Date of Completion

Fall 12-15-2021

Project Type

Research Project

Specialization

Master of Science in Nursing - Educational Leadership

Department

Nursing

Committee Chair

Dr. Judith Hold

Committee Member

Dr. Anne White & Dr. Jane Brannen

Abstract

Aim: To review and analyze research to better understand the effects of COVID-19 on informal caregivers and the strategies that could be employed to help the caregiver cope with any additional stress or burden of care.

Background: Informal caregivers are not paid for their services and often are not medically trained but provide care for their care recipients. Caregivers deal with stress while managing their care recipient’s health, financials, and social adjustments. The impact of COVID-19 and quarantine compounded the stressors of the caregiver. During stressful times, the health and well-being of the caregiver needs to be preserved.

Evaluation: A comprehensive search was performed for research conducted between March 2020 and November 2021. Key search terms were COVID-19, pandemic, caregiver(s), and caregiver burden. This methodological review was conducted using the Whittemore and Knafl integrative approach.

Key Issues: Changes implemented with the emergence of COVID-19 contributed to additional mental and physical conditions in the informal caregiver including increase in stress, financial concerns, somatic symptoms, and depression. Strategies employed to help the caregiver cope are increasing physical activity, offering emotional support, and the use of telehealth.

Conclusion: This review provides information about the impact COVID-19 had on the informal caregiver. Understanding how to support the informal caregiver during a time of the pandemic can help with the outcomes and quality of life for the patients and caregivers.

Implications for Nursing: Shifting focus from patient-centered care to family-centered care can change the outcomes of the over-burdened caregiver.

Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, caregiver(s), caregiver burden

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