A comparison of the needs of hospice caregivers during and after the caregiving experience
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Type of Work103 pages
The purpose of this study was to identify Hospice caregiver needs during and after the caregiving experience and to determine if perceptions of needs change over time. This study also examined certain characteristics as they relate to perception of family needs. The study population consisted of a convenience sample of 52 Delaware Hospice caregivers. A descriptive research design was used for this investigation. Data on caregiver needs was collected using the Home Caregiver Needs Survey (HCNS). In addition demographic information was obtained from the caregivers. Mean values were computed from the responses of the caregivers both during and after the experience. The top six needs both during and after caregiving were included within the categories of information needs and patient care needs. The needs identified after caregiving more clearly define the intensity of the caregiving experience. Specific details of caregiving such as: RN or HHA help with care; information on medication effects and schedules; information on what symptoms to expect; and ways to combat fatigue increased in importance. Retrospective caregiver needs reflected a moving away from irrelevant patient care issues and a focusing on those issues that most directly related to patient comfort. They also reflected increased interaction with people other than the patient. A significant difference was seen in several needs of male caregivers and non-white caregivers. Further investigation is needed to more clearly define the changes in care needs throughout the caregiving experience. Consistent assessment of the family needs as well as evaluation of success in meeting those needs is vital.