Supporting Family Caregivers of Seriously Ill Patients at Home

Most people who are seriously ill prefer to receive care at home. Whether or not this is possible often depends on family or friends to provide care. These caregivers usually provide the majority of care that the ill person receives, and are therefore an indispensable part of enabling people to remain at home during times of serious illness.

Study description

Providing care can be both challenging and rewarding. Given their important contribution, we designed a study that will document and observe the quality of life of caregivers who are providing care to a seriously ill friend or loved one. We will assess family caregivers’ emotional and physical well-being during their time as a caregiver. We will also ask about any support they have received, as well as their satisfaction with healthcare provided. These questions will help us understand family caregivers’ well-being as it relates to the healthcare team.

Family caregivers are invited to participate in the study shortly after their loved one is enrolled in a palliative care program. We ask the caregivers to complete a questionnaire every month while they are providing care. At the end of the study we will analyse all the questionnaires and provide each caregiver who participated with a report of the study findings. We hope this study will contribute to future research and nursing practice that supports the quality of life of family caregivers.

Research objective

To assess caregivers’ quality of life as it is impacted by the support they receive from their communities and the healthcare system while they care for their seriously ill friend or family member.


Funding for this project has been provided by Canadian Frailty Network (CFN) and the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (CCSRI).

cfn bilingual     CCSRI logo

Principal investigators

Kelli Stajduhar (UVic)
Richard Sawatzky (TWU)


Robin Cohen (McGill)
Laura Funk (University of Manitoba)
Kristine Votova (Island Health)
Samar Aoun (Curtin University, Australia)
Gail Ewing (University of Cambridge, England)
Gunn Grande (University of Manchester, England)
Chris Toye (Curtin University, Australia)

Post doctoral fellow

Lara Russell (CHEOS, UBC)



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