The TRIO Framework: Conceptual insights into family caregiver involvement and influence throughout cancer treatment decision-making
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OBJECTIVE: Family caregivers are regularly involved in cancer consultations and treatment decision-making (DM). Yet there is limited conceptual description of caregiver influence/involvement in DM. To address this, an empirically-grounded conceptual framework of triadic DM (TRIO Framework) and corresponding graphical aid (TRIO Triangle) were developed. METHODS: Jabareen's model for conceptual framework development informed multiple phases of development/validation, incorporation of empirical research and theory, and iterative revisions by an expert advisory group. RESULTS: Findings coalesced into six empirically-grounded conceptual insights: i) Caregiver influence over a decision is variable amongst different groups; ii) Caregiver influence is variable within the one triad over time; iii) Caregivers are involved in various ways in the wider DM process; iv) DM is not only amongst three, but can occur among wider social networks; v) Many factors may affect the form and extent of caregiver involvement in DM; vi) Caregiver influence over, and involvement in, DM is linked to their everyday involvement in illness care/management. CONCLUSION: The TRIO Framework/Triangle may serve as a useful guide for future empirical, ethical and/or theoretical work. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: This Framework can deepen clinicians's and researcher's understanding of the diverse and varying scope of caregiver involvement and influence in DM.
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