OBJECTIVES: For patients' entire families, it can be challenging to live with cancer during the palliative stage. However, a sense of coherence buffers stress and could help health professionals identify families that require support. Therefore, the short version of the Family Sense of Coherence Scale (FSOC-S) was translated, culturally adapted, and validated in a Swedish sample.
METHODS: Translation and cross-cultural adaptation of the FSOC-S into Swedish was conducted in accordance with the World Health Organization's Process for Translation and Adaptation of Research Instruments guidelines. Participants were recruited from two oncology clinics and two palliative centers in Sweden.
RESULTS: Content validity was supported by experts (n = 7), persons with cancer (n = 179), and family members (n = 165). Homogeneity among items was satisfactory for persons with cancer and family members (item-total correlations were 0.45 0.70 and 0.55 0.72, respectively) as well as internal consistency (ordinal alpha = 0.91 and 0.91, respectively). Factor analyses supported unidimensionality. FSOC-S correlated (rs > 0.3) with hope, anxiety, and symptoms of depression, which supported convergent validity. The test-retest reliability for items ranged between fair and good (kw = 0.37 0.61).
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: The FSOC-S has satisfactory measurement properties to assess family sense of coherence in persons with cancer and their family members. FSOC-S could be used to identify family members who experience low levels of perceived family sense of coherence which provides health care professionals with insight into families' needs and ability to live with cancer in the palliative stage.
AIM: This study aimed to develop a "family caregiver needs-assessment scale for end-of-life care for senility at home" (FADE) and examine its reliability and validity.
METHOD: A draft item pool was developed based on a literature review, and simplified to 30 items in four domains. Next, the item pool was reviewed by four visiting nurses and four researchers and refined to 15 items. A cross-sectional study was then conducted using a self-reported questionnaire. Questionnaires were sent to 2703 visiting nurses. The survey questions included participants' basic demographic information, the importance of each item according to a modified scale, basic demographics for cases of death by senility at home, satisfaction with each item of the modified scale in an example case, and assessment of the case using the Japanese version of the Support Team Assessment Schedule (STAS-J). Internal consistency was assessed using Cronbach's alpha. Construct validity was confirmed using confirmatory factor analysis, and correlation between the new scale and the STAS-J was used to assess criterion-related validity.
RESULTS: In total, 461 visiting nurses provided valid responses. The exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses identified 12 items from two factors: "Needs for adaptation to senility bereavement" and "Needs for essential skills in supporting a dignified death by senility." The final model showed appropriate index values: standardized root mean residual = 0.057, Tucker-Lewis index = 0.920, Akaike information criterion = 191.6, and Bayesian information criterion = 298.2. Cronbach's alpha for the entire scale was 0.908, and was above 0.840 for each factor. The correlation coefficient between STAS-J and the entire scale was 0.259-0.427 (p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The FADE scale showed acceptable internal consistency and concurrent validity. The scale can help clarify issues and desires that present themselves at home related to adaptation to senility bereavement and essential skills in supporting a dignified death by senility. Addressing these issues and desires is expected to reduce caregivers' anxiety and burden, and means the older adults under their care may be respected and enabled to live with dignity and peace.
As interns, new doctors care for the dying or others who have palliative care (PC) needs. Undergraduate medical students need to learn about PC Up to half of newly qualified doctors are underprepared for end of life issues and many feel it is a source of distress. Medical students value palliative education but many feel training is deficient.
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BACKGROUND: Being terminally ill affects not only the life of patients but also that of their loved ones. Dyads of adult children and their parents at the end of life may face specific challenges with regard to their relationship and interactions that need to be further examined.
AIM: The aim was to identify, describe and summarise available evidence on adult child-parent interaction and psychosocial support needs at the end of life. Research gaps in the existing literature are disclosed and recommendations for future research are presented.
DESIGN: A type 4 scoping review according to Arksey and O'Malley's (2005) methodological framework was conducted. The review includes studies regardless of study design and provides a descriptive account of foci of available research.
