Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Nursing Honours


Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Supervisor

Dr Patricia Percival


This study examined the effect of a programme that facilitated fanner caregivers' increased involvement with nursing home care giving on their satisfaction with the care provided for their relatives. It was guided by Ray's Adaptation Model of Nursing (Ray, 1984, 1989). The hypotheses stated that the programme would help former caregivers to adapt to the institutionalisation of their loved ones, as manifested by their increased satisfaction with aspects of the care arrangement (overall care, nursing care, relationships, and the environment). The convenience sample consisted of 31 former care givers of long term residents admitted to a metropolitan nursing home 1 - 24 months prior to the study. Using an experimental design, subjects were randomly assigned to an experimental group, which received the programme, or a control group, which continued as normal. The Family Perceptions of Care Tool (Maas, Buckwalter, Kelley, & Stolley, 1991) measured aspects of satisfaction with the care arrangement in both groups, before and after the intervention. Analysis of Covariance was used to examine differences between the groups' post-test scores, while controlling for pre-test scores. Demographic data were collected and examined, as was information about possible extraneous variables. The hypotheses were not supported. However, only four people chose to have extra involvement. These were all related to recently admitted residents and tended to have become more satisfied with care by the end of the study. Comparisons were made between experimental group members with relatives admitted 1 - 6 months before the study and others in the same group, and between those with relatives admitted 1 - 6 months before the study in each of the two groups. Experimental group members with recently admitted relatives had the greatest increases in levels of satisfaction, although this finding was not shown to be statistically significant. Results of the study provide a basis for recommendations for further research with larger samples of relatives or recently admitted residents, for the education or relatives and staff about the benefits of family member input, and for providing more opportunities for input into caregiving to the family members of new residents.