A Finding Balance Writing Intervention for Older Bereaved Caregivers
The overall purpose of this study is to develop and pilot-test a theory-based psychosocial supportive "finding balance" intervention for older, bereaved spousal caregivers of a palliative cancer patient.
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Subject)
Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
|Official Title:||Finding Balance: The Experience of Hope for Bereaved Caregivers of Palliative Cancer Patients|
- Grief [ Time Frame: 2 weeks ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]Herth Hope Index, Hogan Grief Scale, Inventory of Daily Widowed Life, Finding Balance Scale
|Study Start Date:||February 2011|
|Study Completion Date:||June 2012|
|Primary Completion Date:||June 2012 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Experimental: Writing Group
This group will receive the writing intervention.
Behavioral: Writing Intervention
Finding Balance Writing Intervention
No Intervention: No Intervention
Non Writing Group
Research devoted to determining the efficacy of bereavement interventions remains a top priority. The development of theory-based, acceptable and feasible psychosocial interventions would begin to address the needs of family caregivers. A prominent theory of coping with bereavement, Stroebe and Schut's Dual Process Model, describes oscillation between loss-oriented and restoration-oriented coping; having a balance between these processes predicted more positive outcomes for older bereaved spouses. Similarly, the process of "finding balance" emerged as a first step in the search for new hope in the PI's grounded theory research with older bereaved family caregivers. They described the importance and difficulty of "finding balance" as they recovered from caregiving and struggled to find a new meaning and purpose for their lives after the loss of a spouse to cancer. An intervention focused on "finding balance" provides an innovative and promising approach to guiding the development of a theory-based psychosocial intervention for family caregivers who become bereaved. In clinical work a highly focused writing intervention has shown important benefits (personal communication, Dr. Robert Neimeyer, March 4, 2009). A validated tool to measure the effectiveness of an intervention to find balance does not exist, however valid existing measures of hope, grief, and an inventory of balance based on the Dual Process Model will be used as proxies. Therefore, the overall purpose of this study is to develop and pilot-test a theory-based psychosocial supportive "finding balance" intervention for older, bereaved spousal caregivers of a palliative cancer patient.