Using photo-elicitation to explore the lived experience of informal caregivers of individuals living with dementia

Georgie Rayment, Katherine Swainston, Gemma Wilson

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Abstract

Objectives

This study aims to explore the subjective lived experience of informal caregivers supporting an individual with dementia.
Design

This study uses the interpretive phenomenological approach utilizing the method of photo‐elicitation and in‐depth semi‐structured interviews.
Methods

Six individuals were given a disposable camera to capture photographs which they felt illustrated their own lived experiences of being a caregiver of an individual living with dementia. Photographs were printed and used to form discussion within an in‐depth semi‐structured interview. The photographs provided an innovative way of capturing the lived experiences of formal dementia caregivers and allowed the interview data to be grounded in their daily living, centring around their own lived experiences.
Results

Three themes emerged from data analysis: ‘conceptualising the role of informal caregiver’, ‘support for the informal caregiver’, and ‘the caregivers own needs’.
Conclusions

Findings demonstrated the complexity of the relationship between the caregiver and the person living with dementia, and the shift in this relationship specifically due to the role of carer, with notable differences between spousal caregivers and adult‐child caregivers. The importance of social, emotional, and practical support for caregivers was highlighted, as well as significance of the caregiver's individual needs.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2018

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