Background: The ACTIVE (Assessing Caregivers for Team Intervention through Video Encounters) intervention uses technology to enable family caregivers to participate in hospice interdisciplinary team (IDT) meetings from geographically remote locations. Previous research has suggested that effective communication is critical to the success of these meetings. The purpose of this study was to explore communication in ACTIVE IDT meetings involving family caregivers and to assess the degree to which hospice teams use specific communication principles (summarized in the mnemonic VALUE: value, acknowledge, listen, understand, and elicit), which have been supported in previous research in intensive care settings. Methods: Researchers analyzed team-family communication during 84 video- and/or audio-recorded care plan discussions that took place during ACTIVE team meetings, using a template approach to text analysis to determine the extent and quality of VALUE principles. The total content analyzed was 9 hours, 28 minutes in length. Results: Hospice clinicians routinely employed the VALUE communication principles in communication during ACTIVE IDT meetings with family caregivers, but the quality of this communication was frequently rated moderate or poor. The majority of such communication was task-focused. Less often, communication centered on emotional concerns and efforts to gain a more holistic understanding of patients and families. Conclusions: This analysis suggests an opportunity for improving support for family members during ACTIVE IDT meetings. Members of hospice IDTs should remain aware of the opportunity for additional attention to the emotional realities of the hospice experience for family caregivers and could improve support for family caregivers during IDT meetings by ensuring that messages used to exemplify VALUE principles during team-family communication are of a high quality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine