Morris, Sara M., King, Claire, Turner, Mary and Payne, Sheila (2015) Family carers providing support to a person dying in the home setting: a narrative literature review. Palliative Medicine, 29 (6). pp. 487-495. ISSN 1477-030X

Background: This study is based on people dying at home relying on the care of unpaid family carers. There is growing
recognition of the central role that family carers play and the burdens that they bear, but knowledge gaps remain around how
to best support them.

Aim: The aim of this study is to review the literature relating to the perspectives of family carers providing support to a person dying
at home.

Design: A narrative literature review was chosen to provide an overview and synthesis of findings. The following search terms were
used: caregiver, carer, ‘terminal care’, ‘supportive care’, ‘end of life care’, ‘palliative care’, ‘domiciliary care’ AND home AND death
OR dying.

Data sources: During April–May 2013, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), MEDLINE,
PsycINFO, Pubmed, Cochrane Reviews and Citation Indexes were searched. Inclusion criteria were as follows: English language,
empirical studies and literature reviews, adult carers, perspectives of family carers, articles focusing on family carers providing
end-of-life care in the home and those published between 2000 and 2013.

Results: A total of 28 studies were included. The overarching themes were family carers’ views on the impact of the home as a setting
for end-of-life care, support that made a home death possible, family carer’s views on deficits and gaps in support and transformations
to the social and emotional space of the home.

Conclusion: Many studies focus on the support needs of people caring for a dying family member at home, but few studies have
considered how the home space is affected. Given the increasing tendency for home deaths, greater understanding of the interplay of
factors affecting family carers may help improve community services.

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