A Conceptual Model to Improve Care for Individuals with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias and Their Caregivers: Qualitative Findings in an Online Caregiver Forum

Yan Du, Brittany Dennis, Jia Liu, Kylie Meyer, Nazish Siddiqui, Katrina Lopez, Carole White, Sahiti Myneni, Mitzi Gonzales, Jing Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: As the population rapidly ages, a growing number of families are engaging in care for individuals living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD). The perceived challenges and burdens that face informal caregivers are enormous. Objective: The objective of this study was to 1) explore from the family caregivers' perspective, the daily lives of individuals living with ADRD, and the challenges family caregivers encounter when caring for a family member with ADRD; and 2) to develop a comprehensive model with the endeavor to improve care for individuals with ADRD and their family caregivers. Methods: Posts were extracted from the ALZConnected online caregiving forum in May 2019. Guided by a triangular model focused on Caregiver, Individual with ADRD, and Context of Care, two researchers independently analyzed 654 posts with a combination of deductive and inductive thematic analysis approach. Researchers all agreed on finalized codes and themes. Results: Thematic analysis resulted in four themes: Individual with ADRD, Caregiver, Dynamic between Caregiver and Individual with ADRD, and Context of Care. The most frequently discussed topics among caregivers were informational and emotional support for caregivers, and the capabilities and functioning of individuals with ADRD. Conclusion: Online forums provide a valuable platform for caregivers to support each other informationally and emotionally, share care strategies, and navigate caregiving burdens. An expanded model was derived to support a comprehensive and dynamic approach to improve care for both caregivers and individuals with ADRD. The unique nature of the caregiver forum data is worthy of further data mining using a novel analysis approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1673-1684
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Volume81
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • caregiver
  • dementia
  • peer group
  • quality of life
  • support
  • technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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