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Research Library

The HMinfo Research Library contains an in-depth collection of materials on home modifications and related subjects.

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Understanding the family perspective: an ethnographic framework for providing occupational therapy in the home

The American Journal of Occupational Therapy

Author: Gitlin, L. N., Corcoran, M., Leinmiller-Eckhardt, S.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1995


This article presents a framework for providing occupational therapy services to family members caring for elderly persons in the home that is based on four key principles derived from ethnographic methodology: identification of an informant, use of an emic (insider) approach, engagement in self-reflection, and interpretation of information. The underlying strategy is to use these principles to derive an understanding of the personal meaning of caregiving, the way in which care is provided, and the specific aspects of caregiving that are problematic from the perspective of the family member. Services are then developed that reflect individual need as expressed by the caregiver and that fit the fundamental values and belief system of the family unit. A case example is presented to illustrate the framework in action in a home situation with family members caring for an elderly person with dementia.

Further Details

Full Title: The American Journal of Occupational Therapy
Pages: 802-9
Volume: 49
Issue: 8
Orig Pub: An earlier version of this article was presented at the Mental Health and Aging Symposium, Wills/Jefferson Hospital, Geropsychiatry, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 29, 1993
Accession Number: 3.4.03
Research Notes: Electronic copy added 12/07/2013
Keywords: oldercaregiversassessment processoccupational therapydementiaHome care services
Reads: 156