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Informal caregivers described 3 strategies to search for meaning in caring for a person with HIV

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QUESTION: What are informal caregivers' emotional experiences in caring for people with HIV?


Grounded theory.


North west England, UK.


20 caregivers (age range 20–69 y; 50% men) who were homosexual men, or lesbian or heterosexual women in a range of relationships with a person with HIV (partners, friends, or parents).


Data were recorded from 43 indepth interviews with caregivers and participant observation at HIV and AIDS volunteer organisations. Each caregiver participated in ≥2 interviews (1–2 h). Interviews were tape recorded and transcribed verbatim. A fieldwork diary was used to record experiences and observations. Theoretical sampling and data collection continued until theoretical saturation for each category was achieved. Data were analysed using a constant comparative method.

Main findings

The main theme described in this report was the search for meaning …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Dr C Carlisle, Health and Community Care Research Unit, University of Liverpool, Thompson Yates Building, Liverpool L69 3GB, UK. Fax +44 (0)151 794 5434.