Development and evaluation of an intervention to support family caregivers of people with cancer to provide home-based care at the end of life: a feasibility study

08 Jun 2018

To design and evaluate an intervention to address carers' needs for practical information and support skills when caring for a person with cancer at end of life.Phase I 29 carers were interviewed about need for practical information, support skills and their preferences for information delivery. The preferred format was a booklet. Phase 2 evaluated the booklet. 31 carers and 14 district nurses participated. Validated questionnaires: on perceptions of caregiving and carer health before and after the booklet was used and interviews with both carers and nurses were untertaken.24 carers completed both interviews. Quantitative data were coded using scale manuals and analysed using SPSSv20 and interview data was analysed thematically.Carers were aged 31-82 and cared for people aged 50-92; 8 carers were male and 23 female; 20 cared for a partner, 8 for a parent and 1 for a sibling (2 undisclosed). Carers were positive about the booklet, however many carers would have liked the booklet earlier. Carers reported feeling more positive about caregiving, and more reassured and competent in their role. District nurses found the booklet useful and reported receiving fewer phone calls from study carers than others in similar situations.The booklet intervention was a source of reassurance to carers and it has the potential to be incorporated into everyday practice. The challenge is in when and how to distribute the booklet and more work is required on the timing of delivery in order to maximise the usefulness of booklet to carers.