The researchers have held several peer reviewed grants and contracts to advance their work on caregiver assessment. Below are brief project descriptions. For reports and publications arising from these projects, please see Reports and Publications.

AVAILABLE: Online Workshop for Health Care Professionals on Family and Friend Caregivers

The researchers now offer online workshops for health care professionals interested in better understanding the experiences and realities of family and friend caregivers and how to support them including training on the use of The C.A.R.E. Tool. Please contact for more information or click here.

A Synthesis of Evidence-based Knowledge on Caregiver Assessment
Funding from the Population Change and Lifecourse Strategic Knowledge Cluster (SSHRC) will enable the NSCA to synthesize data collected from several projects which employed the C.A.R.E. Tool. The evidence across the studies will inform the development of a policy brief intended to help advance policy that supports the practice of caregiver assessment.


Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice on Caregiving through E-Learning

Funding from the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (Knowledge Sharing Program) enabled the researchers to work with Mount Saint Vincent University’s Distance Learning Department to develop an online version of the 2nd component of training required to use The C.A.R.E. Tool, an instrument to support the practice of assessing the needs of family and friend caregivers. (Note: 1st module was developed and piloted in 2009-2011, see TEER For CARE project description below.) The module in this project developed for an online format includes content on: why it is important for health care professionals to assess the needs of caregivers, getting to know the Tool and how to use it, and from assessment to planning for interventions. The project included the piloting of the e-learning version with health care practitioners.


Does Timing of Caregiver Assessment Make A Difference: Evaluating the Impact with Older Spousal Caregivers of Persons with Cognitive Impairment

Through the participation of 100 spousal caregivers from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, this study examined the impacts of a caregiver assesment using the C.A.R.E. Tool for older spousal caregivers of a partner with cognitive impairment. It also looked at the learning experiences of nursing students (from Dalhousie and University of Prince Edward) as they work with older spousal caregivers in conducting these assessments. Findings from the experiences of nursing students and from interviews with key stakeholders identify factors that may influence the development of education about caregivers for health care professionals. For more information click here to go to the project webpage.



TEER for CARE: Technology-Enabled Education for Recognizing Caregivers’ Aspirations, Realities & Expectations

Funding from the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (Knowledge Transfer/Exchange Program) enabled the researchers to work with Mount Saint Vincent University’s Distance Learning and Continuing Education Department to develop an e-learning version of their in person training program for health care professionals. The current training program covers material on helping health care professionals become more aware of the realities of family and friend caregivers, critically assess their practice approach and provides information on how to conduct a psycho-social assessment with family and friend caregivers using the C.A.R.E. Tool. The project included the piloting of the e-learning version.

In January 2011, the Nova Scotia Centre on Aging offered an online version of a workshop “I wasn’t aware of that!” Examining the realities of family and friend caregivers and our approaches to working with them. For more information on this workshop, click here. For information on the workshop schedule, click here. To view the Facilitator’s profile, click here.


The C.A.R.E. Tool: Examining the Role of Caregiver Assessment in Health Promotion of Older Spousal Caregivers
Funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada supported the development of a discussion paper focusing on the caregiving experiences of older spouses. The project led by researchers at the Nova Scotia Centre on Aging (Keefe and Fancey) reviewed the literature on caregiver assessment and its relationship to health promotion, examined the literature on the role of assessment in maintaining health and well being of older spousal caregivers, and conducted a secondary data analysis of the research team’s assessment tool data to understand in what ways the C.A.R.E. Tool may promote spousal caregiver health and well being.

Examining the Use of a Caregiver Assessment Tool – Barriers, Outcomes, and Policy Implications
Funding from Health Canada enabled the researchers to gain a better understanding of the barriers and outcomes of implementing caregiver assessment, as well as to develop a condensed and more user-friendly version of the C.A.R.E. Tool (a psycho-social assessment tool previously developed by the researchers). Interviews with caregivers, practitioners and agency managers were conducted to gather feedback regarding the original tool’s usefulness, structure, impact, and implementation.

From Research to Practice: Assessing Caregivers of Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease (pdf)
Funding from the US Alzheimer’s Association enabled the researchers to build upon previous work. In collaboration with colleagues from Quebec, and working with publicly funded home care agencies in three Canadian provinces, the research team employed a quasi-experimental pre-post test design to understand the impact on caregivers for someone with and without dementia of participating in a formal assessment (using the C.A.R.E. Tool). The project also examined the impact of the assessment process on practitioners and explored the implementation of the assessment process in the home care organization.

Development of Screening and Assessment Tools for Family Caregivers (pdf)
Funding from Health Canada enabled the initial development and testing of two instruments in both English and French – a risk screen and a psycho-social comprehensive assessment – both intended for use by home care practitioners. The project involved an extensive review of published and grey literature, focus groups with practitioners and caregivers, and field testing of the instruments by practitioners in 8 Canadian home care agencies.