A qualitative exploration of carers’ experiences of information sharing and knowledge exchange with respite care services for older adults

Linda Orr, Judith Marston, Martin Campbell, Timothy B. Kelly, Thilo Kroll

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract

Background
Respite care services play an important role in supporting older adults and their carers. Not enough is known however about what facilitates transitions into respite care and maximises understanding among respite care staff about the older person for whom they will be caring. This study explored, from carers’ perspectives, the scope, quality and fit of information sharing and knowledge exchange between carers, the cared for, community nurses and respite care staff. The role of innovative technologies was of particular interest.

Methods
A qualitative study involving 24 carers, recruited via carers’ groups in third sector organisations, was undertaken in North East Scotland. Participants were purposively sampled and took part in either a focus group or individual interview. Data was collected from August 2013-September 2014. The Framework Approach was utilised to systematically analyse the data.

Findings
Carers identified a number of barriers and facilitators to information sharing and knowledge exchange, grouped around three themes: ideologies of respite care; working practices; and relational aspects of care. The modes of knowledge exchange that worked best for carers were planned ‘admission’ procedures; regular contacts and reviews; and proactive problem-solving. Technologies offered new opportunities and challenges. Some carers were more ready, willing and able for these changes than others. A significant finding was that carers did not perceive district nurses having a role in helping them to share information with respite services.

Conclusion and recommendations
Proactive and responsive approaches to relationship-building, structured around regular contacts and reviews, are likely to enhance information sharing and knowledge exchange between carers, cared for people, community nurses and respite services. Further exploration of community nurses’ roles and responsibilities in relation to facilitating information sharing and knowledge exchange with respite services is recommended.

Key words
Respite care, older adults, information sharing, innovative technologies
Original languageEnglish
PublisherSchool of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Dundee
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2015

Keywords

  • Respite Care
  • older adults
  • information sharing
  • Innovation

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