Review Article

Cancer Care: Supporting Underserved and Financially Burdened Family Caregivers

Betty R. Ferrell, RN, PhD, MA, FAAN, FPCN, CHPN, and Kate Kravitz, RN, HNB-BS, LPC, NCC, ATR-BC

Division of Nursing Research and Education, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, California

Authors’ disclosures of potential conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.

Betty R. Ferrell, RN, PhD, MA, FAAN, FPCN, CHPN, 1500 E. Duarte Road, Pop Sci Bldg 173, Duarte, CA 91010. E-mail: bferrell@coh.org


J Adv Pract Oncol 2017;8:494–500 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2017.8.5.5 | © 2017 Harborside Press®


  

ABSTRACT

Abstract

Family caregivers who provide care for a loved one with advanced cancer suffer physically and psychologically from the care demands of a family member with high symptom burden and a poor prognosis. Often, family members are also faced with financial burden and suffer financial strain from their loved one’s care demands. This article describes an ongoing test of a palliative care intervention to support financially burdened caregivers of family members who have advanced cancer. The intervention is designed to decrease family caregiver burden, increase skills preparedness, improve family caregiver quality of life, decrease psychological distress, and increase family caregiver self-care. This intervention is an individualized intervention customized to a particular caregiver and situation. It combines adult teaching principles, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Distress Guidelines, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report on Cancer Care for the Whole Patient, the National Consensus Project (NCP) Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, and the concept of self-care. Initial findings indicate that financially strained family caregivers of family members with advanced cancer can benefit from self-care strategies that are designed to meet specific goals and individual needs when combined with a care plan and subsequent evaluations. However, findings indicate that financially strained caregivers may have limited resources and opportunities to utilize self-care strategies.




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