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Targeting Interventions for Primary Informal Caregivers of Adults with Cognitive and Physical Losses

Miller, Elaine Tilka DNS RNC1

doi: 10.1002/j.2048-7940.2002.tb01984.x
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Each year, approximately 22.4 million United States households provide 18 hours of informal caregiving per week. Because of an aging population and shorter hospital stays, the demand for long-term informal caregiving will continue to escalate. This pilot study examined how the informal caregiving process and related outcomes differ in long-term relationships. A descriptive approach, using a triangulation of structured instruments and an open-ended interview, was used to examine a random sample of 56 primary informal caregivers (PICs), 28 for older adults with predominantly cognitive impairments and 28 for older adults with primarily physical impairments. Results indicate that both PIC groups were experiencing depression. There was also a significant difference in relationship quality between the two groups of caregivers. Although many PICs expressed a sense of competency in performing their caregiving tasks, suggestions are provided here to target interventions that promote the continued success of these relationships.

1 University of Cincinnati College of Nursing

University of Cincinnati, College of Nursing, PO Box 210038, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0038 or e-mail elaine.miller@uc.edu

Professor of Nursing

© 2002 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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