Aim: Based on a pilot evaluation of Canada’s recently introduced Compassionate Care Benefit (CCB), the purpose of this paper is to highlight the experiences of family caregivers caring for people with non-malignant advanced chronic illness.
Design: Using Patton’s (1997) utilization-focused evaluation approach, 25 telephone interviews were conducted with three groups of family caregivers:
Those who had successfully applied for the CCB; Those who were unsuccessful in their applications Those who had never applied for the benefit.
Findings: The CCB has a number of limitations, particularly for caregivers of patients diagnosed with non-malignant advanced chronic illness. The central limitations are:
Difficulties associated with accurate prognostication Limited definition of ‘family member’ Unsufficient length of the funding period.
Conclusion: By modelling similar programmes internationally, such as those in Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands, Canada would likely find the CCB to have greater relevance and accessibility to Canadian caregivers, particularly those caring for people with non-malignant advanced chronic illness.