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A growing number of studies are emphasizing the importance of positive and negative appraisals of caregiving and the utilization of social resources to buffer the negative effects of caring for persons with dementia. By assessing the roles of unmet needs and formal support, this study tested a hypothesized model for Korean family caregivers’ satisfaction and burden in providing care for persons with dementia.
The stress process model and a two-factor model were used as the conceptual framework for this study. Data for 320 family caregivers from a large cross-sectional survey, the Seoul Dementia Management study, were analyzed using structural equation modeling. In the hypothesized model, the exogenous variables were patient symptoms, including cognitive impairment, behavioral problems, and dependency on others to help with activities of daily living and with instrumental activities of daily living. The endogenous variables were the caregiver's perception of the unmet needs of the patient, formal support, caregiving satisfaction, and caregiving burden.
The adjusted model explained the mediating effect of unmet needs on the relationship between patient symptoms or formal support and caregiving satisfaction. Formal support also had a mediating effect on the relationship between patient symptoms and unmet needs. Patient symptoms and caregiving satisfaction had a significant direct effect on caregiving burden.
The level of unmet needs of persons with dementia and their family caregivers must be considered in the development of support programs focused on improving caregiving satisfaction.
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
Caregiver burden is a complex and multidimensional construct. Although previous studies have explored numerous factors associated with caregiver burden, these factors have not been identified with a large population-based sample in a theory-based multidimensional way. This study explores multidimensional determinants associated with family caregiver burden to determine the main contributors of caregiver burden in Alzheimer's disease (AD) using a large community dataset.
A retrospective secondary data analysis was conducted on 1,133 patients with AD and 1,133 primary caregivers who were registered in a metropolitan city dementia center in South Korea. The patient data included socio-demographic and disease profiles. The caregiver data consisted of socio-demographic and caregiving profiles.
The study results identified that dementia-related factors were the most significant factors, representing 25.6% of caregiver burden and were followed by caregiving-related factors explaining caregiver burden significantly. Behavioral problems and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) dependency of the patient, spousal relationship, hours of caregiving, and the number of diseases associated with the caregiver were found to be significant individual variables.
It is vital to develop a service and support program with a greater emphasis on the behavioral problems and IADL deficiency of patients with AD as well as on improving the competence ability of caregivers to deal with such difficulties.
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