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Perceived value of support for older adults coping with multi-morbidity: patient, informal care-giver and family physician perspectives

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Document pages: 24 pages

Abstract: This study investigated the perceived value of informal and formal supports for older adults with multi-morbidity from the perspectives of patients, care-givers and family physicians. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 27 patients, their informal care-givers and their family physicians in an urban academic family health team in Ontario. Analysis was conducted using a General Inductive Approach to facilitate identification of main themes and build a framework of perceived value of supports. Participant views converged on supports that facilitate patient independence and ease care-giver burden. However, important differences in participant perceptions arose regarding these priorities. Physicians and care-givers valued supports that facilitate health and safety while patients prioritised supports that enable self-efficacy and independence. While formal supports which eased care-giver burden were viewed positively by all members of the triad, many patients also rejected formal supports, citing that informal support from their care-giver was available. Such conflicts between patient, care-giver and physician-perceived value of supports may have important implications for consumer and care-giver willingness to accept formal supports when supports are available. These findings contribute to the broader literature on community-based care by incorporating the perspectives of patients, informal care-givers and family physicians to understand better the barriers and facilitators of uptake of supportive services that contribute to successful ageing at home.

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