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Perceived Caregiver Stress, Coping, and Quality of Life of Older Ugandan Grandparent-Caregivers

With the continued loss of lives due to HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, grandparents bear the stress of caring for children affected by the epidemic, often with very limited resources. Yet, despite the acknowledgement that these older adults serve as the backbone and safety net of the African family in this HIV/AIDS era, very limited research has focused on investigating the specific health outcomes of caregivers in this region and how these changes in health status impact the overall quality of life of caregivers. This study highlights the stress perceived by Ugandan grandparent-caregivers, its impact on their overall quality of life, and the coping strategies they use to manage their stress. Thirty-two grandparent-caregivers (age 50 years and older) were recruited from urban and rural areas in Uganda and individually interviewed in 2016. Using constructivist grounded theory as the qualitative methodology, the narratives generated from the semi-structured, one-on-one interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using both open and axial coding as well as reflexive and analytic memoing. Descriptions of caregiver stress (physical, emotional, financial, and social) were reported. Additionally, study findings uniquely explore the impact of the perceived stress on the grandparents' overall quality of life. Study findings provide a foundation upon which clinicians, researchers, and policy-makers can design and implement effective interventions to improve the health and quality of life of grandparent-caregivers in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Type of Reference
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Journal article
Springer Nature
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Journal Titles
Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
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