Palliative care for caregivers should be initiated earlier rather than later

the ONA take:

A team of investigators, affiliated with University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Nursing/Department of Medicine, examined the impact of early versus delayed intervention with regard to family caregivers for those with cancer

For a period of slightly over 2 years, the researchers selected caregivers of patients with advanced cancer to receive intervention either soon after enrollment of 3 months afterward. Caregivers were recruited from a National Cancer Institute (NCI) cancer center, a Veterans Administration Medical Center, and two community outreach clinics. Intervention consisted of the following: three telephone coaching sessions per week, a monthly follow-up, and a bereavement call. One hundred twenty two caregivers participated in the study process.

Measured factors for caregivers in the two groups were depression, quality of life, and burden (objective, stress, and demand).

Data showed a lower rate of depression (both at the three-month mark and in terminal decline analysis) for the caregivers in the early group. The early intervention group also demonstrated lower stress burden, though quality of life was rated similar for both groups.

Study results were presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, in Chicago, Illinois. 

Exercise And Nutrition Counseling Plus Palliative Care Improves Quality Of Life For Patients With Ca
The impact of early versus delayed intervention with regard to family caregivers for those with cancer.
Early-group CGs had lower depression scores at 3 months and lower depression and stress burden in the terminal decline analysis. Palliative care for CGs should be initiated as early as possible to maximize benefits.
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