Cohen CA, Colantonio A, Vernich L. Positive aspects of caregiving: rounding out the caregiver experience

Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Canada.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.09). 02/2002; 17(2):184-8. DOI: 10.1002/gps.561
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To identify positive aspects of caregiving and examine how they are associated with caregiver outcomes.
This study used a national sample of caregivers derived from the Canadian Study of Health and Aging (part 2). Two hundred and eighty-nine caregivers caring for seniors living in the community were questioned about their experience of caregiving. Caregivers were asked whether they could identify any positive aspects related to their role, the type of positive aspects and to rate their feelings about caring. Using a conceptual model developed by Noonan and Tennstedt (1997), a staged stepwise multiple regression approach was used factoring the background/contextual variables, stressor variables (3 MS score, ADL limitations), mediator variables (positive aspects of caregiving, number of services used) and outcome variables (depression, burden and self-assessed health measures) into the model.
Two hundred and eleven caregivers (73%) could identify at least one specific positive aspect of caregiving. An additional 20 (6.9%) could identify more than one positive aspect. Positive feelings about caring were associated with lower CES-D scores ( p<0.001), lower burden scores ( p<0.001) and better self assessed health ( p<0.001).
Clinicians should inquire about the positive aspects of caregiving if they are to fully comprehend the caregiver experience and identify risk factors for negative caregiver outcomes.

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    • "In one study, nearly 75% of caregivers of PWD could identify at least one caregiving benefit, including companionship, fulfillment, and enjoyment (Cohen, Colantonio, & Vernich, 2002). Further, caregivers reporting satisfaction with their role and greater benefit from caregiving also reported greater life satisfaction (Haley, Lamonde, Han, Burton, & Schowetter, 2003) and were less likely to experience depression, burden or poor health (Cohen et al., 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: Spousal caregivers of persons with dementia often have difficulty engaging persons with dementia in leisure activities. This qualitative descriptive study identifies how caregivers perceive their spouses' participation in leisure activities since dementia onset and the professional guidance caregivers require to increase persons with dementia participation in shared leisure activities. Nine spousal caregivers from a hospital-based caregiver intervention attended one of three focus groups. Using symbolic interactionism and selective optimization with compensation theory as guiding frameworks, thematic content analysis was performed. Three major themes were identified: Recognizing and acknowledging changes, Making sense of changes and conflicts, and Embracing changes and forging ahead. Findings can be used by healthcare providers to better understand caregivers' needs for engaging persons with dementia in shared leisure activities, and inform development of feedback protocols to enhance caregiver interventions. © The Author(s) 2015 Reprints and permissions:
    Dementia 02/2015; DOI:10.1177/1471301215570680
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    • "This concept is consistent with the literature dating to the 1980s (George & Gwyther, 1986; Zarit, Reever, & Bach-Peterson, 1980), which claimed that caring for persons diagnosed with dementia in the community placed a major burden on caregivers, resulting in adverse psychological and physical consequences in caregivers. Additionally, Cohen et al. (2002) showed that the presence of few positive aspects is an indicator that caregivers will be at risk for being overwhelmed by their caring situation and therefore will be more likely to report depression, burden or poor health. Again, this result might be explained by the decrease in the BPSD as the dementia severity progresses. "
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    • "Far less emphasis is placed on positive outcomes such as selfworth , increased closeness in relationships, or feeling useful (Kramer, 1997; Marks, Lambert, & Choi, 2002; Raschick & Ingersoll-Dayton, 2004). Studies that have examined positive aspects find that caregiving is associated with feeling purposeful (Marks et al., 2002), feeling good about oneself and appreciating life more (Lin et al., 2012), and feeling a sense of fulfilling obligations or a sense of duty (Cohen, Colantino, & Vernich, 2002). The inclusion of positive outcomes also may reconcile some of the previously noted differences that are reported in the caregiving and helping/ altruism literatures. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives.We explore whether spousal caregiving is associated with enhanced well-being for older husbands and wives.Method.We use time diary data from the 2009 Panel Study of Income Dynamics and Disability and Use of Time supplement. We measure experienced well-being as ratings of happiness and frustration during activities recalled for the previous day. We estimate separately for husbands and wives 3 distinct effects on experienced well-being: having a spouse with a disability; doing household or personal care tasks ("chores") for someone other than a spouse with a disability; and doing such tasks for a spouse with a disability ("care"). For husbands, neither care status nor spouse's disability status are associated with experienced well-being. In contrast, for wives, carrying out chores is associated with lower reports of happiness compared with other activities and providing care to one's husband is associated with greater reports of happiness than carrying out chores.Discussion.For women, chores such as meal preparation, laundry, and cleaning-but not caregiving per se-are associated with worse experienced well-being than other activities. Findings underscore that there are positive aspects of spousal caregiving for older wives that offset the innately unpleasant nature of household tasks.
    The Journals of Gerontology Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 02/2014; 69(6). DOI:10.1093/geronb/gbu004 · 2.85 Impact Factor
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