Family Caregiver Preparedness: Developing an Educational Intervention for Symptom Management

Betty R. Ferrell

Nora Ruel

Tami Borneman

Marianna Koczywas

Mihaela Cristea

family caregiver, preparedness, symptom management, advanced cancer
CJON 2022, 26(2), 165-175. DOI: 10.1188/22.CJON.165-175

Background: Family caregivers provide complex care for patients with cancer, including management of multiple symptoms associated with the disease and its treatment.

Objectives: The objective of this pilot project was to develop and conduct feasibility testing of a family caregiver educational intervention for symptom management.

Methods: The intervention was conducted with 23 family caregivers of patients with lung or gynecologic cancer to evaluate feasibility testing and assessment of caregiver preparedness, quality of life, and psychological distress at baseline and three and seven weeks postintervention.

Findings: Family caregivers were very interested in education related to their role in symptom management, with management of constipation, dyspnea, and diarrhea as the highest priorities. The intervention was feasible and valuable in assisting family caregivers in assessing symptoms and making decisions regarding treatment choices.

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