Research Summary

Cancer is a condition requiring ongoing family caregiving support, particularly during the palliative stage of care. Without adequate support services, family caregivers are at risk for depression and poor health, and loved ones with cancer are at risk for inadequate care. For such families, in-home respite care can be invaluable. 

Yet, respite care services are under-utilized, largely due to the inflexibility of services and families’ lack of trust in providers’ abilities. For families with complex care needs, nurses may be best positioned to provide trusted and flexible respite care. Mobile applications (“apps”) are being used in other industries to make services more flexible. However, to our knowledge, no apps have been developed to coordinate nurse-provided respite care services for families with cancer. 

Therefore, we aim to develop an app that can optimize the coordination of nurse-provided respite care services for families coping with palliative-stage cancer, thus improving the quality of services rendered to these families. Once fully developed and launched, such an app could support family caregiving and dying at home, which is where most families want to be. 

Image of a smartphone with hearts connected across a map.