Providing Vital Support

Aiding the family and friends who provide crucial support for patients with cancer.

Kent and Park Portraits, side by side

Aiding the family and friends who provide crucial support for patients with cancer.

Caring for patients with cancer is not just the domain of doctors and nurses; they rely on an informal network that includes family and friends.

With funding from The Duke Endowment, Erin Kent, Ph.D., and Eliza (Leeza) Park, M.D., are co-directing a project to help alleviate the burden this informal care places on caregivers, especially those in rural areas.

Kent and Park aim to improve support for rural caregivers by adapting an existing program to suit their unique needs. The Electronic Social Network Assessment program (eSNAP) includes eight weeks of training and an electronic tool. The training helps caregivers identify and organize their existing social network and access the formal resources available to help with support needs. The tool helps caregivers organize and access information about the support they need, through a web-based application.

During the three-year project, the researchers will assess the needs of rural caregivers, identify barriers and facilitators to supporting these needs, and adapt the existing eSNAP tool to the rural context.

This project is made possible by a $590,000 grant from The Duke Endowment.

“We are incredibly grateful that The Duke Endowment recognizes the importance of family-centered care,” said Park. “This grant will allow us to meet a true clinical need in a creative and sustainable way.”

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