- Journal of Gerontological Nursing
- April 2012 - Volume 38 · Issue 4: 24-34
Addressing the use of respite services by caregivers of individuals with dementia is important to improving social support among this vulnerable group. This article uses theory to conceptualize the behavioral, normative, and control beliefs that caregivers of individuals with dementia associate with the use of out-of-home day centers for respite. Interviews and focus groups with 36 caregivers were conducted to explore the beliefs of both users and nonusers of these services. While service users held positive beliefs, nonusers perceived negative outcomes for the care recipient with dementia or faced barriers associated with the recipient’s behavioral or physical needs. To address negative perceptions, nurses may need to promote the benefits of day centers for both caregivers and care recipients. However, improvements in program activities and environments, staff development, and caregiver support are also required to address negative beliefs and meet the needs of those currently not accessing care.
Ms. Phillipson is Research Fellow, and Dr. Jones is Director, Centre for Health Initiatives, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.
The authors disclose that they have no significant financial interests in any product or class of products discussed directly or indirectly in this activity. This research was conducted as part of a doctoral study by Ms. Phillipson, who was supported by a bursary from the New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory Dementia Training and Study Centre (University of Wollongong). The authors thank Dr. Chris Magee, who read and provided valuable feedback during the writing of this article.
Address correspondence to Lyn Phillipson, MPH, BAppSc, Research Fellow, Centre for Health Initiatives, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong, New South Wales, 2522, Australia; e-mail: email@example.com.
Received: April 19, 2011
Accepted: November 15, 2011
Posted: March 14, 2012