Respite-A Coping Strategy for Family Caregivers

Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta.
Western Journal of Nursing Research (Impact Factor: 1.03). 09/1999; 21(4):450-66; discussion 467-71. DOI: 10.1177/019394599902100403
Source: PubMed


The caregiver respite experience is seen as one way to moderate the negative consequences of caregiving. From an interpretivist research orientation, this study explored how 10 family caregivers of persons with dementia experienced respite. From a coping theoretical perspective, the caregiver respite experience is discussed as a process of "getting out" of the caregiver world, and is linked to avoidance strategies of emotion-focused coping. The following three phases within the coping dimension of the respite experience were found: caregivers recognizing their need to get out of the caregiver world, giving themselves permission to actually get out from it temporarily, and having the appropriate social support resources available to facilitate the getting out. The critical practice and research implications linked to caregivers' ability to acknowledge their need for respite are described.

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    • "Although stress, particularly chronic stress such as seen in caregiving, may potentially impact vascular and immune system functioning, recent data suggest that positive coping factors may help maintain general well-being and possibly protect against deleterious effects of stress. For example, longitudinal studies among caregivers suggest that coping strategies are related to long-term mental and physical health benefits (Dimsdale et al., 1994; Goode et al., 1998; Hooker et al., 2002; Strang and Haughey, 1999). One coping factor receiving increased attention has been personal mastery. "
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    • "In a meta-analysis, Brodaty et al. (2003) showed that such interventions, especially those that involved the patients with AD, reduced the caregivers' psychological distress, improved the caregivers' knowledge and patients' mood, and delayed the patients' admittance to nursing homes. QOL was also improved when caregivers used respite services or were able to find free time for their own needs (Strang & Haughey 1999, Chappell & Reid 2002, Sansoni et al. 2004). "
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    • "Designing a polarity therapy protocol 133 Strang and Haughey, 1999) or find that efficacy depends upon multidimensional factors such as expectation, meaning, and number of hours provided (Strang and Haughey, 1999). Other research has focused on teaching caregiver skills to manage behavioral problems. "
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