Family Caregiver Support of Patient Self-Management During Chronic, Life-Limiting Illness: A Qualitative Metasynthesis

Dena Schulman-Green, Shelli L. Feder, J. Nicholas Dionne-Odom, Janene Batten, Victoria Jane En Long, Yolanda Harris, Abigail Wilpers, Tiffany Wong, Robin Whittemore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Family caregivers play an integral role in supporting patient self-management, yet how they perform this role is unclear. We conducted a qualitative metasynthesis of family caregivers’ processes to support patient self-management of chronic, life-limiting illness and factors affecting their support. Methods included a systematic literature search, quality appraisal of articles, data abstraction, and data synthesis to produce novel themes. Thirty articles met inclusion criteria, representing 935 international family caregivers aged 18 to 89 years caring for patients with various health conditions. Three themes characterized family caregivers’ processes to support patient self-management: “Focusing on the Patient’s Illness Needs,” “Activating Resources to Support Oneself as the Family Caregiver,” and “Supporting a Patient Living with a Chronic, Life-Limiting Illness.” Factors affecting family caregivers’ support included Personal Characteristics, Health Status, Resources, Environmental Characteristics, and the Health Care System. The family caregiver role in supporting patient self-management is multidimensional, encompassing three processes of care and influenced by multiple factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-72
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Family Nursing
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • chronic illness
  • family caregiver
  • life-limiting
  • metasynthesis
  • qualitative
  • self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Family Practice

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