An overview and evaluation of the oncology family caregiver project: Improving quality of life and quality of care for oncology family caregivers

Betty Ferrell, Jo Hanson, Marcia Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective With changes in health care, oncology family caregivers (FCs) provide the vast majority of patient care. Yet, FCs assume their role with little or no training and with limited resources within the cancer setting to support them. The purpose of this project is to develop and implement a curriculum to improve the quality of life and quality of care for FCs by strengthening cancer care settings in this area. Methods A National Cancer Institute (NCI) R25 grant funded the development of an FC curriculum for professional healthcare providers. The curriculum, based on the City of Hope Quality-of-Life Model, is presented to professionals from cancer centers in national training courses. The project brings together the most current evidence-based knowledge and multiple resources to help improve FC support. Participants develop goals related to implementation and dissemination of the course content and resources in their home institution. Goal evaluation follows at 6, 12, and 18 months. Results To date, three courses have been presented to 154 teams (322 individuals) representing 39 states. Course evaluations were positive, and participants have initiated institutional FC support goals. Although the goals are diverse, the broad categories include support groups, staff/FC/community education, resource development, assessment tools, and institutional change. Conclusions There is a critical need to improve support for cancer FCs. This FC training course for professionals is a first step in addressing this need.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1645-1652
Number of pages8
JournalPsycho-Oncology
Volume22
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Keywords

  • cancer
  • caregiver resources
  • family caregivers
  • oncology
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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