Family Caregivers' Experiences during Transitions Occurring within an Acute Care Facility
AdvisorCrist, Janice D.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractBackground: Family caregivers represent a critical component in the management of the health of older adults. The inclusion of family caregivers during transitions occurring between hospital and community settings has been previously considered. However, the experience of family caregivers during transitions occurring within the same setting remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to describe the experiences of family caregivers during transitions occurring within an acute care setting. Method: A qualitative description study was conducted. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 family caregivers. Interviews were audio-recorded and occurred in person or over the telephone. Analysis included coding of interview data and the development of overarching themes. Findings: In this study, family caregivers reported the following themes. These themes included: "a lack of central brain during hospitalization," "muddling through transitions alone" and "wariness towards the care delivery system. The environmental influence of the hospital setting influenced family caregivers' view of the care provided by healthcare professionals and the transitions occurring between different units. Furthermore, half of the family caregiver participants (n=5) identified as having a background in healthcare. Healthcare professionals as family caregivers (HCP-FCs) reported unique experiences from other non-healthcare family caregivers. Interviews and field notes from HCP-FC participants were analyzed separately following the same procedures as the larger study. Three themes emerged including, "seeking inclusion," "insider perspectives," and "role struggle." Conclusion: Experiences of HCP-FCs and family caregivers during hospitalization of older adults have the potential to influence perceptions regarding transitional events occurring within acute care settings. Additionally, family caregivers' and HCP-FCs' perceptions of care coordination among healthcare professionals had the potential to negatively influence perceptions of transitions occurring within the acute care setting.
Degree ProgramGraduate College