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Do perceptions of family-centered care differ in older and younger family/caregivers of U.S. veterans?

LaVela SL, Turcios S, Malhiot A, Etingen B, Hill JN, Miskevics S. Do perceptions of family-centered care differ in older and younger family/caregivers of U.S. veterans? Families, systems & health : the journal of collaborative family healthcare. 2016 Jun 1; 34(2):136-49.

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INTRODUCTION: Family-centered care (FCC) involves partnering with patients and family/caregivers ("caregivers"), engaging them in decisions, and providing support. FCC may be measured across 3 dimensions: respect, collaboration, and support and needs likely vary by caregiver age. The objective was to examine and compare caregiver perceptions of FCC by age. METHOD: We mailed surveys to family/caregivers of Veterans. We collected demographics and measured respect, collaboration, and support using the Family-Centered Care Survey (FCCS). We calculated mean values and conducted bivariate comparisons, dichotomized by caregiver age ( = 60 vs. < 60), of demographics and FCC constructs. We completed thematic analysis on open-ended text. RESULTS: Caregivers (n = 2,111) aged = 60 versus < 60 were more likely to be spouses (81% vs. 62%, p < .0001) and White (74% vs. 50%, p < .0001). Overall FCC subscales values were high: respect (3.30), collaboration (3.07), and support (2.99). Older caregivers reported higher respect (3.36 vs. 3.22, p < .001), collaboration (3.12 vs. 2.98, p < .0001), and support (3.06 vs. 2.88, p < .0001). Qualitative analysis revealed collaboration, communication, hospital climate, and physical environment as important to FCC and supplemented quantitative findings on age. Examples highlighted both positive perceptions of FCC and areas of concern, such as feeling "unheard" and "like I am bothering providers," and needing "more comfortable seating" and "better parking." DISCUSSION: Caregivers perceived high FCC levels at VA facilities, reporting highest on respect and lowest on support. Older caregivers perceived better FCC compared with younger caregivers. Several concerns identified can be used to target improvements to FCC including: improved support, collaboration between patient/family/provider, and climate/environmental enhancements. (PsycINFO Database Record

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