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Res Nurs Health. 2003 Aug;26(4):284-99.

Creating avenues for relative empowerment (CARE): a pilot test of an intervention to improve outcomes of hospitalized elders and family caregivers.

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School of Nursing, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a family caregiver-focused intervention program (CARE) on the outcomes of hospitalized elders and their family caregivers. A randomized clinical trial was conducted with 49 family caregivers of hospitalized elders in a university medical center in upstate New York. Driven by self-regulation and role theories, the two-phase CARE program consisted of: (a). a mutual agreement consisting of family caregiving activities during hospitalization; and (b). audiotaped information regarding emotional responses and possible complications associated with an elderly patient's hospitalization as well as instructions for effectively participating in the elder's hospital care. The comparison program consisted of information about hospital services and policies. CARE elders had fewer incidents of acute confusion reported by family caregivers during hospitalization and fewer depressive symptoms at 2 weeks and 2 months posthospitalization than did the comparison group. CARE family caregivers participated more in the care of their hospitalized elders and had higher scores on role rewards prior to hospital discharge. Findings from this study support the need for further testing of the CARE intervention with family caregivers to determine its effectiveness on outcomes of hospitalized elders and their family caregivers.

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