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Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2002 Oct-Nov;23(7):691-713.

Qualitative evaluation of a stress management intervention for elderly caregivers at home: a constructivist approach.

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Research Chair in Nursing Care for the Elderly and Their Families, Research Centre, Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada.


The purpose of this project was to evaluate, using a constructivist qualitative design, an individual stress management intervention based on a stress-coping model and intended for family caregivers of elderly persons within the current context of the shift to ambulatory care. This nursing intervention comprised seven weekly encounters with caregivers following their elderly family member's discharge from hospital and a follow-up visit one month after. The aim of the qualitative evaluation was to document the feasibility and acceptability of the content of the intervention, its relevance in terms of process and structure, and the benefits to the principal stakeholders. This action research project was a case study of four participants. The assessment instruments included an intervention analysis grid, a diary, and a semistructured interview guide with the participants. Data analysis drew on Guba and Lincoln's (1989) method which made it possible to refine the intervention. Results underscored that certain implementation conditions must be respected in order to ensure the intervention's acceptability and feasibility. Above all, it must remain flexible and the nurse must possess the requisite clinical skills and theoretical knowledge. It is important also to screen judiciously for caregivers likely to benefit from the intervention. The pertinence of using a circular intervention model rather than a linear approach to stress management was highlighted as well.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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