Family members' perceptions of palliative cancer care: Predictors of family functioning and family members' health

Linda J. Kristjanson, Jeff A. Sloan, Deborah Dudgeon, Eleanor Adaskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

100 Scopus citations


We studied family members' care experiences during the palliative care phase as predictors of family members' health and family functioning during the palliative care phase and three months following the death of the patient. Eighty family members of advanced cancer patients participated in the study at time one (T1) (palliative care phase) and 64 family members completed the data collection protocol at time two (T2) (three months bereavement). Data were also obtained from 36 of the patients within one month of their deaths. Fulfillment theory accounted for 31% of the variance in family care satisfaction and Discrepancy theory accounted for 72% of the variance in family care satisfaction. Discrepancy theory predicted family functioning in the bereavement period (r=-0.33, p<0.05). Patients' quality of life scores were moderately correlated with family members' health during the palliative care phase (r=-0.38, p<0.05). Family members' scores on the health index (symptom of stress scale) were significantly lower (p<0.05) than normative scores reported in a study using a healthy population. The strongest predictor of family members' health scores in the bereavement period was their health score at T1 (r=0.71, p<0.01). As well, family functioning at T1 was strongly correlated with family functioning at T2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-20
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of palliative care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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