Most people would prefer to die at home rather than in a hospital, and it is family members or friends who make this possible. When involved in end-of-life care, unpaid carers are often in an unfamiliar and stressful position.
A tool has been developed to identify carers’ needs during end-of-life care at home, and thereby enable carers to receive support and work with healthcare professionals more effectively. The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT), was developed by Dr Gail Ewing at the Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge, and Professor Gunn Grande at the University of Manchester, in collaboration with the National Association for Hospice at Home.
The CSNAT is based on findings from a study of 75 recently bereaved carers. These carers were asked about their support needs and the services they perceived as helpful, and about shortfalls in support where their needs had been left unmet. It was possible to identify key support domains (areas) for carers at the end of life, such as knowing who to contact about concerns.
The needs of carers were found to fall into two groups: (i) support to enable them to care for their relative / friend, and (ii) more direct support for themselves. Seven of the 14 domains on the CSNAT tool ask the carer about the former group, while the second set of domains is concerned with the latter group. The CSNAT may be used as a screening tool to identify any of the 14 areas of support needs which may require further detailed assessment.
Full Text Link (a) (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).
Ewing, G. Grande, G. and the National Association for Hospice at Home (2013). Development of a Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) for end-of-life care practice at home: a qualitative study. Palliative Medicine, March 2013, Vol.27(3), pp.244-56. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
Full Text Link (b) (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).
Ewing, G. Brundle, C. [and] Payne, S. [et al] (2012). The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) for Use in Palliative and End-of-life Care at Home: A Validation Study. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, December 2012, [Epub ahead of print]. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
[A brief reference to this item features in Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWNHST), Volume 3 Issue 9, August 2013].