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The relatives’ voice: how do relatives experience participation in reablement? A qualitative study

Authors Hjelle KM, Alvsvåg H, Førland O

Received 14 September 2016

Accepted for publication 21 November 2016

Published 28 December 2016 Volume 2017:10 Pages 1—11


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Kari Margrete Hjelle,1,2 Herdis Alvsvåg,3 Oddvar Førland,2,3

1Department of Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, and Radiography, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, 2Centre for Care Research Western Norway, Bergen University College, 3Faculty of Health Sciences, VID Specialized University, Bergen, Norway

Background: Reablement is an early and time-limited home-based model of rehabilitation intervention with an emphasis on intensive, goal-oriented, and multidisciplinary assistance for persons experiencing functional decline. When rehabilitation in general takes place in the person’s own home, in contrast to an institution, relatives may have larger responsibilities in helping and supporting the family member. Although there is evidence, showing that family caregivers, such as spouses and children, experience burdens and demanding situations related to their caregiving role, there are currently few publications exploring relatives’ experiences of participating in reablement. The aim of our study was to explore and describe how relatives in a community setting in Norway experienced participation in the reablement process.
Methods: Six relatives participated in semi-structured interviews. Qualitative systematic text condensation was used as the analysis strategy.
Results: Five themes emerged that summarized the relatives’ experiences with reablement: 1) a wish to give and receive information, wish to be involved; 2) wish to be a resource in reablement process; 3) conflicting expectations; 4) have more free time to themselves; and 5) a lack of follow-up programs.
Conclusion: Our findings highlight the involvement and collaborative process between health professionals, older adults, and relatives and have practical significance for health care services. To advance collaborative practices, the municipal health and social care services should consider establishing a system or a routine to foster this collaboration in reablement. Follow-up programs should be included.

Keywords: family caregivers, involvement, system of collaboration, follow-up programs, conflicting expectations

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