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ISRN Nurs. 2011;2011:943059. doi: 10.5402/2011/943059. Epub 2011 Jun 8.

Alzheimer's patients' spouses critiques of the support services.

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  • 1Department of Health, The Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Kirkkokatu 8, 15141 Lahti, Finland.


Introduction. Caregiving families of patients with dementia are often reluctant to use support services. The aim of this study was to describe their subjective critiques of these services. Material and Methods. A cross-sectional questionnaire was sent to a random sample (N = 1943) of Alzheimer's patients' spouses in Finland with an open-ended question: "What kind of problems have you faced with the services?" Their responses were analyzed with thematic content analysis. Results. Of the responders identifying themselves as caregivers (N = 1386), 728 (mean age 77.8, 65.1% females) responded. Opinions could be divided into two categories: (1) problems with the service application process (N = 296); (2) critiques of the services offered (N = 270) including either problems with community care support services or institutional care. 74 indicated that they had no need for services, and 15 praised the services they had received. Conclusions. From the caregiver's perspective, the service system is complicated, bureaucratic and works organization centredly.

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