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The Experience of the Family Caregivers' Role: A Qualitative Study

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Lane, Paula, McKenna, Hugh, Ryan, Assumpta and Fleming, Paul (2003) The Experience of the Family Caregivers' Role: A Qualitative Study. Research and Theory for Nursing Practice, 17 (2). pp. 137-151. [Journal article]

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URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/springer/rtnp/2003/00000017/00000002/art00006

DOI: 10.1891/rtnp.17.2.137.53173

Abstract

In Ireland, there is a dearth of research exploring the perceived health and social care needs and experiences of family caregivers of older people. In response, this research study was conducted to explore the profile, role and needs of family caregivers as a means of understanding their experience of caring. The study also set out to identify coping strategies employed by caregivers and explore positive aspects of the caring relationship in relation to quality of life, information needs, day care and respite care, transport and emotional support. A multimethod approach used interviews, focus groups and postal questionnaires. In the main study a pretested questionnaire, comprising closed and open questions was used with a stratified, systematically randomized sample of caregivers in urban and rural home care settings, of which 52% of respondents to the questionnaire volunteered to partake in in-depth interviews. This article per deals predominantly with the findings arising from 10 in-depth qualitative interviews. The data yielded a rich and meaningful picture of the caregiving experience, profiling the complex nature of this diverse and multifaceted role. Findings showed that three main categories emanated from the data: the caring role-context and attitudes, the impact of caring and the need to support the carers' role. The need to develop continually an understanding of the effectiveness of specific health and social care interventions was also of paramount importance. The anticipated continuing demand for family care means that caregivers' needs and perspectives need to be integrated into future service planning and decision-making processes, in partnership with statutory and voluntary bodies. While this was the first study of its type in Ireland, the issues raised reflect the findings of other published studies and have important lessons for family carers and health care practitioners generally.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:CAREGIVER; FAMILY CAREGIVER
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Nursing
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute of Nursing and Health Research
Institute of Nursing and Health Research > Person-centred Practice
ID Code:19664
Deposited By:Barbara Wilson (Admin)
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 12:12
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 12:12

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