we sought to examine end of life care for people with MND in Northern Ireland, and the role of specialist and generalist palliative care. Methods: Qualitative study involving a convenience sample of 13 bereaved carers recruited using the Northern Ireland MND Register. Data collection consisted of semi-structured interviews with the bereaved carers of patients who had died 3–24 months previously with a diagnosis of MND. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Findings illuminated variations in relation to the levels of holistic care provided to this cohort of patients. Unmanaged respiratory and psychological symptoms caused perceived distress amongst patients. Participants' experiences additionally highlighted reluctance amongst patients with MND to engage with services such as specialist palliative care. Conversely, for those who received input from specialist palliative care services carers portrayed these services to be of great benefit to the patient. Conclusions: Patients with MND in Northern Ireland may have many unmet holistic care needs. Key areas that require particular focus in terms of service development include neuromuscular respiratory physiotherapy and psychological services for patients. Future research must explore an optimal model of holistic care delivery for patients with MND and how this can be effectively integrated to best meet this patient cohorts palliative care needs.

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Transitioning into the caregiver role following a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or related dementia: A scoping review

Objectives: To identify experiences, needs, interventions and outcomes for caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease or related dementia as they transition into this new role following diagnosis.; Design: Scoping review of published literature.; Data Sources: A search for published articles was conducted in PsycINFO, Scopus, Ovid and Web of Science databases.; Review Methods: The Arksey and O'Malley methodological framework guided the review. Studies were screened independently for inclusion by two persons. A total of 955 studies, after duplicates removed, were found by the database search. From these, 127 full-text articles were retained through the screening of titles and abstracts by two reviewers. The two reviewers assessed 46 full-text articles for eligibility. The final 29 studies identified caregiver experiences, needs, and interventions during the period following a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or related dementia in the scoping review.; Results: Twenty-nine studies were organized around three major categories: i) family caregiver experiences on receiving the diagnosis (n = 23), ii) needs during this time of transition (n = 18), and iii) interventions and outcomes to support their transition into the caregiver role (n = 5). While studies may have addressed more than one topic, 16 studies intersected categories of both caregiver experience and needs, and one study intersected categories of needs and interventions. There were several studies that focused more specifically on the caregiver's initial reactions to a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or related dementia (n = 9), the emotional responses to the diagnosis (n = 14), changes in personal relationships and responsibilities with a new role (n = 16). Caregiver needs following the diagnosis included knowledge and information (n = 14), emotional and psychological support (n = 11), and assistance with care planning (n = 7). Five papers examined interventions specifically tailored to caregiver needs at this juncture, which support the transition into the caregiver role.; Conclusions: The time of receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or related dementia is a critical period in the process of transitioning into caregiver role. This period marks a new phase in the process of caring by family caregivers. Thus, it is important to fully understand the experiences and needs of caregivers and effective interventions in order to better support their transition into this new role.

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Online Resources: What Family Carers Think

In 2018, a survey found that 82% of the Irish population, across all age groups, had used the internet in some way in the three months preceding the survey (Central Statistics Office, 2018). Ninety-seven percent of those aged between 16 and 29, and nearly half of those aged between 60 and 74, had done so. It is clear, then, that  increasingly the internet is becoming a tool that must be understood and utilised as a viable way to supplement supports for family carers.

In order to discover how family carers in Ireland are using – and could be using – online services and supports, Care Alliance Ireland (in consultation with the National Carers Week partner organisations) undertook a survey of Irish family carers in April 2019.

300 family carers responded online, and a summary of their responses are included here. The purpose of this report is to highlight how family carers are using the internet to connect with others, to get supports and information from not-for-profit and statutory agencies, and to manage their lives as family carers. It should be noted that this is not a representative sample of Irish family carers – the survey was administered online and disseminated via the National Carers Week Facebook page and other online channels.

Internet supports are not, of course, a substitute for significant one-to-one supports. There will always be a need for the timely and adequate provision of in-home respite, therapies and all the other supports which are necessary to create a positive environment for a family carer to provide the best possible care to a family member or friend. However, if used in conjunction with existing supports they can be a source of peer support and a way to tackle the social isolation and loneliness that many family carers experience – in particular in rural and geographically isolated locations.

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Recognising and managing the psychosocial needs of family carers: It's time for change

This editorial discusses the availability of resources to support carers and recommends a better focus on family-centred care.

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Population-Based Profile of Mental Health and Support Service Need Among Family Caregivers of Adults With Cancer

PURPOSE: We examined associations between caregiving intensity and mental health among cancer caregivers at the population level and potential moderation by an actionable intervention target, support service needs. METHODS: Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System survey data (2015) from caregivers of adult patients with cancer was analyzed. Caregiving intensity included hours per week caregiving (high, > 20; low, ≤ 20) and caregiving duration (long, > 2 years; short, ≤ 2 years). Mental health was reported as number of mentally unhealthy days (MUDs) in the past 30. Support service needs comprised caregiving classes, service access, support groups, counseling, and respite care. Multivariable linear regression models were performed adjusting for sociodemographics and sampling weights. RESULTS: A total of 1,831 caregivers were included in the study, representing approximately 1.1 million cancer caregivers in the 18 US states, distributed with the following intensity: 122 (8.3%) caregivers reported care at high hours/long duration, 213 (13.1%) high hours/short duration, 329 (18.4%) low hours/long duration, and 910 (60.2%) low hours/short duration. Mean MUDs was 6 (SE, 0.5). The highest reported unmet service need was help with service access (48.4%). Higher caregiving intensity and support service need were associated with more MUDs (P <.05), with a significant interaction (P =.02) between caregiving intensity and unmet support service needs. High hour/long duration caregivers reporting any unmet needs had a mean of 15 versus 8 MUDs for those with no unmet needs. CONCLUSION: High-intensity cancer caregiving was associated with poor mental health, especially for those reporting support service needs. Developing strategies to optimize support service provision for high-intensity cancer caregivers is warranted. 

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Facilitators and barriers to supporting individuals with spinal cord injury in the community: experiences of family caregivers and care recipients

Purpose: Family members make an important contribution to informal and formal care, as well as the overall health and wellbeing of individuals with spinal cord injury. Caregiving often results in negative outcomes which, if not addressed, threaten the sustainability of these critical supports. We sought to explore the perceptions of individuals with spinal cord injury and their family caregivers regarding the facilitators and barriers to undertaking and sustaining the caregiving role in the community.; Methods: A qualitative descriptive approach with semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis was employed to determine key themes arising from individuals with spinal cord injury (n = 19) and their family members' (n = 16) experiences.; Results: The following four facilitators to caregiving were identified: access to community support services, positive coping in relationship, social support, and mastery of caregiving roles. Conversely, the following six barriers to caregiving were identified: lack of access to community resources, lack of knowledge about resources and formal training, fragmented continuity of care, negative coping in relationship, role strain, and caregiver injury or illness.; Conclusions: The current study demonstrated that positive coping, social support, skills training, access to community services and continuity of care contribute significantly to the sustainability of the spinal cord injury family caregiving role. As such, the development of future caregiver interventions should consider these facilitators. Implications for Rehabilitation Family caregivers make an important contribution to the care processes and overall quality of life of individuals with spinal cord injury post-discharge into the community. The potential negative effects of caregiving could threaten the sustainability of these critical supports. Positive coping, social support, skills training, access to community services, and continuity of care contribute significantly to the sustainability of the spinal cord injury family caregiving role. This study shows the need for better integration of family members during the rehabilitation and discharge process to better prepare them for the caregiving role.

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Caring for the person with cancer and the role of digital technology in supporting carers

Purpose: Informal carers may experience a range of unmet needs during the caring period and, at times, lack support to adequately manage care of the person with cancer and balance personal family and work commitments. The aim of this study was to understand the needs of informal carers of people with cancer and how digital technology may be used to address carers' needs.; Methods: Focus groups and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 45 carers. Carers discussed supports and services they used to address their needs, barriers to accessing support, and how digital technology could assist in meeting their needs.; Results: Carers used informal support such as friends and family and formal support including respite and community groups during the caring period. Barriers to accessing support included reluctance to seek external help, sensitivities associated with prioritising carers' needs over patients' needs, and the adequacy of information received. Technology was reported to have the potential to allow carers' privacy to seek support; however, carers' attitudes towards technology differed.; Conclusions: Carers require support during the caring period to help balance their own needs with the needs of the person receiving cancer treatment. Digital technology may provide an opportunity to deliver support to carers; however, further research is needed to assess the appropriateness of these interventions to inform improved health outcomes for this vulnerable group.

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The experiences of family caregivers of people with advanced dementia living in nursing homes, with a specific focus on spouses: A narrative literature review

Dementia affects individuals, families and their relationships. While there is increasing evidence about the experiences of family caregivers of people with dementia, relatively little is known of their experiences when their relatives are living in nursing homes with dementia. This narrative literature review aimed to synthesise current knowledge about family caregivers' experience of having relatives living in nursing homes with advanced dementia, particularly focussing on community-dwelling spouses. Using a systematic approach, textual narrative synthesis was undertaken. Four themes were identified: changing relationships, the need for companionship, adjusting to new roles and relationships and anticipating death/looking towards the future. Two additional themes were present only for spouses: changing identity – feeling married, being married; and alone but... The review demonstrates that some aspects of spouses' experiences are different from those of other family caregivers. Longitudinal studies are required to better understand spouses' motivations to continue caring in this context and to find ways of supporting them.

