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Oncol Nurs Forum. 2007 Mar;34(2):313-21.

Using the COPE intervention for family caregivers to improve symptoms of hospice homecare patients: a clinical trial.

Author information

  • 1College of Nursing, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA. smcmilla@health.usf.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES:

To test an intervention for hospice caregivers designed to help them better manage symptoms experienced by patients with cancer.

DESIGN:

A three-group comparative design with repeated measures.

SETTING:

A large nonprofit hospice that primarily provides home care.

SAMPLE:

329 hospice homecare patients with cancer and their caregivers were randomized into three groups: a control group (n = 109) receiving standard care, a group (n = 109) receiving standard care plus friendly visits, and a group (n = 111) receiving standard care plus the COPE intervention.

METHODS:

Caregivers received experimental training in the COPE intervention (creativity, optimism, planning, expert information) over nine days to assist with symptom management.

MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES:

Intensity of pain, dyspnea, and constipation, overall symptom distress, and quality of life (QOL). Data were collected on admission and days 16 and 30.

FINDINGS:

Although symptom intensity for three target symptoms did not decrease, symptom distress was significantly improved (p = 0.009) in the COPE intervention group. QOL was not significantly different.

CONCLUSIONS:

Symptom distress, a measure that encompasses patient suffering along with intensity, was significantly decreased in the group in which caregivers were trained to better manage patient symptoms.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING:

The COPE intervention is effective and immediately translatable to the bedside for hospice homecare patients with advanced cancer.

PMID:
17573295
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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