FAMILY DEMENTIA CAREGIVERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THE VIRTUAL DEMENTIA TOUR®: A CHANGED REALITY
Harrington, Candace Currie
Family dementia caregiving involves many challenges that often lead to stress and frustration. A subjective understanding of the daily struggles associated with dementia is not possible unless one has the disease; therefore, the family dementia caregiver's perception of dementia might be incongruent with their family member's lived experience. The Virtual Dementia Tour®(VDT) provides a vicarious first-person perspective for six of the most common symptoms of dementia. Although extensive evidence supports the use of the Virtual Dementia Tour® in the healthcare profession and education, no research studies were found investigating the Virtual Dementia Tour® with family dementia caregivers. This hermeneutic phenomenological study discovered family dementia caregivers' perceptions of the VDT® and its impact on family dementia caregivers' perceived reality of their family member living with dementia. Ten participants were recruited for in-depth open semi-structured interviews following participation in the Virtual Dementia Tour® at a community event. Data analysis was performed using a modification of Colaizzi's (1978) method for phenomenological analysis. One over-arching theme, It Changed Me, described the culmination of the participants' experiences leading to a changed reality of their family member living with dementia. Four supporting subthemes described the participants' internal processes toward empathic understanding, interpretation, and responsiveness. The findings suggest that family dementia caregivers interpreted their experience in the Virtual Dementia Tour® with empathic understanding and responsiveness. The VDT® had a powerful impact that led to an eye-opening epiphany about the lived experience of dementia and served as a "call to action" to change expectations and approach to caregiving. This study begins to fill a gap in the body of nursing knowledge and research about the value of the Virtual Dementia Tour® with family dementia caregivers in community settings. Moreover, it highlights the need to combine this experience with formal training to improve the quality of family dementia care.
Harrington, Candace Currie. (November 2018). FAMILY DEMENTIA CAREGIVERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THE VIRTUAL DEMENTIA TOUR®: A CHANGED REALITY (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7054.)
Harrington, Candace Currie. FAMILY DEMENTIA CAREGIVERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THE VIRTUAL DEMENTIA TOUR®: A CHANGED REALITY. Doctoral Dissertation. East Carolina University, November 2018. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7054. February 23, 2020.
Harrington, Candace Currie, “FAMILY DEMENTIA CAREGIVERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THE VIRTUAL DEMENTIA TOUR®: A CHANGED REALITY” (Doctoral Dissertation., East Carolina University, November 2018).
Harrington, Candace Currie. FAMILY DEMENTIA CAREGIVERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THE VIRTUAL DEMENTIA TOUR®: A CHANGED REALITY [Doctoral Dissertation]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; November 2018.
East Carolina University