Cancer Nursing

Skip Navigation LinksHome > January/February 2009 - Volume 32 - Issue 1 > Family Caregiver Engagement in a Coping and Communication Su...
Cancer Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/01.NCC.0000343367.98623.83

Family Caregiver Engagement in a Coping and Communication Support Intervention Tailored to Advanced Cancer Patients and Families

Bowman, Karen F. PhD; Rose, Julia H. PhD, MA; Radziewicz, Rosanne M. CNS, BC; O'Toole, Elizabeth E. MD; Berila, Rose A. MSN, RN

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We describe family caregiver (FCG) participation in a tailored coping and communication support intervention for advanced cancer patients and families. Preliminary descriptive data on characteristics and patterns of early engagement in the intervention for 132 FCGs are presented. Engagement assessed at an initial in-person meeting and the following 6 weeks includes problems raised, strategies used, and initiation, frequency, and mode of contact. A sizable proportion of FCGs were male, African American, and nonspouse. The FCGs had modest scores on a standard survey measure of burden yet volunteered caregiving demands as their primary problem. Other problems raised initially by more than 40% of the sample included psychological, practical, and communication with healthcare providers. Few reported physical and psychosocial difficulties. Engagement preferences expressed at the initial meeting largely mapped with actual engagement during the 6 weeks of intervention. Most FCGs were actively engaged during follow-up. Some (14%) did not opt for coping and communication support during this early treatment phase. This intervention is expected to affect quality of care and quality-of-life outcomes for FCGs over time from patient diagnosis to end of life. Findings will guide modification and dissemination of this intervention primarily in cancer clinics for the underserved.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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