A narrative review of interventions to support family carers who provide physical care to family members with cancer

Ann Louise Caress, Karen Chalmers, Karen Luker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Most reports of cancer caregivers' needs focus on information and psychosocial needs. Less is known about practical knowledge and support carers need to provide physical care in the home. This review aimed to identity and critique studies of the development and/or evaluation of interventions to enable family carers to provide physical/practical care to a family member with cancer. Design: Narrative review. Data sources: Studies which included adult carers who provided care to a family member with cancer (any stage). Search sources included Psych Info., Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Embase Ovid, Embase, Ovid Medline, CINAHL, other databases, systematic and other reviews. Review methods: All types of study designs were included. Initially, multiple and broadly defined search strategies and terms were used to capture the range of potential studies; later more refined procedures were applied. Results: In total, 19 studies were included in the review. Interventions focused on skills development (n = 1), managing symptoms (n = 9), problem solving (n = 5) and learning (n = 4). Few studies were identified with well-defined and evaluated interventions to assist carers to provide physical care for their family member with cancer. Conclusions: Future research is needed to develop well-defined interventions on practical skills and evaluate the outcomes for patients and caregivers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1516-1527
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Issue number11
Early online date28 Apr 2009
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


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