An overview and evaluation of the oncology family caregiver project: improving quality of life and quality of care for oncology family caregivers

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With changes in health care, oncology family caregivers (FCs) provide the vast majority of patient care. Yet, FCs assume their role with little or no training and with limited resources within the cancer setting to support them. The purpose of this project is to develop and implement a curriculum to improve the quality of life and quality of care for FCs by strengthening cancer care settings in this area.


A National Cancer Institute (NCI) R25 grant funded the development of an FC curriculum for professional healthcare providers. The curriculum, based on the City of Hope Quality-of-Life Model, is presented to professionals from cancer centers in national training courses. The project brings together the most current evidence-based knowledge and multiple resources to help improve FC support. Participants develop goals related to implementation and dissemination of the course content and resources in their home institution. Goal evaluation follows at 6, 12, and 18 months.


To date, three courses have been presented to 154 teams (322 individuals) representing 39 states. Course evaluations were positive, and participants have initiated institutional FC support goals. Although the goals are diverse, the broad categories include support groups, staff/FC/community education, resource development, assessment tools, and institutional change.


There is a critical need to improve support for cancer FCs. This FC training course for professionals is a first step in addressing this need.


Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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