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Resilience and coping

The following resources examine carers' resilience, and the strategies they adopt in coping.

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Resilience and burden in caregivers of older adults: moderating and mediating effects of perceived social support

BACKGROUND: The burden of caring for an older adult can be a form of stress and influence caregivers' daily lives and health. Previous studies have reported that resilience and social support play an important role in reducing physical and psychological burden in caregivers. Thus, the present study aimed to examine whether perceived social support served as a possible protective factor of burden among caregivers of older adults in Singapore using moderation and mediation effects' models. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study with 285 caregivers providing care to older adults aged 60 years and above who were diagnosed with physical and/or mental illness in Singapore. The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC) was used to measure resilience and burden was measured by the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI). The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) was used to measure perceived social support. Hayes' PROCESS macro was used to test moderation and mediation effects of perceived social support in the relationship between resilience and burden after controlling for sociodemographic variables. Indirect effects were tested using bootstrapped confidence intervals (CI). RESULTS: The mean scores observed were CD-RISC: 70.8/100 (SD = 15.1), MSPSS: 62.2/84 (SD = 12.2), and ZBI: 23.2/88 (SD = 16.0) respectively. While perceived social support served as a full mediator between resilience and caregiver burden (β = - 0.14, 95% CI -0.224 to - 0.072, p < 0.05), it did not show a significant moderating effect. CONCLUSIONS: Perceived social support mediates the association between resilience and caregiver burden among caregivers of older adults in Singapore. It is crucial for healthcare professionals, particularly those who interact and deliver services to assist caregivers, to promote and identify supportive family and friends' network that may help to address caregiver burden.

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Caring and Coping with Dementia during COVID-19

Research Aim: This aim of this research is to explore how the experiences and needs of people with dementia and carers have changed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and to understand how these needs can be appropriately addressed. Summary: This report presents the findings of national research undertaken by The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) between 8th and 26th June 2020, which explored how people with dementia and their carers are coping during COVID-19 and to understand their challenges and needs. This report follows on from a national survey carried out at the start of April 2020, when dementia services ceased operating and COVID-19 restrictions were imposed.

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An empowerment program for family caregivers of people with dementia

Objectives: Family caregivers of people with dementia (PWD) often feel powerless and experience decreased well-being. Our aim was to develop an intervention program based on the caregiver empowerment model (CEM) and apply it with the Korean caregivers to evaluate its effects. Design and Sample: The study population comprised 115 family caregivers (experimental group, n = 35, control group 1, n = 40, control group 2, n = 40). Methods: Using an experimental design with two control groups. The experimental group received a 12-week program including intensive counseling, education, and telephone calls. The control group 1 (CG1) received usual service. The control group 2 (CG2) was provided with a handbook during the first week. A mixed-effects model was used to clarify longitudinal changes in participants' outcomes. Results: The experimental group showed significantly increased caregiving appraisal (effect size in CG1 = −7.25; CG2 = −5.63), caregiving attitude (CG1 = −21.47; CG2 = −17.79), self-efficacy (CG1 = −12.42; CG2 = −10.12), and well-being (CG1 = −4.33; CG2 = −2.35) after the program. Conclusions: The empowerment program can be used to promote family caregivers' positive adaptation and to help caregivers who care for PWD to effectively cope with their problems. 

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The effects of bibliotherapy on the mental well-being of informal caregivers of people with neurocognitive disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Background: The number of people with neurocognitive disorder is increasing, and the majority of them are cared for by informal caregivers in the community. Mental health problems are common among caregivers, however, professional support for them is often limited. Non-pharmacological self-help interventions, such as bibliotherapy, may improve mental well-being and has the potential for being integrated into clinical or social services. Objectives: To explore what types of bibliotherapy have been used for improving the mental well-being of informal caregivers of people with neurocognitive disorders, and the effect on mental well-being outcomes. Design: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Review methods: Six databases were searched for relevant articles on July 1, 2019. Clinical trial registries and the reference lists of included studies were also searched. Both randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies were included. The Cochrane Collaboration risk of bias tool for randomized controlled trials was used to assess the quality of studies. Review Manager 5.3 was used to analyze data, standardized mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were used to estimate the pooled treatment effect. Random effects models were used for meta-analyses. Funnel plot was not performed due to the limited number of studies. This systematic review was registered at PROSPERO (CRD42019129152). Results: Nine randomized controlled trials with 1036 informal caregivers were included. Most of the included studies had some aspects of bias. Three types of bibliotherapy were used. Bibliotherapy had a significant pooled medium to large effect on reducing depression at Z = 1.99 (SMD = -0.74, 95%CI = -1.47 to -0.01, p = .05), however, the heterogeneity was high (I2 = 94%). For the subgroups, only the video-based bibliotherapy significantly reduced depression at Z = 2.78 (I2 = 83%, SMD = -2.11, 95%CI = -3.6 to -0.62, p = .005). Bibliotherapy had a significant small to medium effect on caregiver's self-efficacy for dealing with problem behaviours at Z = 2.44 (I2 = 0, SMD = 0.36, 95%CI = 0.05 to 0.67, p = .02), however, the effect on self-efficacy for obtaining respite was not significant (I2 = 0, SMD = 0.17, 95%CI = -0.16 to 0.49, p = .32). The effect on decreasing state anxiety was significant at Z = 2.30 (I2 = 22%, SMD = -0.22, 95% CI = -0.41 to -0.33, p = .02). Conclusions: Bibliotherapy showed positive effects on reducing depression, improving self-efficacy for dealing with problem behaviors and reducing anxiety among informal caregivers. The effects on reducing depression should be viewed with caution due to high heterogeneity. The effects on other mental well-being outcomes are inconclusive due to limited number of studies and this underscores the need for further research.

