Mary Ann Liebert
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Nursing and Midwifery / Clinical Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre
Background: Family caregivers of patients requiring palliative care commonly experience physical, social, and psychological burdens. Although family caregivers are acknowledged as valid service recipients of palliative care, many have unmet needs, and systematic reviews have shown there are limited evidence-based supportive interventions. Objectives: This study aimed to develop and pilot test a psycho-educational group education program delivered in the inpatient specialist palliative care setting and designed to prepare primary family caregivers for the role of supporting a relative receiving hospital-based palliative care. Methods: (1) Development of education session and delivery protocol by the research team and expert panel; (2) pilot the intervention in three clinical sites (five sessions in total); (3) evaluate its accessibility and acceptability; and (4) preliminary testing of outcome measures used to access the intervention's effectiveness. Results and conclusion: The results revealed that the intervention was appropriate and acceptable to caregivers. The intervention needs to be tested in a larger sample to determine the potential benefits for caregivers' sense of preparedness and competence, and testing needs to ascertain if the intervention is accessible.