Task Force on Family Carers (2011)

This Taskforce was established in October 2008 and concluded in October 2011. 

The EAPC Task Force on Family Carers was established in October 2008 with the purpose of promoting the development of support for family carers and to increase the recognition of their role in providing care to patients with advanced disease. To achieve these aims, the Task Force have prepared a ‘white paper’ to provide an overview of issues for carers. This was approved by the EAPC Board in March 2010 and is published in two parts in the European Journal of Palliative Care in 2010. The Task Force works in close collaboration with the International Palliative Care Family Carers Research Collaboration (IPCFRC). 

 
Aims & objectives 

  • ‘White paper’ (completed 2010 to be published in European Journal of Palliative Care) 
    Literature review of assessment tools for family carers (completed by IPCFRC in 2010 to be published in Palliative Medicine) 
  • Comparative overview of national policies in support of family carers for terminally ill patients in selected countries 
  • Preparation of an international survey of family carer support services provided in selected European countries 

 
Background 

Since its inception the modern hospice and palliative care movement has recognised the important role that family carers play in providing care and support to patients. As a consequence, health and social care professionals are obliged to support the family alongside the person diagnosed with a life threatening illness. There is increasing evidence that family and other informal carers face many demands and experience considerable physical, psychological, social and financial challenges. Despite this, there has been limited research on how best to support family carers, limited research funding and only a small group of researchers actively exploring this area.  
 

Results, outcomes 

  • ‘White paper’ (completed 2010, published in European Journal of Palliative Care available in page: Taskforce publications) 
  • Literature review of assessment tools for family carers (completed by IPCFRC in 2010 published in Palliative Medicine) 
  • Comparative overview of national policies in support of family carers for terminally ill patients in selected countries (was discussed at a meeting on 10th June, at the EAPC Research Congress, Glasgow) 
  • Preparation of an international survey of family carer support services provided in selected European countries (was discussed at a meeting on 10th June, at the EAPC Research Congress, Glasgow) 

 
Partners and acknowledgments 

  • International Palliative Care Family Carers Research Collaboration (IPCFRC). 
  • International Observatory on End of Life Care, Lancaster University, UK 
  • Centre for Palliative Care Education & Research, University of Melbourne, Australia 

We thank the St Christopher’s Hospice, London, UK and the UK Cancer Experiences Collaborative for supporting the taskforce and IPCFRC with a small grant.