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Spirituality alleviates the burden on family members caring for patients receiving palliative care exclusively

Background: Spirituality can give meaning to life, providing support and guidance in complex situations. Despite its importance in palliative care, the role of spirituality for family caregivers of patients under exclusive palliative care has not received enough attention in the literature. We aimed to address the correlation between spirituality and the emotional burden of family members of patients under exclusive palliative care. Methods: This transversal study was conducted in a tertiary private teaching hospital, in Saõ Paulo, Brazil. The study comprised family members of patients receiving palliative care exclusively. Only one caregiver who cared for the patient for at least 2 months was invited to participate. Family members answered the following questionnaires: WHOQOL spirituality, religiousness and personal beliefs (SRPB), Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) and Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20). They were excluded if patients were residing in a Long Stay Institution. Continuous variables were expressed by median and quartiles and analyzed with the Kruskal-Wallis test with Muller-Dunn post-test adjusted by Bonferroni or with the Mann-Whitney test for two groups. We used multivariable linear regression to identify independent predictors of caregiver burden. Results: A total of 178 family members were interviewed in a median of 8 [4-13.25] days after patient admission. Almost 40% of families presented high score of burden. Faith and Meaning in Life were the facets that scored the highest, with a median of 4.50 [4.00-5.00] for both facets. There was an inverse correlation between Zarit score and all of the WHOQOL-SRPB facets, indicating that the lower the spirituality, the greater the emotional burden. Inner peace was the strongest protective factor associated with burden. Conclusions: Psycho-socio-spiritual interaction can improve the coping ability of family caregivers of patients under exclusive palliative care, addressing a critical gap in the provision of holistic palliative care services. 

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Uncertainty in Transition of African American Caregivers

The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the ambiguities and uncertainties experienced by a diverse group of African-American caregivers. The study applied Schlossberg's transition theory (TT) and Mishel’s revised uncertainty theory to narratives of self-identified African-American caregivers who provided care at least 5 h a week. The men (6) and women (8) were mostly unmarried, mostly caring for a parent or grandparent. The caregivers’ average age was 52 (SD = 19; ages ranged from 24 to 82 years); and the care recipients’ average age was 84 (SD = 9). Six care recipients had dementia and the remainder had multiple disease diagnoses. Narratives were obtained by in-depth interviews or focus group discussions. These were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim professionally and analyzed independently by trained coders. Schlossberg’s TT contextualized whereas Mishel’s RUIT illuminated the characteristics of the transition, its associated uncertainty, and their relationship to the development of caregiver stress. Situational factors such as difficulties with illness symptoms of the care recipient, conflict between previous experience and current expectations and the adjustments to the new caregiving role, burdened younger caregivers more than older caregivers. Self-factors related to lack of knowledge about the illness and feelings of lack of control. Social support was predominantly provided by family members, and its absence resulted in conflict among siblings and caregiver stress. The most common coping strategies include religiosity, expectations of reciprocity, and coming to terms with the uncertainty. Understanding the feelings, perceptions and needs of caregivers in transition is tantamount to providing nursing care. 

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Caregiving Self-efficacy and Knowledge Regarding Patient Positioning Among Malaysian Caregivers of Stroke Patients

Background Most family caregivers of stroke patients in Malaysia do not receive adequate prior preparation or training. This study aimed to determine levels of patient positioning knowledge and caregiving self-efficacy among caregivers of stroke patients. Methods This cross-sectional study was conducted at an urban teaching hospital involving 128 caregivers of stroke patients. The caregivers were conveniently sampled and completed the data collection forms, which comprised their socio-demographic data, patients' functional status, the Caregiving Knowledge For Stroke Questionnaire: Patient Positioning (CKQ-My(C) Patient Positioning) to measure caregiver's knowledge on patient positioning, and the Family Caregiver Activation Tool (FCAT(C)) to measure caregivers' self-efficacy in managing the patient. Descriptive and multivariate inferential statistics were used for data analysis. Results Among the caregivers sampled, 87.3% had poor knowledge of positioning (mean score 14.9 +/- 4.32). The mean score for FCAT was 49.7 +/- 6.0 from a scale of 10 to 60. There was no significant association between knowledge on positioning and self-efficacy. Multiple linear regression showed that caregivers' age (B = 0.146, p = 0.003) and caregiver training (B = 3.302, p = 0.007) were independently associated with caregivers' self-efficacy. Conclusion Caregivers' knowledge on the positioning of stroke patients was poor, despite a fairly good level of self-efficacy. Older caregivers and receiving caregiver training were independently associated with better caregiver self-efficacy. This supports the provision of caregiver training to improve caregiver self-efficacy.

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A causal model of caregiving burden among dementia caregivers

In this study, a cross-sectional, predictive correlation design was used to identify and test a causal relationship between behavior disturbances, coping, family conflict, self-esteem and social support to caregiver burden among dementia caregivers. A total of 450 caregivers of dementia aged over 18 years were recruited from 4 hospitals in northern Thailand based on selected criteria. Demographic Questionnaire, Behavioral Pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease Rating Scale (BEHAVE-AD, The Family Conflict Scale, The Zarit Burden Interview Scale, The Perceived Social Support Questionnaire, The Brief COPE and The Rosenberg Self-Esteem with acceptable reliability coefficients were used to collect data. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson’s Product-Moment Correlation and path analysis by structural equation modeling. Results showed that the modified model fitted with the data and explained 58 % of the variance in caregiving burden among dementia caregivers. Coping and family conflict had a positive direct effect on caregiving burden (p < 0.001), whereas self-esteem and social support had a direct negative effect on caregiving burden (p < 0.001). Behavior disturbance had a positive indirect effect caregiving burden (p < 0.001) via family conflict. Coping had a positive indirect effect on caregiving burden (p < 0.001) via behavior disturbance and family conflict. Social support had a negative indirect effect on caregiving burden (p < 0.001) via family conflict and self-esteem. The results of this study could be used as a guideline for psychiatric nurses in planning an appropriate intervention program to reduce burden of caregivers of dementia patients in Thailand. 

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Barriers and facilitators of adherence to a perioperative physical activity intervention for older adults with cancer and their family caregivers

Purpose: Perioperative physical activity behavior change in older adults with cancer is complex. Identifying the barriers and facilitators to physical activity before and after surgery can help predict adherence and optimize outcomes. We aimed to determine the barriers and facilitators of adherence to a perioperative physical activity intervention in older adults with lung and gastrointestinal (GI) cancers and their family caregivers (FCGs). Methods: A qualitative analysis of physical therapy/occupational therapy (PT/OT) baseline geriatric/functional assessment and intervention sessions notes were undertaken (N = 34 dyads). Written text documents (N = 6 independent PT/OT notes per dyad) were transcribed into a spreadsheet for coding and thematic analysis. Content analysis qualitative approach was used to identify themes and guide data interpretation. Results: Ten themes for barriers and five themes for facilitators emerged, reflecting barriers to and facilitators of perioperative physical activity adherence. Primary barriers to adherence included comorbid health conditions, physical symptoms, functional limitations, anxiety, other roles and responsibilities, unexpected life events, lack of time and motivation, not accustomed to physical activity, and environment/weather. Facilitators that enabled intervention adherence included physical activity as part of routine, coping strategies, setting goals for motivation, social/family support, and experiencing benefits from walking. Conclusions: Barriers and facilitators to a perioperative physical activity is multidimensional, and focused on social-ecological determinants of health behaviors, including intrapersonal, interpersonal, and environmental factors. Perioperative physical activity interventions for older adults with cancer and their FCGs should integrate strategies to promote self-efficacy, support realistic activity goals, enhance motivation, and optimize social support.

