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 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