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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


MORENO-CAMARA, Sara et al. Problems in the process of adapting to change among the family caregivers of elderly people with dementia. Gac Sanit [online]. 2016, vol.30, n.3, pp.201-207. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To identify and analyse problems in adapting to change among the family caregivers of relatives with dementia. Method: Qualitative study based on the methodology of Charmaz's Constructivist Grounded Theory. Seven focus groups were conducted in different primary health care centres in the province of Jaen (Spain). Eighty-two primary family caregivers of relatives with dementia participated by purposeful maximum variation sampling and theoretical sampling. Triangulation analysis was carried out to increase internal validity. Results: We obtained three main categories: 'Changing Care', 'Problems in the process of adapting to change' and 'Facilitators of the process of adapting to change'. Family caregivers perform their role in a context characterized by personal change, both in the person receiving the care and in the social and cultural context. The challenge of adaptation lies in the balance between the problems that hamper adaptation of the caregiver to new situations of care and the factors that facilitate the caregiver role. Conclusions: The adaptation of family caregivers to caring for a person with dementia is hindered by the lack of formal support and under-diagnosis of dementia. The adaptation process could be improved by strengthening formal support in the early stages of care to reduce the stress of family caregivers who must teach themselves about their task and by interventions adapted to each phase in the development of the caregiver role.

Keywords : Caregivers; Psychological adaptation; Dementia; Alzheimer disease; Qualitative research; Grounded theory.

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