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The Mental Well-Being of Informal Carers of Adults on the Autism Spectrum: a Systematic Review

Carers of autistic adults may experience increased day-to-day stress relating to their caring role. This review aims to (1) summarise the current literature on factors that affect mental well-being in carers of autistic adults and (2) map these results to an existing conceptual model of carer psychological well-being for individuals with developmental disabilities. Twenty-three studies met inclusion criteria. Some factors, such as adaptive skills and the quality of the caring relationship, were consistently associated with carer mental well-being. Conflicting or weak associations were found with several factors, including carer age and formal services received. These findings may be mapped to the King et al. (Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 24(1), 41–53, 1999) model, and adaptations to this model are discussed. 

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Online interventions geared toward increasing resilience and reducing distress in family caregivers

Purpose of review Family caregivers of patients with cancer often spend a great deal of effort on physically and emotionally demanding work while taking care of patients. However, the majority of caregivers are not properly equipped for their role as caregivers, which may lead to increased distress in both caregivers and patients. Herein, we reviewed the recent literature (last 3 years) examining online interventions that seek to support caregiver resilience and decrease distress. Recent findings Our search identified interventions involving three main themes: informational support, positive activities, and social support. These are mostly in the form of web-based tools and mobile apps targeting both usability and quality of life. Social network services are also considered in this review as a new environment for caregivers to connect with other individuals with lived experience in similar circumstances.SummaryExisting studies on online interventions to support caregivers is still at a formative development stage and pilot tests of feasibility, rather than a substantive body of randomized controlled trials to assess the impact in different user populations, or to determine specific factors that impact caregiver distress level or resilience. More research is needed to further assess the long-term effects of online interventions on caregiver stress and resilience. Also, the role of different types of social network services and new forms of interaction, such as conversational agents, has not yet been fully investigated in caregiver populations. Future research should strive to seek new modes of providing services that may present novel opportunities to enhance caregiver resilience and reduce distress. 

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Resuming Normal Life as a Family Caregiver During Drip-Like Recovery of Older Persons With Cognitive Impairment Recovering From Hip Surgery: A Grounded Theory

Purpose: This study was undertaken to develop a theoretical framework explaining family caregiving processes for older persons with cognitive impairment recovering from hip fracture surgery. Design and Methods: In this grounded theory study, data were collected in audio-recorded face-to-face interviews with 21 family caregivers. Among these caregivers, 14 cared for hip-fractured persons with cognitive impairment, and seven cared for those without cognitive impairment. Caregivers were interviewed five times after patients’ discharge: at 1 week and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. Data were analyzed by constant comparative analysis. Findings: The core category explaining the family caregiving process for hip-fractured persons with cognitive impairment was “resuming normal life during drip-like recovery.” This category captures the slowness of the recovery process, as slow as dripping water. During the early postoperative period, caregivers attempted to gain control of the postoperative situation, using various maintenance and improvement strategies to deal with the chaos in individuals and the family and to protect hip-fractured persons with cognitive impairment from further harm. The goal of recovery was to get back to their original life. Conclusions: Family caregivers of hip-fractured older persons with cognitive impairment needed to deal with more complex chaotic situations, exerted more efforts to administer safety measures, and required more time to achieve a stable life pattern. Clinical Relevance: Since postoperative recovery was perceived as extremely slow, family caregivers of hip-fractured older persons with cognitive impairment should be patient regarding recovery and be informed before hospital discharge of different strategies to resume normal life during postoperative recovery. 

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Experiences of Family Caregivers of Individuals With Chronic Psychiatric Illness in Turkey: A Qualitative Study

The purpose of the current descriptive qualitative study was to reveal experiences of family caregivers of individuals with chronic psychiatric illness. Family caregivers who provided care to 16 individuals with chronic mental illness were interviewed. Three themes emerged from the interviews: Illness Management, The Caregiver's World: Changes and Effects, and Coping From the Caregiver's Point of View. Understanding the experiences of family caregivers contributes to content development of family intervention programs. 

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Strategies used by families to cope with chronic mental illnesses: Psychometric properties of the family crisis oriented personal evaluation scale

Purpose This study was aimed at investigating the psychometric properties of the Family Crisis Oriented Personal Evaluation Scale (F‐COPES) for Turkish society, which assesses the coping skills of caregivers of individuals with chronic mental illnesses. Design and Methods The study was conducted with 153 family caregivers of patients with a chronic mental illness admitted to the inpatient and outpatient units of two university hospitals and İzmir Schizophrenia Solidarity Association. For the language validity, the translation‐back translation method was performed, for the content validity, expert opinions were obtained, for the construct validity, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis was performed. For the reliability analysis, Cronbach α reliability coefficient was calculated and the test‐retest reliability analysis was performed. Findings The content validity index of the scale was 0.96. The Cronbach's α reliability coefficient for the overall scale was .80. Factor loadings of the subscales ranged between 0.56 and 0.69 for the Acquiring Social Support subscale, between 0.43 and 0.74 for the Reframing subscale, between 0.53 and 0.74 for the Seeking Spiritual Support subscale. The model fit indexes were as follows: χ2 = 176.369, df = 116, χ2/df = 1.52, RMSEA = 0.059, CFI = 0.90, IFI = 0.91, GFI = 0.88. Practice Implications The results of the present study show that the levels of psychometric properties of F‐COPES in Turkish society are acceptable. It is thought that it would be useful to use the F‐COPES in the assessment of coping behaviors of individuals who give care to patients with a chronic mental illness and that it can be used as measurement tool in studies to be conducted with caregivers of patients with a chronic mental illness to assess their coping skills.

