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Telephone support met the perceived needs of dementia caregivers for convenient access to information, referral, and emotional support

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Q What are the dimensions of telephone support for caregivers of family members with dementia? What are the experiences of telephone support providers and caregivers related to telephone support?


Qualitative descriptive study.


South central Ontario, Canada.


8 female caregivers (age 50–80 y) who had been caring for a spouse (n = 3) or parent (n = 5) with dementia for a median 3–5 years, and 4 female telephone support providers (age 30–65 y) from the Alzheimer Society (n = 3) or a multiservice community agency (n = 1), who had educational qualifications in nursing or gerontology and 3–15 years of telephone support experience (3 providers also had personal caregiver experience).


Participants were interviewed in person or by telephone. They were asked about their experiences of receiving (or providing) telephone support and their views of the strengths and limitations …

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  • For correspondence: Dr J Salfi, School of Nursing, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. salfijf{at}

  • Sources of funding: Alzheimer Society of Hamilton and Halton and Wellington-Dufferin Community Care Access Centre.