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Carer Support Needs and Quality of Life in Palliative Care: A Methodological and Empiri-cal Study

Authors Anette Alvariza
Maja Holm
Inger Benkel
Maria Norinder
Gail Ewing
Gunn Grande
Cecilia Håkanson
Joakim Öhlen
Kristofer Årestedt
Published in 16th Word Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC). Berlin, May 23-25, Abstract P01-148.
Publication year 2019
Published at University of Gothenburg Centre for person-centred care (GPCC)
Institute of Medicine
Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Language en
Subject categories Nursing, Palliative medicine


Background: The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) was developed to identify support needs of family carers in the context of palliative care which aims to improve quality of life, not just of patients but also their families. Aims: This study aims to 1) evaluate validity and reliability of the CSNAT in a sample of Swedish family carers and nurses in a specialised palliative care context, 2) investigate associations between carer support needs and quality of life. Methods: The study was conducted in four stages I: translation of CSNAT to Swedish; II: cognitive interviews with 8 family carers and 10 nurses; III: completion of the CSNAT, Preparedness for Caregiving Scale, Caregiver Burden Scale, Quality of Life in Life Threatening Illness- Family Carer Version by 118 family carers (spouses/partners: mean age 68 years; 69 women and 45 men). Evaluation of data quality, construct validity and test-retest reliability; IV: Investigation of associations between carer support needs and qual- ity of life using linear regression analyses. Results: CSNAT items were considered relevant and useful to identify support needs and demonstrated sound psychometric properties with satisfactory data quality and few problems with missing data. All items had satisfactory test-retest reliability. Construct validity was supported, as CSNAT items correlated with caregiver burden and preparedness. Associations were found between CSNAT items and seven different domains that represent carer quality of life; carer state, patient wellbe- ing, quality of care, outlook, environment and finances. Having more support needs was associated with poorer quality of life. Conclusion: This study adds to the validity of the CSNAT and shows in addition that it is reliable and stable for use among family carers in pal- liative care. Associations between carer support needs and quality of life suggests that carers’ quality of life may be improved by acknowledging and addressing their needs for support.

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