Randomized controlled trial of CARE: An intervention to improve outcomes of hospitalized elders and family caregivers


  • This research was supported by NIH, NINR Grant #RO1 NR 008455. The authors thank Ping Sun for contributions as Project Manager, Barbara Stewart for consultation, James McMahon and Craig Sellers for helpful suggestions, and Harriet Kitzman for technical and data management support services of the University of Rochester School of Nursing Center for Research and Evidence-Based Practice. We also are sincerely grateful for the participation of the families, patients, and nurses who made this study possible.

  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


In this randomized controlled trial we tested the efficacy of an intervention program (CARE: Creating Avenues for Relative Empowerment) for improving outcomes of hospitalized older adults and their family caregivers (FCGs). FCG–patient dyads (n = 407) were randomized into two groups. The CARE group received a two-session empowerment-educational program 1–2 days post-admission and 1–3 days pre-discharge. The attention control group received a generic information program during the same timeframe. Follow-up was at 2 weeks and 2 months post-discharge. There were no statistically significant differences in patient or FCG outcomes. However, inconsistent evidence of role outcome differences suggests that CARE may benefit certain FCG subgroups instead of being a one-size-fits-all intervention strategy. Closer examination of CARE's mechanisms and effects is needed. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 35:533–549, 2012