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Caregivers needed to take part in ETSU study

A researcher in East Tennessee State University’s College of Nursing is conducting a study of people who act as rural caregivers to family members.
Dr. Florence Weierbach is hoping to answer a question that often goes unanswered: What kind of support do the caregivers themselves need?
Weierbach, an assistant professor in the ETSU College of Nursing, said informal caregiving by family members is so pervasive that more attention needs to be paid to the toll it can exact on those who provide the care.
She is seeking caregivers who are willing to participate in the study, which is referred to as the People Helping People Health Study.
Weierbach said that estimates indicate approximately 14 percent of the nation’s 49 million family caregivers live in rural areas, but their plight can go unnoticed.
Compared to non-caregivers, caregivers have higher rates of depression, incur more physician visits, and experience losses associated with time and money, while estimates reveal that 40 percent of caregivers will die before the care recipient.
Weierbach’s study is supported by grant funding from the American Nurses Foundation, the ETSU Center for Nursing Research and the ETSU Research Development Committee.
Study participants must be at least 21 years old and provide assistance to a friend or relative who is 65 or older and is living in the same home as the caregiver. Participants need only to complete a series of questionnaires during the 16-week study and will be paid a $15 stipend.
To enroll in the study, or to request more information or detailed eligibility requirements, call Weierbach at 439-4588.