DATA SOURCES: The PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Google Scholar and Web of Science databases were searched from inception to 16 August 2018. An additional hand search was conducted. A highly sensitive search strategy was employed to cover all potentially relevant results.
RESULTS: The authors screened 1832 records by title and abstract, retrieved 216 full-text articles and included 15 studies from the database search. One study was identified by way of hand search. The review identified six major themes: (1) adult child-parent relationship, (2) adult child-parent communication, (3) involvement in caregiving, (4) benefit and burden of caregiving, (5) coping strategies and (6) support and information for caregivers.
CONCLUSIONS: The scoping review accentuates the paucity of studies that address both patients' and their parent/adult child caregivers' relationship, interaction and psychosocial support needs.
Background: Spirituality is important for many family members of patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). Clinicians without training in spiritual care experience difficulty identifying when family members are experiencing distress of a spiritual nature.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to develop a guide to help clinicians working in the ICU identify family members who may benefit from specialized spiritual support.
Design: ross-sectional study.
Setting/Subjects: A national sample of spiritual health practitioners, family members, and ICU clinicians.
Subjects: A panel of 21 spiritual health practitioners participated in a modified Delphi process to achieve consensus on items that suggest spiritual distress among family members of patients in the ICU through three rounds of remote review followed by an in-person conference and a final round of panelist feedback. Feedback on the final set of items was obtained from an end-user group of four family members and six ICU clinicians.
Measurements: A total of 220 items were iteratively reviewed and rated by panelists. Forty-six items were identified as essential for inclusion and developed into a clinical guide, including an introduction (n = 1), definitions (n = 2), risk factors (n = 10), expressed concerns (n = 12), emotions (n = 7) and behaviors (n = 7) that may suggest spiritual distress, questions to identify spiritual needs (n = 6), and introducing spiritual support (n = 1).
Conclusions: We have developed an evidence-informed clinical guide that may help clinicians in the ICU identify family members experiencing spiritual distress.
Illness blogs have been used by many individuals to describe their experiences, share knowledge, and gather support. The purpose of this study was to identify needs, concerns, and advice from the blogs of caregivers caring for a person with dementia at the end of life (EOL). A qualitative thematic analysis was performed of 192 blog postings from six dementia family caregivers during the EOL. A Google search using a systematic identification method was followed. Caregivers were females caring for mothers (n = 5) and husbands (n = 1). Themes varied by EOL stage within the contextual environment of Grief/Loss, Family, and Spirituality. Pre-death themes were Care Transitions and Quality; dying were Physical and Emotional Aspects; and post-death were Relief and Remembering. Four additional themes transitioned across stages: Decision-Making, Health Care Providers, Advice, and Caregiver Support. Findings suggest caregiver needs, concerns, and advice vary by EOL stage. Implications for tailored interventions should be considered.
Peu de recherches ont porté sur les profils et les préoccupations de santé parmi les hommes homosexuels et bisexuels vieillissants. Dans le cadre d’une enquête en ligne pancanadienne, 411 répondants âgés de 55 ans et plus ont répondu à un questionnaire portant sur l’évaluation de ces deux problématiques. Les résultats montrent que les écarts avec la population hétérosexuelle du même groupe d’âge se situent en particulier dans le champ de la santé mentale, où les problèmes sont plus prononcés, des différences qui se retrouvent aussi entre les 55-64 ans et les 64 ans et plus dans notre échantillon. Ces résultats peuvent contribuer à développer des interventions mieux ciblées visant à favoriser le bien-vieillir parmi ces minorités sexuelles.
Les aîné-es trans sont une population en devenir constituée d’individus aux identités, réalités et trajectoires très diversifiées. Cet article basé sur une recension des écrits, présente tout d’abord cette diversité, notamment en ce qui a trait à l’âge, tant à l’appartenance générationnelle qu’à l’âge du début de la transition. On y traite ensuite de la santé physique des aîné-es trans, soit des problèmes et des besoins de santé qui leur sont propres, puis des barrières auxquelles ils et elles se heurtent dans leurs démarches pour avoir accès à des soins et des services de santé adéquats. Le texte relève certaines difficultés comme l’isolement et le manque de soutien qui sont souvent le lot des aînés trans ainsi que les obstacles dans leur accès aux services sociaux et aux soins liés au vieillissement. L’article propose des pistes d’action pour les personnes professionnelles dans le domaine de la santé et des services sociaux et se conclut sur des pistes de recherche.
