Resistiveness to Care as Experienced by Family Caregivers Providing Care for Someone With Dementia

Pamela C. Spigelmyer, Judith E. Hupcey, Carol A. Smith, Susan J. Loeb, Lisa Kitko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: This research explored family caregivers’ lived experiences of resistiveness to care when they provided care for people with dementia. The goal was to identify a general meaning of family caregivers’ lived experiences to target potential areas for future nursing interventions to help family caregivers manage their caregiving role and provide a base for future research surrounding resistiveness to care. Design: Descriptive phenomenology was used to provide descriptions of eight family caregivers who provided care for someone with dementia and experienced resistiveness to care. Family caregivers were recruited from Alzheimer's support groups from June to November 2014. Method: Caregiver interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using scientific phenomenology to identify essential constituents of the experience. Findings: The identified general meaning structure contained five essential constituents. These included self-questioning of abilities; signal for increased future caregiver responsibilities; changed perception of personal self; unexpected emotional responses; and seeing a changed person, not the disease. Conclusions: Study findings represent family caregivers’ lived perceptions of resistiveness to care, which are different from current research findings regarding nurses’ perceptions of resistiveness to care. The identified meaning structure indicates focus areas for future research and for nursing interventions to help family caregivers manage their distress when experiencing resistiveness to care. Clinical Relevance: Identification of the meaning caregivers ascribe to their lived experience of resistiveness to care (five essential constituents) provides nurses with opportunities to help family caregivers (coproviders of care) holistically. Supporting caregivers in their caregiving role can decrease caregiver distress when resistiveness to care occurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-46
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing(all)


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