About the research

img_downstairs.jpgIn 2004, researchers Kelli Stajduhar and Robin Cohen received a CIHR NET grant to examine how to best enable family members who wish to provide care at home at the end of life to do so without endangering their own health. Their team developed a toolkit of core patient- and family-oriented outcome measures to support its research activities, including a measure of family caregiver quality of life developed by Cohen and now being translated and used internationally.

The team also received external peer-reviewed funding to complete a number of descriptive studies and, in addition to the research conducted by their NET trainees, they are now moving into developing and testing family caregiver interventions.

Their research program has examined a number of themes related to family caregiving, including environment and setting for palliative care, preferences for location of death from both patient and caregiver perspectives, and a wide range of family caregiver issues, including respite preferences, patient denial experiences and the well-being of caregivers for home-based palliative patients.

This work is critical to better understanding caregiver needs and how vitally important caregivers are to our health care system. The research guides us in developing appropriate supports to maintain what is clearly a valuable and crucial aspect of our health system as our population ages.

Our goal is to translate this knowledge to provide other researchers, health professionals, caregivers with the tools and resources they need to develop best practices, manage strained health resources and support family caregivers who are caring for those at the end of life.

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