Self-care Needs for Symptom Management and Medication in Elderly Person and Skills of Informal Caregiver to Care Him

  • Maria dos Anjos Dixe
  • Ana Maria Vaz
  • Eugénia Nunes GriloEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 1016)


Inadequate evaluation and support for dependent elderly people and their caregivers and health service practices often not adequate to the needs of elderly dependents and their caregivers justify a greater investment in this dyad.

This study aims to evaluate the clinical and self-care needs in the management of symptoms and medication of the elderly dependent people; relate their needs to self-care in medication and symptom management with sex and age; to assess the socio-demographic characteristics family and capacities to care for their relatives in the self-management of symptoms and medication management and to value the information received on how to manage the symptoms and medication and the professional who transmitted them. A correlational study of 135 dependent elderly and their informal caregivers through a face-to-face interview consisting of characterization variables and cause of dependence, self-care needs assessment in symptom management and medication.

Most of dependent elderly were women, mean age 83.4 ± 6.7 years and the main cause of dependence were respiratory diseases. Informal caregivers were mostly female, daughters, mean age of 59.1 ± 15.5 years. It was found that on average women were less dependent than men on self-care. Most informal caregivers considered that they were given the necessary information regarding symptom and medication management. Nurses were the professionals who provided them more information.

We concluded that this study brought relevant information regarding the dependent elderly and their caregivers in the identification of their difficulties and adequate information about the best way to manage these difficulties.


Self-care needs Informal caregiver Elderly Symptom management Medication management 



This work was supported by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia FCT - Portugal, under the scope of the Help2CARE project: Help2care – Help to care for users and caregivers (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-23762).

Compliance with Ethical Standards Conflict of Interest

All authors declare that they have no potential conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Innovative Care and Health Technology (ciTechCare), Escola Superior de Saúde de LeiriaInstituto Politécnico de LeiriaLeiriaPortugal
  2. 2.Health Sciences Research Unit: Nursing-UICISA: E, Escola Superior de Saúde Dr. Lopes DiasInstituto Politécnico de Castelo BrancoCastelo BrancoPortugal
  3. 3.Interdisciplinary Research Unit on Building Functional Ageing Communities Communities - AGE.COMM and Collaborator, NURSE’IN -Nursing Research Unit of the South and Islands, Escola Superior de Saúde Dr. Lopes DiasInstituto Politécnico de Castelo BrancoCastelo BrancoPortugal

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