Date of Award/Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Advanced Practice Nursing

First Supervisor

Christine Nelson-Tuttle


Abstract The goal of hospice is to support patients and the family or friend who has taken on the role of the caregiver. The majority of care provided in the home to the ill patient is provided by informal caregivers with limited experience. Emotional and physical strain can cause caregiver breakdown even to the most capable caregiver. Caregivers become over whelmed and panic when they are expected to monitor, interpret, and make decisions, in providing direct care. There are tremendous expectations of the caregiver in the home setting. The home healthcare hospice nurse should provide teaching materials and information to support the patient and caregiver in formulating decisions related to symptom control, which affects quality oflife. Through surveying hospice nurses and receiving expert opinions, a caregiver symptom guide and daily symptom diary has been developed. The symptom guide focuses on the most problematic symptoms frequently experienced by hospice patients: pain, fatigue, breathlessness, cough, congestion, anxiety, agitation, delirium, anorexia, nausea, and constipation.

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Nursing Commons