58 Support needs of informal carers of patients with copd and implications for improving carer support

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Informal carers play a key supportive role for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) but with considerable impact on their health and wellbeing.1 2 The literature on support needs of these carers has not been fully synthesised and our knowledge of the comprehensiveness of the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool3 (CSNAT) for carers of patients with COPD is limited.


To identify relevant carer support needs from the published literature in order to explore the comprehensiveness of the CSNAT for carers of patients with COPD.


English language studies published between 1997–2017 were identified against predetermined inclusion/exclusion criteria through searches of MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, CDSR, ASSIA, PsycINFO and Scopus. Further studies were identified through searching reference lists and citations of included papers. Papers were critically appraised and data extracted and synthesised by two reviewers. Identified needs were mapped to CSNAT items.


24 studies were included in the review. Preliminary results (synthesis ongoing: completes September 2018) indicate that carers have support needs in a range of domains that include physical psychological spiritual and social needs. Early findings suggest additional CSNAT items may be required in order to encompass the full range of needs of this group particularly relating to difficulties within the patient-carer relationship and accessing services.


Based on preliminary results there is evidence to suggest the need for additional CSNAT items for COPD carers and that these carers would benefit from identification and response to their support needs by healthcare professionals to improve carer support.

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