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First published online July 1, 2016

Male Caregivers’ Use of Formal Support

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore male caregivers’perceptions of formal support. The men were caregivers of adults with cognitive impairment. The study involved secondary analysis of interview data on perceptions of support that had not been previously analyzed from the perspective of formal support. Techniques of data analysis used in grounded theory were applied to 62 guided interactive interviews conducted with 24 male caregivers during a period of 18 months. The men experienced a process of making concessions for care in the following four sequential stages: resisting, giving in, opening the door, and making the match. Personal barriers deterred the caregivers from seeking help, and once the caregivers engaged formal help the influence of characteristics of the health care system and individual staff members had both enabling and disabling effects. For caregivers whose use of formal support involved admitting their relative to a long-term care facility, the phase of making the match was followed by redesigning their caregiver role.

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1. The authors wish to acknowledge funding in support of this study in the form of a Fellow-ship Award to Maureen Coe from the National Health Research and Development Program, and research grant awards to Anne Neufeld from the Alzheimer Society of Canada and the Alberta Association of Registered Nurses. We acknowledge with appreciation assistance from Paulin Lea in recruitment and data generation, and Joy Hibbard and Barbara Spady in data analysis. Please direct all correspondence to Dr. Anne Neufeld, Faculty of Nursing, 3rd Floor CSB, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2G3.

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Article first published online: July 1, 2016
Issue published: August 1999

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Issue published: August 1999
Published online: July 1, 2016
PubMed: 11512171

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Maureen Coe
Anne Neufeld

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