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Defining Essential Elements of Caregiver Support in Gynecologic Cancers Using the Modified Delphi Method

PURPOSE: Family caregivers are instrumental to patients with gynecologic cancer and can be deeply affected by the demands of caregiving. Our aims were as follows: (1) increase awareness of unmet needs of caregivers and (2) identify and prioritize the unmet needs of caregivers and essential support services to be provided in gynecologic cancer centers. METHODS: From July 2017 to June 2018, a 16-person steering committee and 40 stakeholders, including caregivers, patients, and clinicians, participated in a modified Delphi approach to generate, review, and prioritize a set of essential elements for caregiver support. Stakeholders prioritized caregiver needs and brainstormed, discussed, and prioritized essential support services to meet those needs, using three rounds of a consensus-building protocol. Basic descriptive statistics were performed to feed means and rankings back to stakeholders before each round. RESULTS: The top three caregiver needs were as follows: (1) to obtain information about their loved one's cancer, (2) how to provide support and comfort to their loved one, and (3) how to maintain their own emotional health and well-being. Fifteen essential elements of support for caregivers of patients with gynecologic cancer were identified and ranged from elements currently attainable (eg, information on managing symptoms, skilled-care training, a point person to help navigate the system) to more aspirational elements (eg, integrative services to promote caregiver well-being). CONCLUSION: To ensure comprehensive quality care, clinicians and health care providers should strive to provide caregivers with the identified essential elements of support. Health care settings should work to incorporate caregiver needs into cancer care delivery.

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Identifying and integrating patient and caregiver perspectives in clinical practice guidelines for percutaneous renal biopsy

Aim: Percutaneous renal biopsy is often essential for providing reliable diagnostic and prognostic information for people with suspected kidney disease, however the procedure can lead to complications and concerns among patients. This study aims to identify and integrate patient priorities and perspectives into the Kidney Health Australia – Caring for Australasians with Renal Impairment clinical practice guidelines for renal biopsy, to ensure patient‐relevance. Methods: We convened a workshop, consisting of three simultaneous focus groups and a plenary session, with 10 patients who had undergone a renal biopsy and seven caregivers. Topics and outcomes prioritized by patients and their caregivers were compared to those identified by the guideline working group, which was comprised of seven nephrologists. Transcripts and flipcharts were analyzed thematically to identify the reasons for participants' choices. Results: In total, 34 topics/outcomes were identified, 14 of which were common to the list of 28 previously identified by the guideline working group. Most of the new topics identified by patients/caregivers were related to communication and education, psychosocial support, and self‐management. We identified five themes underpinning the reasons for topic and outcome selection: alleviating anxiety and unnecessary distress, minimizing discomfort and disruption, supporting family and caregivers, enabling self‐management, and protecting their kidney. A new topic on patient care and education was added to the guideline as a result. Conclusions: Patient and caregiver involvement in developing guidelines on renal biopsy ensured that their concerns and needs for education, psychosocial support, and self‐management were explicitly addressed; enabling a patient‐centred approach to renal biopsies. Summary at a Glance: This paper, with a patient‐centred care perspective, provides opportunities to improve care for patients undergoing renal biopsy. Meanwhile, it identifies the importance of education, psychosocial support, and self‐management for both patients and caregivers.

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Experiences and support needs of older carers: A focus group study of perceptions from the voluntary and statutory sectors

Objectives: Older informal carers play a vital, growing role in supporting others with long-term health conditions but their support needs and experiences are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to explore the perceptions of volunteers and professionals of the experiences and support needs of older carers (aged 70+ years). Methods: Thirty-five volunteers and professionals working with older carers in the voluntary and statutory sectors participated in a series of focus groups in outer London, United Kingdom. Groups were audio recorded, transcribed and subjected to thematic analysis Findings: Five main themes were identified. These included participants' perceptions of older carers' ambivalence about asking for support, their multiple losses, often restricted lives, social isolation and loneliness and concerns for their loved ones when they can no longer care. Overall, these themes are similar to those reported for adult carers in general but older carers' experiences were regarded as more challenging primarily because of their pride, attitudes to caring and because of their age, their own health was often declining making the physical aspects of caring and leaving their homes more difficult. Concerns about the future are thought to be particularly important for older carers of adult children with disabilities because they expect to be outlived by their children, although similar concerns were voiced by spouses of partners living with dementia. Conclusions: Professionals and volunteers need to consider these additional challenges for older carers. Support with accessing services, for example from the voluntary sector, is important as is future exploration of how to support older carers in planning for the future care for their loved ones is needed. 

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My husband is not ill; he has memory loss - caregivers´ perspectives on health care services for persons with dementia

Background: To explore informal caregivers' perspectives and perceived needs related to health care services/activities for older adults with dementia, in order to understand barriers and facilitators to participation. The study represents a first step, and explores challenges to overcome, in order to design new activities and services adapted to older adults with dementia.; Methods: We used a qualitative approach where eight caregivers of people with a dementia diagnosis were included. We recruited participants from a counselling service centre, for home dwelling people with dementia and their families, in a Norwegian municipality. We transcribed data from two focus group interviews and completed analyses by use of Systematic Text Condensation method.; Results: The findings indicate that current health care services for people with dementia do not meet the needs of either the people with dementia or their caregivers. The few activities/services offered are characterised by passivity and lack of individual and personalised care. Existing health care services and new activities should consider each individual's resources, interests, and physical function to ensure that both people with dementia and their caregivers want to accept support.; Conclusions: To develop health care services and activities for people with dementia, participation and involvement from both people with dementia and their caregivers is necessary. People with dementia are more than their diagnosis. Future health care providers have to widen their focus and consider the individual person with dementia.

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Needs of persons with dementia and their family caregivers in dementia cafés

Background and Aims: Several studies have shown the effectiveness and diversity of dementia cafés, whereas there are few published articles in academic research focusing on what persons with dementia and their family caregivers need and whether the services provided satisfy their needs. This study aimed to identify the needs of persons with dementia and their family caregivers participating in dementia cafés in Japan.; Methods: Interviews and participant observations were conducted in nine dementia cafés. Study participants were persons with dementia, their caregivers, and the staff in dementia cafés. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis.; Results and Discussion: A total of 24 participants were recruited. Needs for persons with dementia were subdivided into five categories: to express their feelings about their current condition; to be accommodated through consideration of their physical and cognitive status; for changes in their health conditions to be noticed; to enjoy entertainment; and to keep in touch with others inside and outside of the dementia café. Needs for family caregivers were subdivided into four subcategories: to express their feelings such as anxiety and guilt and complaints regarding caregiving; to consult about difficulties in daily life; to listen to other family caregivers' experiences; and to keep in touch with others inside and outside of the dementia café. The needs of persons with dementia and family caregivers differ partly.; Conclusions: Dementia cafés should create programmes and comfortable environments answering to the differences of their needs.

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Informal Caregivers' Perceptions of Needs From Hospice Providers: An Integrative Review

Introduction: In the United States, informal caregivers (ICs) provide care to over 70% of patients at the end of life. Approximately 500 000 ICs contribute to the end-of-life care for patients in the United Kingdom. Hospice care is expanding worldwide to meet the needs of these ICs. Because ICs play an instrumental role in the provision of hospice services, and their perspective of their needs of formal services requires further clarity, the purpose of this review is to synthesize research that elucidates perceptions of ICs regarding their experiences with hospice providers.; Methods: Twelve research studies regarding perceptions of informal hospice caregivers were obtained by searching CINAHL, PsycINFO, and MEDLINE databases.; Results: Four primary themes emerged that describe what ICs perceive as beneficial contributions of hospice providers in aiding their caregiving: providing easy access to desired care, building up the caregiver, forming a relationship, and utilizing culturally relevant interpersonal skills.; Conclusion: Particular attention must be paid to ensuring that the IC is acknowledged as an expert part of the team. Clearly explaining available services, creating better ways to ease the IC's transition from caregiving to bereavement, and recruiting minority hospice providers are other important efforts that could improve the caregiving experience. The needs of ICs are complex, but by listening to their perspective, we can begin to clarify the best ways to aid them in their difficult job.

