Promising Impact of Telenovela Intervention for Caregivers of Hospice Patients: A Pilot Study

Dulce M. Cruz-Oliver, Gabrielle E. Milner, Kelsea Mensh, Marielle Bugayong, Marcela D. Blinka, Nowella Durkin, Martha Abshire Saylor, Chakra Budhathoki, Debra Parker Oliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Hospice family caregivers (HFCGs) support the needs of their loved ones but are at risk of developing distress and anxiety. NOVELA is a four-chapter telenovela-style educational video to support topics related to hospice caregiving. Telehealth visits are scheduled in 4 weekly sessions consisting of a chapter and subsequent discussion with an interventionist. This feasibility pilot study tested NOVELA’s effect to change HFCGs’ outcomes, session and outcome measure completion (defined a priori as >70%). Methods: This is a single-group pretest-posttest study of HFCGs of care recipients with PPS score >20% from 3 hospices in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region. At baseline and at final posttest, participants completed a web-based survey assessing 3 outcomes: anxiety, self-efficacy, and satisfaction with intervention. Descriptive, t-test, and chi-square statistics were computed. Results: Participants in our study (N = 59) were mainly collage educated, White, female, adult children of home-bound people with a non-cancer diagnosis. Outcomes changed in the expected direction (P >.05) with higher self-efficacy (Cohen’s d = −.08 [95% CI −.4 to.2) and lower anxiety (Cohen’s d =.2 [95% CI −.1 to.5]) scores from final to baseline, 86% of HFCGs were satisfied or very satisfied with NOVELA, session (33/59) and outcome measure (43/59) completion averaged 68%. Conclusion: Encouraging trends in NOVELA’s estimation of effect suggests that NOVELA may buffer stressful aspects of hospice caregiving. However, further refinement of NOVELA is needed. Supporting HFCGs through supportive educational interventions may reduce distress and anxiety with broad implications for quality improvement.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • anxiety
  • family caregivers
  • hospice
  • satisfaction
  • self-efficacy
  • sessions
  • telehealth visits
  • telenovela videos


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