A Review of Trend of Nursing Theories related Caregivers in Korea

Sung Hae Kim1, Yoona Choi1, *, Ji-Hye Lee2, Da-El Jang3, Sanghee Kim4
1 College of Nursing, Graduate School, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea
2 College of Nursing, Graduate School, Yonsei University, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
3 College of Nursing, Graduate School, Yonsei University, Severance hospital, Seoul, Korea
4 College of Nursing, Mo-Im Kim Nursing Research Institute, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea

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© 2018 Kim et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to the author at the College of Nursing, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, Tel: 82-2-2228-3301, Fax: 82-10-5501-3973; E-mail:



The prevalence of chronic diseases has been rapidly increased due to population aging. As the duration of care needs increase, the caregivers’ socioeconomic burdens have also increased.


This review examines the attributes of caregiving experience and quality of life of caregivers in Korea with a focus on the application of nursing theory.


We reviewed studies on caregivers’ caring for adult patients published till 2016 in 4 bio-medical research portal websites or data bases. A total of 1,939 studies were identified through the keyword search. One hundred forty five studies were selected by a process; of which, 17 studies were theory-applied. Selected studies were analyzed in accordance with the structured analysis format.


Quantitative studies accounted for 76.6%, while 22.1% were qualitative studies and 1.3% were triangulation studies. Caregiver-related studies increased after 2000. Most frequently, the caregivers were spouses (28.4%), and most frequently, care was provided to a recipient affected by stroke (22.5%). The 17 theory-based studies described 20 theories (70% psychology theories, 30% nursing theories). The most frequent nursing theory was the theory of stress, appraisal and coping.


This study sought to better understand caregiving through the analysis of Korean studies on the caregiving experience and caregivers’ QOL and this finding helped presenting empirical data for nursing by identifying the nursing theories applied to the caregiving experience and caregivers’ QOL. The results suggest that the need for further expansion of nursing theories and their greater utilization in the studies of caregiving.

Keywords: Caregivers, Informal caregivers, Nursing theory, Quality of life, Long-term care, Patient care.