Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 282–292

Clinical Implications for Supporting Caregivers at the End-of-Life: Findings and from a Qualitative Study

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10591-012-9194-6

Cite this article as:
Forbat, L., McManus, E. & Haraldsdottir, E. Contemp Fam Ther (2012) 34: 282. doi:10.1007/s10591-012-9194-6


Despite families providing considerable care at end of life, there are substantial gaps in the provision of supportive care. A qualitative interview study was conducted with 17 caregivers of people supported by an adult hospice to explore the support needs of families. Family members readily identified the ways in which the diagnosis of a life-limiting illness impacted on them and the family as a whole, not just the patient. Implications for practice demonstrate the need to intervene at a family and relational level prior to bereavement, in order to mitigate complicated grief for the surviving family members. Such an approach offers a fruitful prospective alternative to supporting caregivers post-bereavement.


Palliative careDeathMedical family therapyGrief

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liz Forbat
    • 1
  • Elaine McManus
    • 2
  • Erna Haraldsdottir
    • 3
  1. 1.Cancer Care Research CentreUniversity of StirlingStirlingScotland, UK
  2. 2.Department of Palliative CareStrathcarron HospiceDennyUK
  3. 3.Department of EducationStrathcarron HospiceDennyUK