When Canadian medical tourists go abroad, they are often accompanied by friends and family, referred to as caregiver-companions, who provide informal care. These individuals play a role in patient decision-making and are stakeholders in medical tourism, yet little is known about their participation in this consumer health practice. To examine the roles that Canadian caregiver-companions play while accompanying medical tourists abroad, and to identify how multi-perspective qualitative data can augment our understanding of these roles, primary and secondary analysis was undertaken on datasets generated from multiple qualitative studies: semi-structured interviews with medical tourists, caregiver-companions, and international patient coordinators, and a survey with medical tourism facilitators. The findings from the triangulated analysis of these qualitative datasets serve to better understand the multiple, overlapping perspectives of different stakeholders in medical tourism. Results show that medical tourism caregivers act as companions, providing physical and emotional care; navigators, providing logistical assistance; and knowledge brokers, participating in decision-making and information exchange between medical tourists and professionals. Using data triangulation to examine the narratives of multiple stakeholders confirmed, altered, and augmented our knowledge of caregiver-companion roles. The unique perspectives offered by each participant group augment our understanding of caregiver roles and the practice of medical tourism.
Caregivers/Caregiving; Family Caregiving, Medical Tourism, Semi-Structured Interviews, Qualitative Analysis, Triangulation
We are thankful to all four groups of participants for their invaluable contributions to the study. VAC is funded by a Scholar Award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and holds the Canada Research Chair in Health Service Geographies. This study was supported a Catalyst Grant and Operating Grant awarded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research [EPP 97286, FRN 115692].
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Recommended APA Citation
Whitmore, R., Crooks, V. A., & Snyder, J. (2019). Exploring Informal Caregivers’ Roles in Medical Tourism through Qualitative Data Triangulation. The Qualitative Report, 24(8), 1852-1865. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2019.3550