Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Donelle, Lorie

2nd Supervisor

Regan, Sandra



Family caregivers are an important component of home-based palliative care as they provide the majority of unpaid assistance to their palliative family member, during their last days and weeks of life. The demands of caregiving often escalate at the end-of-life, which can result in substantial emotional and physical issues for the family caregiver. In 2010, in London Ontario, the South West Community Care Access Centre (now the South West Local Health Integration Network (SW LHIN)) developed a new model of palliative home care called “eShift” led by an interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, that focused care both on the patient and their family caregiver. The eShift model connects personal support workers, called eShift technicians, to a remote registered nurse (via technology) to offer palliative care in a client’s home and simultaneously provide family caregivers with respite. The purpose of this secondary data analysis was to explore the experiences of in-home respite among family caregivers who were caring for a palliative family member receiving eShift palliative home care, at the end-of-life. Overall, the fifteen family caregivers that participated in this study had a positive experience of in-home respite with eShift palliative home care, which enabled them to keep their family member at home until death. Specifically, family caregivers developed trust, had an opportunity for self-care and other activities and felt that the arrangement of services with eShift was comprehensive. This study has implications for public health policy as it offers insights into family caregivers’ experiences of in-home respite with the eShift model of palliative home care. In addition, it serves as a basis for future research on family caregivers’ experiences of in-home respite with eShift and other technology-enabled models of palliative home care.