Actions Chinese Family Caregivers Take Potentially Preventing Stroke Survivors’ Rehospitalization

Title: Actions Chinese Family Caregivers Take Potentially Preventing Stroke Survivors’ Rehospitalization

Primary Author:  Linda L. Pierce, PhD MSN RN CRRN FAAN – Professor Emerita, University of Toledo

Co-Author:  Jennifer Perion, PhD, CHES – Assistant Professor of Practice, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Co-Author:  Victoria Steiner, PhD – Associate Professor, University of Toledo

Abstract: Background: Family caregiving plays an essential role in the prevention and management of stroke throughout the world. In China, the level of burden of stroke on the population is greater than the global average with 7.5 million stroke survivors reported each year. These individuals prefer receiving in-home care from family members who appreciate their cultural and religious background.

Purpose: This qualitative descriptive study aimed to identify actions family caregivers of stroke survivors in China take to prevent hospital readmissions. Guided by Friedemann’s theory, these actions can promote a sense of well-being or the presence of congruence.

Methods: Using purposive sampling, ten adult family caregivers in Jiangsu province who provided care for stroke survivors in community settings for at least six months were enrolled. Caregivers participated in a face-to-face, semi-structured interview with content validity established by experts in the field. Audiotaped interviews were transcribed/translated into English and the narrative data analyzed using Colaizzi’s content analysis approach.

Findings: Caregivers (n=7 female; n=3 male) with an average age of 55 years indicated actions that comprised six themes. These themes are: 1) Encouraging care recipients to be physically active, 2) balancing a healthy diet with pleasurable foods, 3) monitoring the physical health of care recipients and preventing injuries, 4) developing personal and intimate strategies to motivate care recipients, 5) providing emotional support and maintaining optimism, and 6) gaining knowledge through relationships with doctors but desiring communication with other caregivers.

Conclusion: These themes can inform rehabilitation education programs for family caregivers aimed at preventing hospital readmissions. The findings may also guide nurses and other healthcare professionals who can advocate on Chinese survivors and their family caregivers’ behalf. Worldwide, research on caregiving in different cultures can direct the formation of specific policies and effective interventions for supporting stroke caregivers and improving the well-being/congruence of survivors.

 

The research will be presented during ARN’s 2021 Rehabilitation Nursing Conference, which will be held virtually November 10-12, 2021. Additional information about the conference is available at https://rehabnurse.org/conference/arn-2021.