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Palliat Med. 2010 Sep;24(6):573-93. doi: 10.1177/0269216310371412. Epub 2010 Jun 18.

Part 1: Home-based family caregiving at the end of life: a comprehensive review of published quantitative research (1998-2008).

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  • 1School of Nursing, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, Centre on Aging, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. kis@uvic.ca

Abstract

The changing context of palliative care over the last decade highlights the importance of recent research on home-based family caregiving at the end of life. This article reports on a comprehensive review of quantitative research (1998-2008) in this area, utilizing a systematic approach targeting studies on family caregivers, home settings, and an identified palliative phase of care (n = 129). Methodological challenges were identified, including: small, non-random, convenience samples; reliance on descriptive and bivariate analyses; and a dearth of longitudinal research. Robust evidence regarding causal relationships between predictor variables and carer outcomes is lacking. Findings suggest the need for knowledge regarding: family caregiving for patients with non-malignant terminal conditions; whether needs and outcomes differ between family caregivers at the end of life and comparison groups; and caregiver outcomes in bereavement. Clear definitions of 'family caregiving', 'end of life', and 'needs' are required as well as greater application and testing of theoretical and conceptual explanations.

PMID:
20562171
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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