A problem solving intervention for hospice caregivers: A pilot study

George Demiris, Debra Parker Oliver, Karla Washington, Lynne Thomas Fruehling, Donna Haggarty-Robbins, Ardith Doorenbos, Hope Wechkin, Donna Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Problem Solving Intervention (PSI) is a structured, cognitive-behavioral intervention that provides people with problem-solving coping skills to help them face major negative life events and daily challenges. PSI has been applied to numerous settings but remains largely unexplored in the hospice setting. The aim of this pilot study was to demonstrate the feasibility of PSI targeting informal caregivers of hospice patients. We enrolled hospice caregivers who were receiving outpatient services from two hospice agencies. The intervention included three visits by a research team member. The agenda for each visit was informed by the problem-solving theoretical framework and was customized based on the most pressing problems identified by the caregivers. We enrolled 29 caregivers. Patient's pain was the most frequently identified problem. On average, caregivers reported a higher quality of life and lower level of anxiety postintervention than at baseline. An examination of the caregiver reaction assessment showed an increase of positive esteem average and a decrease of the average value of lack of family support, impact on finances, impact on schedules, and on health. After completing the intervention, caregivers reported lower levels of anxiety, improved problem solving skills, and a reduced negative impact of caregiving. Furthermore, caregivers reported high levels of satisfaction with the intervention, perceiving it as a platform to articulate their challenges and develop a plan to address them. Findings demonstrate the value of problem solving as a psycho-educational intervention in the hospice setting and call for further research in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1005-1011
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of palliative medicine
Volume13
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010

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