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Behavioural disturbances in patients with frontotemporal lobe degeneration focusing on caregiver burden at home and in nursing homes

Aim and objective To explore the challenges faced by family caregivers of people with frontotemporal dementia and other forms of dementia affecting the frontal and temporal lobes causing behavioural disturbances through a qualitative approach with in‐depth interviews. Background Studies of different forms of dementia involving degeneration of the frontal and temporal lobes have mainly focused on the neurophysiology and physiology of the disease and on caregivers’ health. Few studies have described the challenges and burdens connected with everyday life and in relation to suitable nursing home placement that are faced by family caregivers. Method and design This study used a descriptive and explorative design. Eleven semi‐structured interviews with family caregivers of patients from special units in four nursing homes were conducted in 2014. Data were analysed based on Kvale and Brinkmann's three contexts of interpretation: self‐understanding, common sense and theoretical understanding. Checklist for qualitative studies: Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research (SRQR) http://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/srqr/ Results Two central themes were derived from the data: changes in behaviour and personality were perceived as incomprehensible, frightening and increasingly difficult to manage. Family caregivers experienced challenges in finding suitable care facilities when they were not able to continue providing home care. Due to behavioural disturbances and lack of relevant competencies among health personnel, family members were often moved between nursing homes. Conclusion Pronounced personality and behavioural disturbances such as tactlessness and aggression in a family member with dementia are experienced by caregivers as stressful and burdensome and may lead to feelings of shame and guilt. A lack of suitable care facilities adds to the stress and difficulties of the families and entails an additional and unresolved burden. Relevance to Clinical Practice The study reveals a need for more knowledge among those organising health services as well as healthcare professional dealing with this patient category to ease the burden on next of kin.

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The mediational role of burden and perceived stress in subjective memory complaints in informal cancer caregivers

The role of informal caregiver of cancer patients is considered a situation of chronic stress that could have impact on cognitive functioning. Our aim was to evaluate differences in perceived stress, subjective memory complaints, self-esteem, and resilience between caregivers and non-caregivers, as well as the possible mediational role of burden in caregivers. The sample was composed of 60 participants divided into two groups: (1) Primary informal caregivers of a relative with cancer (CCG) (n = 34); and (2) non-caregiver control subjects (Non-CG) (n = 26). All participants were evaluated through a battery of tests: Socio-demographic questionnaire, subjective memory complaints questionnaire (MFE-30), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, resilience (CD-RISC-10), and perceived stress scale (PSS). The CCG group also completed the Zarit burden interview. Results indicated that CCG displayed higher scores than Non-CG in MFE-30 (p = 0.000) and PSS (p = 0.005). In the CCG group, Pearson correlations indicated that PSS showed a negative relationship with resilience (p = 0.000) and self-esteem (p = 0.002) and positive correlation with caregiver’s burden (p = 0.015). In conclusion, CCG displayed higher number of subjective memory complaints and higher perceived stress than Non-CG, whereas no significant differences were obtained on self-esteem and resilience. These results could aid in designing new intervention strategies aimed to diminish stress, burden, or cognitive effects in informal caregivers of cancer patients. 

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Dying at home of cancer: Whose needs are being met? the experience of family carers and healthcare professionals (a multiperspective qualitative study)

Objectives Supporting patients to die in the place of their choosing is an important aspect of end of life care. Our study set out to answer the question: 'How does the home environment influence perceptions of quality of death, and the experience of caring for the dying at home, for family carers and healthcare professionals (HCPs)? Methods A qualitative approach, using multiperspective interviews with bereaved family carers (n=15) and a nominated HCP (n=13) ensured depth of insight gained into supporting a home death. The semistructured interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using Framework. Results We found that the home environment enabled normality, a sense of control and individualised care which family carers often perceived as contributing towards a good death. However, the home environment created challenges for both family carers and HCPs, due to the differing and at times conflicting needs of the dying person and their family carers. Conclusions We have shed light on the complexity of balancing the demands and the satisfaction of caring for someone dying at home. The ability to manage these conflicting needs influenced whether carers perceived the home setting as the best place for the person to have received care in their last days of life. 

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“I’ve learned to just go with the flow”: Family caregivers’ strategies for managing behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia

Background and objectives: Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia are highly prevalent, stressful, and challenging to manage. Caregivers’ approaches for handling these behaviors have implications for both care partners’ well-being. Yet the specific strategies that caregivers use in their daily management of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia are relatively unknown. This study used in-depth focus group data to examine family caregivers’ strategies for managing behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. Design: As part of a larger study (NINR R01NR014200), four focus groups were conducted with a total of 26 family caregivers of older adults with dementia. Caregivers were asked to describe the strategies they use to manage behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. Data from audio-recorded sessions were transcribed, coded to identify relevant concepts, and reduced to determine major categories. Results: Caregivers managed behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia through (1) modifying interactions within the care dyad (e.g., simplifying communication); (2) modifying the care environment (e.g., using written prompts); (3) activity engagement; (4) humor; (5) self-care; and (6) social support. Conclusion: Family caregivers manage behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia using strategies to minimize stress and address the needs of both care partners. Caregivers’ own accounts of these approaches reveal a window into their everyday management of difficult behaviors. The present findings generate key information for routine clinical care and targeted interventions to promote caregiver well-being. 

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Persistent barriers and facilitators to seeking help for a dementia diagnosis: A systematic review of 30 years of the perspectives of carers and people with dementia

Objective: To identify barriers and facilitators to help seeking for a dementia diagnosis from the perspective of carers and people with dementia.Design: A systematic review of the literature was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines (PROSPERO protocol registration CRD42018092524). Nine electronic databases were searched for qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods primary research studies. Two independent reviewers screened titles and abstracts, full texts of eligible studies, and conducted quality appraisal of included articles. A convergent qualitative synthesis approach was used. Results: From 7496 articles, 35 papers representing 32 studies from 1986 to 2017 were included. Studies originated from 13 countries across 4 continents. Barriers and facilitators were reported predominantly by carers. A small number of studies included people with dementia. Barriers included denial, stigma and fear, lack of knowledge, normalization of symptoms, preserving autonomy, lack of perceived need, unaware of changes, lack of informal network support, carer difficulties, and problems accessing help. Facilitators included recognition of symptoms as a problem, prior knowledge and contacts, and support from informal network. Conclusions: Studies from a 30-year period demonstrated that barriers to help seeking persist globally, despite increasing numbers of national dementia policies. Barriers and facilitators rarely existed independently demonstrating the complexity of help seeking for a diagnosis of dementia. Multiple barriers compounded the decision-making process and more than one facilitator was often required to overcome them. Multi-faceted interventions to reduce barriers are needed, one approach would be a focus on the development of dementia friendly communities to reduce stigma and empower people with dementia and carers. 

