Carer preparedness improved by providing a supportive educational intervention for carers of patients with high-grade glioma: RCT results

the Care-IS Project Team, Georgia K.B. Halkett, Elizabeth A. Lobb, Jane L. Phillips, Emma McDougall, Jenny Clarke, Rachel Campbell, Haryana M. Dhillon, Kevin McGeechan, Peter Hudson, Anne King, Helen Wheeler, Marina Kastelan, Anne Long, Anna K. Nowak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: High-grade glioma (HGG) is a rapidly progressing and debilitating disease. Family carers take on multiple responsibilities and experience high levels of distress. We aimed to deliver a nurse-led intervention (Care-IS) to carers to improve their preparedness to care and reduce distress. Methods: We conducted a randomised controlled trial (ACTRN:12612001147875). Carers of HGG patients were recruited during patients’ combined chemoradiation treatment. The complex intervention comprised four components: (1) initial telephone assessment of carer unmet needs; (2) tailored hard-copy resource folder; (3) home visit; and, (4) monthly telephone support for up to 12 months. Primary outcomes included preparedness for caregiving and distress at 2, 4, 6 and 12 months. Intervention effects were estimated using linear mixed models which included a time by group interaction. Secondary outcomes included anxiety, depression, quality of life, carer competence and strain. Results: We randomised 188 carers (n = 98 intervention, n = 90 control). The intervention group reported significantly higher preparedness for caregiving at 4 months (model β = 2.85, 95% CI 0.76–4.93) and all follow-up timepoints including 12 months (model β = 4.35, 95% CI 2.08–6.62), compared to the control group. However, there was no difference between groups in carer distress or any secondary outcomes. Conclusions: This intervention was effective in improving carer preparedness. However, carer distress was not reduced, potentially due to the debilitating/progressive nature of HGG and ongoing caring responsibilities. Future research must explore whether carer interventions can improve carer adjustment, self-efficacy and coping and how we support carers after bereavement. Additionally, research is needed to determine how to implement carer support into practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-513
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


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