Question asking by family caregivers in hospice interdisciplinary team meetings

Elaine Wittenberg-Lyles, Debra Parker Oliver, George Demiris, Karla T. Washington, Kelly Regehr, Heidi M. Wilder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This article reports findings from a pilot study that enabled family caregivers to use videophone technology to participate in hospice interdisciplinary team meetings. The goal of the study was to ascertain which issues were important to caregivers and the hospice team. A qualitative content analysis of video-recorded team meetings between team members and caregivers was conducted. In a sample of 12 caregivers in 36 discussions, caregivers asked a total of 137 questions, with the majority being Yes/No questions (45.1%), primarily used to seek clarification (19.6%). Hospice staff asked 396 questions, with the majority consisting of Yes/No questions (66.5%), mainly used to ask about the overall condition of the patient (22.2%). Data from this study suggest that when given the opportunity to participate in hospice team meetings, caregivers will ask questions of hospice staff. In addition, in light of prior research, this study's findings suggest that caregivers may have questions that go unaddressed, specifically regarding pain and medication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-88
Number of pages7
JournalResearch in Gerontological Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


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