Suffering Had Enough: Family Caregivers' Experiences of Patients with Terminal Illness at the End-of-Life

Sujatha Shanmugasundaram

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Posterpeer-review


Introduction: Many literatures proved that it is a great challenge for the family members caring for the terminally ill person at home. With an ageing population and increasing the rate of disability and incidences of cancer, and the growth in community care, the role of the caregivers has expanded and changed over the recent years. Many terminally ill patients also prefer to die at home and spend their final stage of life with their family members. It is not surprising therefore that family caregiving has been the major focus of the research not only in Australia, but also across the world. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore the family caregivers' experiences whilst caring for their ill relatives with terminal illness.

Methods: This study utilised a grounded theory approach. The in-depth interview technique was used to collect the data by using the semi-structured interview guide. The inclusion criteria were the primary caregivers of patients with any terminal illness; age above 18 years; family caregiver's who can read, speak and understand English; patients received palliative care services within last 6 months or currently receiving palliative care services. The convenient sampling technique was utilised to recruit the participants.

Results: Constructivist grounded theory analysis was utilised to analyse the data. This study had identified several significant findings such as caregivers' physical and emotional stress, financial burden, unable to spend time with other families and friends, social isolation, depression, and lack of family support.

Conclusion: To conclude, family caregivers undergo a lot of stress when they care for their patients with terminal illness. There is still long way to improve the family caregivers' quality of life and therefore some more researches needed in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event24th International Nursing Research Congress: Bridge the Gap Between Research and Practice Through Collaboration - Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 24 Jul 201324 Jul 2013


Other24th International Nursing Research Congress
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address


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