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A QUALITATIVE INVESTIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF HOME-BASED PRIMARY CARE ON FAMILY CAREGIVERS

E. Wool, J.L. Shotwell, J. Slaboda, A. Kozikowski, K.L. Smith, K. Abrashkin, K.V. Rhodes, G.J. Norman, R. Pekmezaris

Background: Home-based primary care (HBPC) provides team-based clinical care for homebound patients who have difficulty accessing typical outpatient care. Interdisciplinary team members also provide social and emotional support and serve as a resource for family caregivers, who often experience significant emotional stress. Objectives: This qualitative study explores the impact of HBPC on family caregivers to identify aspects of the program that caregivers find most helpful and meaningful as well as areas for improvement. Design: Semi structured recorded interviews were conducted with family caregivers of frail, elderly homebound patients. Interviews included the following topics: overall program satisfaction and suggestions for improvement. Setting: A HBPC program serving patients in Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties in New York. Participants: Nineteen family caregivers: 13 women, 6 men; 10 were adult children; 6 were spouses, and 3 were other family members of patients in a HBPC program. Measurements: Thematic coding of all recorded transcribed interviews was prepared by 3 qualitative coders. Interrater reliability was conducted to ensure reliability across coders before themes were disseminated and discussed until consensus was achieved with the larger group of investigators. Results: Three main themes were identified: the importance of staff emotional support; the burden of caring for homebound patients; and the need for a broader range of home-based services. Multiple family members noted that the program not only had saved their loved one’s life, but had also metaphorically saved their own. Conclusions: Family caregivers value the communication and accessibility of HBPC and report that the program has a positive impact on their stress and mental health. Results can inform key aspects that need to be retained or enhanced with the expansion in HBPC programs.

CITATION:
E. Wool ; J.L. Shotwell ; J. Slaboda ; A. Kozikowski ; K.L. Smith ; K. Abrashkin ; K.V. Rhodes ; G.J. Norman ; R. Pekmezaris (2019): A Qualitative Investigation of the Impact of Home-Based Primary Care on Family Caregivers. The Journal of Frailty and Aging (JFA). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jfa.2019.19

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