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Research project: Supporting family caregivers in the transition between hospital and their relative’s preferred place for end of life care

Currently Active: 

The study aims to develop a service model to guide implementation of support for family members undertaking end of life care discharge planning.   The objectives are to: Understand and support the discharge work that family members undertake Design and assess the usability of a brief intervention to support family members’ work To systematically implement this intervention in hospital practice and develop toolkits to facilitate uptake of the intervention      

We are interested in supporting family members in the work they do to facilitate discharge from hospital to home or a nursing home, working on the premise that this work is crucial to the sustainability of discharge. More importantly, if we can support family members during this period it will positively influence their resilience on discharge (and their ability to undertake caregiving activities), consequently reducing caregiver role ambiguity and overload.

From the evidence, and working with a group of palliative care practitioners, we have crafted a brief intervention. The intervention is a series of prompts that are designed to structure professional conversations so that family members can be supported effectively. 

The study uses Family Sense of Coherence theory to underpin the implementation of evidence within the brief intervention. This theory states that family resilience can best be supported by working with the concepts of meaningfulness, comprehensibility and manageability. Each concept is addressed via a prompt within the conversation-based intervention.

The implementation is guided by Normalization Process Theory which reveals the factors that facilitate and hinder adoption of evidence into everyday practice and systems. Using participatory learning and action study, each cycle is linked to a phase of implementation.


NIHR School of Social Care Research

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Related research groups

Complex Healthcare Processes
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