Examining changes in caregiving during and after the Atlantic groundfish strategy in a select Newfoundland coastal community affected by the cod moratorium

Kelly, Lou-Ann (2007) Examining changes in caregiving during and after the Atlantic groundfish strategy in a select Newfoundland coastal community affected by the cod moratorium. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The purpose of this study was to compare informal caregivers in a coastal Newfoundland community during the fishery closure at two time periods: a) when The Atlantic Groundfish Strategy (TAGS), a federal government program that provided financial support for those affected was in place (phase 1) and b) after TAGS completion (phase 2). Method: This study involved secondary analysis of data collected during two time periods. The data were collected in the same geographic area at both times, using a randomly selected sample. The first set of data was collected in 1995-1997, during the first study, an interdisciplinary Eco-Research program entitled Sustainability in a Changing Cold-Ocean Coastal Environment, while individuals who were affected by the cod moratorium were receiving income support through TAGS. The second set of data was collected in 2001-2003, during the Natural Resources Depletion and Health study which was conducted after the TAGS program had been completed. The sample consisted of individuals who identified themselves as 1) main informal caregivers: caregivers of an adult(s) or child(ren) with a health problem and 2) elderly supporters: those providing an elderly relative over age 65 with assistance. Structured face-to-face interviews were conducted by trained local interviewers. Data were collected using a survey questionnaire (Appendix A) and the abbreviated General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) (Appendix B). Quantitative data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), windows version. The t-test was used for all continuous data and the non-parametric Chi-Square test was used for ordinal data. Descriptive statistics were also provided. -- Results: This study revealed that there was no change in the percentage of informal caregivers between phases, however, the proportion of elderly supporters decreased significantly during phase 2 (p = 0.008). The demographic characteristics of both phases showed that the majority of main informal caregivers were female (phase 1, 51.98%; phase 2, 56.18%) in their mid forties. In phase 2, employment increased for both main caregivers (p = 0.001) as well as elderly supporters (p = 0.027). The psychosocial health, measured by the abbreviated General Health Questionnaire, of both main informal caregivers and elderly supporters showed no significant change between both phases of the study. When comparing stress level at the time of the interviews with that of three years before the interviews, stress levels of main caregivers remained unchanged, however, stress levels of elderly supporters decreased significantly in phase 2 (p = 0.044). The perceived physical and mental health as well as life satisfaction of main caregivers and elderly supporters also improved in phase 2. Since informal caregiving in the Bonavista Headland was done mostly by women and although limitations exist in the study design, this research raises important questions about the health and well being of rural informal caregivers as well as the care recipients as the population of rural Newfoundland is aging much more rapidly than the rest of Canada. Furthermore, the results may have direct implications for nursing practice and policy development and provide support for the need for a more specific strategic plan to care for the elderly in this province and provide support for informal caregivers.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10779
Item ID: 10779
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 99-113).
Department(s): Nursing, Faculty of
Date: 2007
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Fishery closures--Health aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador --Bonavista; Fishery closures--Social aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador --Bonavista; Rural caregivers--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonavista.
Medical Subject Heading: ; Caregivers--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonavista; Fisheries--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonavista; Unemployment--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonavista.

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