Training to Reduce Home Care Aides' Work Stress Associated with Patient Death: A Scoping Review

Emma K. Tsui, Wei Qian Wang, Emily Franzosa, Tailisha Gonzalez, Jennifer M. Reckrey, Madeline R. Sterling, Sherry Baron

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Home care workers (HCWs) - including home health aides, personal care aides, and other direct care workers - provide functional and other essential support that allows older, disabled, and seriously ill people to live at home. As a growing number of patients are aging and dying at home, HCWs are increasingly providing care at the end of life (EOL). Although prior qualitative studies have shown that patient death is an impactful and challenging experience for HCWs, the majority of HCWs receive almost no training on EOL issues. Objective: The goal of this scoping review is to identify intervention studies describing training of HCWs in EOL issues to map types of training and to assess the degree to which existing efforts address HCW health and well-being. Design: Our scoping review covered three databases and focused on articles published in English since 2000. Results: Of the 393 articles screened, 26 underwent full-text review and 6 met inclusion criteria. Only one article discussed training designed for and implemented with HCWs exclusively. Other trainings simultaneously targeted multiple kinds of workers. Supporting HCWs in reducing their stress and improving their coping skills was substantially addressed in only one article, although HCWs' emotional needs were addressed less centrally in several others. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that there is a paucity of EOL training interventions tailored specifically to the experiences and positioning of HCWs. We recommend that future intervention studies address the multiple facets of HCWs' stress related to patient death to improve EOL care in the home.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1249
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Palliative Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020


  • EOL training
  • home care workers
  • scoping review
  • work stress


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