Aim: The aim of our research was to explore the unfulfilled needs of patients with a progressive neurological disease in advanced stage of the illness within the current system of health and social care in the Czech Republic.
Design and Setting: Qualitative research (grounded theory) was used to conceptualize the patterns of unmet palliative care needs in Czech Republic.
Methods: The data collection method comprised individual, in-depth interviews (n = 19) and focus groups (n = 4) where a total of 52 respondents participated (patients with progressive neurological diseases [PNDs], family members, and professionals).
Results: Two main categories of unfulfilled needs were determined (life with the disease, professional help), and they were described in the context of the 3 crucial themes identified in the study—the symptoms of the advanced stage of the disease resulted in substantial reduction of physical self-sufficiency, loss of autonomy, and social isolation; the level of dependence on the support and help of others increased; the patients also highlighted several problems related to health-care services.
Conclusion: The unmet needs should be taken into consideration when creating the concept of the neuropalliative and rehabilitation care, including the mental health support plan, because of the emotional, behavioral, and cognitive disorders that frequently occur in the lives of a substantial amount of patients with PND.
BACKGROUND: Health care professionals should prevent and relieve suffering in carers of patients with advanced cancer. Despite known positive effects of systematic carer support, carers still do not receive sufficient support. Carers have reported to be less satisfied with coordination of care and involvement of the family in treatment and care decisions than patients. In a rural district of Mid-Norway, cancer palliative care services across specialist and community care were developed. Participants' experiences and opinions were investigated as part of this development process.
METHODS: The aim of this qualitative study was to explore and describe health care professionals' experiences with carer support from their own perspective. Data were collected in focus groups. Purposeful sampling guided the inclusion. Six groups were formed with 21 professionals. The discussions were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using systematic text condensation.
RESULTS: In the analyzis of the focus group discussions, ten categories emerged from the exploration of health care professionals' carer support, assessment of needs, and factors hampering carer support: 1) dependent on profession, role, and context, 2) personal relationship, 3) personal skills and competence, 4) adjusted to the stage of the disease, 5) informal assessment of carers' needs, 6) lack of education 7) lack of systems for carer consultations, 8) lack of systems for documentation, 9) lack of systems for involving GPs, and 10) lack of systematic spiritual care.
CONCLUSIONS: Health care professionals built a personal relationship with the carers as early as possible, to facilitate carer support throughout the disease trajectory. Systematic carer support was hampered by lack of education and system insufficiencies. Organizational changes were needed, including 1) education in carer support, communication, and spiritual care, 2) use of standardized care pathways, including systematic carer needs assessment, 3) systematic involvement of general practitioners, and 4) a system for documentation of clinical work with carers.
BACKGROUND: Preparing children for the death of a parent is challenging. Parents are often uncertain if and how to communicate and support their children. Many parents feel it is protecting their children by not telling them about the prognosis. Children less prepared for parental death from a terminal illness are more susceptive to later adversities. To facilitate coping and moderate for such adversities, there is a need to gain insight and understand the experience and challenges confronted by families.
AIM: This review synthesised evidence on the experiences of parents and children when a parent is at end of life to discern their challenges, support needs and factors that facilitated good practice.
DESIGN: Mixed-methods systematic review.
DATA SOURCES: Four electronic databases (CINAHL, PubMed, PsycINFO and Ovid MEDLINE) using MeSH terms and word searches in October 2018. Studies were not limited by year of publication, language or country. Grey literature searches were also completed on Google Scholar and OpenGrey.
