Two Sides to The Caregiving Story
Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation
Purpose: This descriptive study examined problems and successes that a sample of 73 adult caregivers new to the role expressed in the first year of caring for stroke survivors. Data were collected from May 2002 to December 2005. Method: Bimonthly, trained telephone interviewers asked the participants open-ended questions to elicit their experience in caregiving. Guided by Friedemann’s framework of systemic organization, we analyzed the data using Colaizzi’s method of content analysis. Results: There were 2,455 problems and 2,687 successes reported. Three themes emerged from the problems: being frustrated in day-to-day situations (system maintenance in Friedemann’s terms), feeling inadequate and turning to others for help (coherence), and struggling and looking for “normal” in caring (system maintenance vs. change). Three themes were attributed to the successes: making it through and striving for independence (system maintenance), doing things together and seeing accomplishments in the other (coherence), and reaching a new sense of normal and finding balance in life (individuation and system maintenance). Conclusion: These findings provided an in-depth, theorybased description of the experience of being a new caregiver and can help explain how caring can be a difficult yet rewarding experience. Knowledge of the changes over time allows health care professionals to tailor their interventions, understanding, and support.
Pierce, Linda L.; Steiner, Victoria; Govoni, Amy; Thompson, Teresa Cervantez; and Friedemann, Marie Luise, "Two Sides to The Caregiving Story" (2007). Nursing Faculty Publications. 65.