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Table 4 Step-wise analyses (Best subset) for prediction of family member’s sense of support within the family (dependent variable) during the palliative home care period. Only variables in the five domains (each domain representing a subsystem or suprasystem) with Wald > 2 (see Table 1 and 2) were allowed to be included in the step-wise analyses

From: Sense of support within the family: a cross-sectional study of family members in palliative home care

Variable domain (relating subsystem or suprasystem) AIC Variable Wald valuea for partial regression coefficients
STEP 0 STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 STEP 4 STEP 5 Step 6 STEP 7 Best subset
IV. Other family members’ support to patient
(SUBSYSTEM: Patient – Other family members (than the interviewed family member)
506.1 Support to patient from other family members. Relatives or friends (1 (never) - 6 (always))   43.97 33.71 6.30 4.58 2.74 3.24 3.30f
V. Sense of security in palliative home care
(SUPRASYSTEM: Family member - Palliative home care unit)
518.7 Care interaction subscale (SEC-Rd; 1 (never) - 6 (always))   1.12       
  Mastery subscale (SEC-R; 1 (never) - 6 (always))   0.14       
  Patient situation subscale (SEC-R; 1 (never) - 6 (always))   14.22 11.82 9.71 9.94 8.30 10.02 9.98f
  Time from admittance to palliative care unit (days)   0.28       
III. Other more distant family members’ support to the interviewed family member
(SUBSYSTEM: Family member - Other more distant family member) s
520.7 Support to family member from other family members than the closest family (1 (never) - 6 (always))   50.24   10.06 9.48 8.72 10.06 11.71f
II. Patient characteristicsb
(SUBSYSTEM: Family member -Closest family)
523.9 Demographics
525.8 Patient’s age (in years) 0.99e        
  Patient’s gender: male/female 1.19        
  Patient native born i n Sweden (%) 0.11        
  Patient’s living conditions
  Alone 1.71        
  With wife/husband/co-habitant 0.48        
  With child 5.04 3.44    1.83    
  With other 0.04        
  Geographical distance between housing of patient and family member         
  (Same household (1)-More than 1 h distance (6)) 0.04        
  Patient illness
553.9 Malignant diagnoses 0.44        
  Respiration 2.39 1.33       
  Breast 0.05        
  Gynaecological 0.63        
  Urological 0.64        
  Haematological 0.26        
  Other malignancies 0.12        
546.9 Non-malignant diagnosesc 0.18        
576.0 Patient having difficulties with memory (1 (never) - 5 (very often)) 0.07        
  Patient having changed behaviour (1 (never) - 5 (very often)) 4.41 2.42    0.001    
  Time since diagnosis (in months) 0.02        
I. Family member characteristics
(SUBSYSTEM Family member-Closest family)
534.4          
578.7 Demographics
  Age (in years) 3.11 3.33     2.59 1.23  
  Gender: male/female 0.0003        
  Married or partner/ single 5.55 2.52     0.13   
  Living conditions
  Alone 2.61 2.74     5.07 8.13 7.29f
  with husband. Wife or cohabitant 2.48 1.86       
  with children 2.32 2.26     1.50   
  Have children 2.41 4.38     1.00   
  Native born in Sweden 0.31        
  Education (highest level completed) (No formal education (1)-University 3 yeats or more (6)) 0.24        
  Main occupation
  Employed 0.04        
  Self-employed 1.07        
  Caring for family member with grant 0.30        
  Caring for family member without grant 0.32        
  Old-age pensioner 4.95 2.17     2.01 1.91  
  Relation to the patient
  Husband. wife or partner 1.97        
  Child 3.09 4.91     2.38 3.26 3.87f.g
595.3 Situation as family member to a severly ill person
  Type of support/care the family member provided to the ill person
  Health care 0.44        
  Physical. personal care 1.51        
  Transport 0.18        
  Emotional. social support 0.003        
  Support in home and household 2.34 0.50       
  Support with financial management 0.36        
  Financial support 0.02        
  Organise care and support 0.53        
  Extent of support/attendance/care the family member provided to the ill person
  (Around the clock (1) - No need (6)) 0.07        
  Family members’ perception of being a family caregiver
  Negative impact (COPE_NEG) (4–28) 2.07 0.05       
  Positive value (COPE_POS) (4–16) 0.91        
  Quality of support (COPE_SUPPORT) (4–16) 5.59 5.46     0.13   
  Possibility of respite if family member needed a break (Easy (1)- No (3)) 5.37 10.66     6.61 6.40 7.67f
  Possibility of respite if family member turned ill (Easy (1)- No (3)) 0.25        
618.9 Attachment security
  Anxiety dimension (ECR-M16d; 1–7) 5.24 2.15     0.07   
  Avoidance dimension (ECR-M16; 1–7) 2.01 0.34       
638.6 Health-related quality of life
  EQ 5D indexd (−0.594 (worst possible) – 1.00 (best possible)) 0.21        
  General health (from SF-36; 1(excellent) - 5 (bad)) 0.19        
  Quality of life (from WHO QOL 100; 1(very bad) - 5 (very good)) 2.34 1.19       
638.8 Stress and coping
  Nervousness and stress (from PSSd; 1 (never) - 5 (very often)) 4.22 3.54     2.03 1.12  
  Too many problems to manage (from PSS; 1 (never) - 5 (very often)) 0.05        
  Worry about private economy (1 (never) - 5 (very often)) 0.10        
  Self-efficacy (from GSEd; 1 (fully disagree) - 4 (fully agree)) 0.40        
  Religious or existential faith that helps (1 (fully disagree) - 4 (fully agree)) 1.58        
  1. aWald = 4 is approximately equivalent with p = 0.05; Wald = 6 is approximately equivalent with p = 0.01. Only variables with Wald> 2 were selected for further analyses
  2. bThe variables in both the “Characteristics of the patient” and the “Characteristics of the family member” domain were considered too many compared with number of respondents to be computed at the same time, so in Step 0 variables in these domains were divided into subdomains and Wald values for each subdomain were computed
  3. cNeurological disease (n = 9). heart- or lung disease (n = 4). and other (n = 2)
  4. dSEC-R. The sense of security in care-Relatives’ Evaluation instrument; COPE. assessment of negative impact. Positive value and quality of support of caregiving in informal carers of older people; ECR-M16. Experiences in Close Relationships scale; EQ-5D. EuroQol-5D; PSS. Perceived Stress Scale; GSE. General Self-Efficacy Scale
  5. eBold italic indicates variables that were excluded from the following steps
  6. fVariable that was selected in the Best subset analyses
  7. gNegative relationship to end-point