Abstract TMP89: Nurse's Responses to Caregivers using a Web-based Supportive Intervention
Background: Approximately 795,000 people experience a first time or recurrent stroke every year and most are cared for by family caregivers in home settings. Web-based interventions provide 24/7 access to support services and have been explored in the literature with caregivers of persons with chronic conditions, such as cancer, dementia, and stroke. Current research into nurses’ interactions with family caregivers in these web-based interventions is lacking.
Purpose: Guided by Friedemann’s Framework of Systemic Organization, the aim of this descriptive study was to examine a nurse specialist’s e-mail comments to stroke family caregivers participating in a web-based supportive intervention used in a one-year randomized controlled trial (RCT).
Methods: With institutional review board approval, caregivers in Ohio and Michigan (n=36) accessed the intervention support group and communicated by email with this nurse. These caregivers were primarily white women caring for a spouse, with an average age of 54 years (SD=12.2). The nurse moderated the group, answered caregivers’ questions, and offered support. Data were collected over a period of four years and the nurse’s responses were examined using rigorous content analysis.
Results: From the nurse specialist’s narrative responses and questions/answers posted to the support group, five themes emerged and were drawn to Friedemann’s Framework. These themes included: socializing (coherence in Friedemann’s terms), dealing with emotions of the caregiver (individuation), taking care of the caregiver (individuation), accepting the caregiver role (individuation/system maintenance), and providing medical advice or referral related to the care recipient (system maintenance).
Conclusions: Email interactions between the nurse and stroke family caregivers in this RCT revealed specific issues that these caregivers were struggling with, as well as methods that nurses might suggest to help address them. Healthcare providers can use this information to provide better, more informed care, and directed interventions for caregivers in dealing with stroke and its outcomes.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.