Theoretical/Conceptual Framework: The theoretical models used for this randomized controlled trial include Pearlin’s Stress Process and Lazarus and Folkman’s Transactional Model of Stress and coping.
Subjects: Study participants will include caregivers over the age of 18 years caring for a relative or friend with terminal cancer. Caregivers will be recruited from the Hospices Centers, University Hospital, and the Veterans Administration.
Methods: The proposed research is a randomized controlled trial. Eligible caregivers of cancer patients in hospice care living at home will be randomized to a control group (Group A) or experimental group (Group B). Group A, the control group will receive the usual care. Group B, the experimental group will receive usual care plus the mindfulness intervention. The caregiver’s quality of life and psychological distress will be measured with the Linear Analog Self-Assessment, Satisfaction with Life Scale, WHOQOL-BREF, QOL-NRS, Distress Thermometer, Distress Screening, Brief Symptom Inventory, and the Impact of Events Scale. During the initial face-to-face visit, consent forms will be signed, the mini mindfulness intervention will be delivered to Group B, and questionnaires will be completed. A nurse trained in mindfulness intervention will deliver the mindfulness intervention to the caregiver. Caregivers will also be given written materials and website link during the first visit for usual care and the mindfulness intervention. Follow-up and questionnaires will be mailed or sent via email at baseline, two months, four months, 6 months, and a month after the death of the patient.
Clinical Implications: The findings of this study may suggest the incorporation of mindfulness to decrease caregiver’s psychological distress and increase caregiver’s quality of life. Caregiver’s with less stress may have decreased psychological distress and increased quality of life that may be reflected in decreased morbidity and mortality.
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