A series of institute projects focus on supporting caregiving service agencies through research studying the effectiveness of their programs.

With 40 million caregivers in the U.S., leaders at the Family Caregiving Institute at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis seek solutions for those providing care. That includes informing health care providers, systems and policy makers of the value that family caregivers bring.

Heather M. Young, left, and Janice Bell
Heather M. Young, left, and Janice Bell

Many caregiving programs are provided by service agencies, which lack the funding and expertise to conduct evidence-based research that determines the effectiveness of their interventions. The Institute’s program and policy evaluation unit, led by Heather M. Young and Janice Bell, brings decades of research expertise to the table. Through qualitative and quantitative methods, they assist agencies in understanding what in their organization works, what does not work and what the implications are for practice and policy.

Through this expertise, agencies can focus on designing and implementing programs that care for their constituencies, while institute researchers collect data to evaluate those programs.

Researchers bridge evidence from practice to policy. That evidence both enables agencies to better execute their mission and demonstrates to policy makers the case for funding.

Collaborations include:

  • Evaluating the California Caregiver Resource Centers (CCRC) expansion project to assess the design and implementation of a $30 million contract from the state of California. The goal: to improve and increase access to resources through implementation of a standardized online assessment tool and suite of services
  • Partnering with AARP, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging and the Diverse Elders Coalition to engage stakeholders in interpreting the implications of caregiver research. The goal: to identify challenges faced by diverse caregivers, recognize gaps in research and assure resources that are culturally and linguistically appropriate
  • Leading focus group discussions among leaders from health systems and foundations regarding the AARP-developed Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act. The goal: to determine progress in its implementation, lessons learned and the impact of COVID-19 on supporting family caregivers and preparing them to manage complex care at home
  • Evaluating the San Francisco-based Zen Caregiving Project’s 4-part Foundations of Mindful Caregiving Online Series, which introduces mindfulness-based tools and approaches to caregivers, helping to build their emotional resilience and supporting them to maintain delivery of high-quality and compassionate care. The goal: to conduct pre- and post-surveys that measure caregiver emotional well-being and satisfaction with the series
  • Collaborating with Jessica Zitter, an intensive care unit physician, palliative care specialist, author and documentary filmmaker, in developing and evaluating end-of-life care discussion guides that complement with community screenings of Extremis and Caregiver: A Love Story