Use of Discussion Boards in an Online Hip Fracture Resource Center for Caregivers

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hip fracture is a serious health problem among older adults and often results in serious consequences such as disabilities. Informal caregivers (CGs) are particularly important for the successful recovery of older adult patients with hip fractures while they undergo surgical procedures and extensive rehabilitation therapies. In a previous study, we developed a comprehensive theory-based online hip fracture resource center for CGs and conducted a feasibility study. The 8-week online hip fracture resource center, including learning modules, moderated-discussion boards (DB), Ask-the-Experts, and virtual libraries, was used by CGs.

PURPOSE:

This study reports findings from a qualitative analysis of DB postings.

METHODS:

The data were analyzed using content analysis in conjunction with an inductive coding approach. The analyses yielded 6 themes and 3 categories related to hip fracture care (e.g., specific types of care provided by CGs).

RESULTS/CONCLUSION:

Findings suggest that DB forums can serve as a medium for CGs to share their experiences and to obtain support. Furthermore, DB forums can assist healthcare providers in identifying further opportunities to assist CGs. The study is limited to a small sample size in one hospital. Further studies are needed with larger samples in diverse settings.

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