Benefits of training family caregivers on experiences of closure during end-of-life care

J Pain Symptom Manage. 2007 Apr;33(4):434-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2006.11.006.


Caregiving at Life's End (CGLE) is a program for family caregivers caring for someone during the last years of life that focuses on the emotional, spiritual, and practical aspects of life and relationship completion and closure. This study evaluated the effectiveness of CGLE in improving three major outcomes: comfort with caregiving, closure, and caregiver gain. Family caregivers (n=2,025) participated in programs facilitated by health and human service professionals (n=142) who completed a CGLE train-the-trainer workshop conducted by The Hospice Institute of the Florida Suncoast. The caregivers completed training rosters and pre- and/or post-surveys. Group differences are reported in baseline characteristics and change in three outcomes for caregivers who completed 1) both pre- and post-survey, 2) pre-survey only, and 3) post-survey only. For those who completed both surveys (n=926), paired t-tests and multiple linear regression tested the impact of program length on caregiver outcomes. Caregivers participated in, on average, four sessions and 7.7 hours of training. The majority of caregivers were Caucasian (88%), female (81%), and on average, 60 years old. Significant improvement was found in all three outcomes (P<0.001). The program length made a difference for improvement in comfort with caregiving and closure but not in caregiver gain. Caregivers who are caring for someone during the last years of life benefit from a program that focuses on the life-changing or transformative aspects of caregiving in the last years of life, as well as practical aspects of caregiving. The ability to support caregivers in this relatively low impact intervention can be used in hospice and nonhospice settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Data Collection
  • Death
  • Female
  • Health Education
  • Hospice Care
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology