The purpose of this study was to provide an in-depth description of 19 Korean family caregivers' experiences in making the decision to place a family member with dementia in a Korean long-term care facility. A total of 656 themes (descriptive statements) were identified and synthesized into 17 topics using Luborsky's method for thematic analysis. The topics were synthesized into four patterns: (a) feeling exhausted; (b) deep sorrow; (c) fractured relationships; and (d) apprehension. The findings enhance the capacity of health care professionals and the public to understand more fully, how caregiving experiences differ by cultural context. The findings contribute to understanding family caregiving experiences in a country in transition from a traditional society based on Confucianism to a Westernized society. (C) 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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