Stress variances among informal hospice caregivers

Elaine Wittenberg-Lyles, George Demiris, Debra Parker Oliver, Karla Washington, Stephanie Burt, Sara Shaunfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Care interventions are not routinely provided for hospice caregivers, despite widespread documentation of the burden and toll of the caregiving experience. Assessing caregivers for team interventions (ACT) proposes that holistic patient and family care includes ongoing caregiver needs assessment of primary, secondary, and intrapsychic stressors. In this study, our goal was to describe the variance in stressors for caregivers to establish evidence for the ACT theoretical framework. We used secondary interview data from a randomized controlled trial to analyze hospice caregiver discussions about concerns. We found variances in stress types, suggesting that caregiver interventions should range from knowledge and skill building to cognitive-behavioral interventions that aid in coping. Family members who assume the role of primary caregiver for a dying loved one need to be routinely assessed by hospice providers for customized interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1114-1125
Number of pages12
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Caregivers/caregiving
  • Coping and adaptation
  • End-of-life issues
  • Illness and disease, life-threatening/terminal
  • Psychosocial issues


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