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The relationship between the positive aspects of caring and the personal growth of caregivers of patients with advanced oncological illness Postraumattic growth and caregiver

Objective Examine the relationship between the positive aspects of care and the personal growth of caregivers of patients with advanced oncological illness. Methods This research was a quantitative study with a transversal design. One hundred (100) informal caregivers filled out self-applied questionnaire on resilience, aspects of care, emotional distress, spirituality, and posttraumatic growth. Descriptive statistics were applied to the data, later correlation, and regression, and comparative analyses were conducted. Results The participants were mainly women (86%) with an average care period of 12 months. The average age was 46.52 years. The highest scores were evidenced in positive aspects of caretaking, spirituality, personal growth, and distress, while the lowest score was seen in questions related to resilience. There was a negative inverse correlation among emotional distress, resilience, spirituality, and posttraumatic growth (p < .05) and a positive correlation among resilience, spirituality, posttraumatic growth, and the positive aspects of caretaking (p < .01). There were significant differences among the items related to emotional distress, resilience, and posttraumatic growth. The linear regression analysis showed that as resilience, spirituality, and the positive aspects of care increased, so did posttraumatic growth. Significant results To promote the perception of benefits among caregivers, resilience and the identification of meaning in the caregiving experience of patients with advanced oncological illness can be considered protective factors favoring adaptation and reducing negative moods.

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Spiritual Dimension at the End of Life: A Phenomenological Study from the Caregiver’s Perspective

The lives of healthy and sick people are structured according to a variety of conceptual matrices. One of these matrixes consists of philosophical, spiritual, and religious convictions, being this especially relevant in the process of the end of life. The objective of the study is to understand the meaning that individuals at the end of life and the relatives of such individuals award spiritual and/or religious beliefs through an examination of caregiver narratives. Multicentric study was developed that used a qualitative design and a phenomenological approach. The study was conducted in the autonomous community of Andalusia, specifically in the provinces of Almeria, Malaga, Seville, Granada, and Huelva. The selection method was purposive sampling. Caregivers who had lost a relative in a period between 2 months and 2 years previously and who were not in a process of pathological grieving were selected for inclusion in the study. The method involved five discussion groups and 41 in-depth interviews, with a total of 87 participants. A change of paradigms is necessary in which, among other elements, the focus of palliative care is centered on the ability to address these spiritual needs, and healthcare professionals are trained to assist in the provision of such care. Another important consideration is the inequality of spiritual supported provided by clergy from various religions. At least in the cultural context of the research, Catholic chaplains were the only institutional figures whose presence was assumed necessary by health organizations. However, the cultural and/or religious diversity in the autonomous community in which the study was conducted is increasingly broad and complex. It appears necessary to incorporate a variety of clergies in health units so that all patients may find support, whether in terms of companionship or celebration. 

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Palliative Caregivers’ Spirituality, Views About Spiritual Care, and Associations With Spiritual Well-Being: A Mixed Methods Study

Background: Spiritual care is integral to palliative care. It engenders a sense of purpose, meaning, and connectedness to the sacred or important and may support caregiver well-being. Aim: To examine caregivers’ spirituality, religiosity, spiritual well-being, and views on spiritual/religious support. Design: A mixed-methods study across 4 Australian sites, recruiting caregivers of patients with a life expectancy of under 12 months. The anonymous semistructured questionnaire used included research team developed and adapted questions examining religion/spirituality’s role and support and views on hospitals supporting spiritual/religious requirements. It additionally included the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being Scale (FACIT-Sp-12). Results: One hundred nine caregivers participated (47.4% responded). Median spiritual well-being was 30.5 on FACIT-Sp-12. Religious affiliation was associated with higher Faith subscores (P <.001). Spirituality was very important to 24.5%, religiosity to 28.2%, and unimportant to 31.4% and 35.9%, respectively. Caregivers prayed (P =.005) and meditated (P =.006) more following patients’ diagnoses, gaining comfort, guidance, and strength. Caregivers whose spiritual/religious needs were met to moderate/full extent by external religious/faith communities (23.8%) reported greater spiritual well-being (P <.001). Hospitals supported moderate/full caregiver spiritual needs in 19.3%. Pastoral care visits comforted 84.4% of those who received them (n = 32) but elicited discomfort in 15.6%. Caregivers also emphasized the importance of humane staff and organizational tone in supporting spiritual care. Conclusions: Hospital-based spiritual care providers should seek to identify those who seek pastoral or religiously orientated care. Genuine hospitality of showing concern for the other ensures the varied yet inevitably humanist requirements of the caregiver community are met. 

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Coping Assessment Tools in the Family Caregivers of Patients with Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review

Background: Breast cancer is a problem that affects not only the individual's health and quality of life, but also the functionality of the family system. Caregivers experience stress when their patients cannot cope with the symptoms of their disease. The stress experienced by caregivers gives rise to psychological and physical symptoms in them. This study seeks to present a complete set of tools for assessing coping in the spouses or caregivers of women with breast cancer and evaluate the various instruments developed within these lines of inquiry. Methods: A search was carried out in PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Medline, ProQuest, Scopus and Google Scholar and also in the reference lists of the key articles retrieved for any coping assessment instrument targeting family caregivers' needs that had acceptable psychometric properties and was published until September 2019. The instruments used to assess coping in the spouses and caregivers of women with breast cancer were thus identified and their properties were described. Results: Overall, 88 adaptation assessment tools related to family caregivers of patients with breast cancer were identified in 28 related articles. The tools examine different dimensions of adaptation such as satisfaction, stress, burden and needs of spouses and caregivers of patients with breast cancer. Conclusion: Assessing family caregivers' coping is essential for providing them with the appropriate sources of support. Although several instruments have been used to assess coping in the spouses and caregivers of women with breast cancer, the properties of these instruments have to be examined before they can be more widely implemented.

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Migrant caregivers of older people in spain: Qualitative insights into relatives’ experiences

The traditional structure of families is undergoing profound changes, causing the so-called “crisis of family care.” This study describes the experiences and emotions of the family member who hires migrant caregivers for the older people. This is a qualitative study using a phenomenological design with nine women participants between 53 and 72 years of age. The data collection was carried out through two in-depth interviews and a focus group. There were three major topics: (1) the women in this study recognized that they were not able to take care of the family member directly, due to their responsibilities as female workers and mothers. The fact that migrant caregivers were chosen was conjunctural, where economic reasons were more important. (2) The family members supported the caregivers by teaching them about care and also resolving conflicts produced by culture shock. (3) Trusting the caregiver was a gradual process; the family members felt a complex set of emotions (insecurity, gratitude for the help, moral obligation). In conclusion, they wanted a caregiver who would provide the elder dependent with the love and compassion that they, as daughters, would provide if they had time to do so. The family became the caregiver’s managers and assumed the responsibility of training and helping them. 