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Identifying Needs for Self-management Interventions for Adults With CKD and Their Caregivers: A Qualitative Study

Rationale& Objective: Fostering the ability of patients to self-manage their chronic kidney disease (CKD), with support from caregivers and providers, may slow disease progression and improve health outcomes. However, little is known about such patients' needs for self-management interventions. We aimed to identify and describe the needs of adults with CKD and informal caregivers for CKD self-management support.; Study Design: Descriptive qualitative study using semi-structured interviews and focus groups.; Setting& Participants: 6 focus groups (37 participants) and 11 telephone interviews with adults with CKD (stages 1-5, not on renal replacement therapy) and informal caregivers from across Canada.; Analytic Approach: Thematic analysis.; Results: 3 major themes were identified: (1) empowerment through knowledge (awareness and understanding of CKD, diet challenges, medication and alternative treatments, attuning to the body, financial implications, mental and physical health consequences, travel and transportation restrictions, and maintaining work and education), (2) activation through information sharing (access, meaningful and relevant, timing, and amount), and (3) tangible supports for the health journey (family, community, and professionals).; Limitations: Participants were primarily white, educated, married, and English speaking, which limits generalizability.; Conclusions: There are opportunities to enhance CKD self-management support by addressing knowledge pertinent to living well with CKD and priority areas for sharing information and providing tangible support. Future efforts may consider the development of innovative CKD self-management support interventions based on the diverse patient and caregiver needs identified in this study.

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The burden, support and needs of primary family caregivers of people experiencing schizophrenia in Beijing communities: a qualitative study

Background: Family caregivers play crucial roles in taking care of people experiencing schizophrenia in the community. The burdens on and needs of caregivers of these patients should be emphasized. This study aimed to explore the perspective of family caregivers of people experiencing schizophrenia in the communities of Beijing in terms of the burdens of care and the acquisition and further need for support in order to provide guidance to health care providers regarding how to target therapeutic interventions for families of individuals experiencing schizophrenia and to provide recommendations for policy makers to tailor countermeasures and services.; Methods: A total of 20 family caregivers of schizophrenia patients were enrolled in our study. A face-to-face and semi-structured in-depth qualitative interview study was conducted to explore the caregivers' perspective on the burden on caregivers, support and further needs. This study was conducted in the community health service centres where the family caregivers regularly visit. The study was carried out according to good ethical practices, data analysis and reporting guidelines.; Results: Most participants reported that they were suffering from heavy life burdens and had negative experiences with respect to obtaining social support, and they emphasized that they would require more support. Economic and daily housework burdens, limited social communication, and psychological stresses were the principal burdens. Support including financial, medical and information and educational support did not satisfy the needs of the caregivers and their patients. More financial support, respect, and rehabilitation institutions were reported to be needs of the caregivers.; Conclusions: Family caregivers of people experiencing schizophrenia suffer from heavy physical and psychological burdens; however, the current support provided is insufficient. More services and better public attitudes should be considered for people experiencing schizophrenia and their caregivers.

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The unmet needs of family members of patients with progressive neurological disease in the Czech Republic

Background: Caring for patients with a progressive neurological disease (PND) causes stress that may impact on the state of health as well as the quality of life of the caring family. Objective: The aim of the study was to explore the unmet needs of the family members of patients with PND in advanced stages. Methods: Grounded theory (constructivist approach) was used to conceptualize the patterns of unmet care needs. Data collection methodology involved focus groups (n = 4) and interviews, in which a total of 52 people participated (patients, family members, and professionals). Results: Based on the data analysis, three domains (family situation, role of the caregiver, and professional help) were identified, which illustrate the unmet needs. In particular, lack of information about the disease and available support available resulted in a deterioration mutual understanding between the patient, family, and the medical staff; also increased stress for the caregiver, and lowered quality of life for the caring family. Conclusion: Family members expect health workers to provide them with support, which includes informing them about the possible help available from the health and social welfare systems.

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A translational approach to design effective intervention tools for informal caregivers of dependent cancer patients

Objectives Caregivers of terminal patients often report a higher prevalence of unmet needs than cancer survivors. However, very few interventions have been carried out to support caregivers of patients in advanced stages, and, in most cases, they have not been rigorously designed and evaluated. The ultimate aim of this research was to obtain specific information about the sociodemographic characteristics, the different types of care provided, the symptoms due to burdens, the impact of caring on the quality of life, and the unmet needs of informal caregivers of dependent patients with cancer. This is to design effective intervention programs that can be implemented from the hospital setting itself and therefore, to improve their quality of life and prevent the deterioration of their health. Study design A cross-sectional design and survey methodology were used for descriptive purposes. Methods The sample was composed of 132 informal caregivers of dependent patients with cancer, from a public hospital in Valencia, Spain, who were identified through the patient database of the oncology service, over the 4-month data collection period. Self-administered questionnaires were combined with personal interviews: Interview Protocol for the main caregiver, Questionnaire ICUB97, and survey of hospital quality. Results The most frequently provided types of care included the following: keeping the patient company, acting as an intermediary between them and healthcare workers, and helping them to do basic daily life activities. The main negative consequences caregivers reported were the following: feeling more tired, having less free time, changing their daily routines, and having fewer social relationships/interactions and various emotional and physical symptoms. Many of the needs of informal caregivers were not being met: resolution of doubts about illness, training in the care they should provide to the patient, and psychological help. Conclusions Recommendations for the development of effective intervention programs are offered: increasing the psychological services provided in oncology units, training medical staff in communication skills, facilitating access to information about the disease through different means, training for informal caregivers in care techniques, coping and communication skills, self-care, and organization of time. On the one hand, implementing effective intervention programs for informal caregivers will reduce the amount withdrawing from their care duties and on the other hand, the proliferation of what are known as secondary patients. Highlights • Caregiving women were more prevalent than men, with an average age of 45 years, and a medium socioeconomic status. • The most frequently provided cares were helping patients in basic activities and mediating between them and medical staff. • The main negative consequences for caregivers were changing daily routines and various emotional and physical symptoms. • The main unmet need of caregivers was specific information and training about the care they should provide to the patient.

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Equitably improving outcomes for cancer survivors and supporting caregivers: A blueprint for care delivery, research, education, and policy

Cancer care delivery is being shaped by growing numbers of cancer survivors coupled with provider shortages, rising costs of primary treatment and follow-up care, significant survivorship health disparities, increased reliance on informal caregivers, and the transition to value-based care. These factors create a compelling need to provide coordinated, comprehensive, personalized care for cancer survivors in ways that meet survivors' and caregivers' unique needs while minimizing the impact of provider shortages and controlling costs for health care systems, survivors, and families. The authors reviewed research identifying and addressing the needs of cancer survivors and caregivers and used this synthesis to create a set of critical priorities for care delivery, research, education, and policy to equitably improve survivor outcomes and support caregivers. Efforts are needed in 3 priority areas: 1) implementing routine assessment of survivors' needs and functioning and caregivers' needs; 2) facilitating personalized, tailored, information and referrals from diagnosis onward for both survivors and caregivers, shifting services from point of care to point of need wherever possible; and 3) disseminating and supporting the implementation of new care methods and interventions.

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

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

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

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

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Unmet Support Needs of Informal Caregivers of Older Adults

Due to projected growth of the 65-and-older population and concerns of an impending care gap, reliance on informal caregivers is expected to increase. Improving support for informal caregivers is viewed as a national priority, yet research related to the unmet support needs of informal caregivers is limited. The purpose of this cross-sectional correlational study was to examine predictive relationships between contextual factors (caregiving relationship and type of illness) and environmental factors (rurality) and the unmet support needs (classes, service access, support groups, counseling, and respite) of informal caregivers of older adults. The theoretical framework was Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. Archival data were drawn from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System optional caregiver module dataset provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Findings from multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that spousal caregivers had 42.7% lower odds than adult child caregivers of reporting unmet support needs related to service access. Dementia caregivers had 2.05 times higher odds of reporting unmet support needs of counseling, 1.31 times higher odds of reporting unmet support needs related to service access, and 1.91 times higher odds of reporting unmet support needs for respite care, relative to other caregivers. Caregivers residing in a suburban county had 28.7% lower odds and caregivers not residing in a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) had 30.5% lower odds of reporting unmet support needs related to service access, relative to caregivers residing in the center city of an MSA. Health care leaders and policymakers may use the findings to distribute resources and tailor interventions to better meet the needs of informal caregivers of older adults.

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Identifying support needs to improve rural dementia services for people with dementia and their carers: A consultation study in Victoria, Australia

Objective: The support and service needs of people with dementia and their carers are not always addressed in rural regions, yet family carers play an important role in supporting the person living with dementia to remain living in their own home. This study sought to identify and prioritise service and support needs of people with dementia and carers. Design: A two-phase mixed methods study involving qualitative focus groups and a survey. Setting: A rural region in Victoria, Australia. Participants: People living with dementia, carers and health professionals. Results: Focus groups identified 12 areas of need. A follow-up survey reached consensus on the priority areas for service improvement. These included diagnosis and information access, dementia training, community understanding and carer support. Conclusion: Living in a rural region imposes significant challenges on people with dementia and carers. We need to find ways to address gaps in service provision for carers and people with dementia in rural settings and examine their applicability in other rural regions more broadly.

