The TRIO Framework: Conceptual insights into family caregiver involvement and influence throughout cancer treatment decision-making

Rebekah Laidsaar-Powell, Phyllis Butow, Cathy Charles, Amiram Gafni, Vikki Entwistle, Ronald Epstein, Ilona Juraskova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
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Objective Family caregivers are regularly involved in cancer consultations and treatment decision-making (DM). Yet there is limited conceptual description of caregiver influence/involvement in DM. To address this, an empirically-grounded conceptual framework of triadic DM (TRIO Framework) and corresponding graphical aid (TRIO Triangle) were developed.

Methods Jabareen’s model for conceptual framework development informed multiple phases of development/validation, incorporation of empirical research and theory, and iterative revisions by an expert advisory group.

Results Findings coalesced into six empirically-grounded conceptual insights: i) Caregiver influence over a decision is variable amongst different groups; ii) Caregiver influence is variable within the one triad over time; iii) Caregivers are involved in various ways in the wider DM process; iv) DM is not only amongst three, but can occur among wider social networks; v) Many factors may affect the form and extent of caregiver involvement in DM; vi) Caregiver influence over, and involvement in, DM is linked to their everyday involvement in illness care/management.

Conclusion The TRIO Framework/Triangle may serve as a useful guide for future empirical, ethical and/or theoretical work. Practice Implications This Framework can deepen clinicians’s and researcher’s understanding of the diverse and varying scope of caregiver involvement and influence in DM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2035-2046
Number of pages12
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number11
Early online date5 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

This research was supported under Australian Research Council's Discovery Projects funding scheme (Project Number: DP140103838).


  • family caregivers
  • triadic
  • medical decision-making
  • conceptual framework


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