Supporting informal carers of those in receipt of palliative care

George Kernohan, Mary Waldron

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Background: Many palliative care providerssupport informal carers in various, largelyunproven, ways (Hudson, 2013, Harding et al,2013). One such intervention involves attendanceat a weekly support programme ‘classes’ to betterenable carers to cope.Aims: To evaluate a regular six-week carers’support programme.Methods: An observational design was used, withboth quantitative and qualitative descriptive dataanalysis. Two carer-specific scales were adapted(Modified Carergiver Strain Index and Care GivingCompetence Scale) and administered before andafter programme delivery to six groups of carers ofadult patients over 12 months.Results: Increases were noted in post programmeanxiety and curiosity. Common carer experienceswere: sleep disturbance, physical strain,the confining aspects of care, demands on carers’time, and feeling completely overwhelmed.However, almost two thirds (n=17, 63%) felt thatthe programme made a difference to them personally.Two thirds believed that they had learnedhow to deal with a very difficult situation, that theywere good carers and wished to stay in contactwith each other. Fewer participants felt aloneafter attending and most now had information onavailable services. Pamper Evening (n = 17, 63%),‘Introduction’ (n= 16, 59%) and Symptom Management(n=15, 55%) were the most popular sessions.Discussion: That over half the participants (n=14)returned both questionnaires is encouragingas some were bereaved during the programme.Possible explanations regarding increases inanxiety and common care experiences could be anew realisation from the programme. There weredefinite positive trends in participants’ feelingsabout their caregiving before and after theprogramme.Conclusion: Whilst relatively small numbers attendthe programme, those who do attend demonstratesatisfaction, learning and feel supported in the roleof carer.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
Place of PublicationgLASGOW
PublisherRoyal College of Nursing
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2 Apr 2014
EventRCN 2014 International Nursing Research Conference - Glasgow
Duration: 2 Apr 2014 → …


ConferenceRCN 2014 International Nursing Research Conference
Period2/04/14 → …


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