Vol. 16 No. 1 (2012): Revista Científica Pensar Enfermagem
Original Articles

Being a family caregiver: the perception of the role of exercise

Isabel Carvalho Beato Ferraz Pereira
Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Lisboa; UI&DE
Abel Avelino de Paiva e Silva
Escola Superior de Enfermagem do Porto

Published 2012-06-30


  • family caregiver,
  • perception,
  • role of exercise

How to Cite

Pereira, I. C. B. F. ., & de Paiva e Silva, A. A. (2012). Being a family caregiver: the perception of the role of exercise. Pensar Enfermagem, 16(1), 42–54. https://doi.org/10.56732/pensarenf.v16i1.62


The transition to the role of family caregiver of dependent patients is a demanding task, requiring the development of skills, in which nurses play a significant role. The aim of this study was to find out how the family caregivers perceive this role. In order to do so, a qualitative and exploratory study was chosen, namely a grounded theory approach, underpinned by a constructivist paradigm. Participants were intentionally selected. Data collection was done using semi-structured interviews in two distinct moments: one interview took place during hospitalisation (between the 6th and 54th day of hospital stay) and the second interview took place one
month after the patient had returned home. Content analysis was performed abiding by the Strauss & Corbin (1990) grounded theory approach.

Conclusion: The main conclusions point out three particular meanings. Firstly, being a dependent relative’s caregiver requires a significant effort. The physical dimension of this role turns it into a difficult experience. Secondly, participants expressed an awareness of caregiver’s role obligations: the need to learn, the need to adapt and the need to be able to care. Finally, to be a family caregiver requires constant concern.


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