Supporting home hospice family caregivers: Insights from different perspectives

Lee Ellington, Kristin G. Cloyes, Jiayun Xu, Lanell Bellury, Patricia H. Berry, Maija Reblin, Margaret F. Clayton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Scopus citations


    Objective: Our intention was to describe and compare the perspectives of national hospice thought leaders, hospice nurses, and former family caregivers on factors that promote or threaten family caregiver perceptions of support.Method: Nationally recognized hospice thought leaders (n = 11), hospice nurses (n = 13), and former family caregivers (n = 14) participated. Interviews and focus groups were audiotaped and transcribed. Data were coded inductively, and codes were hierarchically grouped by topic. Emergent categories were summarized descriptively and compared across groups.Results: Four categories linked responses from the three participant groups (95%, 366/384 codes): (1) essentials of skilled communication (30.6%), (2) importance of building authentic relationships (28%), (3) value of expert teaching (22.4%), and (4) critical role of teamwork (18.3%). The thought leaders emphasized communication (44.6%), caregivers stressed expert teaching (51%), and nurses highlighted teamwork (35.8%). Nurses discussed teamwork significantly more than caregivers (z = 2.2786), thought leaders discussed communication more than caregivers (z = 2.8551), and caregivers discussed expert teaching more than thought leaders (z = 2.1693) and nurses (z = 2.4718; all values of p < 0.05).Significance of Results: Our findings suggest differences in priorities for caregiver support across family caregivers, hospice nurses, and thought leaders. Hospice teams may benefit from further education and training to help cross the schism of family-centered hospice care as a clinical ideal to one where hospice team members can fully support and empower family caregivers as a hospice team member.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)209-219
    Number of pages11
    JournalPalliative and Supportive Care
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


    • Caregiver
    • Caregiver support
    • Communication
    • Comparative analysis
    • Hospice nursing

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nursing(all)
    • Clinical Psychology
    • Psychiatry and Mental health


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