The Carer Support Needs Assessment (CSNAT) Intervention: Supporting Family Caregivers of Palliative Patients at Home

This project investigated the feasibility of a brief questionnaire to determine the impact of home care nursing services on family caregiver (FCG) quality of life, which was integrated into routine home care nurse (HCN) practice to monitor FCG needs.

About the Project

Most people who are seriously ill prefer to receive care and to die at home, often depending on FCGs. FCGs usually provide the majority of care that the ill person receives, and often face considerable emotional, social, financial and physical burdens.

Even though FCG support needs are recognized as high priority, many factors hinder adequate assessment: HCNs, pressed for time, tend to focus on the patient; consideration of FCG needs is often informal and unrecorded; and FCGs may be reluctant to discuss their own needs. In addition, existing tools to address FCG needs are generally too time consuming for routine practice.

The aims of this project were to (1) assess whether a brief questionnaire, used routinely by HCNs, can improve FCG quality of life and (2) identify specific facilitators and barriers to its use in home care nursing.

Project Team

Principal Investigators:

Kelli Stajduhar, PhD, MSN, BN, RN — University of Victoria

Richard Sawatzky, PhD, MSc, BSc, RN — Trinity Western University


Samar Aoun, PhD, MPH, BSc — Curtin University

Robin Cohen, PhD, MSc, BSc — McGill University

Gail Ewing, PhD — University of Cambridge

Laura Funk, PhD, MA, BA — University of Manitoba

Gunn Grande, PhD, MPhil, MSc — University of Manchester

Chris Toye, PhD — Curtin University

Kristine Votova, PhD, MA, BA — Island Health Authority

Knowledge Users and Partners:

Lynda Foley — Interior Health Authority

Jill Gerke — Vancouver Island Health Authority

Barbara MacLean — Family Caregivers Network Society

Carolyn Wilkinson — Victoria Hospice Society

Project Contact: Dr. Kelli Stajduhar —

CORE 2013-01

Key words: family caregivers; palliative care; home care; nursing; randomized control trial



Ami Bitschy, Lara Russell, Kelli Stajduhar, Richard Sawatzky (June 2015). Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Abstracts from the meeting held in Toronto, September 21-23, 2014. Canadian Geriatrics Journal 18(2), Canadian Geriatrics Society.

Kelli Stajduhar, Gail Ewing, Gunn Grande, Samar Aoun, Richard Sawatzky, Erin Donald (November 2015). Factors affecting implementation of complex interventions in end-of-life care: lessons from implementing person-centred support for family carers across three continents. EAPC 2016

Erin Donald, Ami Bitschy, Kelli Stajduhar, Richard Sawatzky (November 2015). Recruitment challenges and strategies in a multi-site palliative home care study.