The Me in We dyadic communication intervention is feasible and acceptable among advanced cancer patients and their family caregivers

Dana Ketcher, Casidee Thompson, Amy K. Otto, Maija Reblin, Kristin G. Cloyes, Margaret F. Clayton, Brian R.W. Baucom, Lee Ellington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Advanced cancer affects the emotional and physical well-being of both patients and family caregivers in profound ways and is experienced both dyadically and individually. Dyadic interventions address the concerns of both members of the dyad. A critical gap exists in advanced cancer research, which is a failure of goals research and dyadic research to fully account for the reciprocal and synergistic effects of patients’ and caregivers’ individual perspectives, and those they share. Aim: We describe the feasibility and acceptability of the Me in We dyadic intervention, which is aimed at facilitating communication and goals-sharing among caregiver and patient dyads while integrating family context and individual/shared perspectives. Design: Pilot study of a participant-generated goals communication intervention, guided by multiple goals theory, with 13 patient-caregiver dyads over two sessions. Setting/participants: Patients with advanced cancer and their self-identified family caregivers were recruited from an academic cancer center. Dyads did not have to live together, but both had to consent to participate and all participants had to speak and read English and be at least 18 years or age. Results: Of those approached, 54.8% dyads agreed to participate and completed both sessions. Participants generated and openly discussed their personal and shared goals and experienced positive emotions during the sessions. Conclusions: This intervention showed feasibility and acceptability using participant-generated goals as personalized points of communication for advanced cancer dyads. This model shows promise as a communication intervention for dyads in discussing and working towards individual and shared goals when facing life-limiting or end-of-life cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-396
Number of pages8
JournalPalliative Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 21 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by University of Utah College of Nursing Dick and Timmy Burton Pilot Grant (PI: Ellington) and the National Cancer Institute (5T32CA090314-16; MPI Brandon/Vadaparampil).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • Feasibility studies
  • communication research
  • family caregiver
  • pilot study
  • psychosocial oncology


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