Informal caregiver training on home care and cancer symptom management prior to hospital discharge: a feasibility study.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)


To determine the feasibility of individualized caregiver training for home care and symptom management conducted at the bedside of older patients with cancer prior to hospital discharge.


Pilot study.


The Extended Care Rehabilitation Center at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center in North Carolina.


7 female informal caregivers with a mean age of 56 (range = 26-76). More than half were African American. Most commonly, caregivers were spouses of the patients with cancer.


Individualized and experiential training on home care and cancer symptom management was conducted at the bedside of patients before hospital discharge. Caregiver demographic data were collected. An informal interview at the end of the training asked about the usefulness of the training in preparing for home caregiving.

Main research variables

Feasibility of the training.


Individualized bedside training to caregivers prior to hospital discharge is feasible. All caregivers noted the relevance of the content as well as the approach to the training.


When given an opportunity for training on symptom management and home care, informal caregivers were very interested in participating. The individualized approach gave caregivers an opportunity to have their particular needs met. The flexibility of when to conduct the training proved to be crucial when soliciting attendance. The biggest challenge was in recruiting caregiver subjects through patients with cancer.

Implications for nursing

The impetus now is to look at the effects of the training on caregiver-patient variables as well as the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of such an approach to caregiver training.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hendrix, C; Ray, C

Published Date

  • July 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 793 - 798

PubMed ID

  • 16858461

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1538-0688

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0190-535X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1188/06.onf.793-798


  • eng