Date of Conferral





Public Health


Jeanne Connors


Numerous quantitative studies have assessed caregiver burden in multiple chronic diseases, but an identified gap and underrepresentation exists in the literature regarding studies using an inductive approach that allow informal caregivers to describe the lived experiences of caring for Black men receiving hemodialysis. The transactional model of stress and coping and the stress process model guided this study. The key research questions centered on the experiences, psychological, physical, and financial limitations associated with caregiving. This phenomenological study used a purposive sample of 15 unpaid primary caregivers over the age of 18 caring for a Black male on hemodialysis from Mecklenburg County. Semi-structured face-to-face interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed for significant themes. The findings indicated majority of the participants experienced psychological reactions, a decline in their physical health, and financial stressors. The participants noticed a change in their loved one and felt caregiving was hard work but found the experience meaningful from a cultural perspective. Although, majority of the participants had family and healthcare providers supported them, they reported the need for additional resources to assist with providing adequate care for their loved one. This study can contribute to social change by providing healthcare professionals with the knowledge to better identify changes in practice necessary to support the needs of informal caregivers. Further research should include implementing informal caregiver support programs, studies addressing the cultural differences and needs of informal caregivers, and the perceptions of Black male patients receiving hemodialysis to address the underrepresentation of Black men in research.