Part 2: Home-based family caregiving at the end of life: A comprehensive review of published qualitative research (1998-2008)

Laura Funk, Kelli I Stajduhar, Caroline Toye, S. Aoun, G. E. Grande, Chris James Todd

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

233 Citations (Scopus)


Family caregivers are crucial for supporting home death. We reviewed published qualitative research on home-based family caregiving at end of life (1998-2008), synthesizing key findings and identifying gaps where additional research is needed. Multiple databases were searched and abstracts reviewed for a focus on family caregiving and palliative care; full articles were reviewed to extract data for this review. In total, 105 articles were included. Findings are presented in the following areas: the caregiving experience and contextual features; supporting family caregivers at end of life; caregiving roles and decision-making; and rewards, meaning and coping. We noted a lack of definitional clarity; a reliance on interview methods and descriptive, thematic analyses, and a relative lack of diversity of patient conditions. Research needs are identified in several areas, including the bereavement experience, caregiver ambivalence, access to services, caregiver meaning-making, and relational and contextual influences on family caregiving at end of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-607
Number of pages14
JournalPalliative Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • caregivers
  • home care services
  • palliative care
  • review
  • terminally ill

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