Title

Poster Session - Action research with a home-based training program to understand and address the occupational needs of caregivers of older adults

Location

New River Rooms A & B

Start Time

2-10-2015 8:00 PM

End Time

2-10-2015 9:00 PM

Abstract

Objectives:

  1. Explore action research methodology to identify occupational needs of a target population.

  2. Discuss the impact of relationship building in addressing needs of a target population

  3. Outline opportunities for occupational scientists to use this methodology to address specific needs.


Statement of Purpose: The purpose of this action based, case study research, utilizing a concurrent embedded mixed methods approach, was to examine the effects of a home-based, student-led caregiver education program to meet the occupational needs of caregivers of older adults. Many caregivers experience occupational imbalance in their attempts to meet the needs of the care recipient(s) in addition to their own needs. Many caregiver training programs have taken an educational approach, providing information. But a more active learning approach was undertaken in the current study to allow caregivers to learn specific skills and techniques within the context of their own home or environment of their choice.

Description of methods: In order to best address the needs of five participants, a semi-structured interview was conducted and analyzed for themes in addition to obtaining perceptions of quality of life (Quality of Life Scale), self-efficacy (General Self-Efficacy Scale related to caregiving role), and burden (Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale) through Likert scale ratings. Specific skills or areas to focus the training were identified. At least 3-4 contacts were made with caregivers to establish rapport, understand the context of caregiving, identify occupational needs of the caregiver, teach skills and techniques, provide information, and follow-up through phone and/or email. All training was provided on an individual basis but participants gathered for a final group session to learn of additional resources and share experiences. Pre-intervention data from the questionnaires were compared with post-intervention data. Additionally, the Modified Multi-axial Assessment of Caregiver Intervention Outcomes was used to determine the effectiveness of the training to meet the targeted needs.

Results: Two participants discontinued participation due to death or illness after the initial contacts. The remaining participants demonstrated improvements in their quality of life, efficacy, and burden based on observed scores. There was no statistically significant difference due to small sample. Qualitatively, participants reported benefitting from the training and were better prepared to handle the challenges of caregiving. Two cases are highlighted that best illustrates this action research methodology to understand and address the occupational needs of caregivers.

Discussion/implications as related to occupational science: The home-based training program and engagement of caregivers in learning and applying new skills and knowledge was successful in addressing specific caregiver needs. The action based methodology employed in natural contexts allowed researchers to obtain the lived experience of caregivers. Researchers became more comfortable and used as knowledgeable resources for the caregiver. Follow-up contacts aided both caregivers and researchers to address unforeseen issues which also shed light on the participation patterns of the caregivers enabling the researchers to affectively experience the meaning and value placed on certain occupations performed in the caregiving role. This deeper level of knowledge of the occupational engagement of caregivers can enable more creative and effective training programs to be developed.

Key Words: action research, occupational engagement, informal caregiving

References

Brown, J., Chen, S., & Smith, P. (2013). Evaluating a community-based family caregiver training program. Home Health Care Management and Practice, 25(2), 76-83. doi: 10.1177/1084822312468136

Hendrix, C., Landerman, R., & Abernethy, A. (2013). Effects of an individualized caregiver training intervention on self-efficacy of cancer caregivers. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 35(5), 590-610. doi:10.1177/0193945911420742

Silva, A., Teixeira, H., Teixeira, M., & Freitas, S. (2013). The needs of informal caregivers of elderly people living at home: An integrative review. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 27(4), 792-803. doi:10.1111/scs.12019

Stringer, E. & Dwyer, R. (2005). Action research in human services. Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson Education.

Yong, A. S. L., & Price, L. (2014). The human occupational impact of partner and close family caregiving in dementia: A meta-synthesis of the qualitative research, using a Bespoke Quality Appraisal Tool. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 77, 410-421. doi: 10.4276/030802214X14071472109879

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Oct 2nd, 8:00 PM Oct 2nd, 9:00 PM

Poster Session - Action research with a home-based training program to understand and address the occupational needs of caregivers of older adults

New River Rooms A & B

Objectives:

  1. Explore action research methodology to identify occupational needs of a target population.

  2. Discuss the impact of relationship building in addressing needs of a target population

  3. Outline opportunities for occupational scientists to use this methodology to address specific needs.


Statement of Purpose: The purpose of this action based, case study research, utilizing a concurrent embedded mixed methods approach, was to examine the effects of a home-based, student-led caregiver education program to meet the occupational needs of caregivers of older adults. Many caregivers experience occupational imbalance in their attempts to meet the needs of the care recipient(s) in addition to their own needs. Many caregiver training programs have taken an educational approach, providing information. But a more active learning approach was undertaken in the current study to allow caregivers to learn specific skills and techniques within the context of their own home or environment of their choice.

Description of methods: In order to best address the needs of five participants, a semi-structured interview was conducted and analyzed for themes in addition to obtaining perceptions of quality of life (Quality of Life Scale), self-efficacy (General Self-Efficacy Scale related to caregiving role), and burden (Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale) through Likert scale ratings. Specific skills or areas to focus the training were identified. At least 3-4 contacts were made with caregivers to establish rapport, understand the context of caregiving, identify occupational needs of the caregiver, teach skills and techniques, provide information, and follow-up through phone and/or email. All training was provided on an individual basis but participants gathered for a final group session to learn of additional resources and share experiences. Pre-intervention data from the questionnaires were compared with post-intervention data. Additionally, the Modified Multi-axial Assessment of Caregiver Intervention Outcomes was used to determine the effectiveness of the training to meet the targeted needs.

Results: Two participants discontinued participation due to death or illness after the initial contacts. The remaining participants demonstrated improvements in their quality of life, efficacy, and burden based on observed scores. There was no statistically significant difference due to small sample. Qualitatively, participants reported benefitting from the training and were better prepared to handle the challenges of caregiving. Two cases are highlighted that best illustrates this action research methodology to understand and address the occupational needs of caregivers.

Discussion/implications as related to occupational science: The home-based training program and engagement of caregivers in learning and applying new skills and knowledge was successful in addressing specific caregiver needs. The action based methodology employed in natural contexts allowed researchers to obtain the lived experience of caregivers. Researchers became more comfortable and used as knowledgeable resources for the caregiver. Follow-up contacts aided both caregivers and researchers to address unforeseen issues which also shed light on the participation patterns of the caregivers enabling the researchers to affectively experience the meaning and value placed on certain occupations performed in the caregiving role. This deeper level of knowledge of the occupational engagement of caregivers can enable more creative and effective training programs to be developed.

Key Words: action research, occupational engagement, informal caregiving