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

Pleschberger, Sabine and Reitinger, Elisabeth and Trukeschitz, Birgit and Wosko, Paulina (2019) Older people living alone (OPLA) - non-kin-carers' support towards the end of life: qualitative longitudinal study protocol. BMC Geriatrics, 19 (219). pp. 1-8. ISSN 1471-2318

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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 Little attention 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 Research methodology 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.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The study is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF); grant number: P 30607-G29 (study duration March 2018 to February 2021).
Keywords: Older people, Living alone, Non-kin-carers, End-of-life care, Gender issues
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2019 11:17
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2019 11:25
Related URLs:
FIDES Link: https://bach.wu.ac.at/d/research/results/91753/
URI: https://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/7103


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