Background: Health care systems in many countries are moving towards outpatient care in which family members are central in providing care for patients with life-threatening illness. Several studies show that family members report a lack of preparation, knowledge and the ability to handle the caregiver role, and a need for information and psychosocial support.Aim: The aim was to investigate the effects of a support group programme for family members of patients with life-threatening illness during ongoing palliative care.Design: A prospective quasi-experimental design, including an intervention group and a comparison group, was used. Settings/participants: A support group programme was offered to family members during ongoing palliative care at three intervention settings: two specialist palliative care units and one haematology unit. A fourth setting, a specialist palliative care unit, was used for comparisons.Results: Family members taking part in the support group programme significantly increased their perceptions of preparedness for caregiving, competence for caregiving, and rewards of caregiving. Hope, anxiety, depression symptoms and health showed no significant changes.Conclusions: The intervention, including a support group programme delivered to family members of patients with life-threatening illness during ongoing palliative care, proved to be effective in certain domains of caregiving. No negative outcomes were detected. The results indicate that this intervention could be implemented and delivered to family members during ongoing palliative care.
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP -- Hälsovetenskaper (hsv//swe)
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES -- Health Sciences (hsv//eng)
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP -- Hälsovetenskaper -- Omvårdnad (hsv//swe)
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES -- Health Sciences -- Nursing (hsv//eng)