Assessment Strategy

Assessment of the caregiver and caregiving situation is particularly complex because it involves:

  • assessing individual psychological symptoms of caregivers (often below clinically-significant levels) and sometimes also assessing symptoms or psychopathology in care recipients
  • understanding the demands which illness or disability impose on the family
  • determining the circumstances which predispose the caregivers to having positive or negative experiences during the period of caregiving

Variables to be assessed:

The Situation

  • Caregivers’ immediate questions, challenges and priorities.
  • The family’s understanding of and approach to the illness/disability.
  • The family’s caregiving stage in response to the progression of the illness.

The Context

  •  The family’s developmental stage (e.g., family with young children, late-life family).
  •  Individual family members’ capacities, personalities, and willingness to take on new roles.
  • The family system, including structural and functional characteristics.
The Meaning
  • The family’s previous experiences providing care to an ill or disabled loved one.
  • The history and quality of the relationships between the care-recipient and other family members.
  • The cultural and spiritual contexts for care.