A family-centred support program for families with children where a parent has a life-threatening illness and is receiving advanced health care at home

When a parent develops a life-threatening illness the whole family is affected. Previous research has shown that when a parent becomes ill, communication within the family changes. Parents do not know what to say or how to talk about the illness and at the same time the children want to be involved and receive information.

The Swedish Health Care Act states that children have the right to receive information, advice and support when a parent or other adult close to the child has a life-threatening physical illness. Research has shown that children living with a seriously ill parent have an increased risk of psychological ill-health, and that poor communication and lack of knowledge about the parent’s illness impacts the health of children and young people. Despite this, there is no evaluated support program in Sweden for the whole family where a parent with children is severely ill and receiving palliative care.

The overall aim of this research project is, therefore, to investigate whether the Family Talk Intervention (FTI) (also called Beardslee’s family-centred intervention) is feasible to use with families where a parent with children is severely ill and receiving palliative care, and to evaluate any effects that the support program may have, such as increased knowledge about the illness, increased communication within the family, and improved psychosocial health of the family.

Families have been recruited to the project during the years 2017-2018 from four units providing advanced health care in the home (ASIH) in Stockholm. At two of the units the families received the support program, and at the other two units the families were included in the comparison group.

For more information about the project, read the following article The family talk intervention in palliative care: a study protocol.

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About the project:

Project group/collaborators:
Time period: 2017-2021
Research area: Palliative Research Centre
Project status: Finished
Financier: The Ehrling Persson Foundation

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Last updated:
22 January 2022