Older people living alone (OPLA) – non-kin-carers’ support towards the end of life: qualitative longitudinal study protocol

Sabine Pleschberger, Elisabeth Reitinger, Birgit Trukeschitz, Paulina Wosko

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung

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Background: A growing number of older people, mainly women, live in single households. They represent avulnerable group as staying at home may turn out challenging when care needs increase, particularly at the end oflife. Non-kin-carers can play an essential role in supporting individuals’preferences to stay at home. In research littleattention has been paid to non-kin-carers, such as friends and neighbors, yet. Thus, the Older People Living Alone (OPLA) study will evaluate whether non-kin support is robust enough to enable care dependent people to stay athome even at the end of life. This paper aims to introduce the research protocol.

Methods: We plan to apply a qualitative longitudinal study to better understand how older people living aloneand their non-kin-carers manage to face the challenges with increased care needs towards the end-of-life. We willconduct serial interviews with the older persons living alone and their non-kin-carers. A total of 20–25 completedata sets and up to 200 personal interviews were planned. These will be complemented by regular telephonecontacts. All interviews will be analysed following the grounded theory approach and strategies for reconstructingcase trajectories, supported by MAXQDA software. In the course of the study, inter- and transdisciplinary workshopsshall assure quality and support knowledge transfer.

Discussion:This study protocol aims to guide research in a field that is difficult to approach, with regard to itstopic, methodology and the interdisciplinary approach. As this study introduces longitudinal qualitative researchmethodology in the field of home care in Austria, a deeper understanding of (end-of-life-) care trajectories will beenhanced, which is of major relevance for future care planning. With investment in additional reflexivity andcommunication procedures innovative results and robust knowledge are expected outcomes.
Seiten (von - bis)1 - 8
FachzeitschriftBMC Geriatrics
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2019

Österreichische Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige (ÖFOS)

  • 502046 Volkswirtschaftspolitik
  • 504007 Empirische Sozialforschung
  • 509005 Gerontologie
  • 509012 Sozialpolitik

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