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"It's just part of life": African American daughters caring for parents with dementia

The purpose of this study was to gain a greater understanding of the experiences of African American daughters caring for parents with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia (ADRD). In this secondary analysis of a subset (N = 12) of the sample from a previous study, daughters averaged 54 years of age and were caring for parents with moderate to severe ADRD. Results revealed two main categories: Caregiver Concerns and Caregiver Coping. Subcategories included challenging behaviors, social aspects, integration, and family culture and values. Findings offer insight into cultural factors relevant to practice along with research recommendations.

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The care capacity goals of family carers and the role of technology in achieving them

Background: As global populations age, governments have come to rely heavily on family carers (FCs) to care for older adults and reduce the demands made of formal health and social care systems. Under increasing pressure, sustainability of FC's unpaid care work has become a pressing issue. Using qualitative data, this paper explores FCs' care-related work goals, and describes how those goals do, or do not, link to technology. Methods: We employed a sequential mixed-method approach using focus groups followed by an online survey about FCs' goals. We held 10 focus groups and recruited 25 FCs through a mix of convenience and snowball sampling strategies. Carer organizations helped us recruit 599 FCs from across Canada to complete an online survey. Participants' responses to an open-ended question in the survey were included in our qualitative analysis. An inductive approach was employed using qualitative thematic content analysis methods to examine and interpret the resulting data. We used NVIVO 12 software for data analysis. Results: We identified two care quality improvement goals of FCs providing care to older adults: enhancing and safeguarding their caregiving capacity. To enhance their capacity to care, FCs sought: 1) foreknowledge about their care recipients' changing condition, and 2) improved navigation of existing support systems. To safeguard their own wellbeing, and so to preserve their capacity to care, FCs sought to develop coping strategies as well as opportunities for mentorship and socialization. Conclusions: We conclude that a paradigm shift is needed to reframe caregiving from a current deficit frame focused on failures and limitations (burden of care) towards a more empowering frame (sustainability and resiliency). The fact that FCs are seeking strategies to enhance and safeguard their capacities to provide care means they are approaching their unpaid care work from the perspective of resilience. Their goals and technology suggestions imply a shift from understanding care as a source of 'burden' towards a more 'resilient' and 'sustainable' model of caregiving. Our case study findings show that technology can assist in fostering this resiliency but that it may well be limited to the role of an intermediary that connects FCs to information, supports and peers. 

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Stress in the volunteer caregiver: Human-centric technology can support both caregivers and people with dementia

Background and Objectives: Currently, one in eight people over the age of 65 have dementia, and approximately 75% of caregiving is provided by volunteer family members with little or no training. This study aimed to quantify points of stress for home-based caregivers with the aim of reducing stress for them while concurrently supporting quality of life for the people with dementia whom they cared for. The overreaching purpose was to increase our knowledge of the caregiver stress burden and explore potential technologies and behaviors to ease it. Materials and Methods: We interviewed home-based and professional caregivers regarding causes of emotional and physical stress and methods they used to alleviate it. Results: This study found that: (1) dementia symptoms created a burden of stress for home-based caregivers primarily in the areas of medication management, memory loss, hygiene care and disruptive behaviors; (2) home-based caregivers identified “finding available resources” as the most important source of stress relief; (3) a minority of home-based caregivers possessed a resource network and knew how to find resources but all professional caregivers were able to find resources and support; (4) home-based caregivers combated dementia symptoms with positive distractions and human touch with little use of technology, since it was mostly unknown; and 5) facility-based caregivers were knowledgeable and readily used dementia-based technology. Conclusion: Since professional caregivers have access to technological resources that our home-based caregivers lack, one might logically conclude that we should transfer technology used by professionals to those with dementia. However, great caution needs to be in place before we take that step. Successful technology should address the human experience as home-based caregivers try to use new technologies. Human-centric technology addresses the needs of both people with dementia and the home-based caregiver. 

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Effectiveness of a psychoeducational intervention for caregivers of People With Dementia with regard to burden, anxiety and depression: A systematic review

Aim To assess the effectiveness of psychoeducational interventions with respect to burden, anxiety and depression in family caregivers of People With Dementia living at home. Background In dementia, the family assumes the role of main caregiver, maintaining the patient in a good state of health. Nevertheless, burden, anxiety and depression may have negative repercussions in caregivers. Therefore, professional supports through psychoeducational programmes are recommended as interventions for improving caregivers' health. Design A quantitative systematic review. Data Sources Electronic searches were performed in CINAHL/AMED/CENTRAL/Web of Science/LILACS/PUBMED from January 2005–August 2018. Review Methods The review was conducted using the JADAD scale to assess bias risk and the quality of the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and the CONSORT instrument to assess study quality report. The extracted data were reviewed by independent reviewer pairs. The review was reported using PRISMA. Results A total of 18 RCTs met inclusion criteria. Seven were classified as Technology‐based Interventions and 11 as Group‐based Interventions. Conclusion Psychoeducational interventions for caregivers allow them to increase their knowledge of the illness, develop problem‐solving skills and facilitate social support. Technology‐based Interventions significantly affect burden while Group‐based Interventions affect anxiety, depression, insomnia and burden and quality of life and self‐efficacy. Impact Research findings can be used to classify caregivers in future interventions according to illness stage to obtain more precise results.

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Exploring Experiences of Survivors and Caregivers Regarding Lung Cancer Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survivorship

Background: Advances in screening and treatment approaches alongside changing population demographics have the potential to influence the experience of living with lung cancer. There is potential for improved outcomes and quality of life for those diagnosed with the disease. Objectives: This exploratory study was undertaken to gain insight regarding the current experiences of individuals diagnosed with lung cancer and their family caregivers given the evolving changes in lung cancer screening and treatment. Method: A qualitative descriptive design was utilized and in-depth interviews conducted with 8 survivor and 4 family caregivers. Interviews were subjected to a conventional content analysis. Results: Participants identified challenges related to being diagnosed in a timely manner, being told the diagnosis with compassion, coping with multiple symptoms during treatment, and regaining a new normal following treatment. Dealing with late effects of treatment (ie, fatigue, shortness of breath, neuropathy) was frustrating when individuals were not aware the effects would emerge or had not had relevant self-management instructions. Conclusions: Lung cancer survivors constitute an emerging cadre of survivors. Attention is needed to their preparation for, and coping with, the survivorship transition.

