Reducing the Psychological Distress of Family Caregivers of Home Based Palliative Care Patients: Short Term Effects From a Randomised Controlled Trial
AuthorHudson, P; Trauer, T; Kelly, B; O'Connor, M; Thomas, T; Summers, M; Zordan, R; White, V
Source TitlePsycho-Oncology: journal of the psychological, social and behavioral dimensions of cancer
University of Melbourne Author/sHudson, Peter
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsHudson, P., Trauer, T., Kelly, B., O'Connor, M., Thomas, T., Summers, M., Zordan, R. & White, V. (2013). Reducing the Psychological Distress of Family Caregivers of Home Based Palliative Care Patients: Short Term Effects From a Randomised Controlled Trial. PSYCHO-ONCOLOGY, 22 (1), pp.76-76. https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.3610.
Access StatusOpen Access
Open Access at PMChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4309500
BACKGROUND: Palliative care incorporates comprehensive support of family caregivers because many of them experience burden and distress. However, evidence-based support initiatives are few. PURPOSE: We evaluated a one-to-one psychoeducational intervention aimed at mitigating the distress of caregivers of patients with advanced cancer receiving home-based palliative care. We hypothesised that caregivers would report decreased distress as assessed by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). METHOD: A randomised controlled trial comparing two versions of the delivery of the intervention (one face-to-face home visit plus telephone calls versus two visits) plus standard care to a control group (standard care only) across four sites in Australia. RESULTS: Recruitment to the one visit condition was 57, the two visit condition 93, and the control 148. We previously reported non-significant changes in distress between times 1 (baseline) and 2 (1-week post-intervention) but significant gains in competence and preparedness. We report here changes in distress between times 1 and 3 (8-week post-death). There was significantly less worsening in distress between times 1 and 3 in the one visit intervention group than in the control group; however, no significant difference was found between the two visit intervention and the control group. CONCLUSIONS: These results are consistent with the aim of the intervention, and they support existing evidence demonstrating that relatively short psychoeducational interventions can help family caregivers who are supporting a dying relative. The sustained benefit during the bereavement period may also have positive resource implications, which should be the subject of future inquiry.
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