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The needs of informal caregivers and barriers of primary care workers toward dementia management in primary care: a qualitative study in Beijing

Background: Informal caregivers of people with dementia in Beijing are increasingly called upon to provide home-based care for their patients due to the increasing number of dementia patients and the shortage of standardized institutional solutions of care for patients in China. This study aimed to clarify the needs of informal caregivers and barriers of primary care workers toward dementia management in primary care in Beijing to provide references that may help to improve the care and services provided to individuals with dementia and their family caregivers residing in urban China. Methods: A mixed-methods approach was used in this study. We performed individual in-depth interviews with 10 informal caregivers. Moreover, we carried out focus group interviews with 29 primary care workers. Content analysis was used to separately identify themes and codes. Discrepancies were discussed until final agreement was achieved. Results: Three themes representing the core attitudes of informal caregivers and primary care workers were identified: care knowledge and skills, psychological counseling, and collaborative management. Most primary care workers believed that the management of dementia patients in primary care was necessary. However, due to the heavy work load and different medical specialties involved, these workers were unable to manage it. Conclusions: Professional training focused on dementia for primary care workers should be strengthened. At the same time, the establishment of a community-based dementia team management model that includes specialists, community health service centers (CHSCs), and community committees should be explored. 

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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

Disorders of consciousness (DoC) disrupt close relationships. This study investigated the experience of a DoC in the family. Four main themes were identified from semi-structured interviews with nine females and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA): (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. 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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Why the caregivers of bipolar patients need to be in constant touch with a physician: A qualitative study of text messages from patient caregivers to a physician

Background: The variety of caregiver's needs of bipolar patients signifies the importance of performing dedicated interventions to help this group of caregivers based on the cultural conditions of the country in which they live; the present study therefore seeks to address this issue through a different method. Methods: The families of 28 patients with bipolar disorder type 1 who were treated for at least two months by a single psychiatrist gradually entered the study over a six-month period. They received the phone number of the psychiatrist in attendance as soon as the patient was in remission according to the same psychiatrist's interview. A total of 1908 texts were sent and received and each family sent an average of 68.14 text messages during the three years, with the minimum being 40 and the maximum 83. All the text messages were transcribed verbatim and were evaluated by three faculty members through the qualitative content analysis method. Results: In this study we found three themes and there were some codes in each theme. 1. The first theme was "Training" which the caregivers requested advice about symptoms and tests, the course of the disease, assurance, medication side-effects and their management, how to stop smoking, how to control high-risk behaviors and double checking appointments with the physician, making for a total of 1079 text messages received. 2. The second theme was "Reporting" which contained a description of emergency symptoms and requesting advice, reporting response or no response to the medications, reporting medication adherence and dosage taken. 3. The third theme: "The expression of feelings" including the expression of gratitude, saying congratulations on national and other celebrations and expressing anger and hatred. Conclusion: Overall, the caregivers of patients with bipolar disorder have many needs; meeting these needs affects the patients' outcome and the caregivers, but requires a greater attention by the healthcare team and it is necessary for these needs to be evaluated in the context of each distinct country.

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Spiritual needs experienced by the patient's family caregiver under Oncology palliative care

Objective: To understand the spiritual needs of the patients' family caregiver under Oncology palliative care. Method: A descriptive, qualitative study with 20 family caregivers of patients hospitalized in an Oncology palliative unit. The data were collected through a phenomenological interview, and analyzed by the method of Amadeo Giorgi supported in the Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception. Results: The categories were unveiled: "Spirituality as a foundation for life"; "Spiritual needs sublimated by the family caregiver"; and "Care expected by the nurse". Conclusion: Family caregivers appropriate spirituality as a coping strategy and meeting the purpose and meaning of the moment experienced. It is profitable for the nurse to contemplate the spiritual needs of the caregiver in order to provide a guided assistance in the humanization of care and comprehensive care. Therefore, there is a need for new studies that address this dimension to the family caregiver in the field of Oncology, since this care is incipient by the nurse.

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Supporting Family Caregivers of Seniors Within Acute and Continuing Care Systems

Family caregivers who provide care to seniors at no cost to the healthcare system are an integral part of the healthcare system. Caregiving, however, can cause significant emotional, physical and financial burden. We held a one-day symposium on how to best involve and support family caregivers in the healthcare system. The symposium brought together caregivers, healthcare providers, administrators and policy-makers to identify needs and make recommendations to address these issues. Methods Participants engaged in conversation circles which were audio-recorded and transcribed. Data were qualitatively analyzed alongside written notes provided by participants. Results Symposium participants identified a lack of both orientation and education for healthcare providers about family caregivers and standardized processes for assessing caregiver burden. They highlighted a need to ensure that the family experience is captured and included as an essential component of care, foster a culture of collaboration, expand the notion of the healthcare team to include family caregivers, provide more integrated palliative care, and enhance policies and programs to acknowledge family caregivers. Conclusion There is a need to recognize the essential role of family caregivers in seniors' health and well-being, and to take on a more comprehensive approach to patient care.

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Experiences of bereaved family caregivers of patients with CTCL

Summary: Cutaneous T‐cell lymphomas (CTCL) are rare types of skin cancer. Skin may develop tumours or ulcers. Sometimes these may cover quite large areas and feel itchy or uncomfortable. Internal body parts may be affected in more advanced disease. Only a few people are diagnosed each year (8 per million), so most GPs do not meet people with this disease. This study from the U.K. aimed to find out about the experiences of family or close friends of people who had died because of the disease (not all people with this disease die of it). Relatives of 11 patients with CTCL who had died were interviewed, four months or more after the death. The themes from what they said are described. Family members gave vivid descriptions of how the illness changed the appearance of their relative. They spoke of how difficult it was to look after someone with very damaged skin. They described the many different things they had to do to care for their relative both in hospital and at home. Some patients had frequently been in and out of hospital. Some caregivers expected them to come home each time and so had not felt prepared when their relative died. Several caregivers described how upsetting it was to see how illness affected their relative before they died. The authors say that family caregivers should be seen as part of the care team looking after the patient. They recommend that carers' needs for practical and emotional support and information should be considered during each patient's illness. Support for carers should also be offered following the death of their relative. 

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Investigation into the needs of informal caregivers of stroke survivors in Antananarivo, Madagascar

Background: Stroke is the second leading cause of disability in Madagascar, half of those affected are <50. All treatment must be paid for; however, 92% live on <2€/day, so informal caregivers are very important. Method: In 2017, 15 caregivers of stroke survivors were interviewed by a medical student, in the rehabilitation department of the university hospital in Antananarivo, Madagascar. A semi-structured interview guide was devised exploring their understanding of stroke, assistance in activities of daily living (ADL) (using visual cues), and care burden (based on caregiver burden tools). Audio recordings and notes were analysed using thematic analysis. Results/Findings: Caregivers often lacked understanding on preventing stroke recurrence and the extent of possible recovery. Care burden was considerable, including impact on own well-being and finances, and caregivers felt that they had little access to specialized equipment or help. Participants were desperate for information regarding stroke care and recovery; this may have influenced how they approached the interviewer, as a potential information source, and therefore not been as critical of the health service. Discussion: These findings are similar to other literature on stroke survivors and caregivers in high- and middle-income countries; no literature was found in low-income countries. Limitations to this study include that a high-income group were interviewed and a translator was used. There are no occupational therapists in Madagascar, which limits the exploration of their potential benefit. Conclusion: This study is the first to explore the needs of caregivers of stroke survivors in Madagascar, the findings of which can help to inform future work in low-income countries on stroke carers. 

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Perceived burden among spouse, adult child, and parent caregivers

Aims: To identify what factors are associated with the caregiver burden of spouse caregivers, adult child caregivers, and parent caregivers. Background: Caregivers often feel stressed and perceive caregiving as a burden. The caregiver burden has been little studied from the perspective of the personal relationship between caregiver and care recipient. Design: Cross‐sectional study. Methods: A random sample of 4,000 caregivers in Finland was drawn in 2014 and those who remained either spouse, adult child, or parent caregivers at data collection were included in the analysis (N = 1,062). Data collection included recipients’ characteristics. Caregivers’ perceived burden was measured using the Caregivers of Older People in Europe index. General linear models were used to explain perceived caregiver burden. Results: Care recipients’ low level of cognitive function was associated with greater perceived burden. Higher quality of support was associated with lower perceived burden among female and male spouse caregivers, daughter caregivers, and mother caregivers. Low cognitive function explained 3–6% and high quality of support 2–5% of the total variation in the burden explained by the models, which ranged between 45–55%. Conclusion: Because cognitive challenges of care recipient are associated with greater perceived burden and high quality of support with lower burden among most of the caregiver groups, high‐quality tailored nursing interventions will be needed especially for the caregivers of the most frail care recipients

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Caregiver burden among Chinese family caregivers of patients with lung cancer: A cross-sectional survey

Purpose: To investigate the status of caregiver burden and to identify the factors related to caregiver burden among Chinese family caregivers of patients with lung cancer.; Methods: A cross-sectional design with convenience sampling was used in this study. Participants (N = 116) from the oncology inpatient ward at one teaching hospital in Chengdu were recruited from June 2015 to June 2016. The following measurement tools were used: a demographic questionnaire, the Social Support Rating Scale, the General Self-efficacy Scale, and the Zarit Burden Interview. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with caregiver burden.; Results: The average ZBI score was 38.8 (SD = 13.4). Patient age (p < 0.01), medical and other types of insurance (p < 0.01), disclosure of the diagnosis to patients (p < 0.01), and social support of the caregiver (p < 0.05) were related to caregiver burden. Fifty-three percent of the variance in caregivers' burden was explained by these identified factors.; Conclusions: Caregiver burden was higher among Chinese caregivers of lung cancer patients compared with the results of previous studies. Patient age, medical and other types of insurance, disclosure of cancer diagnosis to the patient, and caregivers' social support are factors associated with caregiver burden. The results suggest that social support, comprehensive healthcare insurance initiatives, and culture-based communication skill training are potential areas for future intervention.

