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Developing and testing of an integrative theoretical model to predict positive aspects of caregiving among family caregivers of persons with dementia: A study protocol

Journal of Advanced Nursing. 77(1):401-410. 2021
Yu D.S.F.*, Cheng S.T., Kwok T.


Aims: The aim is to develop and test an integrative model based on the stress and coping paradigm and the existential paradigm, to explain positive aspects of caregiving among family caregivers of persons with dementia.

Design: A mixed method research, comprises a longitudinal exploratory study and a descriptive qualitative study.

Methods: A total of 370 family caregivers will be recruited from community elderly centres. Questionnaires on positive aspects of caregiving and its predictors (including active dementia management strategies, meaning-focused coping, and self-efficacy) and contextual factors (including social support, religiosity, continuous good dyadic relationship quality, and intrinsic motivation towards caregiving) will be administered. Positive aspects of caregiving will be reassessed six months later. Path analysis will be used to test the hypothesized model. A subsample of 30 family caregivers will be interviewed individually to explore how positive aspects of caregiving develop from the caregiving experience. Inductive thematic analysis will be used to for the qualitative data analysis. The funding was approved in January 2018.

Discussion: Positive aspects of caregiving represents the extent to which the caregiving experience is seen as enriching an individual's life space and resulted in health protective effects. With the increasing evidence to indicate its associating factors, it is imperative to identify the theoretical model to comprehensively elucidate the process for its development.

Impact: Theoretically, this study will advance the knowledge of dementia caregiving by generating a comprehensive theory-driven predictive model to explain how positive aspects of caregiving is developed among the family caregivers. In terms of nursing practice, the findings can inform the development of intervention to improve positive aspects of caregiving and thereby acts as a catalyst to promote the paradigm shift from 'reducing limitations' to 'optimizing strengths' in family caregivers support services.

Keywords: dementia; existential paradigm; family caregivers; family nursing; positive aspects of caregiving; stress and coping paradigm.

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