Qualitative Analysis of Faith Community Nurse–Led Cognitive-Behavioral and Spiritual Counseling for Dementia Caregivers

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Abstract

This article presents themes emerging from semistructured interviews with dementia family caregivers in rural communities who participated in an integrative, cognitive-behavioral and spiritual counseling intervention, and with faith community nurses (FCNs) who delivered the intervention. The primary objectives of the counseling intervention were to ameliorate dementia caregivers’ depressive affect and the severity of their self-identified caregiving and self-care problems. The qualitative portion of the study was intended to elicit caregivers’ and FCNs’ perceptions of the benefits and drawbacks of the intervention. We conducted interviews with seven FCN/caregiver pairs 4 times during the 6-month counseling process, totaling 56 interviews. Themes emerging from the interviews included caregivers’ perception of burden and care partners’ problem behavior; formation of therapeutic alliance between FCNs and caregivers; problem-solving skills, tools, and resources; caregivers’ use of problem-solving strategies; spirituality in caregiving and counseling processes; FCNs’ prior professional experience; and caregiver and FCN time constraints.

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