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Health information management practices in informal caregiving: An artifacts analysis and implications for IT design

Introduction: Unpaid informal caregivers of adult care recipients, including persons with dementia, experience multiple unmet information needs and information management challenges. Objectives: To understand the current personal health information management (PHIM) practices in informal caregiving for adults with and without dementia. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were performed with ten informal caregivers-half of whom were caring for persons with dementia-and four formal caregivers at an adult day service. Interviews centered on a paper-based tool distributed by the day service, the CARE Kit, permitting an artifacts analysis of the tools used by participants for PHIM. Qualitative thematic analysis was applied to interview data. Results: Caregivers' PHIM practices aimed to support daily care management and decision-making on behalf of care recipients, through: 1) information acquisition and integration across multiple sources and records; 2) information maintenance, updating, and use over time; and 3) information sharing and communication with healthcare professionals and other family caregivers. Participants reported advantages and challenges of their PHIM practices and tools, including fitting PHIM into their daily lives, managing PHIM-related cognitive workload, the functionality of PHIM tools, and the dynamic, longitudinal nature of PHIM. Conclusion: The study produced a number of implications for caregiver health information management information technology (CHIM IT), based on findings about the nature of caregivers' practices for managing information for adult care recipients. We present CHIM IT requirements related to privacy and security, customization and flexibility, ease of use, credibility and sensitivity, situation awareness, information integration, delegation and shared use, updating and maintenance, archiving and versioning, communication, agency and information access, and validation.

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296Exploring Personhood in Formal Care Provision in Ireland: Perspectives from Family Carers of People with Dementia

Background: Personhood in dementia is about treating people with dementia with dignity and respect and in a manner that supports their sense of self. It is a key element of person-centered care and a guiding principle in dementia care policy in Ireland. However, there is uncertainty around the concept of personhood and in particular how it is operationalised within formal care provision. This research examines the experiences and perceptions of family carers of people with dementia in relation to personhood and formal care provision.

Methods: This research is theoretically based on personhood as a relational concept. Using semi-structured interviews, family carers are asked about their perceptions of personhood in dementia within the context of formal care provision, supports and services. The interview questions center on important elements of personhood such as communication, flexibility, choice, respect, dignity and self-identity. Thematic analysis is used to examine the participants’ views. A total of 15 interviews were conducted with family carers, which included, spouses, children and siblings of people with dementia living both in the community and in long-term care.

Results: Preliminary results indicate that family carers and people with dementia had little to no choice in the services and supports provided to them. They were accepting of the services they received but identified elements of services which were not supporting of personhood. Some family carers were disappointed by the limited to no supports offered to them.

Conclusion: These findings are very relevant to dementia care in Ireland, both to the design of the system as a whole and also to the provision of care at an individual level. The results are significant for policy makers seeking to ensure that personhood is central in the implementation of current dementia policy and in the regulation of future formal care provision for people with dementia in Ireland.

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Self-efficacy and Stress Among Informal Caregivers of Individuals at End of Life

Researchers have established associations between the stressors of providing informal care and caregiver health risks. Despite the negative consequences, researchers have identified the existence of protective factors that have the potential to buffer or prevent stress. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between self-efficacy and stress in adult informal caregivers providing end-of-life care. This cross-sectional, associational study analyzed data from questionnaires completed by adult informal caregivers providing end-of-life care for an adult in North Texas. Questionnaires provided measures of self-efficacy, stress, and caregiver perceived health. Findings indicated caregiver self-efficacy globally had a significant correlation with stress, whereas caregivers' confidence in caring for themselves had a significant negative relationship with perceived stress. Specifically, study findings indicate caregivers with greater confidence in managing demands of caregiving have lower levels of stress, and caregivers with greater confidence in caring for themselves, specifically, have lower levels of perceived stress. Study findings highlight the importance of caregivers' self-care needs. Health care practitioners should recognize and intervene to support caregivers' self-care needs in order to prevent additional, needless health problems in this population.

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The development of a positive behaviour support programme for families following acquired brain injury

Background/Aims: Families require more specialised support to manage behaviours of concern following acquired brain injury within community settings. Evidence supports the involvement of family caregivers in behaviour interventions, however there are no validated behaviour support approaches for individuals with acquired brain injury emphasising family involvement. This research aims to (1) gain insight from rehabilitation professionals and family caregivers on best practice in behaviour support following acquired brain injury in community settings, and (2) obtain feedback on the proposed Family-directed Positive Behaviour Support Programme, which aims to enhance the capability of family caregivers in supporting behavioural changes in an individual following acquired brain injury. Methods: Rehabilitation professionals (n=8) and family caregivers (n=3) completed a three-round Delphi study with the aim of reaching consensus (75% agreement) regarding research objectives. Findings: All items presented regarding best practice in supporting family caregivers with behaviour support reached consensus. Results were used to refine the content and format of delivery of the Family-directed Positive Behaviour Support programme. Conclusions: Findings suggest an agreement regarding what support is needed, yet this is still not being provided. The Delphi process has made significant contribution to the Family-directed Positive Behaviour Support programme, which aims to inform a family-directed approach to behaviour support following acquired brain injury in community settings. 

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

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

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The effects of a multidisciplinary education course on the burden, health literacy and needs of family caregivers

Chronic diseases are mostly managed by family caregivers that often face the "caregiver burden". This study aimed to understand whether a multidisciplinary theoretical-practical training course could influence the burden, health literacy and needs of caregivers. Seventy-six familial caregivers were asked to complete the Caregiver Burden Inventory-CBI, Caregiver Needs Assessment-CNA, and Health Literacy Questionnaire-HLQ, before and after the course. A significant decrease in CBI and an increase of CNA were observed. However, a significantly higher rate of CBI decrease and a lower increase of CNA were detected in the neurological compared to the oncological group (p = 0.001). Moreover, the ability of the participants to look for and find health information significantly improved. The course contrasted caregivers' burden, increased their search for health information, and revealed their requiring of training and emotional and social support. Caregiver education plays a pivotal role in the management of chronic patients, enhancing the quality of life of both patients and caregivers. Highlights • Caregivers' ability to care for chronic patients can affect patients' outcomes. • Caregivers' needs assessment and education are often neglected in healthcare. • A training course positively influenced caregivers' burden, health literacy and needs. • Caregivers' education is fundamental for the management of chronic patients.

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What would I want? Dementia perspectives and priorities among people with dementia, family carers and service professionals

Different perspectives on dementia, held by people with dementia, carers and professionals working in helping service industries, were examined in 111 interviews across Australia in 2017 to add a recipients' view on what public health campaigning should address. Contrasts were found between the priorities of the different perspectives, plus a common feeling that dementia should become a normal part of social life. Rather than reflecting stigmatising behaviour, all groups expressed a need for knowledge on how to communicate and interact with people with dementia. In contrast to current campaigns, information on prevention and health-care systems were a low priority.

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Global conversations about care (conference review of the Global Carework Summit, 1-3 June 2017, Lowell, Massachusetts, USA)

The Global Carework Summit, organised by the Carework Network and hosted by the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Center on Women and Work, brought together more than 150 attendees from 25 countries at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell) in the USA during 1–3 June 2017. The Carework Network, formed almost 20 years ago by a small group of sociologists studying care, is an all-volunteer, international organisation of researchers, policymakers and advocates involved in various domains of care work. Although it is primarily based in the social sciences, it welcomes members from all academic disciplines and advocacy organisations with an interest in the study of care and care work. 

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Support Needs for Family Caregivers of Clients with Mental Illness in Iran: A Qualitative Study

This paper explored the support needs of family caregivers of people living with a mental illness in Iran. This descriptive study focused on the experiences of 20 family caregivers as well as the views of 29 professional support workers through individual face-to-face interviews. From these interviews three key themes emerged in regards to the care needs of family caregivers: (i) social support; (ii) emotional support; and (iii) safety and security. These themes highlighted the complex role of caring for a family member with a mental illness and the emotional, social and economic challenges that these caregivers experienced as a result. Iranian caregivers garnered support not only from other family members but also from neighbors and religious leaders but lacked the much needed respite care found in western countries. This research study highlighted the importance of ensuring that the caregivers themselves receive appropriate and adequate support to fulfill their caregiving role.

