Problems of New Caregivers of Persons with Stroke

Authors

  • Linda L. Pierce PhD RN CNS CRRN FAHA,

    Professor, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Linda L. Pierce, PhD RN CNS CRRN FAHA, is professor at the College of Nursing, Medical University of Ohio at Toledo.

  • Victoria Steiner PhD,

    Assistant ProfessorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Victoria Steiner, PhD, is assistant professor at the College of Medicine, Medical University of Ohio at Toledo.

  • Barbara Hicks MSN RNC,

    Assistant ProfessorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Barbara Hicks, MSN RNC, is associate professor emerita at the College of Nursing, Medical University of Ohio at Toledo.

  • Allison Lea Holzaepfel MSN CNP RN

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Allison Lea Holzaepfel, MSN CNP RN, is family nurse practitioner at the Peninsula Medical Center, Marblehead, OH.


3015 Arlington Ave., Toledo, OH, 43614; Ipierce@meduohio.edu

Abstract

Nine adult caregivers new to the role of caring for persons with stroke, upon discharge from rehabilitation centers in Ohio and Michigan and living farther away from formalized support services than urban caregivers, were enrolled for 3 months in a Web-based intervention project that examined the feasibility of the intervention and described the experience of caring. This article is an analysis of qualitative data from the intervention project that used a rigorous protocol to examine 68 perceived problems reported in caring. Problem themes in order of most to least frequent were 1) having independence issues, 2) dealing with emotions, 3) living with physical limitations, 4) managing co-morbid conditions, 5) balancing it all, 6) participating in physical therapy, and 7) having sleeping issues. These problems were related to four of Orem's universal self-care requisites. Although the total number of problems decreased over time, “balancing it all” was the only problem that increased. This may be due to the resumption of the caregivers' regular activities or increased caregiving responsibilities. Nurses could use these findings to identify and focus on self-care needs of caregivers and to implement problem-resolution strategies.

Ancillary