Family caregiver participation in hospice interdisciplinary team meetings: how does it affect the nature and content of communication?Health Commun 2013; 28(2):110-8HC
Collaboration between family caregivers and health care providers is necessary to ensure patient-centered care, especially for hospice patients. During hospice care, interdisciplinary team members meet biweekly to collaborate and develop holistic care plans that address the physical, spiritual, psychological, and social needs of patients and families. The purpose of this study was to explore team communication when video-conferencing is used to facilitate the family caregiver's participation in a hospice team meeting. Video-recorded team meetings with and without family caregiver participation were analyzed for communication patterns using the Roter Interaction Analysis System. Standard meetings that did not include caregivers were shorter in duration and task-focused, with little participation from social workers and chaplains. Meetings that included caregivers revealed an emphasis on biomedical education and relationship-building between participants, little psychosocial counseling, and increased socioemotional talk from social workers and chaplains. Implications for family participation in hospice team meetings are highlighted.