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Our purpose is to inform nurse practitioners of the prevalence of caregiving youth (CY) and the invisibility of this population. Pauline Boss’s Ambiguous Loss theory can be applied to encounters with (CY) to more fully understand the risks unique to the CY and integrate interventions into their care. In our preparation, we reviewed 23 peer reviewed articles and three theoretical manuscripts written by Dr. Boss.

We came to the conclusion that caregiving youth exist globally. CY contribute to the economic stability of the family and keep families together that would otherwise burden local social services. Caregiving youth fear destruction of the family unit and therefore delay or refuse interventions to prevent further loss to the family unit. For this reason, nurse practitioners must understand how to work with people experiencing ambiguous loss to decrease stress and reduce isolation. The authors developed a screening tool to identify CY in the primary care setting.


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  • Event location
    • Room 269 Open Classroom

  • Event date
    • 4 April 2013

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Carolynn DeSandre