Of the few studies that have paid attention to feelings of reward in palliative family caregiving, most are retrospective and examine the experiences of bereaved family caregivers. Although feeling rewarded has been described as an influence that may facilitate the way family caregivers handle the caregiving situation, no study has sought to identify factors associated with feelings of reward while providing ongoing family palliative care.
The aim of this study was to identify influential factors in feelings of reward in family palliative caregivers.
The results showed that more prepared caregivers with higher levels of hope felt more rewarded, while caregivers with higher levels of anxiety and those in a spousal relationship to the patient felt less rewarded by caregiving.
It seems reasonable that feeling rewarded can be significant to the overall experience of providing ongoing palliative care. The situation of family caregivers has been shown to be multifaceted and complex, and co-varying factors such as preparedness, anxiety, hope, and being in a spousal relationship with the patient influence the experience.
The study had a correlational cross-sectional design. Family caregivers (n=125) of patients receiving specialized palliative care were consecutively recruited from four settings. These caregivers answered a questionnaire including the Rewards of Caregiving Scale (RCS). The questionnaire also included questions about demographic background and scales to measure preparedness for caregiving, feelings of hope, perceived health, and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Regression analyses were conducted to identify factors associated with rewards.
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