• Determinants of Participant and Health Promotion Activities in Rural Caregivers

      Easom, Leisa R.; Department of Physiological and Technological Nursing (2003-05)
      Rural elderly caregivers, a rapidly growing segment of our population, are particularly at risk for adverse health outcomes. Caregiving is difficult work and can be exhausting physically, mentally, and spiritually for the caregiver. The purpose of this study was to examine the potential relationships between perceived self-efficacy, perceived barriers and personal factors (functional/physical health, emotional health, folk home remedy behavior, and spirituality) and engagement in health promotion practices in rural, elderly caregivers. The probability sample consisted of 80 rural, elderly caregivers (71 female; 9 male) ranging in age from 65 to 84 years. Each was interviewed via telephone using a self-report questionnaire. A model of health promotion for rural, elderly caregivers based on Pender’s Health Promotion model was tested with multiple regression analyses. The proposed model accounted for 19% of the explained variance of health promotion activities. An interesting finding was the high level of frequency of engagement in health promotion activities except for exercise. Surprisingly, folk home remedy behavior did not impact engagement in health promotion activities in these rural elderly caregivers. While 99% of the caregivers in this sample reported using at least one folk home remedy in the last year, these data suggest that the caregivers utilized these remedies in addition to the reported health promotion activities. Emotional health was a significant positive correlate of engagement in health promotion activities suggesting that emotional health is an important factor for a healthy lifestyle in the rural, elderly caregiver. Future research should include the examination of specific health promotion domains in rural elderly caregivers. Additionally intervention studies with longitudinal designs are needed for this population. Implications for theory development and community-based interventions are presented.