Occupational balance among family members of people in palliative care

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Today people can live a long time with a chronic cancer diagnosis, and it affects the entire family. Family members to patients in palliative care often have to leave valued occupations due to lack of time and energy, while new roles are forced upon them, potentially affecting their health. Objective: To explore occupational balance, needs and roles among family members to persons in palliative care. Methods: Six semi-structured interviews were conducted with family members to terminally ill persons enrolled to specialized palliative care. A qualitative content analysis guided the data collection and analysis. Result: An overarching theme Striving for control while being in the disease, and two categories Changing roles and occupations in the family; and Handling emotions in the end of life emerged from the data. Conclusion: The findings suggest that family members could benefit from strategies to maintain valued roles and occupations, and that palliative care provision need to develop new ways to take family members needs into consideration.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy


  • activity, cancer, content analysis, family caregiver, qualitative interviews, Relative
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2018 Jul
Publication categoryResearch