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Experts Map Future of Family Caregiving Research

For Immediate Release
February 24, 2020

Contact: Todd Kluss
(202) 587-2839

A new supplemental issue of the journal The Gerontologist from The Gerontological Society of America shares 10 research priorities to better support the needs of family caregivers.

The contents of the journal supplement are the result of the Research Priorities in Caregiving Summit, an expert gathering hosted in March 2018 by the Family Caregiving Institute (FCI) at the University of California, Davis. Attendees included representatives from service agencies, funding organizations, and academia.

The supplement — titled “Advancing Family Caregiving Research” — and the summit were sponsored and funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

“The research priorities and research statements that emerged from the summit offer concrete directions for
novice and well-established researchers to design family caregiving intervention research that addresses the most urgent gaps in the literature,” wrote supplement associate editors Kenneth Hepburn, PhD, FGSA, and Elena O. Siegel, PhD, RN. “These 10 research priorities offer a roadmap for future research that will address gaps in the vast literature currently available.”

The identified research priorities:

  1. Evaluate technologies that facilitate choice and shared decision-making.
  2. Determine where technology is best integrated across the trajectory of caregiving.
  3. Evaluate family-centered adaptive interventions across conditions, situations, stages, needs, preferences, and resources.
  4. Examine the heterogeneity of attitudes, values and preferences toward caregiving, services and supports.
  5. Evaluate family caregiver interventions in ways that address real world complexity, translation, scalability, and sustainability.
  6. Develop a conceptual framework and typology of the trajectory of caregiving for new interventions and outcomes.
  7. Conduct risk/needs assessment of the changing needs of family caregivers over the trajectory of caregiving.
  8. Conduct implementation research on evidence-based caregiving programs for diverse populations.
  9. Develop outcome measures that are relevant to family caregivers from diverse social and cultural groups.
  10. Develop research methodologies that account for the complex structures of family caregiving.

“This supplement stands as an acknowledgement of the FCI for convening the summit and for their well-thought out approach that achieved both breadth and depth of directions for next steps in family caregiving research — identifying and gaining consensus for intervention research priorities, stemming from four broad topics: heterogeneity, trajectory, technology, and multicultural needs related to caregiving,” Hepburn and Siegel stated.


The Gerontologist is a peer-reviewed publication of The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,500+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational unit, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education.

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