The Portal of Geriatrics Online Education

Building Caregiver Partnerships Through Interprofessional Education


Building Caregiver Partnerships Through Interprofessional Education

Northeast Ohio Medical University
Barbara Palmisano, MA, Margaret Sanders, MA, Steven Radwany, MD, Erin Scott, MD, David Sperling, MD, Jon Thomas, PhD, Jennifer Drost, DO, Kristin Baughman, PhD, Ronald Jones, MD, Michael Blackie, PhD
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Date Posted: 
Date Reviewed/Updated for Clinical Accuracy: 

Family caregivers are on the frontlines managing complicated chronic illnesses, assisting with day-to-day functioning, and providing direct care to manage symptoms and improve the quality of life of their loved ones. Yet, health professions students, medical/surgical residents, and care providers receive little, if any, training on the vital role that caregivers play on the healthcare team and how, effective partnering optimizes patient care throughout the illness trajectory and at end-of life.

The goal of Building Caregiver Partnerships through Innovative Interprofessional Education is to create effective partnerships between healthcare providers and family caregivers to reduce the burdens, ease suffering, and enhance the meaning of the caregiving experience for the patient, family and health care providers.  The project centers on a 20-minute film, No Roadmap: Caregiver Journeys, which features the compelling stories of four caregiving families. The film and companion discussion guides as well as resources for case-based learning and structured clinical encounters are freely accessible on the website.

The website is designed so that faculty can easily select the materials that best fit their learners’ needs and the time constraints within their programs. The curricula is appropriate for medical, pharmacy, nursing, and other health professions educational programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Additionally, tools have been developed for interdisciplinary team-based forums and health provider training.  For medical/surgical residency programs, relevant ACGME milestones are identified. 

Educational objectives: 

The objectives of the educational tools are to prepare learners to:
• Describe home-based eldercare as a shared experience and the importance of building a relationship with family caregivers and care recipients based on trust, compassion and open communication; 
• Describe the vital role of family caregivers as important, but under recognized, members of the health care team;
• Discuss the meaning and challenges of family caregiving;
• Engage caregivers in meaningful discussions to identify the needs, values and goals of their caregiving family;
• Identify resources to address caregiver concerns and provide ongoing support; and
• Provide holistic team-based care to family caregivers that improves the quality of life for the care recipient and the caregivers. 


Estimated time to complete: 
45 minutes
Conflict of Interest Disclosure: 
No, I (we) have nothing to disclose.
Contact Person/Corresponding Author:
Margaret Sanders, MA

Suggested Citation:
Building Caregiver Partnerships Through Interprofessional Education. POGOe - Portal of Geriatrics Online Education; 2016 Available from: