A Review of Trend of Nursing Theories related Caregivers in Korea

The Open Nursing Journal 08 Feb 2018 REVIEW ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874434601812010026



The prevalence of chronic diseases has been rapidly increased due to population aging. As the duration of the requirement of care increased, 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 were theory-applied studies. 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 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.
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