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WRITER: SETH COOMBS
CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSEN
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e-mail: david-pedersen@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

UI nursing faculty member wins grant to analyze family caregivers' experiences

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Howard Butcher, Ph.D., assistant professor in the University of Iowa College of Nursing, has been awarded a $6,200 grant by the university's Central Investment Fund for Research Endeavors (CIFRE) to study how family members experience caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease.

The fund supports faculty and research scientists in all areas of scholarly endeavor. The CIFRE award is designed to assist in the development of new initiatives and new directions in scholarly inquiry that will enhance competitiveness of applications leading to external funding. The fund awards grants up to $10,000 and requires completion of the study within one year.

Butcher's study draws on existing data collected for a project by Kathleen Buckwalter, Ph.D., UI professor of nursing, to teach caregivers how to deal with the stress of 24-hour care of a relative with Alzheimer's disease.

The study will evaluate interviews of 245 family caregivers from Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana and Arizona taken at the onset of Buckwalter's project. All of those interviewed were family caregivers living with and caring for a family member with Alzheimer's disease. By analyzing how family members experience caregiving, Butcher aims to develop a more in-depth understanding of the family caregiving process. "Once you know more about the caregiving process, you can develop a program which is designed to be more specific in reducing the burden and problems associated with caregiving," Butcher said.

Butcher expects to complete the study by the end of June.

2/9/99