The Society for Social Work and Research

2013 Annual Conference

January 16-20, 2013 I Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina I San Diego, CA

Likeliness to Use Formal Information Sources Among Caregivers of Older Korean Immigrants

Friday, January 18, 2013
Grande Ballroom A, B, and C (Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina)
* noted as presenting author
Kyeong Mo Kim, MSW, Doctoral Student, University of Maryland at Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
Banghwa L. Casado, PhD, MSW, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland at Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
Purpose: It is important for caregivers to access reliable information to care for older adults. Caregivers' capabilities to select and utilize an information source impact quality of care of older adults. This study focused on Korean immigrants (KI), one of the fastest growing minority groups in the U.S. Understanding of caregivers’ information-seeking behaviors is important in building a better way to connect them to appropriate social and health services. Yet, little is known about factors that may affect information seeking among caregivers of older immigrants. To address this gap, this study examined what information sources caregivers of KI look for and the factors associated with the type of information sources that KI caregivers look for.

Method: The cross-sectional study was conducted from 146 caregivers of frail older KI. The sample was recruited through collaboration of local offices on aging, Korean social service organizations, and faith-based organizations. The survey was conducted via telephone by trained bilingual interviewers. The dependent variable was the type of information source that KI caregivers would look for: (1) formal source (health care professionals and community based organizations) and (2) other sources (family, friends, and others). Independent variables included: caregivers' characteristics (gender, education, relationship to care-recipient, and acculturative background as measured by an index measure of English proficiency, age at immigration, and country of highest educational attainment), caregiver burden, perceived helpfulness of home and community-based services, caregiver self-efficacy (care management efficacy and service use efficacy). Guided by a modified comprehensive model of information seeking framework, we conducted a binomial logistic regression and tested the hypothesis that the aforementioned independent variables were predictive of the type of information.  

Results: The majority of KI caregivers indicated that they would look for formal sources of information to care for older adults (78.8%). The results of the logistic regression showed the overall model fit the data. Pseduo-R2 (Nagelkerke) indicated that the model explained 23% of the group membership. The Hosmer and Lemeshow test also indicated a good fit between the observed data and the predictive model (X2(8)=9.36; p=.31). Analysis of parameter showed that most of the caregivers' characteristics were predictors of their likeliness to use formal sources of information: gender (OR=4.85, 95% CI [1.03, 23.01]), education (OR=3.38, 95% CI [1.16, 9.86]), and acculturative background (OR=.38, 95% CI [.20, .73]). Other significant factors affecting caregivers' likeliness to use formal sources of information were service use efficacy (OR=1.13, 95% CI [1.04, 1.22]). Relationship to care recipient, caregiver burden, perceived helpfulness of services, and care management efficacy were not significant predictors.

Conclusions and Implications: Our study found that female caregivers, those without college degrees and those with a higher acculturative background score were less likely to use formal sources of information to care for their older adults. The results indicate that caregiver outreach programs in the KI community should target caregivers with these characteristics, promoting better understanding of the usefulness of formal information. Our results also suggest that programs should also address improving caregivers’ self-efficacy in accessing and utilizing existing services available to them.