Life orientation in Finnish family caregivers' of persons with Alzheimer's disease: A diary study
Department of Nursing Science, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.Nursing and Health Sciences (Impact Factor: 1.04). 12/2012; 14(4):480-7. DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-2018.2012.00721.x
Family caregivers provide the majority of home care of people with Alzheimer's disease. In this study, we discuss family caregivers' life orientation and changes in life orientation during the first year after the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Family caregivers' unstructured diaries (n = 83), of the first six months after diagnosis (years 2002-2004), were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Two core themes emerged from the data analysis: the meaning of the onset of Alzheimer's disease for the lives of family caregivers, and restructuring life in its entirety. Family caregivers face challenges in their life orientation after the onset of their family members' Alzheimer's disease. Their personal milieu, familial cohesion, and conception of the future consequentially change. They face multiple challenges in the process of becoming caregivers. In this study, it was revealed that the process starts before the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and has an impact on their future. We conclude that family caregivers' well-being should be assessed at the time of the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
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ABSTRACT: Family caregiving is a significant rite of passage experienced by family caregivers of individuals with protracted illness or injury. In an integrative review of 26 studies, we characterized family caregiving from the sociocultural perspective of liminality and explored associated psychosocial implications. Analysis of published evidence on this dynamic and formative transition produced a range of themes. While role ambiguity resolved for most, for others, uncertainty and suffering continued. The process of becoming a caregiver was transformative and can be viewed as a rebirth that is largely socially and culturally driven. The transition to family caregiving model produced by this review provides a holistic perspective on this phenomenon and draws attention to aspects of the experience previously underappreciated. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
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ABSTRACT: To explore family caregiver (FC) long-term psychological distress after Alzheimer disease (AD) diagnosis in a family member. FC (n = 236) and patients with AD were prospectively followed up to 36 months after AD diagnosis. FC psychological distress was evaluated using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). Furthermore, caregiver depressive symptoms and sense of coherence, along with AD patient measurements, were measured at baseline and annually. Generalized estimating equation models were applied to study associations of these baseline factors to caregiver GHQ. After 36 months of follow-up, spousal caregivers (SCs) GHQ was significantly higher (P < .001) than in the nonspousal caregivers (NSCs). The difference in GHQ scores was associated by depressive symptoms (P < .001) at baseline, and the depressed SCs have more severe distress than NSCs over the observation period. During longitudinal caregiving, spousal and depressed caregivers of patients with AD report higher and increasing psychological stress than nonspousal and nondepressed caregivers. Spousal relationship, caregivers' depressive symptoms, and the severity of patients' neuropsychological symptoms at the time of AD diagnosis predict the trajectory of psychological distress. The current study highlights the need for evaluating AD caregiver mental health and level of coping. © The Author(s) 2015.
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