The Effects of High and Low Technologies on Emotional Support for Caregivers: An Exploratory Study

The Effects of High and Low Technologies on Emotional Support for Caregivers: An Exploratory Study

Robert Z. Zheng (University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA), Candice M. Daniel (VA Salt Lake City Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT, USA), Robert D. Hill (University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA), Marilyn Luptak (University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA), Bret L. Hicken (University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA & VA Salt Lake City Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT, USA), Marren Grant (VA Salt Lake City Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT, USA) and Randall Rupper (VA Salt Lake City Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT & University of Utah, Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Salt Lake City, UT, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/ijcbpl.2013070103
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Abstract

Understanding the role of modern technology in providing adjunctive emotional support to caregivers has been a focus in contemporary caregiving research. However, it remains largely unknown (1) whether there are differences regarding the technologies used in caregiving support to achieve this objective and (2) which factors influence the outcome of emotional support. The current research describes a framework to address this issue and examines the role of different technologies in supporting caregiver emotional needs. Sixty older caregivers were recruited in the current study and randomly assigned to high and low technology guided caregiver support conditions. The findings revealed a significant impact in the high technology guided intervention for emotional support as measured by burden reduction. The discussion on the use of high technology guided support strategies for older caregiver training is offered with implications for future research and practice.
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Theoretical Background

Research has indicated that failing to provide caregivers with timely support when needed often leads to high levels of stress which may further result in anxiety, depression, sleep disorder, and other health problems (Family Caregiving Alliance, 2012). Providing caregivers with emotional support may reduce burnout rate, alleviate caregiver burden and more importantly, improve their health condition as well as their abilities to cope with stress and pressure.

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