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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    ABSTRACT: Caring for a spouse with Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with overall health decline and impaired cardiovascular functioning. This morbidity may be related to the effects of caregiving stress and impaired coping on beta(2)-adrenergic receptors, which mediate hemodynamic and vascular responses and are important for peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) trafficking and cytokine production. This study investigated the longitudinal relationship between stress, personal mastery, and beta(2)-adrenergic receptor sensitivity assessed in vitro on PBMC. Over a 5-year study, 115 spousal AD caregivers completed annual assessments of caregiving stress, mastery, and PBMC beta(2)-adrenergic receptor sensitivity, as assessed by in vitro isoproterenol stimulation. Heightened caregiving stress was associated with significantly decreased receptor sensitivity, whereas greater sense of personal mastery was associated with significantly increased receptor sensitivity. These results suggest that increased stress may be associated with a desensitization of beta(2)-receptors, which may contribute to the development of illness among caregivers. However, increased mastery is associated with increased receptor sensitivity, and may therefore serve as a resource factor for improved health in this population.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2008 · Psychiatry Research
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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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    ABSTRACT: This paper is a report of a study to describe the meaning of quality of life for caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease and to identify factors that affect their quality of life. The burden for informal caregivers and change in their quality of life can lead to patients being placed in nursing homes. Factors found to worsen caregivers' quality of life include strained finances, poor family functioning, difficult patient behaviour, financial burdens and the amount of time caregivers spend caring for family members with Alzheimer's disease. A hermeneutic phenomenological design was used to study 32 informal caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Data were collected using interviews between November 2004 and June 2005. Caregivers associated good quality of life with serenity, tranquility, psychological well-being, freedom, general well-being, good health and good financial status. Factors that caregivers said improved their quality of life were good health of the patient, independence from the patient, and more help in caregiving. Factors that worsened their quality of life were worries about the future and progression of the patient's illness and stress. Our findings may help healthcare professionals have a deeper understanding of the meaning caregivers give to quality of life and thereby aid in the design of strategies to maintain or improve quality of life. Intervention research is needed for caregivers in countries where this has not yet been performed. Researchers should also investigate whether different types of caregivers (spouse, adult child and friend) have different needs or problems.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2008 · Journal of Advanced Nursing
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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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    ABSTRACT: One of the methodological challenges of conducting CAM therapies research and in particular, biofield/touch therapies research is the development and use of methods that are compatible with the holistic nature of the therapy. Biomedical scientists claim that the “gold standard” of research must be the randomized clinical trial (RCT), which includes a standardized protocol. Conducting an RCT on a biofield/touch therapy often results in structural and conceptual conflicts with the clinical standards necessary to holistic therapies. This paper discusses a polarity therapy protocol designed as an intervention for the reduction of stress in American Indian family caregivers of patients with dementia. The protocol is designed to maximize efficacy and cultural congruency, adhering to the integrity of the holism, while addressing challenges arising from randomized controlled trial methods. The protocol developed for this study is presented and discussed.
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