Powerful Tools for Caregivers

Citation: Chyung, S., LePiane, J., Shamsy, J., & Radloff, M. (2018). Improving caregivers’ confidence with the Powerful Tools for Caregivers program. Educational Gerontology, 44(9), 572–585. https://doi.org/10.1080/03601277.2018.1515401

The Powerful Tools for Caregivers (PTC) program is designed to help caregivers develop skills to improve their self-efficacy in caregiving. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the PTC program in Boise, Idaho, the program’s pre-survey (n = 277), end-of-program survey (n = 131), and 6-month follow-up post-survey data (n = 100) collected between 2011 and 2017 were analyzed in this study. The end-of-program survey data indicated that caregivers viewed the quality of the program to be excellent and that all of them felt more confident as a caregiver. Factor analysis and reliability testing on the pre-survey data confirmed that seven questions included in the pre- and 6-month follow-up post-survey instruments reliably measured a single factor named as caregiver confidence. A paired samples t-test on 76 complete sets of pre- and 6-month follow-up post-survey data on the seven questions revealed that caregivers improved their confidence in caregiving to a statistically significant level (p < .001, d = 45). Additional paired samples t-tests on each of the seven questions with the Bonferroni correction showed statistically significant improvements in three areas: making tough decisions (p < .001, d = .53), coping with emotions (p < .001, d = .54), and using stress-reducing activities (p < .007, d = .33). Caregivers experienced the greatest improvement in their confidence in making tough decisions. Despite these significant improvements, caregivers still struggled with finding ways to reduce stress and manage their emotions associated with caregiving as shown by the lowest pre- and 6-month follow-up post-survey scores. In addition to the study results, several considerations when synthesizing PTC research results are discussed.