AIM: To assess the effects of family nursing conversations on family caregiver burden, patients' quality of life, family functioning and the amount of professional home health care.
DESIGN: A controlled before-and-after design.
METHODS: Intervention group families participated in two family nursing conversations incorporated in home health care; control group families received usual home health care. Patients and family members completed a set of questionnaires on entering the study and 6 months later to assess family caregiver burden, family functioning and patients' quality of life. The amount of home health care was extracted from patient files. Data were collected between January 2018-June 2019.
RESULTS: Data of 51 patients (mean age 80; 47% male) and 61 family members (mean age 67; 38% male) were included in the results. Family caregiver burden remained stable in the intervention group whereas it increased in the control group. Family functioning improved significantly compared with the control group for patients and family members in the intervention group. No significant effects on patients' quality of life emerged. The amount of professional home health care decreased significantly in the intervention group whereas it remained equal in the control group.
CONCLUSION: Family nursing conversations prevented family caregiver burden, improved family functioning, but did not affect patients' quality of life. In addition, the amount of home health care decreased following the family nursing conversations.
IMPACT: Countries with ageing populations seek to reduce professional and residential care and therefore encourage family caregiving. Intensive family caregiving, however, places families at risk for caregiver burden which may lead to increased professional care and admission into residential care. This study demonstrates that family nursing conversations help nurses to prevent family caregiver burden and improve family functioning while decreasing the amount of home health care.
- chronic diseases
- primary care