Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) at home : an exploratory study of family carers' experiences and the relationships between their perceptions and distress
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- © 2007 Alexandra Legge. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.
Background: As PEG techniques have improved, its use within the community has increased. There is limited research exploring the effects of PEG care on family members that carry out the process. Small qualitative studies have found that caring for an individual with a PEG can have psychosocial effects and can cause distress. Despite this finding there is little understanding of the psychological impact that carers' experience with the introduction of PEG. This study aims to understand the possible relationships between family carers' perceptions of the PEG and their psychological distress.
Method and Results: This explorative cross sectional study measured carers' perceptions and distress. An open-ended questionnaire was also administered verbally. Data on 39 family carers was gathered. Approximately half had some level of clinical distress. The majority perceived that their relative's PEG would remain for a long time. Perceptions of negative PEG identity and emotional representations were found to relate to increased guilt. No relationships were found between perceptions and anxiety or depression. Carers reported that they often felt under prepared and alone when their relative was discharged with a PEG. In time carers described that they adapted and accepted the changes involved in home PEG care.
Conclusions: The five perception constructs of the SRM appear to be relevant to PEG carers. Despite the lack of significant relationships between perceptions and distress, carers describe cognitive behavioural patterns within their descriptions of PEG experience. Methodological triangulation is used to discuss the findings and the rationale behind service suggestions are presented.
- Postgraduate Medical Institute, The University of Hull
- Lam, Dominic
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