UNCG Gerontology Program

School of Health and Human Sciences

Join us in celebrating recent publications of Elise K. Eifert, PhD, CHES, Assistant Professor, Department of Exercise Science and Health Promotion, Florida Atlantic University, recipient of a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Gerontology from UNCG (December 2014).    Elise Eifert

Eifert is serving as Assistant Editor of the American Journal of Health Education and is pleased to announce two recent and/or upcoming publications.


1)      Eifert, E.K., Adams, R., Dudley, W., & Perko, M.  (2015).  Family caregiver identity: A literature review.  American Journal of Health Education, 46(6), 357-367.

–          Background: Despite the multitude of available resources, family caregivers of those with chronic disease continually underutilize support services to cope with the demands of caregiving.  Several studies have linked self-identification as a caregiver to the increased likelihood of support service use.  Purpose: The present study reviewed the literature related to the development of family caregiver identity.  Methods: After a systematic process to locate literature was completed, content analysis was conducted to determine major themes related to the development of caregiving identity.  Results: Findings suggest that there are multiple factors related to the development of family caregiver identity including role engulfment and reversal, loss of shared identity, family obligation and gender norming, extension of the former role, and development of a master identity.  Discussion: Considering the role of identity in human behavior, health professionals can address the underutilization of support services by family caregivers of those with chronic disease by understanding the influences on the development of caregiver identity. Translation to Health Education Practice: This literature review will assist health educators address the underutilization of support services by family caregivers of those with chronic disease.


2)      Eifert, E.K, Adams, R., Morrison, S., & Strack, R. (2016).  Emerging trends in family caregiving using the Life Course Perspective: Preparing health educators for an aging society. American Journal of Health Education, 47(3), TBD.

–          Background: As life expectancy and morbidity related to chronic disease increases, the baby boomers will be called upon to provide care to aging members of their family or to be care recipients themselves. Purpose: Through the theoretical lens of the life course perspective, this review of the literature provides insight into what characteristics of baby boomers separate them from previous caregiving cohorts and how these characteristics will affect family caregiving. Methods: A systematic process to identify literature was completed using the PRISMA guidelines. Results: Findings suggest multiple emerging trends related to caregiving including (1) increasing use of digital technology for information gathering and support, (2) more diversity among caregivers and care recipients, (3) strained finances and loss of entitlements, (4) more complex care and care management, (5) demand for public policies related to caregiving, and (6) balancing work, family, chronic disease, and caregiving. Discussion: Examining the literature related to family caregiving and baby boomers through a life course perspective offers a unique and more complete understanding of emerging trends related to chronic disease management. Translation to Health Education Practice: These emerging trends offer health educators implications for strategies and best practices intended to support those involved in family caregiving.