The Carers’ Alert Thermometer (CAT): identifying the support needs of family carers of people living with Motor Neurone Disease

MARY O'BRIEN, BARBARA JACK, Karen Kinloch, OLIVER CLABBURN, KATHERINE KNIGHTING

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Abstract

Background
Burden and distress amongst family carers of people living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is reported widely. Evidence-based screening tools to help identify these carers’ needs and plan appropriate support are urgently needed.

Aim
To pilot the Carers’ Alert Thermometer (CAT), a triage tool developed to identify carers’ needs, with family carers of people living with MND to determine its usefulness in identifying their need for support.

Methods
Training workshops with MND Association Visitors (AVs) and staff and in South West and North West England, followed by implementation of the CAT. A self-completed online survey and semi-structured telephone interviews evaluated use of the CAT.

Findings
Sixteen participants completed the online survey with 11 volunteering to be interviewed. The CAT has potential to map change over time, helps to focus on carers’ needs, and improves communication with carers.

Conclusion
The CAT provides a structure enabling AVs to engage in a meaningful process with family carers to identify and discuss their needs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Neuroscience Nursing
Volume15
Issue number3
Early online date24 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2019

Keywords

  • family carers
  • carer needs
  • MND
  • evaluation
  • volunteers
  • pilot study

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