RESULTS: In all, 7829 records were identified; 27 qualitative and 0 quantitative studies met the inclusion criteria. Eight descriptive themes were identified, further categorised into two broad themes: (1) barriers and facilitators in sharing the news that a parent is dying and (2) strategies to manage the changing situation.
CONCLUSION: Lack of understanding in relation to the parent's prognosis, denial and feeling ill-equipped were suggested as barriers for parents to share the news with their children. Engagement with social networks, including extended family relatives and peers, and maintaining routines such as attending school were suggested supportive by parents and children. Findings are limited primarily to White, middle-class two-parent families. A number of areas for future research are identified.
BACKGROUND: Demographic characteristics play a role in influencing the decision to make end-of-life (EOL) directives among older adults living in the United States.
AIMS: To examine the associations between older adults' demographic characteristics (age, sex, marital status, residential site, and educational level) and their perceived importance of four self-care actions for EOL planning, as well as their desire and ability to perform these actions.
SETTINGS: A cross-sectional survey study of community-dwelling adults living in the southern United States from 2015 to 2016.
PARTICIPANTS: Community-dwelling adults aged 65 years and older (N = 123).
METHODS: A self-administered tool, the Patient Action Inventory for Self-Care and a demographic questionnaire were used. Multiple logistic regression was performed.
RESULTS: Forty-seven of (38.2%) participants lived in an urban community and 76 (61.8%) in a rural community. Demographic variables that were significant across the predictive models were older adults' residence, education levels, age, and marital status. Four demographic characteristics of living in rural areas, without a high school education, being 75 years or older, and married could be social determinants of EOL planning.
CONCLUSIONS: Older adults may need community-based support to address their end-of-life needs, especially those elders who want to remain independent in their home environment.
Purpose: This study uses the newly developed Bereaved Cancer Needs Inventory to identify the unmet psychosocial needs of adolescents and young adults who have experienced the death of a parent or sibling to cancer, and to explore the relationship between unmet needs and psychological distress.
Methods: In total, 278 bereaved offspring and 38 bereaved siblings (12–25 years) completed the 58-item Bereaved Cancer Needs Inventory (BCNI) and the Kessler psychological distress scale (K10).
Results: Bereaved offspring reported 27 unmet needs on average (SD = 16.87, range: 0–58); 94% indicated at least one unmet need, with 80% indicating 10 or more needs. Bereaved siblings reported 23 unmet needs on average (SD = 17.30, range: 0–57); 97% indicated at least one unmet need, with 68% indicating 10 or more needs. For both bereaved offspring and siblings, the needs for “support from other young people” and “time out and recreation” were most frequently reported as unmet. Approximately half of all participants reported high to very high levels of psychological distress. There was a significant positive relationship between the number of unmet needs and the psychological distress score on the K10 for both groups.
Conclusions: Bereaved offspring and bereaved siblings report unmet psychosocial needs across many domains, which are associated with their levels of psychological distress. Findings suggest the BCNI may be used by healthcare professionals to identify unmet needs and direct clients to the appropriate services, resources, or support; with the intent to reduce their risk of mental illness and psychological distress.
OBJECTIVE: The unique needs of caregivers of those with advanced heart failure (HF) are not effectively being met, and reports of physical and mental health challenges are common. The objective is to identify the current state of the literature related to family caregivers of persons with advanced HF, ascertain gaps that require further exploration, and provide preliminary practice recommendations based on the results.
METHOD: Systematic review of quantitative and qualitative literature. A search of CINAHL, Medline, EMBASE, and PubMed identified 24 articles that met inclusion criteria. Data were analyzed using the constant comparison method and coded. Thematic analysis was used to develop themes.