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Providing support to surrogate decision-makers for people living with dementia: Healthcare professional, organisational and community responsibilities

The prevalence of dementia will continue to increase with the ageing of the population. Many people living with dementia will reach a stage where surrogate decision-makers-mostly family carers-will need to make a range of decisions on their behalf. The aim of this study was to learn from surrogate decision-makers how they can be most effectively supported in this role. The study employed a qualitative design using semi-structured face-to-face or telephone interviews with a purposive sample of 34 surrogate decision-makers of people living with dementia. Transcripts of participant interviews were reviewed using a thematic approach to analysis. Four main themes were identified from this analysis: needing greater community awareness of dementia and its impact; intervening early in cognitive decline; relying on health professionals for ongoing support; and seeking and using support from wherever is relevant for each person. Based on this analysis and a review of the literature, we propose a wholistic set of recommendations for the support of surrogate decision-makers. Healthcare professionals need to help family carers understand the likely trajectory of dementia, including the significance of surrogate decision-making. They can support the person living with dementia and their surrogates to undertake advance care planning and they can act as empathic guides during this process. Health and community care organisations need to provide a "key worker" model wherever possible so that the person living with dementia and their surrogate decision-maker do not have to seek support from multiple staff members or organisations. Carer support programmes can routinely include information and resources about surrogate decision-making. Community and government organisations can help people prepare for the possibility of becoming surrogate decision-makers by promoting a greater public awareness and understanding of both dementia and advance care planning. 

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Understanding the informational needs of patients with IPF and their caregivers : ‘you get diagnosed, and you ask this question right away, what does this mean?’

BACKGROUND: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive, incurable lung disease whose intrusive symptoms rob patients of their quality of life. Patients with IPF rely on their caregivers for support and assistance in amounts that vary according to patients' individual circumstances and disease severity. Knowledgeable and well-informed patients and caregivers are best suited to deal with life-altering conditions like IPF. METHODS: We conducted twohour-long focus groups with 13 patients with IPF and four caregivers of patients with IPF to better understand their informational needs and in what format such information should be delivered. RESULTS: Patients discussed the challenges IPF creates in their daily lives. They wanted information on how to live well despite having IPF, practical information on how they could remain active and travel and how they could preserve their quality of life despite living with a life-threatening disease like IPF. Caregivers wanted information on the general aspects of IPF, because it would help them understand what patients were going through. They also wanted specific information on how to give care to a patient with IPF, even when physical care may not be needed (as in earlier phases of the disease). Patients and caregivers both needed efficient information delivery from trustworthy sources, including the healthcare team involved in their care. They considered both spoken and written information valuable, and ease of access was critical. CONCLUSION: This study provides valuable insight regarding the informational needs of IPF patients and their caregivers. It is hoped that identifying or creating sources of this information, and insuring that patients and caregivers have access to it, will improve well-being for patients with IPF and their caregivers.

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Information-sharing with respite care services for older adults: a qualitative exploration of carers' experiences

Respite services play an important role in supporting older adults and their carers. When an older person is unable to fully represent themselves, provision of respite care relies on effective information-sharing between carers and respite staff. This study aimed to explore, from carers' perspectives, the scope, quality and fit of information-sharing between carers, older people and respite services. An explorative, cross-sectional qualitative study involving a purposive sample of 24 carers, recruited via carer support groups and community groups in voluntary organisations, was undertaken in North East Scotland. Data were collected from August 2013 to September 2014, with participants taking part in a focus group or individual interview. Data were analysed systematically using the Framework Approach. The multiple accounts elicited from carers identified how barriers and facilitators to information-sharing with respite services changed over time across three temporal phases: 'Reaching a point', 'Trying it out' and 'Settled in'. Proactive information-sharing about accessibility and eligibility for respite care, and assessment of carers' needs in their own right, were initially important; as carers and older people moved on to try services out, time and space to develop mutual understandings and negotiate care arrangements came to the fore; then, once shared expectations had been established, carers' chief concerns were around continuity of care and maintaining good interpersonal relationships. The three temporal phases also impacted on which modes of information-sharing were available to, and worked best for, carers as well as on carers' perceptions of how information and communication technologies should be utilised. This study highlights the need for respite staff to take proactive, flexible approaches to working with carers and to make ongoing efforts to engage with carers, and older people, throughout the months and years of them utilising respite services. Information and communication technologies have potential to enhance information-sharing but traditional approaches will remain important. 

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Identifying and understanding the health and social care needs of older adults with multiple chronic conditions and their caregivers: a scoping review

BACKGROUND: As the population is aging, the number of persons living with multiple chronic conditions (MCC) is expected to increase. This review seeks to answer two research questions from the perspectives of older adults with MCC, their caregivers and their health care providers (HCPs): 1) What are the health and social care needs of community-dwelling older adults with MCC and their caregivers? and 2) How do social and structural determinants of health impact these health and social care needs? METHODS: We conducted a scoping review guided by a refinement of the Arksey & O'Malley framework. Articles were included if participants were 55 years or older and have at least two chronic conditions. We searched seven electronic databases. The data were summarized using thematic analysis. RESULTS: 36 studies were included in this review: 28 studies included participants with MCC; 12 studies included HCPs; five studies included caregivers. The quality of the studies ranged from moderate to good. Five main areas of needs were identified: need for information; coordination of services and supports; preventive, maintenance and restorative strategies; training for older adults, caregivers and HCPs to help manage the older adults' complex conditions; and the need for person-centred approaches. Structural and social determinants of health such as socioeconomic status, education and access influenced the needs of older adults with MCC. CONCLUSION: The review highlights that most of the needs of older adults with MCC focus on lack of access to information and coordination of care. The main structural and social determinants that influenced older adults' needs were their level of education/health literacy and their socioeconomic status. [Abstract]

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What is important at the end of life for people with dementia? The views of people with dementia and their carers

Background: Approaching end of life is often a time of vulnerability; this is particularly so for people with dementia and their families where loss of capacity and the ability to communicate, make assessment and shared decision-making difficult. Research has consistently shown that improvements in care and services are required to support better quality and more person-centred care for people with dementia towards and at end of life. However, the views of people with dementia about what factors contribute to high-quality care at this time are a neglected area. Aim: The aim of this study was to identify the aspects of end-of-life care for people with dementia that are most important to them and their carers. Design: Q-methodology, a mixed method combining qualitative and quantitative techniques to study subjectivity, was used to identify the views of people with mild dementia, their family carers and bereaved carers on end-of-life care for people with dementia. Fifty-seven participants were included in the study. Results: Four distinct views were identified: family involvement, living in the present, pragmatic expectations and autonomy and individuality. Some areas of consensus across all views included compassionate care, decisions being made by healthcare professionals and information availability when making decisions. Conclusion: Our findings reveal several different views on what is important about end-of-life care for people with dementia; therefore, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to care is unlikely to be most appropriate. Notwithstanding the differing viewpoints could provide a framework for service providers and commissioners for future care.

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What Caregivers Need From Clinical Nurse Specialists

In the US today, there are more than 32 million unpaid family caregivers providing complex care to a family member in the home. In 2012, American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) released the results of Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care ( The study, conducted by the AARP Public Policy Institute and the United Hospital Fund, was a nationally representative population-based online survey of 1677 family caregivers to determine the medical/nursing tasks they performed. Study findings challenged the notion of family caregiving as limited to personal care, such as bathing and dressing, and assistance with household chores, shopping, and paying bills. Here, Fulton talks about caregiver's lack of knowledge in home and post-op care.

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Addressing the support needs of families during the acute hospitalization of a parent with mental illness: A narrative literature review

Hospitalisation of a parent with acute mental health problems impacts the consumer, their extended family/carers and children. Mental health nurses are at the forefront of promoting recovery for consumers in an acute inpatient setting. Recovery-oriented care can include provision of family-focused care which supports recovery of the parent-consumer and their family members and contributes to prevention of intergenerational mental illness. The aim of this narrative literature review was to explore existing knowledge regarding the experiences, care and support needs of parent-consumers, their family members/carers and children during the parent's acute mental health hospitalisation. It also aims to explore existing knowledge about the practices of mental health nurses providing care to this consumer group, to inform future healthcare practice and strengthen parent, child and family outcomes. Nineteen published studies addressed the review questions. In the context of hospitalisation, the majority of research regarding parenting with a mental illness is focused on mothers. Parents reported experiencing stigma during their hospitalisation. Separation from children was a concern for parents and their extended family, but admission provided an opportunity for the parent to receive treatment and for the family to receive support. Mental health nurses did not always identify parental status on admission. When parental status was identified, nurses reported issues regarding logistics and practicalities of using family rooms, children visiting the unit, and their own professional knowledge and organisational support regarding familyfocused care. Implications for practice are identified, highlighting how mental health nurses can develop their practice to support the recovery of parent-consumers. 

