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A Finding Balance Writing Intervention for Older Bereaved Caregivers

This study has been completed.
Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Lorraine Holtslander, University of Saskatchewan Identifier:
First received: February 7, 2011
Last updated: July 15, 2012
Last verified: July 2012
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.

Condition Intervention
Behavioral: Writing Intervention

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Participant)
Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
Official Title: Finding Balance: The Experience of Hope for Bereaved Caregivers of Palliative Cancer Patients

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Saskatchewan:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Grief [ Time Frame: 2 weeks ]
    Herth Hope Index, Hogan Grief Scale, Inventory of Daily Widowed Life, Finding Balance Scale

Enrollment: 23
Study Start Date: February 2011
Study Completion Date: June 2012
Primary Completion Date: June 2012 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Writing Group
This group will receive the writing intervention.
Behavioral: Writing Intervention
Finding Balance Writing Intervention
No Intervention: No Intervention
Non Writing Group

Detailed Description:
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.

Ages Eligible for Study:   60 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • women and men, ages 60 and over, who previously resided with and provided care for a spouse with terminal cancer who died within the last year, English speaking, and freely consenting to be involved in the study.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • will be those cognitively impaired, non-autonomous, or not able to give a free and informed consent, as determined by the registered nurse research assistant on initial contact.
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01416779

Canada, Saskatchewan
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, S7N 0W8
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation
  More Information

Responsible Party: Lorraine Holtslander, Associate Professor, University of Saskatchewan Identifier: NCT01416779     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 08-154
Study First Received: February 7, 2011
Last Updated: July 15, 2012

Keywords provided by University of Saskatchewan:
Writing Intervention
Bereaved Caregivers
Older Adults
inventory of daily widowed life processed this record on May 22, 2017