RESULT: Sixteen qualitative and seven quantitative studies met inclusion criteria. Analysis of these studies identified six key areas: (1) undertaking a journey in a state of flux, (2) gaining strength, (3) forgetting oneself along the way, (4) seeking out sources of support, (5) preparing for end of life, and (6) finding closure.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: The healthcare system currently struggles to meet the care demands of patients with chronic conditions such as advanced HF; as such, informal caregivers are undertaking key roles in the management of symptoms and promotion of the health of those with advanced HF. When caregivers are not adequately prepared for their role, both patient and caregiver well-being is compromised; therefore, a deeper understanding of the caregiving experience could assist in identifying the cause of caregiver anxiety and result in the development of strategies to minimize its effects. Overall, this review will also contribute to improving the current practice when working with caregivers of persons with advanced HF and serve as a basis for development of evidence informed interventions in the future.
RATIONALE: Little direction exists on how to integrate early palliative care in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
OBJECTIVES: 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 study of patients with moderate to very severe COPD (FEV1/FVC < 70% and FEV1 < 80%-predicted) and their family caregivers. Validated surveys on quality of life (QOL), 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 QOL, 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 to 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 disease. 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.
Researchers have been interested in the subject of accompanying individuals who experienced a child’s terminal illness and death, sharing their grief online. Using The Reiss Motivation Profile and qualitative methods, the authors identified the life motives of emotional rubberneckers–grief blog and memorial page readers. Key reasons for the regular behavior of this kind are found: interest in the protagonist’s health, compassion, will to help, and sense of bonding. Such activity provides support to the respondents. Readers’ important life motives include the substantial need to care for their loved ones, to be needed, emotional stability, and a low need for power.
Background: The research investigated how helpful counselling was for people who self-identify as being bereaved through a substance-related death.
Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty bereaved participants. Interview data underwent a thematic analysis using Iterative Categorisation (Neale, 2016).
Findings and conclusions: Participants’ needs were many, varied and changed over time. They used many types of support to meet these needs. Both one-to-one and group counselling were helpful and each was used to meet different needs. Significant needs regarding the substance-related characteristics of these bereavements were often not recognised by participants and seemingly also their counsellors, so were not worked through. Unhelpful experiences of counselling occurred through poor practice and a lack of specialist knowledge about these bereavements.
Recommendations: Nine are given to improve the helpfulness of counselling for these bereaved people, including recognising and working with the substance-related characteristics of bereavements or referring clients to other services for these.
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.
OBJECTIVES: Family caregivers of hospice patients have multiple needs as they try to cope during a stressful time. Translatable interventions effective in improving caregiver outcomes are greatly needed. Our objective was to assess the impact of a problem-solving intervention (called Problem-Solving Intervention to Support Caregivers in End-of-Life Care Settings [PISCES]) to support hospice caregivers on caregiver quality of life and anxiety, and compare its effectiveness delivered face to face and via videoconferencing.
DESIGN: In this 4-year randomized clinical trial, caregivers were randomly assigned to a group receiving standard care with added "friendly calls" (attention control [AC] group), a group receiving standard care and PISCES delivered face to face (F2F), or a group receiving standard care and PISCES delivered via videoconferencing (VC).
SETTING: Home hospice.
PARTICIPANTS: A total of 514 caregivers participated (172 in AC, 171 in F2F, and 171 in VC). Caregivers were predominantly female (75%); mean age was 60.3 years.
INTERVENTION: PISCES includes a structured curriculum delivered in three sessions and motivates caregivers to adopt a positive attitude, define problems by obtaining facts, set goals, and generate and evaluate solutions.
MEASUREMENTS: Quality of life was measured by the Caregiver Quality of Life Index-Revised; anxiety was measured by the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item. Other measures included the Caregiver Reaction Assessment scale, demographic data, and an exit interview.
RESULTS: Compared with AC, caregivers in the F2F condition had postintervention reduced anxiety (-1.31 [95% confidence interval [CI] = -2.11 to .50]; p = .004) and improved social (.57 [95% CI = .19-.95]; p = .01), financial (.57 [95% CI = .21-.93]; p = .004), and physical quality of life (.53 [95% CI = .19-.87]; p = .01). There were no differences in caregivers in the VC condition compared with the AC condition.
CONCLUSION: The PISCES intervention improves caregiver outcomes and is effective when delivered in person. How to integrate technology to reduce the intervention delivery cost warrants further investigation.