Informal hospice caregiving: The toll on quality of life

Heidi M. Wilder, Debra Parker Oliver, George Demiris, Karla Washington

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


A primary goal in hospice philosophy is to enhance quality of life for both patients and families. Informal family caregivers are essential for the provision of hospice services, but past research has demonstrated a social, emotional, financial, and physical toll associated with this role. The present study investigated self-reported caregiver quality of life in four domains upon patient admission to hospice (n=76) and 1 month later (n=45). Significant decreases were found for emotional, social, and total quality of life. Average social quality of life was initially the highest domain but became the lowest after 1 month. Physical quality of life was lowest initially and decreased slightly. Interpretations and implications of results are given.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-332
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • Caregiver
  • Hospice
  • Longitudinal
  • Palliative care
  • Quality of life


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