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.
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ABSTRACT: Objectives: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a major cause of disability, morbidity and mortality in old age, representing a significant burden for families. However, information on the impacts of caring for relatives with COPD on carers' psychological health is limited. This study aimed to analyse the subjective burden of family carers of people with early and advanced COPD and its predictor variables. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted. A structured questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographics and care-giving characteristics. Self-rated physical and mental health were measured by two items from the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health checklist. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was used to assess anxiety and depression. Subjective burden was assessed with the Carers' Assessment of Difficulties Index (CADI). Descriptive and inferential analyses were performed. Results: A total of 167 family carers participated: 113 were caring for people with early and 54 with advanced COPD. Both groups presented anxiety/depression symptoms. Those caring for people with advanced COPD reported higher subjective burden, more depression symptoms and poorer self-rated mental health than those caring for early COPD. Advanced COPD (coefficient 6.7), depression (coefficient 6.3), anxiety (coefficient 5.6), care-giving hours per week (coefficient 3.2) and self-rated mental health (coefficient 2.8) were significant predictors of carers' subjective burden. Conclusion: The findings suggest that the gradual course of COPD imposes an increasing physical and emotional burden on carers, with negative impacts on their psychological health. The study highlights the relevance of early interventions in the context of COPD to prevent carers' burden.Aging and Mental Health 09/2013; · 1.78 Impact Factor
- Aging and Mental Health 11/2013; 17(8):911-4. · 1.78 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: 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; · 1.89 Impact Factor