Stressors, social support, depressive symptoms and general health status of Taiwanese caregivers of persons with stroke or Alzheimer's disease
ABSTRACT This study examined the relationships among stressors, social support, depressive symptoms and the general health status of Taiwanese caregivers of individuals with stroke or Alzheimer's disease.
Caring for a disabled or cognitively impaired person can be extremely stressful and often has adverse effects on caregivers' health. While research on caregiving in Taiwan has examined caregivers' characteristics, caregivers' need and caregivers' burden in caring for older people in general, little is known about Taiwanese caregivers of individuals with stroke or Alzheimer's disease.
Cross-sectional, descriptive correlation design.
Data were obtained from a convenience sample of 103 Taiwanese informal caregivers in the South of Taiwan and analysed using descriptive statistics, Pearson's correlations, multiple and hierarchical regressions and t-tests.
Caregivers who had lower household incomes and were taking care of individuals with more behaviour problems had more depressive symptoms. In addition, caregivers who were older and were taking care of individuals with more behaviour problems had worse general health. Caregivers who had more emotional support had less depressive symptoms.
Caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease had more depressive symptoms and worse general health than caregivers of persons with stroke. Only emotional support moderated the relationship between one of the stressors (household income) and depressive symptoms.
The findings of this study may be helpful for nurses and other health care professionals in designing effective interventions to minimise the negative impacts of stressors on the psychological and general health of caregivers in Taiwan.
- SourceAvailable from: Cristina Jácome
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- "Moreover, previous research also suggests that each chronic disease poses distinct caregiving challenges (Molloy et al., 2005). For instance, chronic diseases characterized by cognitive impairments (e.g., Alzheimer's disease) and/or unpredictable courses (e.g., cancer) have been described as more stressful (Kim and Schulz, 2008, Huang et al., 2009). However, COPD-specific characteristics, such as the patient's breathlessness and the difficulty in predicting when exacerbations will occur and how they will end, might pose other distinct care demands (Grant et al., 2012). "
ABSTRACT: Background: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can be highly incapacitating, imposing a significant burden on family members, however, limited research has been conducted on psychological health of family carers. Thus, this study examined anxiety and depression symptoms in family carers of people with COPD and their predictors. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with family carers and respective patients with COPD. The caregiving situation and the perceived burden, through the Carers' Assessment of Difficulties Index, were collected from family carers. Patients' COPD severity and activities limitation were assessed. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to assess anxiety and depression symptoms in family carers and patients. Scores ≥8 were considered clinically significant. Results: A total of 203 family carers (58.2 ± 14.8 years old; 75.4% female) and respective patients with COPD (69.2 ± 11.5 years old; 36.5% female) were included. Clinically significant anxiety symptoms (HADS-anxiety ≥8) were present in 63.5% (n = 129) of family carers, depression symptoms (HADS-depression ≥8) were in 34% (n = 69) and both were in 27.1% (n = 55). Perceived burden [odds ratio (OR) 1.04, 95% confidence intervals (CI) = 1.01-1.06; 1.05, 95% CI = 1.03-1.07] and patients' activities limitation (OR 1.32, 95% CI = 1.01-1.79; 1.41, 95% CI = 1.01-1.96) were significant predictors of anxiety and depression symptoms. Anxiety symptoms were also predicted by female gender (OR 0.33, 95% CI = 0.16-0.66) and depression symptoms by older age (OR 1.03, 95% CI = 1.01-1.06). Conclusion: Family carers of patients with COPD experience anxiety and depression symptoms. Perceived burden, female gender, older age, and patient's activities limitation were predictors of these distressing symptoms. These findings highlight the need to address family carers' needs, namely by investigating the effectiveness of supportive interventions on family's psychological health.International Psychogeriatrics 03/2014; 26(7):1-9. DOI:10.1017/S1041610214000337 · 1.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Caregiving is a women's health issue globally, as many more women than men are informal caregivers. Caregiving related to gender role socialization, burden, and economic and health consequences has been discussed in the literature. Together this body of work demonstrates some positive but mainly negative consequences to the health and economic circumstances of women. Overall achievement of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals has important implications for informal caregivers globally, because achievement of these goals is essential to reducing the undue burden, the lost opportunities, and the injustice of health care systems that take advantage of women's volunteer caregiving.Nursing Clinics of North America 10/2009; 44(3):375-84. DOI:10.1016/j.cnur.2009.06.003 · 0.84 Impact Factor