• RCT;
  • family caregivers;
  • older adult patients;
  • hospital care


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