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Family caregivers of terminally ill persons describe hope as inner strength that will help them continue caregiving. Our research team has developed and pilot tested a Living with Hope Program (LWHP) for caregivers of family members with advanced cancer, with the goal of fostering hope and improving quality of life (www.usask.ca/nursing /research/livingwithhope). The caregivers involved in our pilot test found the LWHP easy to use and we found some evidence to suggest that the program may have increased their hope and improved their quality of life. We would like to further develop and test the LWHP by finding out more about how and how long it might work. We believe it will improve the quality of life of active and bereaved older rural women of persons with advanced cancer and may decrease the number of prescriptions and doctor visits over one year. Since rural women caring for persons with advanced cancer seem to have the least hope, we want to focus on them first before including other caregivers in our research. Two hundred rural women caring for a person with advanced cancer will be asked to take part in this study. Their feelings of control, loss and grief, quality of life and hope will be measured over a year. The numbers of time they visit their physician and how many prescriptions they have over the year will also be collected. This study will contribute to the refinement of a Living with Hope Program that may improve quality of life and personal health of older rural women caring for their spouse with advanced cancer and those who subsequently become bereaved.
1. Background: The research team has developed and pilot tested a Living with Hope Program (LWHP) for caregivers of family members with advanced cancer. The LWHP includes viewing an award winning Living with Hope video followed by writing a daily journal for two weeks. The pilot test findings suggested that the LWHP is an acceptable and feasible intervention for use by family caregivers. Although the LWHP shows promise in potentially increasing hope and quality of life, further testing and development is needed. Questions remain as to: a) what are the mechanisms through which the LWHP affects outcomes and b) how long it is effective?
2. Purpose: The overall purpose of this time series mixed method study is the further development and testing of the LWHP by:
1. Determining the mechanisms of the LWHP by testing the LWHP conceptual model in which self-efficacy and loss and grief are hypothesized intervening variables for changes in hope, and subsequently quality of life among rural women caring for persons with advanced cancer. In the LWHP model we hypothesize that administration of the LWHP will improve self-efficacy and decrease feelings of loss and grief. This will lead to a positive influence on the proximal outcome of hope and the distal outcome of quality of life.
2. Exploring the longitudinal effects of the LWHP on hope, quality of life and health services utilization among older rural women caring for spouses with advanced cancer. We want to determine if the LWHP has benefits beyond what was found in the pilot. The team will compare baseline scores of hope and quality of life to scores after the LWHP over time and health services utilization (one year prospective number of physician visits and prescriptions compared to the year before the LWHP). This study is unique, as it will follow caregivers over a one-year period. As approximately 50% of these caregivers will become bereaved one month after study enrolment; rather than dropping these caregivers from the study, the team felt that retaining these subjects would add to the understanding of hope, quality of life and health care utilization among caregivers by continuing to follow them through bereavement. Thus, patterns of hope, quality of life and health care services utilization will be delineated over time for active and bereaved caregivers.
3. Research Plan: Using a time-series embedded mixed method design, baseline measures will be collected from 200 rural women caring for a person who has advanced cancer. All subjects will receive the LWHP. Then subjects will be post tested on the variables at 1 and 2 weeks, 3, 6 and 12 months. Journals entries will be copied and transcribed. Using Health Services Personnel Health numbers, subject's health services utilization data (physician's visits and number of prescriptions) will be collected one year prior to the LWHP and one year post LWHP using administrative data from Saskatchewan Health.
4. Data Analysis: Path Analysis will be used to test the model post LWHP at 1 and 2 weeks. Two-factor ANCOVA will determine patterns over time and Cortazzi's narrative analysis will be used to analyze the subjects journals completed as part of the LWHP.
5. Significance: This study will contribute to the refinement of the Living with Hope Program that may improve quality of life and personal health of older rural women caring for their spouse with advanced cancer and those who subsequently become bereaved. The findings will also increase our understanding of the factors influencing hope, quality of life and health in a vulnerable, understudied population that is increasing in numbers with the aging of Canada's population. Family care giving is what sustains patients at the end of life, and with changing demographics and diminishing resources there is a potential that every Canadian will be an informal caregiver at some time. Effective psychosocial supportive interventions, such as the LWHP are critical for their support and well-being.
Allocation: Non-Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
Living with Hope Program
University of Saskatchewan
University of Saskatchewan
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-24T14:06:58-0400
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