Behavioral change in persons with dementia: relationships with mental and physical health of caregivers.
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to examine the effects that changes in behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia of persons with Alzheimer's disease have on their caregivers' mental health and physical health. The research design was a prospective, longitudinal follow-up study conducted in a major medical center and in participants' homes. Longitudinal analysis linking change in behavior to caregiver outcomes was based on 64 cases. Care recipients were assessed at the time of diagnosis with the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). To provide information on the care recipient's behaviors, caregivers participated in an interview with the Modified Neuropsychiatric Inventory at diagnosis and at follow-up. Caregivers also completed a battery of established instruments to measure stress appraisal, mental health, and perceptions of their physical health at follow-up. Results showed that increases in problem behaviors among persons living with dementia, along with residence status, were significant predictors of caregivers' mental health and also their physical health. However, these relationships were mediated through stress appraisal. Variables such as MMSE score of the person with dementia, number of years caregiving, relationship status, and education level were not significant predictors of caregivers' health when behavior change was in the model.
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ABSTRACT: In order to better understand how family caregiving may contribute to poor health outcomes, this study sought to determine (1) if and to what extent caregiving characteristics were associated with caregiver strain and health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and (2) whether caregiver strain mediated this association. Data were from the 2008-2010 Survey of the Health of Wisconsin, a representative sample of Wisconsin adults aged 21-74 years. Participants completed questionnaires about their caregiving, sociodemographics, and HRQoL; 264 caregivers were identified. Staged generalized additive models assessed the associations among caregiving characteristics, caregiver strain, and HRQoL; survey weights were applied to account for the complex sampling design. More hours per week of care and greater duration of caregiving were associated with higher levels of strain. Greater caregiver strain was in turn associated with worse mental HRQoL. However, most caregiving characteristics were not directly associated with mental or physical HRQoL. The findings suggest a chains-of-risk model in which caregiving may increase strain, which may in turn adversely influence mental HRQoL. Using this perspective to refine interventions may improve our ability to support caregivers on practice and policy levels.Quality of Life Research 11/2014; DOI:10.1007/s11136-014-0874-6 · 2.86 Impact Factor
Article: Chapter 15. Dementia Caregivers[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Using a strengths-based perspective, the chapter first looks at the positive aspects of dementia caregiving. It then applies the functional age model to the dementia caregiving population. The model allows for a holistic study and assessment of an individual family member's biopsychosocial-spiritual functional capacity in conjunction with the family system's adaptive and coping ability. The role of culture of caregiving practices is also explored.Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment 04/2007; 14(1-2):299-324. DOI:10.1300/J137v14n01_15