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“It’s just horrible”: a qualitative study of patients’ and carers’ experiences of bowel dysfunction in multiple sclerosis

Around 50% of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience neurogenic bowel dysfunction (constipation and/or faecal incontinence), reducing quality of life and increasing carer burden. No previous qualitative studies have explored the experiences of bowel problems in people with MS, or the views of their family carers. This study sought to understand ‘what it is like’ to live with bowel dysfunction and the impact this has on people with MS and carers. Using exploratory qualitative methods, 47 semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants recruited from specialist hospital clinics and community sources using purposive and chain-referral sampling. Data were analysed using a pragmatic inductive-deductive method. Participants identified multiple psychological, physical and social impacts of bowel dysfunction. Health care professional support ranged from empathy and appropriate onward referral, to lack of interest or not referring to appropriate services. Participants want bowel issues to be discussed more openly, with clinicians instigating a discussion early after MS diagnosis and repeating enquiries regularly. Bowel dysfunction impacts on the lives of people with MS and their carers; their experience with care services is often unsatisfactory. Understanding patient and carer preferences about the management of bowel dysfunction can inform clinical care and referral pathways.

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Service user and carer involvement in mental health care safety : raising concerns and improving the safety of services

BACKGROUND: Previous research into improving patient safety has emphasised the importance of responding to and learning from concerns raised by service users and carers. Expertise gained by the experiences of service users and their carers has also been seen as a potential resource to improve patient safety. We know little about the ease of raising concerns within mental health services, and the potential benefits of involving service users and carers in safety interventions. This study aimed to explore service user and carer perceptions of raising safety concerns, and service user, carer and health professional views on the potential for service user and carer involvement in safety interventions. METHODS: UK service users, carers and health professionals (n=185) were recruited via social media to a cross-sectional survey focussed on raising concerns about safety issues and views on potential service user and carer participation in safety interventions. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, and free text responses were coded into categories. RESULTS: The sample of 185 participants included 90 health professionals, 77 service users and 18 carers. Seventy seven percent of service users and carers reported finding it very difficult or difficult to raise concerns. Their most frequently cited barriers to raising concerns were: services did not listen; concerns about repercussions; and the process of raising concerns, especially while experiencing mental ill health. There was universal support from health professionals for service user and carer involvement in safety interventions and over half the service users and carers supported involvement, primarily due to their expertise from experience. CONCLUSIONS: Mental health service users and carers experience difficulties in raising safety concerns meaning that potentially useful information is being missed. All the health professionals and the majority of service users and carers saw potential for service users and carer involvement in interventions to improve safety, to ensure their experiences are taken into consideration. The results provide guidance for future research about the most effective ways of ensuring that concerns about safety can be both raised and responded to, and how service user and carer involvement in improving safety in mental health care can be further developed. 

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Decision making for people living with dementia by their carers at the end of life: A rapid scoping review

Background: There are an increasing number of people living with dementia, as well as an expectation that care decisions are made collaboratively with those with the disease entering the end stage and their families. This has increased the burden on family carers. Aim: To explore the evidence on the decisional support needs of informal carers of people with end-stage dementia. Design: A rapid scoping review was undertaken of peer-reviewed publications between 2000 and 2016, which included all health-care settings and the person's own home. Six databases were searched (CINAHL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, BNI, PSYCHINFO, Web of Science) and all papers meeting the inclusion criteria were read. A thematic analysis was undertaken of the selected papers using a pragmatic approach based on how the papers addressed the research question. Results: Sixty papers were individually appraised, with 40 being included in the review. Of these papers, 11 were literature reviews and 29 were primary studies. The themes identified were: the influential factors in carer decision making, the scope of carer decision making, the conflicts/problems in carer decision making, the resources carers need to make decisions and the impact of carer decision making. Conclusion: To date, the emphasis in dementia care has been on living well with dementia, but realistically there is a need to plan for a 'good death' that includes the person and their carers. There is a need to support people with dementia and their carers to make an advance care plan, while the person with dementia can take part in the decision-making process. This proactive intervention is likely to reduce carer decision burden at end of life and facilitate achievement of death in the person's preferred place, which is usually the home or care home.

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Characteristics of the spouse caregiving experience: comparison between early- and late-onset dementia

Objectives: To investigate the characteristics of the caregiving experience according to age at onset of dementia to adapt support programmes. Method: Fifty-seven spouse caregivers of persons with early-onset dementia (PEOD) and 93 spouse caregivers of persons with late-onset dementia (PLOD) participated. The characteristics of the caregiving experience were assessed using questionnaires. The authors compared the two groups according to age at onset of the disease using a multivariate test, Pillai's Trace test. Results: The analysis showed that there were similarities and differences between the two groups of spouse caregivers. All spouse caregivers were confident in their caregiving role and fairly well prepared for future needs and reported mild depressive and anxious symptoms. However, they lacked informal support, had low confidence in requesting respite care and reported effects on their health. Compared to spouse caregivers of PLOD, spouse caregivers of PEOD had more severe perceptions of the cognitive disorders of persons with dementia (PWD) and had a better sense of preparedness and knowledge of services. Spouse caregivers of PLOD were more confident in their ability to control disturbing thoughts. Conclusion: The results suggest that programmes should provide information on support networks to improve preparedness for spouse caregivers of PLOD as well as emphasizing positive coping strategies for caregivers of PEOD to maintain good-quality relationships with PWD, which influences the perception of the symptoms. For both groups, family relationships should be considered.

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Struggles for recognition and redistribution: family carers and domestic workers in Spanish eldercare

Theories of social justice have identified the revaluation of caregiving work as a global challenge. Still, struggles for recognition are shaped by the specific cultural and institutional contexts in which they emerge. This article explores struggles for the recognition of caregiving work in Spanish eldercare, focusing on advocacy for family carers and for domestic workers. Drawing on interviews, findings reveal that domestic workers' needs are politicised to a greater extent than family carers' needs; empowerment and claims for workers' rights contrast with notions of self-care and mutual support. While the struggles are differentiated, the undervaluation of eldercare is a common theme.

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Understanding the needs of caregivers of persons with dementia: a scoping review

Background: The number of people living with dementia (PWD) is increasing worldwide, corresponding with an increasing number of caregivers for PWD. This study aims to identify and describe the literature surrounding the needs of caregivers of PWD and the solutions identified to meet these needs. Method: A literature search was performed in: PsycInfo, Medline, CINAHL, SCIELO and LILACS, January 2007–January 2018. Two independent reviewers evaluated 1,661 abstracts, and full-text screening was subsequently performed for 55 articles. The scoping review consisted of 31 studies, which were evaluated according to sociodemographic characteristics, methodological approach, and caregiver’s experiences, realities, and needs. To help extract and organize reported caregiver needs, we used the C.A.R.E. Tool as a guiding framework. Results: Thirty-one studies were identified. The most common needs were related to personal health (58% emotional health; 32% physical health) and receiving help from others (55%). Solutions from the articles reviewed primarily concerned information gaps (55%) and the education/learning needs of caregivers (52%). Conclusion: This review identified the needs of caregivers of PWD. Caregivers’ personal health emerged as a key area of need, while provision of information was identified as a key area of support. Future studies should explore the changes that occur in needs over the caregiving trajectory and consider comparing caregivers’ needs across different countries.

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Hidden carers? a scoping review of the needs of carers of people with HIV in the contemporary treatment era

The role of carers in supporting people with HIV is largely hidden in Western countries in the contemporary era of antiretroviral treatments. Little is known about their needs. A scoping review was undertaken to describe the research available on the needs of this group and identify gaps in existing knowledge. Findings reveal that carers of people with HIV have similar needs to other carers but are currently mostly invisible to support services. The article suggests that the discourse of independence underpinning the new HIV treatment era may be difficult for carers to 'disrupt' by naming what they do as 'care'.

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The third person in the room: the needs of care partners of older people in home care services - a systematic review from a person-centred perspective

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To identify and synthesise the needs of care partners of older people living at home with assistance from home care services., BACKGROUND: "Ageing in place" is a promoted concept where care partners and home care services play significant roles. Identifying the needs of care partners and finding systematic ways of meeting them can help care partners to cope with their role., DESIGN/METHODS: This study is based on the PRISMA reporting guidelines. The systematic review of qualitative and quantitative studies was guided by the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology., RESULTS: In total, 16 studies were included in the review, eleven qualitative and five quantitative. Three main categories were revealed in the analysis: the need for quality interaction, the need for a shared approach to care and the need to feel empowered., CONCLUSION: Care partners of older people have several, continuously unmet needs. A person-centred perspective can contribute new understandings of how to meet these needs. A knowledge gap has been identified regarding the needs of care partners of older people with mental health problems. There is a need to develop a tool for systematic collaboration between home care services and care partners, so that the identified needs can be met in a more thorough, systematic and person-centred way., RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: The carers in home care services need competence to identify and meet the needs of care partners. The implementation of person-centred values in home care services can contribute to meet the needs of care partners to a greater extent than today. Future research on the needs of care partners of older people with mental health problems needs to be undertaken.

