Expert Panel on Respite Research and the ARCH Respite Research Consortium

A current focus of ARCH is to collect, synthesize, disseminate and stimulate research to improve respite practice and sustainability. The Expert Panel on Respite Research, convened by ARCH in collaboration with the Administration for Community Living, is key to helping accomplish this mission by engaging experts in the field in informed discussions of current respite research and possibilities for future investigation. A final report, including a respite research agenda, was released in October 2015.

ARCH built a Respite Research Consortium to link interested researchers and funders to engage in respite research that follows the research framework developed by the Expert Panel, and to help implement the Expert Panel's research recommendations.

The Respite Research Summit scheduled for June 19, 2020 in Madison, WI, will now be held virtually on the afternoons of September 29 and 30, 2020.  More information coming soon. Read more.


Final Report, Research Agenda for Respite Care: Deliberations of an Expert Panel of Researchers, Advocates and Funders, click here.

Research Consortium Updates

 List of Expert Panel Members

Expert Panel Goals

ARCH Annotated Bibliography, updated 2018

National and International Respite Research Findings

BREAK Exchange

Implementing the Panel's Recommendations

ARCH issued a Respite Research Prospectus to build a Respite Research Consortium to implement the Panel's Recommendations. We were assisted in publicizing this effort through a blog posted by the John A Harford Foundation, which also shared information about ARCH's efforts to implement the Panel's recommendations in a webinar for Grantmakers in Aging, "Conversations with GIA" - Family Caregiving: New Horizons for Caring Across America."


Respite Research Consortium Updates and Funding Opportunities

January 2020

September 2019 

  • ARCH Comments in Response to Notice Number: NOT-AG-19-016, Invitation for Input on the 2020 National Research Summit on Care, Services, & Supports for Persons with Dementia and their Caregivers, National Institute on Aging

January 2019 

October 2018 

If you are a researcher or funder and would like more information on how you can participate in the Respite Research Consortium, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



National and International Research Findings on the Benefits of Respite

Senior Companion Caregiver Study

The Corportation for National and Community Service conducted the Senior Companion caregiver study to establish the impact of respite services on caregivers of Senior Companion clients. The study surveyed caregivers prior to the start of respite care and at a one-year follow-up point. Caregivers were grouped into critical, essential, and moderate categories based on personal and family needs. Those in the critical-needs group were the ones with the highest needs.

  • Nearly 76% of caregivers in the critical-needs group reported Senior Companion respite services helped them “a lot” with both personal time and household management.

  • Approximately 60% of caregivers with critical needs reported that Senior Companion services helped them “a lot” or a “great deal” and allowed them to be more involved in social activities and enjoy time with their friends or relatives.

  • Approximately 40% of caregivers who rated their health as fair or poor before respite support, now rate their health as good.

Source: Corporation for National and Community Service. Health Benefits of Senior Corps. Read the brief.

Outcome Evaluation of the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP)

Survey response data were collected from a nationally representative sample of NFCSP client caregivers, a comparison group of caregivers who do not receive NFCSP services, and a sample of care recipients (CRs) of caregivers in the two groups. This was the first national longitudinal survey of caregivers designed for the purpose of evaluating the NFCSP. The five caregiver outcome measures that were focused on in this evaluation were: mental health, physical health, caregiver burden, caregiver satisfaction, and caregiver confidence. The two-part NFCSP evaluation also includes a previously released process evaluation report.

Key Respite Findings

Key among the evaluation’s findings are important insights into the value of respite in reducing caregiver burden and that education and training services can lead to greater caregiver confidence over time. One key finding regarding respite was that, on average, NFCSP caregivers who received 4 or more hours of respite care per week had a decrease in self-reported burden over time, while the comparison caregivers experienced an increase in self-reported burden. In addition, among caregivers who used NFCSP respite care, as the respite hours per week increased, so did the probability of a more favorable response regarding caregivers' perception that services helped them continue caregiving. Additional data were collected on caregivers’ use and perceived helpfulness of NFCSP respite care.

Source: Administration for Community LIving (2018). Outcome Evaluation of the National Family Caregiver Support Program

Short Breaks for Carers: A scoping review, September 2019

A research report commissioned by Shared Care Scotland explores existing evidence about the vital role played by short breaks and respite care in families where there are significant caring responsibilities. The literature review was undertaken by Diane Seddon and Louise Prendergast of the Wales Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research at Bangor University and tells us what the evidence says about outcomes for carers.  Read the Scoping Review.