A Synthesis Of Knowledge About Caregiver Decision Making Finds Gaps In Support For Those Who Care For Aging Loved Ones
Author: Mirjam M. Garvelink, Patrice A. G. Ngangue, Rheda Adekpedjou, Ndeye T. Diouf, Larissa Goh, Louisa Blair, France Légaré
We conducted a mixed-methods knowledge synthesis to assess the effectiveness of interventions to improve caregivers’ involvement in decision making with seniors, and to describe caregivers’ experiences of decision making in the absence of interventions. We analyzed forty-nine qualitative, fourteen quantitative, and three mixed-methods studies. The qualitative studies indicated that caregivers had unmet needs for information, discussions of values and needs, and decision support, which led to negative sentiments after decision making. Our results indicate that there have been insufficient quantitative evaluations of interventions to involve caregivers in decision making with seniors and that the evaluations that do exist found few clinically significant effects. Elements of usual care that received positive evaluations were the availability of a decision coach and a supportive decision-making environment. Additional rigorously evaluated interventions are needed to help caregivers be more involved in decision making with seniors.