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Conflicts Experienced by Caregivers of Older Adults With the Health-Care System

Background: Family caregivers of older adults frequently navigate the health system for their loved ones. As older adults experience more medical issues, the interactions between caregivers and the health system can be fraught with conflicts. Objective: To characterize the conflicts that caregivers of older adults experience with the health-care system. Methods: A cross-sectional national online survey with open-ended questions was conducted among family caregivers ascertaining experiences with the health-care system. Qualitative thematic analysis was completed using constant comparative analysis and review by a third author. Results: Over a 2-month period, 97 caregivers completed the survey. Common themes where caregivers experienced conflicts were Difficulty With Accessing/Communicating With Providers, Delivery of Emergency Care, Disjointed Transitional Care, Unaddressed Clinical Concerns, and Financial. Caregivers reported needing to act as patient advocates in the conflicts with the health-care system. Conclusion: Understanding the conflicts that family caregivers encounter with the health system provides potential targets for future interventions to combat the challenges faced by caregivers of older adults and ultimately improve delivery of geriatric care.

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Type of Reference
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Journal article
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Journal Titles
Journal of Patient Experience
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