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Qualitative Analysis and Synthesis of African American Dementia Family Caregiver Perceptions of Caregiving

Research Team

Fawn Cothran, Principal Investigator, RUSH College of Nursing

Award Period

07/01/16 – 04/30/18

Funding Source

RUSH College of Nursing Faculty Pilot Grant


Over 5 million persons are affected by Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia (ADRD), a growing public health issue, with 75% of family caregivers providing care in the community. There are considerable mental and physical health costs impacting ADRD family caregivers, with research aimed at testing interventions designed to improve health outcomes of ADRD family caregivers. However, African American ADRD family caregivers are underrepresented in family caregiving research, where little is known about how they experience the caregiving process and manage their own mental and physical health as a result of the caregiving process. This study will qualitatively explore an existing data set of 24 guided semi-structured individual interviews conducted with African American caregivers from the South and West side of Chicago. Some of these caregivers were participants in the parent study (R01 NR04561, Farran), and others were recruited using snowball technique. All caregiver interviews will be professionally transcribed verbatim. I will use DeDoose©, a qualitative data management software program, to upload the text of transcribed interviews. Transcripts will be coded to identify major themes that describe common patterns and differences among African American ADRD caregivers. The results will further inform design and implementation of a culturally tailored intervention to meet specific needs and improve the health of African American ADRD family caregivers.