• Explore the Issues Faced by Family Caregivers of Dementia Patients and Their Use of Online Forums

      Whelen, Liz; Bell, Katherine (University of Chester, 2018)
      This qualitative study looks at the primary issues faced by dementia family caregivers and their uses of online forums. The previous literature finds that there are an array of psychological issues that are faced by dementia caregivers, including depression, anxiety, social isolation and psychological morbidity. The literature also analyses the potential causes of these problems. The research was conducted through the Thematic Analysis of 50 forum posts to interpret the content of what the caregivers were posting about in the forums and analyse how the caregivers made use of this platform. The results found three overarching themes to show the primary psychological problems that the caregivers were complaining of: anxiety, psychological morbidity and social isolation. The results also found two main reasons that the forums were being used, the need for help from others, and the desire for more knowledge on dementia. The causes that contribute to these issues are discussed in the present study, alongside the benefits and limitations of this method of research and the benefits of anonymity on online discussion forums. Ultimately, it is established that there is a need for more professional help to become available to dementia family caregivers and for further research into specific issues faced by forum users and the causes of these.