Umbrella review of family-focused care interventions supporting families where a family member has a long-term condition

Joanna Smith, Parveen Ali, Yvonne Frances Birks, Penny Curtis, Hannah Fairbrother, Susan Kirk, David Saltiel, Jill Thompson, Veronica Swallow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To summarise reviews of family-focused care interventions that support families with a family member with a long-term condition across the life course.
Design: Umbrella review.
Data sources: Medline (1946- 2019), Cochrane Data Base of Systematic Reviews (2019), Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effect and EMBASE (1947- 2019), CINAHL (1981-2019), Health Technology Assessment Database (2019) and PsycInfo (1806-2019).
Review Methods: All authors independently undertook title/abstract screening, data extraction and quality appraisal on a cluster of papers, working in groups of two or three to reach a consensus. The AMSTAR tool was used to appraise the quality of the studies and descriptive syntheses were undertaken.
Results: Fifteen reviews met the selection criteria. Overall family-focussed care and associated terms were poorly defined. Typically interventions were educational or psychological therapy/counselling with the goal of empowering individuals to manage their condition. There is some evidence that family-focused care interventions can improve clinical/biological health measures and self-care outcomes such as treatment adherence. Multi-component psychosocial interventions that include cognitive-behavioral therapy, skills training, education and support and are focused on wider family members appear to improve family relationships and martial functioning.
Conclusion: Long-term conditions have an impact on individual and family health and well-being, yet the impact of family-focused care interventions on family outcomes was overall inconclusive. A better understanding of how family-focused care interventions improve the health and well-being of individuals and their families is needed to promote the inclusion of family-focused care into practice.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Early online date15 Apr 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Apr 2020

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