Understanding Family Caregiver Communication to Provide Family-Centered Cancer Care

Elaine Wittenberg, Haley Buller, Betty Ferrell, Marianna Koczywas, Tami Borneman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objectives To describe a family caregiver communication typology and demonstrate identifiable communication challenges among four caregiver types: Manager, Carrier, Partner, and Lone. Data Sources Case studies based on interviews with oncology family caregivers. Conclusion Each caregiver type demonstrates unique communication challenges that can be identified. Recognition of a specific caregiver type will help nurses to adapt their own communication to provide tailored support. Implications for Nursing Practice Family-centered cancer care requires attention to the communication challenges faced by family caregivers. Understanding the challenges among four family caregiver communication types will enable nurses to better address caregiver burden and family conflict.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-516
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in oncology nursing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • communication
  • family caregiver
  • family caregiver types
  • family communication patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)


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