Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Caregiver personality predicts rate of cognitive decline in a community sample of persons with Alzheimer's disease. The Cache County Dementia Progression Study

  • Maria C. Norton (a1) (a2), Christine Clark (a1), Elizabeth B. Fauth (a1), Kathleen W. Piercy (a1), Roxane Pfister (a1), Robert C. Green (a3), Christopher D. Corcoran (a4), Peter V. Rabins (a5) (a6), Constantine G. Lyketsos (a5) (a6) and JoAnn T. Tschanz (a2)...

Abstract

Background:

Environmental influences on the rate of Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression have received little attention. Our objective was to test hypotheses concerning associations between caregiver personality traits and the rate of AD progression.

Methods:

Care receivers (CR) were 161 persons with AD from a population-based dementia progression study; 55 of their caregivers were spouses and 106 were adult children. Cognitive status of the CR was measured with the Mini-Mental State Examination every six months, over an average of 5.6 (range: 1–14) years. Linear mixed models tested rate of cognitive decline as a function of caregiver personality traits from the NEO Five-Factor Inventory.

Results:

Significantly faster cognitive decline was observed with higher caregiver Neuroticism overall; however, in stratified models, effects were significant for adult child but not spouse caregivers. Neuroticism facets of depression, anxiety, and vulnerability to stress were significantly associated with faster decline. Higher caregiver Extraversion was associated with slower decline in the CR when caregivers were adult children but not spouses.

Conclusions:

For adult child caregivers, caregiver personality traits are associated with rate of cognitive decline in CRs with AD regardless of co-residency. Results suggest that dementia caregiver interventions promoting positive care management strategies and ways to react to caregiving challenges may eventually become an important complement to pharmacologic and other approaches aimed at slower rate of decline in dementia.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Dr. Maria C. Norton, Department of Family Consumer and Human Development, Utah State University, 2905 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-2905, USA. Phone: (435) 797-1599; Fax: (435) 797-3845. Email: maria.norton@usu.edu.