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Elder Abuse in the African Diaspora: A Review

Background: As with many other populations, abuse of older adults is a growing problem across the Africa Diaspora. Modernization and urbanization are eroding the traditional values of respect for older adults. Also, older adults living in environments with limited social and economic resources, and having no means of economic support create a recipe for elder abuse and neglect. Methods: This article reviews the current literature on the epidemiology, risk factors, and interventions used for elder abuse across the African Diaspora. Results: Reports of elder abuse range from 24.9% to 81.1% across the Diaspora. Risk factors include cognitive and physical impairment, social isolation, lack of resources and widowhood. Conclusion: Community-based programs using the unique social networks of older populations of African descent can provide a venue to improve caregiver training and support, reinforce traditional filial and informal caregiving practices, increase the utilization of available governmental and institutional.

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

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

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Caregiver characteristics and bereavement needs: findings from a population study

Background: Globally, most care for people with life-limiting illnesses is provided by informal caregivers. Identifying characteristics of caregivers that may have unmet needs and negative outcomes can help provide better support to facilitate adjustment. Aim: The authors compared characteristics, expressed unmet needs and outcomes for spousal caregivers, with other caregivers at the end of life, by gender and age. Design: The South Australian Health Omnibus is an annual, random, face-to-face, cross-sectional survey wherein respondents are asked about end-of-life care. Setting/participants: Participants were aged over 15 years, resided in households in South Australia and had someone close to them die from a terminal illness in the last 5 years. Results: Of the 1540 respondents who provided hands-on care for someone close at the end of life, 155 were widows/widowers. Bereaved spousal caregivers were more likely to be older, female, better educated, have lower incomes, less full-time work, English as second language, sought help with grief and provided more day-to-day care for longer periods. Spousal caregivers were less likely to be willing to take on caregiving again, less able to ‘move on’ with life and needed greater emotional support and information about illness and services. The only difference between widows and widowers was older age of spouse in women. Younger spousal caregivers perceived greater unmet emotional needs and were significantly less likely to be able to ‘move on’. Conclusion: Spousal caregivers are different from other caregivers, with more intense needs that are not fully met. These have implications for bereavement, health and social services.

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Spousal caregivers and persons with dementia: increasing participation in shared leisure activities among hospital-based dementia support program participants

Spousal caregivers of persons with dementia often have difficulty engaging persons with dementia in leisure activities. This qualitative descriptive study identifies how caregivers perceive their spouses’ participation in leisure activities since dementia onset and the professional guidance caregivers require to increase persons with dementia participation in shared leisure activities. Nine spousal caregivers from a hospital-based caregiver intervention attended one of three focus groups. Using symbolic interactionism and selective optimisation with compensation theory as guiding frameworks, thematic content analysis was performed. Three major themes were identified: Recognising and acknowledging changes, Making sense of changes and conflicts, and Embracing changes and forging ahead. Findings can be used by healthcare providers to better understand caregivers’ needs for engaging persons with dementia in shared leisure activities, and inform development of feedback protocols to enhance caregiver interventions.

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Unmet Needs for Family Caregivers of Elderly People With Dementia Living in Italy: What Do We Know So Far and What Should We Do Next?

Care of the elderly with dementia represents one of the major challenges for the modern society worldwide. The burden of dementia care often falls on the family members, entailing heavy psychosocial and economic consequences. The aim of this study was to evaluate the caregiver's perspective concerning the support for disease management on behalf of the physicians and the local Sicilian administrations (Italy), and the burden of care and effects on their lifestyle, to propose new prevention strategies and service for managing dementia and caregiver's burden. Fifty-nine caregivers of Italian elderly people with dementia (mean age, 73; age range: 63-83) were interviewed, and 55 of them completed an ad hoc self-report questionnaire composed of 54 multiple-choice questions. Our findings suggest that caregivers need more information on the disease's management, as well as on how to deal with the stress due to the disease burden. Moreover, a negative perception about the services offered from the local administration emerged. Assistive technology (AT) could be useful in promoting interaction between general practitioners and specialized centers for diagnosis, pharmacological and psychosocial treatments, and in saving costs. Moreover, case manager could follow patients and support family members within the care pathway, besides collecting and sharing information among the different health professionals involved. Further studies should be aimed at investigating whether AT and/or the use of specific educational strategies could be the right approach for meeting the needs of families living with dementia.

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"I just don't focus on my needs." The unmet health needs of partner and offspring caregivers of people with dementia: A qualitative study

Background Family caregivers of people with dementia have significant unmet health needs. There is a lack of research that differentiates between the needs that are specifically relevant to partner and offspring caregivers. Objective The aim of this study was to examine the health needs of partner and offspring caregivers of older people with dementia, including the barriers they experience in meeting their needs. Method Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 24 family caregivers of community-dwelling people with dementia. Of these, 12 were partner caregivers (4 men, 8 women) and 12 were offspring caregivers (2 men, 10 women). The interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Results Five themes were identified within the data. The first theme represents caregivers' overall assessment and perception of their health needs. The remaining four themes represent the most important aspects of caregivers' health needs; mental health, emotional support and social relationships, healthy diet and exercise, and personal time. While these themes were similar for offspring and partner caregivers, the specific needs and barriers within these areas were different. A prominent barrier for partner caregivers was that they had difficulty in acknowledging their needs. Despite this, partner caregivers demonstrated unmet emotional support needs, as they no longer had emotional support from their partner with dementia. They also had an unmet need for time away from the care-giving role, yet they were reluctant to leave the person with dementia. Offspring caregivers' unmet health needs were easily identified and were focused on their unmet mental health needs and feeling socially isolated. These unmet mental health and social support needs were related to their unmet health needs in other areas such as exercise, diet and having time to themselves. Conclusion Caregivers have significant unmet needs and these are often complex, multidimensional, and they often differ between partner and offspring caregivers. Gaining a more detailed understanding of the needs and barriers that are particularly relevant to either partner or offspring caregivers will assist in the development of interventions that are tailored to the unique needs of caregivers.

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Stress, stress-related symptoms and social support among Taiwanese primary family caregivers in intensive care units

Objectives To explore the associations between stress, sleep disturbances, fatigue severity and social support among primary family caregivers in intensive care units during the early period of ICU hospitalisation.Design Cross-sectional, descriptive correlational study.Setting Intensive Care Units in a teaching hospital in Taiwan.Main outcome measures Perceived stress (Impact of Events Scale-Revised), sleep disturbances (General Sleep Disturbance Scale), fatigue severity (Lee’s Fatigue Scale), social support (Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire) and one open-ended question.Results The primary family caregivers (N = 87) were distressed and experienced poor sleep quality and fatigue during the early period of ICU hospitalisation. Primary family caregivers have various social support needs but being updated on the patients’ prognosis was at the top of the list. Perceived ICU hospitalisation stress was the only significant predictor for fatigue while age along with perceived event stress were the significant predictors for sleep disturbances.Conclusion Stress-coping interventions are needed to reduce stress-related symptoms for the primary family caregivers. Social supports did not buffer stress in this study, which calls for further research to explore the culture variance and quality of social support.

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The roles of unmet needs and formal support in the caregiving satisfaction and caregiving burden of family caregivers for persons with dementia

Background: A growing number of studies are emphasizing the importance of positive and negative appraisals of caregiving and the utilization of social resources to buffer the negative effects of caring for persons with dementia. By assessing the roles of unmet needs and formal support, this study tested a hypothesized model for Korean family caregivers’ satisfaction and burden in providing care for persons with dementia. Methods: The stress process model and a two-factor model were used as the conceptual framework for this study. Data for 320 family caregivers from a large cross-sectional survey, the Seoul Dementia Management study, were analyzed using structural equation modeling. In the hypothesized model, the exogenous variables were patient symptoms, including cognitive impairment, behavioral problems, and dependency on others to help with activities of daily living and with instrumental activities of daily living. The endogenous variables were the caregiver's perception of the unmet needs of the patient, formal support, caregiving satisfaction, and caregiving burden. Results: The adjusted model explained the mediating effect of unmet needs on the relationship between patient symptoms or formal support and caregiving satisfaction. Formal support also had a mediating effect on the relationship between patient symptoms and unmet needs. Patient symptoms and caregiving satisfaction had a significant direct effect on caregiving burden. Conclusion: The level of unmet needs of persons with dementia and their family caregivers must be considered in the development of support programs focused on improving caregiving satisfaction.

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What would most help improve the quality of life of older family carers of people with dementia? A qualitative study of carers’ views

Older family carers of people with dementia provide a substantial amount of care for people with dementia in the UK. Caregiving can be stressful and burdensome for these individuals, who are also experiencing psychological and physical changes resulting from their own ageing process. However, little is known about what impacts their quality of life, how this can be improved and what we should prioritise. This brief report asks one simple question to older family carers of people living with dementia – “What would most help improve your quality of life as a carer?” Qualitative data were collected from 150 carers who completed an anonymous paper survey during the development and validation of a quality of life tool for use with this population (DQoL-OC). Participants were individuals aged 60 and over and were providing care for a family member with dementia at home in the UK. Carers were recruited from a variety of voluntary organizations, community-based carers’ groups, health se