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Providing care to a family member affected by head and neck cancer: a phenomenological study

Background: Cancer is recognized as a family illness as many head and neck cancer (HNC) patients after treatment require assistance from a family caregiver throughout the rest of their life. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experience of primary family caregivers of HNC patients dealing with laryngectomy regarding their complex supportive role. Methods: Phenomenological study based on individual interviews of twelve primary caregivers of HNC patients, recruited by purposeful sampling. Interview contents were analyzed in depth, in accordance with Colaizzi’s descriptive analysis framework, to explore and identify significant themes and subthemes. Results: Analysis evidenced three main topics and subthemes embracing various aspects of the caregiver’s lived experiences: (1) experiencing disease and the pathway of care, (2) handling changes to everyday life, and (3) support received by others. Conclusion: Given the essential role the caregiver has in the patient’s post-treatment recovery, future planning of HNC patient care must consider the caregivers’ needs. In order to guarantee an appropriate and effective health professional care, it is important to consider caregivers’ issues and needs as part of HNC patient care planning from the diagnosis to the follow-up. 

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Psychosocial Adjustment of In-Home Caregivers of Family Members with Dementia and Parkinson's Disease: A Comparative Study

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and dementia are highly prevalent worldwide. People who suffer from these disorders often receive in-home care and assistance from family members, who must dedicate a considerable amount of time to the care recipient. The study of family caregivers' psychosocial adjustment to the degenerative processes of both conditions is of interest due to the implications for the quality of life of both the care receiver and the caregiver, as well as other family members. This study compares the psychosocial adjustment of family members who care for people with dementia and Parkinson's disease and identifies the main sociodemographic variables that affect the processes of adjustment to both conditions. To this end, the Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness Scale (PAIS-SR) and a sociodemographic form were administered to 157 family caregivers in Navarre, Spain. The results show that adjustment to the disease in family caregivers of people with Parkinson's disease and dementia is, in general, satisfactory and related to variables such as place of residence, income, and employment status. The illness itself (Parkinson's or dementia), however, is found to be the most influential variable in the level of psychosocial adjustment.

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Optimism and the Psychological Recovery Process Among Informal Caregivers of Inpatients Suffering From Depressive Disorder: A Descriptive Exploratory Study

Background: Informal caregivers of people suffering from depressive disorders go through a psychological recovery process. This process is dynamic, deep, catalyzed by hope and optimism and characterized by stages from which specific needs ensue. This study aimed to describe the stages of the psychological recovery process and the level of optimism among informal caregivers of psychiatric inpatients suffering from depressive disorders in order to provide adapted nursing support and psychoeducation and facilitate a patient's own recovery. Methods: A descriptive exploratory study was conducted using a convenience sample of 29 informal caregivers. Participants filled out a sociodemographic questionnaire, a specially adapted Stages of Recovery Instrument (STORI) and the Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R). Results: A mean optimism score of 16.41 showed that informal caregivers are close to the level of the general European population. The sample included all the stages of the recovery process, with 34.5% of participants being in the growth stage. Informal caregivers' stages in the recovery process were negatively associated with the patient's length of illness (Rho = -.683, p = .000) and positively associated with the caregivers' level of optimism (Rho = .564, p = .001). Conclusion: During the inpatient treatment of a close relative suffering from a depressive disorder, informal caregivers go through an individual psychological recovery process involving several stages. In addition to caring for inpatients, nurses are encouraged to meet and support caregivers as soon as possible in their individual recovery process. Furthermore, the development of a suitably adapted clinical tool would facilitate the assessment of the informal caregiver's stage in the recovery process within care units. A multidisciplinary approach is needed in this domain.

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Does the experience of caring for a severely disabled relative impact advance care planning? A qualitative study of caregivers of disabled patients

The aging of the Taiwanese population has become a major issue. Previous research has focused on the burden and stress faced by caregivers, but has not explored how the experience of these caregivers influences decisions of advance care planning (ACP). Semi-structured and in-depth interviews were conducted. Qualitative content analysis was used to identify important themes. Five themes and fourteen sub-themes were identified: (1) Past experiences: patient wishes, professional recommendations, and expectation about disease progress; (2) Impact of care on family members: positive affirmation, open-minded life, social isolation and health effects, and financial and life planning effects; (3) Attitude toward life: not forcing to stay, and not becoming a burden, (4) Expected proxy dilemmas: torment between doing or not, seeing the extension of suffering and toil, and remorse and self-blame; (5) Expectation of end of life (EOL) care: caregiver’s experience and EOL care decisions, and practicality of EOL decision making. After making multiple medical decisions for their disabled relatives, caregivers are able to calmly face their own medical decisions, and “not becoming a burden” is their primary consideration. It’s suggested that implementation of shared decision-making on medical care for patients with chronic disability will not only improve the quality of their medical care but also reduce the development of remorse and guilty feelings of caregivers after making medical decisions. 

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Sources of Management Burden and Solutions among Primary Family Caregivers of the Alzheimer's Disease Patient: a Qualitative Study

Background: Alzheimer's disease is commonly seen in older people in China,in particular,its prevalence reaches 5.14% in those aged over 65 years,bringing huge management burden to primary family caregivers of the patient. It has received extensive attention worldwide. Objective: To investigate the sources of management burden and major solutions among primary family caregivers of the Alzheimer's disease patient, providing a basis for further development of the family management system for such patients. Methods: By use of purposive sampling,the primary family caregivers of 12 re-examined outpatients with Alzheimer's disease were recruited from Hangzhou Seventh People's Hospital and Zhejiang Provincial Hospital of TCM from September to December 2018 were recruited,and were interviewed intensively using a phenomenological approach. Colaizzi's seven-step analysis was performed to analyze the interview results. Results: Five subthemes of management burden sources of the primary family caregivers for the Alzheimer's disease patient were summarized as follows: lack of sufficient care knowledge to cope with the patient's complex conditions, social burden, emotional burden, physical burden and unappreciated care. For the solutions to the management burden, two themes of caregiver self-management strategies and patient family management strategies with six subthemes such as rational acceptance and active accommodation and so on arose. Conclusion: Medical professionals and others need to provide effective emotional support and adequate care knowledge for primary family caregivers for the Alzheimer's disease patient to help them form effective family management strategies. At the same time, the diversified long-term care system should be improved to reduce the burden of care.

