Families, Caregiving, and Decision Making in Advanced Illness Research Lab

Lead Investigator Dr. Carole A. Robinson

The focus of research in this lab is on assisting families to live and die well with serious illness. One arm of our research has addressed knowledge development aimed at better understanding the experiences of family caregivers who provide care at end of life towards with the aim of improving practice and influencing policy. We have learned about family caregivers’ needs, what happens when they are unable to achieve a desired home death, and the factors that contribute to managing death at home.

Current projects include the implementation and dissemination of a unique family caregiver decision support guide that was developed in response to our findings and tested in ongoing research. We are also testing decision support tools for effectiveness in promoting engagement in Advance Care Planning in oncology. Findings will inform the selection of a promising tool for use in future research as well as understanding of differences between populations.


  • Joan L. Bottorff (Nursing, UBCO), Dr. Barb Pesut (Nursing, UBCO), Dr. Elizabeth Anderson (Nursing, UBCO)
  • Gillian Fyles (BC Cancer Agency, Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Centre for the Southern Interior)
  • Michael McKenzie (BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver Centre)
  • Daren Heyland (CARENET: Canadian Researchers at the End of Life Network)

Current students/trainees:

  • Giselle White, MSN student