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Toward a model of continuous care: A necessity for caregiving partners

  • Melissa P. Masterson (a1) (a2), Karen E. Hurley (a1) (a3), Talia Zaider (a1) and David W. Kissane (a4) (a5)



Caregiving partners constitute a unique group, who provide both physical and emotional care for patients. There has been extensive research conducted on caregivers during either the caregiving or bereavement phase; however, these phases are often treated as separate entities rather than as part of a continuum.


In this paper, utilizing relevant literature and clinical observations, we map the emotional journey and lived experience of caregivers moving from disease progression, to the end of life, to the dying process itself, and then through life after the death of a partner. Along this journey, we identify the links between pre-death caregiving and bereavement.


Our illustration raises awareness regarding the unmet needs experienced by caregiving partners across the continuum and provides an alternative framework through which clinicians can view this course.


of Results We bolster arguments for improved palliative care services and early interventions with distressed caregiving partners by emphasizing continuity of care both before and after a patient's death.


Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Melissa P. Masterson, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 641 Lexington Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, New York 10022. E-Mail:


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Toward a model of continuous care: A necessity for caregiving partners

  • Melissa P. Masterson (a1) (a2), Karen E. Hurley (a1) (a3), Talia Zaider (a1) and David W. Kissane (a4) (a5)


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