A Videoconference Intervention for Distance Caregivers

Photo of an elderly woman on the phone.

There are an estimated 7 million family caregivers who live at least one hour from the care recipient or are unable to attend patient appointments due to other obligations. This group of caregivers (called “Distance Caregivers”) has levels of physical and emotional distress that are higher than local caregivers.

This study is the first to test interventions tailored to the unique needs of distance caregivers of cancer patients, using videoconference technology. The goal is to test the effectiveness of an intervention that provides subjects the opportunity to join the patient-oncologist visits using videoconference technology, receive distance caregiving coaching sessions via videoconferencing, and obtain additional information via a website about pertinent issues relevant to distance caregivers for patients with advanced cancer.

The goal of the intervention is to reduce distance caregivers’ anxiety and distress, and to improve health status over time. If found to be effective, this intervention has the potential to alleviate the emotional burden and communication problems faced by distance caregivers of patients with advanced cancer.

This study is funded by National Institute of Nursing Research, R01 NR015464 (CLOSER A Videoconference Intervention to Enhance Outcomes for Distance Caregivers of Patients with Advanced Cancer)