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A partnership approach to service needs assessment with family caregivers of an aging relative living at home: A qualitative analysis of the experiences of caregivers and practitioners
(FoU Sjuhärad Välfärd)
(FoU Sjuhärad Välfärd)
(FoU Sjuhärad Välfärd)
University of Borås, School of Health Science. (FoU Sjuhärad Välfärd)
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2010 (English)In: International Journal of Nursing Studies, ISSN 0020-7489, E-ISSN 1873-491X, Vol. 47, no 7, 876-887 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Background As the global population ages, support for family caregivers who provide the bulk of care to community-dwelling older people is becoming ever more important. However, in many countries, homecare-service practitioners currently do not follow a systematic approach to assessing and responding to caregiver needs. Objectives The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of caregivers and practitioners who took part in a field test of the Family Caregivers Support Agreement (FCSA) tool, a modified version of the Carers Outcome Agreement Tool (COAT) initially developed as the result of an Anglo-Swedish study. Both the COAT and the FCSA are designed to facilitate partnerships between caregivers and practitioners so that needs assessment and subsequent support services are negotiated and agreed so as to meet caregiver expectations. Design and participants A qualitative design was adopted and data were collected through focus groups with six practitioners (nurses and social workers) working in two Local Community Service Centres in the province of Quebec (Canada). These practitioners had previously completed the FCSA tool with 17 primary caregivers of frail elderly relatives who were clients of homecare services. Individual interviews were conducted with the caregivers to explore their experiences. Data were analyzed to identify significant themes, from the perspectives of caregivers and practitioners, which provided insights into their experiences and the strategies used by practitioners to facilitate partnership working. Findings To facilitate meaningful exchanges, practitioners adopted strategies such as sensitive listening and the use of enabling questions to identify and contextualize caregiver needs and to highlight the ability of caregivers to find their own creative solutions to the challenges they face. The caregivers described experiencing a climate of trust that allowed them to express their concerns, to reflect upon their situation and to participate in the development of an action plan for their support. Conclusions The study reaffirms findings from Sweden and UK that the use of a tool such as the FCSA enhances partnership working and creates a caregiver–practitioner relationship based on a genuine alliance. As a result, both parties gain new insights into the caring situation. The approach underpinning the FCSA tool has potential for a more widespread application in different contexts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Pergamon , 2010. Vol. 47, no 7, 876-887 p.
Keyword [en]
assessment tool, elders, family caregivers, homecare support and services, partnership working
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-3032DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2009.12.006Local ID: 2320/7487OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-3032DiVA: diva2:871128
Available from: 2015-11-13 Created: 2015-11-13

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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  • vancouver
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More styles
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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