Perceptions of Caregiving and Health Services Use among Korean American Family Caregivers of Older Adults

Chung, Mihee, Nursing - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Williams, Ishan, NR-Nursing: Faculty, University of Virginia

Background: As the number of older adult increases, the number of Asian American older adults in the U.S will grow as well. Among older adults, more than 80 percent have an informal caregiver to help maintain their daily lives. In many cultures, family caregivers are the backbone of informal caregiving. This is especially important among Korean American immigrants who may culturally believe that older adults should be kept in their community due to filial responsibility. These cultural beliefs may also influence their health care choices.
Aims: 1) To explore the perceptions of caregiving and responses to the challenges of the caregiving role, and 2) to describe the perceived factors that contribute to the use of health care services among Korean American caregivers of older adults.
Design: Qualitative descriptive study
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted. Thematic analysis was the method used to analyze the data.
Setting/Participants: Korean American family caregivers of older adults, including caregivers of people with dementia, who live in the metro New York and Virginia area were included. Semi-structured interviews were conducted.
Findings: Thirty-three Korean American caregivers were recruited. Most caregivers were female (87.9 %) and adult children (75.8 %). Five themes related to perceptions of caregiving were identified. Cultural influences such as filial piety among the caregivers were prominent. A variability between caregivers of persons with dementia and general older adults were noticed
Conclusion: A better understanding of different ethnic minority groups may improve the development of educational tools and intervention materials to improve the health status of both caregivers and their care recipients.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
caregivers, perceptions, challenges, health services use
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