HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Baltimore, Maryland, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

8th Edition of Nursing World Conference

October 17-19, 2024 | Baltimore, USA

October 17 -19, 2024 | Baltimore, USA
NWC 2019

Agusta Palsdottir

Speaker at Nursing Conference - Agusta Palsdottir
University of Iceland, Iceland
Title : From Noticing to Suspecting: The Initial Stages in the Information Behaviour of Informal Caregivers of People with Dementia


The growing number of elderly people has led to an increase in the number of people with dementia, a disease which has been declared a priority within public health.  As a result, the need to look into how the burden of their relatives, who act as their informal caregivers, can be eased has been emphasised. This calls for awareness of the caregivers’ information behaviour and how they assist people at using information for their own advantage. The paper will report from a study about the information behaviour of informal caregivers of patients with dementia. The focus will be on the time from when they begin to notice signs of the disease, until the conclusions that the patients need professional health attention has been reached. The period leading up to the decision to seek medical advice can be particularly di?cult for the caregivers, as it may be ?lled with uncertainty and concern about what is happening to their family member. At the same time, the bene?ts of having dementia diagnosed at an early stage have been stressed. An early diagnosis opens up for various possibilities at treatment and care, and allows the patients and the caretakers to make plans for the future. Qualitative methods were applied and open interviews conducted with 21 caregivers. The interviews sought to address a broad range of issues related to the nature of the caregiver’s information behaviour, their information needs, how they provided the support and their experience as informal caregivers, supporting their relatives with information. The findings indicate that their information behaviour went through a sequence of three stages, in line with Holly Skodol Wilson’s temporal model: (1) Information about the disease is noticed; (2) Interpretation of information – Normalizing and discounting; (3) Suspecting – Purposive information seeking begins. The second stage was particularly complicated as the caregivers misinterpreted the information about dementia that they came across as signs of something else.


Dr. Ágústa Pálsdóttir is Professor at the Department of Information Science, University of Iceland (UoI). She has served as faculty council member and head of department, as well as board member and chairperson for several committees and research centres at UoI. In addition, she has served as a visiting professor at the Faculty of Product Design and Environment, Transilvania University of Brasov in Romania, Department of Information and Library Science at University of Latvia, and Information Studies at Åbo Akademi University, Finland. She has also participated at organising several international workshops for doctoral students, acted as pre-reviewer of doctoral dissertations internationally, in addition to supervising her own doctoral students. She has served as member of evaluation committees for academic positions at international universities. In 2017 she served as a chair of an expert committee for the quality assessment of the Journalism and the Information Science study programs at the University of Tartu and at Tallinn University in Estonia. Her main field of research is health information behaviour and media and health information literacy, particularly among senior citizens, and she has authored several articles on this topic.