References

Hide All
Ablitt, A., Jones, G. and Muers, J. (2010). Awareness of carer distress in people with dementia. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 25, 12461252. doi:10.1002/gps.2461.
Alzheimer's Association (2012). 2012 Alzheimer's disease facts and figures. Available at: http://www.alz.org/downloads/facts_figures_2012.pdf; last accessed 25 June 2013.
Behl, P., Stefurak, T. L. and Black, S. E. (2005). Progress in clinical neurosciences: cognitive markers of progression in Alzheimer's disease. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, 32, 140151.
Bookwala, J. and Schulz, R. (1998). The role of neuroticism and mastery in spouse caregivers’ assessment of and response to a contextual stressor. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 53, P155164. doi:10.1093/geronb/53B.3.P155.
Breitner, J. C. S.et al. (1999). APOE-epsilon4 count predicts age when prevalence of AD increases, then declines: the Cache County Study. Neurology, 53, 321331. doi:10.1212/WNL.53.2.321.
Chappell, N. L. and Dujela, C. (2009). Caregivers – who copes how? International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 69, 221244. doi:10.2190/AG.69.3.d.
Costa, P. T. and McCrae, R. R. (1992). Professional Manual: Revised NEO Five-Factor Inventory. Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.
de Vugt, M. E.et al. (2004). Do caregiver management strategies influence patient behavior in dementia? International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 19, 8592. doi:10.1002/gps.1044.
Hooker, K., Frazier, L. D. and Monahan, D. J. (1994). Personality and coping among caregivers of spouses with dementia. Gerontologist, 34, 386392. doi:10.1093/geront/34.3.386.
Jang, Y., Clay, O. J., Roth, D. L, Haley, W. E. and Mittelman, M. S. (2004). Neuroticism and longitudinal change in caregiver depression: impact of a spouse-caregiver intervention program. Gerontologist, 44, 311317. doi:10.1093/geront/44.3.311.
Kitwood, T. (1993). Toward a theory of dementia care: the interpersonal process. Ageing and Society, 13, 5167. doi:org/10.1017/S0144686X00000647.
Koerner, S. S., Kenyon, D. B. and Shirai, Y. (2009). Caregiving for elder relatives: which caregivers experience personal benefits/gains? Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 48, 238245. doi:10.1016/j.archger.2008.01.015.
Melo, G., Maroco, J. and de Mendonca, A. (2011). Influence of personality on caregiver's burden, depression and distress related to the BPSD. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26, 12751282. doi:10.1002/gps.2677.
Morris, J. C.et al. (1993). The consortium to establish a registry for Alzheimer's disease (CERAD). Part IV. Rates of cognitive change in the longitudinal assessment of probable Alzheimer’ s disease. Neurology, 43, 24572465. doi:10.1212/WNL.43.12.2457.
Norton, M. C.et al. (2009). Caregiver–recipient closeness and symptom progression in Alzheimer disease. The Cache County Dementia Progression Study. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 64B, 560568. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbp052.
Pot, A. M., Deeg, D. J. H. and Knipscheer, C. P. M. (2001). Institutionalization of demented elderly: the role of caregiver characteristics. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 16, 273280. doi:10.1002/gps.331.
Rabins, P. V., Fitting, M. D., Eastham, J. and Fetting, J. (1990). The emotional impact of caring for the chronically ill. Psychosomatic Medicine, 31, 331336. doi:10.1016/S0033-3182(90)72171-8.
Rapp, M.et al. (2011). Cognitive decline in patients with dementia as a function of depression. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 19, 357363. doi:10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181e898d0.
Reis, M. F., Gold, D. P., Andres, D., Markiewicz, D. and Gauthier, S. (1994). Personality traits as determinants of burden and health complaints in caregiving. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 39, 257271. doi:10.2190/6LYN-YFWQ-P87D-MKWX.
Roberts, B. W. and DelVecchio, W. F. (2000). The rank-order consistency of personality traits from childhood to old age: a quantitative review of longitudinal studies. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 325. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.126.1.3.
Ruiz, J. M., Matthews, K. A., Scheier, M. G. and Schulz, R. (2006). Does who you marry matter for your health? Influence of patients’ and spouses’ personality on their partners’ psychological well-being following coronary artery bypass surgery. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 255267. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.91.2.255.
Scarmeas, N.et al. (2005). Delusions and hallucinations are associated with worse outcome in Alzheimer disease. Archives of Neurology, 62, 16011608. doi:10.1001/archneur.62.10.1601.
Schulz, R. and Beach, S. R. (1999). Caregiving as a risk factor for mortality: the caregiver health effects study. JAMA, 282, 22152219. doi:10.1001/jama.282.23.2215.
Shurgot, G. R. and Knight, B. G. (2005). Influence of neuroticism, ethnicity, familism, and social support on perceived burden in dementia caregivers: pilot test of the transactional stress and social support model. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 60, S331334. doi:10.1093/geronb/60.6.P331.
Teri, L., Logsdon, R. G., Uomoto, J. and McCurry, S. (1997). Behavioral treatment of depression in dementia patients: a controlled clinical trial. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 52, P159–P166. doi:10.1093/geronb/52B.4.P159.
Teri, L., McCurry, S. M., Edland, S. D., Kukull, W. A. and Larson, E. B. (1995). Cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease: a longitudinal investigation of risk factors for accelerated decline. Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 50A, M4955. doi:10.1093/gerona/50A.1.M49.
Treiber, K. A.et al. (2011). Cognitive stimulation and cognitive and functional decline in Alzheimer's disease: the Cache County Dementia Progression Study. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 66, 416425. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbr023.
Tschanz, J. T.et al. (2011). Progression of cognitive, functional and neuropsychiatric symptom domains in a population cohort with Alzheimer's dementia. The Cache County Dementia Progression Study. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 19, 532542. doi:10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181faec23.
Tschanz, J. T.et al. (2013). Caregiver coping strategies predict rate of cognitive and functional decline in dementia. The Cache County Dementia Progression Study. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 21, 5766. doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2012.10.005.
Viatonou, S.et al. (2009). Predictors of rapid cognitive decline among demented subjects aged 75 or more: (“Sujet Age´ Fragile–Evaluation et Suivi” Cohort – SAFES). International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 24, 709715. doi:10.1002/gps.2183.

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed