Assessing and addressing the needs of carers

Credit: Dominik Lange/Unsplash

Carers play a vital role in enabling patients to be cared for at home and die there if that is their preference. But this role has a significant impact on carers’ own health, work difficulties and financial hardships.

Recognition of the needs of carers for assessment and support led to the development of the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool Intervention (CSNAT-I) by Gail Ewing at the University of Cambridge in partnership with the University of Manchester based on the perspectives of carers.

CSNAT-I is a comprehensive-yet-concise person-centred approach for supporting family carers that uses a simple question and answer format to assess and address 14 broad domains of support needs with the carer.

The UK Royal College of General Practitioners and health departments in Australia and Norway recommend CSNAT-I. Training in its use has been delivered face-to-face to 134 UK organisations, and to teams in eight countries.

Development of an online CSNAT Training and Implementation Toolkit now enables practitioners nationally and internationally to implement CSNAT-I.

Outside the UK, 83 organisations hold practice licences in Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan ROC and USA; another 73 research licences have been issued for 58 organisations to use in 26 countries.

The tool has been translated into 15 languages, allowing delivery of targeted, tailored support to carers worldwide.