Objective: Palliative care services have made significant
contributions to those needing end-of-life care, but the effect of these
services on informal caregivers is less clear. This article reviews the
literature and examines the influences of palliative care services on
caregivers of people who are dying of cancer, HIV-related illnesses, and
illnesses of later life.
Methods: Based on questions that we developed from the
literature review, we conducted six focus groups in Toronto, Thunder Bay,
and Ottawa, Canada, with informal caregivers about their experiences with
caregiving and with palliative care services.
Results: We outline the major themes relating to the 42 focus
group participants' experiences of giving support and getting
Significance of results: Our findings help us better
understand the common concerns of caregivers of terminally ill seniors,
people with HIV/AIDS, and people with cancer. The article discusses
the implications of participants' experiences for palliative care