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cancer, family caregiving, family caregiving skill, grounded theory, model development, qualitative research



  1. Schumacher, Karen L. PhD, RN
  2. Beidler, Susan M. PhD, MBE, ARNP
  3. Beeber, Anna Song PhD, RN
  4. Gambino, Patricia MSN, RN


Family caregivers of persons receiving treatment of cancer must acquire illness-related skills not usually found among nonprofessional caregivers. Although research is needed to understand the skill acquisition process, no models of family caregiving skill exist to guide such research. The purpose of this study was to develop a model of caregiving skill through qualitative research. Participants were 44 caregiver/patient dyads and 63 individual caregivers. Data were collected using a semi-structured interview. A transactional model of family caregiving skill was developed that includes the concepts of demands of the illness situation, patterns of care, caregiver responses, and patient responses.