Date of Award

Summer 7-2000

Document Type

Master's Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



First Advisor

Dr. Sandra Brown

Second Advisor

Dr. Lucille Davis

Third Advisor

Dr. S. Kay Thornhill


Alzheimer's disease presently affects four million people in this country. This disease not only affects the patient, but it also has a profound effect on the family. The caregiver could potentially spend two decades caring for the Alzheimer disease patient. Provision of this care can cause feelings of loneliness and despair for the caregiver. The caregiver should be encouraged to seek support from family and community programs to ease the burden of caregiving and to improve quality of life. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of support group participation on the quality of life for caregivers of Alzheimer disease patients. A random convenience sample which consisted of thirty-three (N=33) subjects included caregivers that participate in support groups and those that do not participate in support groups. Subjects were recruited from the local Alzheimer's Association and a local nursing home facility. The instrument utilized for data collection was the Quality-of-Life Seniors Version (Brief) questionnaire (QOLSVB). This questionnaire consists of twenty-seven questions that measure the individual's physical, psychological, and spiritual functioning, their connection with their environments, and opportunities for maintaining and enhancing skills, Demographic data was collected which included age, race, sex, gender, religion, education, employment status, income, residence of the Alzheimer disease patient, and the percentage of caregiving duties provided. The conceptual model used for this study was Imogene King's conceptual framework for nursing. King view's the family as a social system and believes that nurses need to know about the impact of social systems on individual and group behavior. The nurse, utilizing the nursing process, works with individuals and groups within the social system to address the health needs of clients and the wants of the system. Descriptive statistics, f-test and t-test were used to analyze the findings. The F test statistics revealed differences among variances of the support group and non-support group data. These findings suggest that there are several other factors that may affect quality of life. The t-test statistics was calculated to determine the significance of support groups on quality of life. Comparing the calculated t with the theoretical t at significance level a =.05, a =. 02 and a =. O. 0 I, there was no significant difference in the quality of life among caregivers who participate in a support group and those who do not.

Included in

Nursing Commons