Perceived support needs of family caregivers and implications for a telephone support service.
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The purposes of this study were: to identify the perceived support needs of family caregivers of persons living with chronic illness (physical or cognitive) and receiving home-care services, and to describe the types of telephone services that would meet the expressed needs of caregivers. The qualitative design used semi-structured interviews. A total of 34 caregivers (mean age 62 years) participated in the study. The care recipients (mean age 78 years) were primarily the husband/wife or parent of the caregiver. The most commonly expressed caregiver needs were: a social life, instrumental support (e.g., respite, assistance with physical care, financial compensation), informational support, and emotional support. Most caregivers said they would use a telephone support service provided by a professional (71%) or a fellow caregiver (59%) if available. The results of this study support a pilot study and evaluation of a telephone support service for family caregivers.
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