Caregiver Support May Reduce Psychological Distress

Direct caregiver support was found to be more beneficial than providing patient care support

FRIDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- The psychological distress of caring for a friend or relative with a terminal disease may be reduced if informal caregivers receive direct support, although the quality of evidence is low, according to a review published in the June issue of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Bridget Candy, from the Royal Free & University College Medical School in London, and colleagues reviewed available literature until 2010 to investigate whether supportive interventions, either directly or through patient care, improved the psychological and physical health of informal caregivers of patients with a terminal disease. The analysis included 11 randomized controlled trials with 1,836 caregiver participants. Adverse effects were compared between participants who received intervention and those who did not.

The investigators found that interventions that directly supported the caregiver resulted in a significant reduction of short-term psychological distress with marginal improvements in coping skills and quality of life, but the quality of evidence was low. Only one study assessed physical outcomes and found no difference in sleep improvement. Although no study measured health service use or adverse outcomes, higher levels of family conflict were identified in a subgroup analysis from one study. Patient support did not significantly reduce caregivers' psychological distress, and its effect on caregivers' ability to cope, quality of life, service use, or adverse outcomes could not be assessed. Based on one study there was no difference in caregiver physical health when the patient received or did not receive additional care.

"These findings suggest that practitioners should inquire about the concerns of caregivers and should consider that they may benefit from additional support," the authors write.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95

Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.

Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events