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Quality of life, psychological well-being, and resilience in caregivers of people with acquired brain injury (ABI)

Aim: The study aims to examine whether characteristics of patients with Acquired Brain Injury–ABI (time elapsed since injury, level of dependence and behavioral problems) and resilience factors of the caregiver predicted caregiver well-being (quality of life, anxiety,depression and positive aspects of caregiving). Methods: 78 voluntary family caregivers (75.6% female) of patients with ABI completed the Barthel Index, Head Behavior Injury Scale, Questionnaire of Resilience in Caregivers of Acquired Brain Injury, WHOQOL-BREF, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale,and Positive Aspects of Caregiving Scale. Correlation analysis and stepwise regression were carried out. Results: Time elapsed since injury showed a negative relationship with positive aspects of caregiving. On the other hand, care-recipients’ behavioral problems showed significant associations with all caregiver variables: negatively with quality of life and positive aspects of caregiving, and positively with anxiety and depression. Regarding resilience, we found a positive relationship with quality of life and positive aspects of caregiving, and a negative association with anxiety and depression, showing better predictive power with depression. Conclusions: We confirm the relevance of developing multidisciplinary caregiver intervention programmes focused on positive ways to handle care-recipients’ behavioral problems and developing positive coping skills, such as positive reinterpretation, acceptance and seeking social support, that may optimize caregiver resilience. 

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The Moral Resilience of Young People Who Care

This paper draws on findings from a qualitative study of the social wellbeing of young people caring for a close family member. The research makes a novel contribution to the international literature by examining the moral resilience of young adult carers. Focus groups or individual, semi-structured interviews were undertaken with fifteen young people in South-East England during 2018?2019. The paper explores whether young people with a seriously ill or disabled family member define and conduct themselves in moral terms and how they respond to the moral challenges of a caring life. It was found that the participants saw moral value in their caring role and their actions reflected a desire to provide compassionate care. Previous research into young adult carers had indicated that the caring role stimulated their political consciousness, but this study suggests that the role also strengthens their moral consciousness. However, designating girls as carers in early life shifts the moral responsibility to females and compounds gender inequity in caring. Hence, there is a need to address social and gender inequalities in care. In addition, healthcare professionals should recognise when statutory input is necessary to facilitate young people's broader lifeplans.

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Primary and secondary control strategies and psychological well-being among familial caregivers of older adults with dementia

Caring for an older family member with dementia can be extremely challenging, often resulting in diminished psychological well-being. A wide range of both internally and externally directed behavioral strategies may serve to protect well-being among caregivers. Specifically, primary control strategies involve direct attempts to change one's current situation, while secondary control strategies are attempts to inwardly adjust cognitions to align with the current situation. This study examined the use of multiple primary and secondary control strategies among familial caregivers (n = 110), as well as their associations with several indices of psychological well-being. Results showed that the most common primary and secondary control strategies, namely task persistence and positive reappraisal, were used with approximately equal frequency. Furthermore, the specific strategy of positive reappraisal seemed to bolster psychological well-being among caregivers. Findings indicate that primary control strategies might be less effective than secondary control strategies within the context of caregiving for a person with dementia.

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Multiple family group intervention for spinal cord injury: Quantitative and qualitative comparison with standard education

Objective: To evaluate a Multiple Family Group (MFG) education and support intervention for individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and their primary caregivers. We hypothesized that MFG would be superior to an Education Control Group (EC) for improving patient activation and coping skills, social supports, and relationship functioning. Setting: A large free-standing inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation facility. Participants: Community dwelling adults with SCI and their caregivers living in the Northwest United States. Interventions/Methods: Nineteen individuals with SCI who had been discharged from inpatient rehabilitation within the previous three years, and their primary caregivers participated. Patient/caregiver pairs were randomized to the MFG intervention or an active SCI EC condition in a two-armed clinical trial design. Participants were assessed pre- and post-program and 6 months post-program. Qualitative and quantitative outcomes were evaluated. Focus groups were conducted with each group to determine benefits and recommendations for improvement. Results: Relative to EC, MFG reduced passive coping and increased subjective and overall social support in participants with SCI. Relative to EC, MFG also reduced passive coping in caregivers. Patient activation relative to EC was non-significantly increased. Content analysis identified four themes describing participants' experiences: enhanced sense of belonging, increased opportunities for engagement, knowledge, and team work; results that were generally congruent with quantitative measures of improved social support. Conclusions: Relative to EC, MFG assisted participants with SCI and their caregivers to manage the difficult, long-term, life adjustments by improving coping and strengthening social support.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02161913. Registered 10 June 2014.

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"Like He's a Kid": Relationality, Family Caregiving, and Alzheimer's Disease

Spousal caregivers draw upon understandings of shifting relationality to maintain a familial understanding of their spouse with Alzheimer's disease. Working through what it means to think of an adult with Alzheimer's disease "like a child," I trace how spouses negotiate their shifting relationships across the course of Alzheimer's. While regarding adults as childlike can be perceived as dehumanizing infantilization, for families living with Alzheimer's disease, conceiving of one's spouse as like a child can actually enable processes of continued care, sustained recognition, and love to uphold personhood in the midst of often radical change.

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Informal carers' experiences of caring for a person with heart failure in a community setting

Heart failure (HF) is a life-limiting condition with a poor prognosis and unpredictable disease trajectory. HF brings physical and emotional challenges for patients and their carers. Predominantly the informal carer population consists of older females, however, caring is evolving as longevity increases and complex conditions are becoming more commonplace. Consequently, more men and younger people are contributing to daily care. The aim of this study was to explore the positive as well as negative dimensions of caring in HF across a range of carer characteristics. Fourteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with informal carers of people with HF in the UK (median age 71; female 10). Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed with the assistance of NVivo10 using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Findings from the study demonstrated that most participants considered caring as integral to their relationships. Dimensions facilitating positivity in caring included compassion, thoughtfulness and understanding. An ability to cope was influenced by a range of attributes including quality of relationships in the carer/patient dyad and with formal social care providers who offered access to tailored and timely information and support. The unpredictable HF disease trajectory influenced the carer experience and enhanced the challenges encountered. The information needs of carers were not always adequately met and younger adult carers expressed particular difficulties with appropriate information and support. Expectations of our informal carer population are increasing and evolving. Health and social care policy requires innovative proposals for the funding and delivery of health and social care that has the contribution made by informal carers at its core.

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The Impact of Resilience Factors and Anxiety During Hospital Admission on Longitudinal Anxiety Among Dyads of Neurocritical Care Patients Without Major Cognitive Impairment and Their Family Caregivers

Background/objective: Anxiety is common in patients experiencing neurocritical illness and their family caregivers. Resilience factors like mindfulness and coping skills may be protective against symptoms of emotional distress, including anxiety. Less is known about the interplay of anxiety symptoms and resilience factors between patients and caregivers. The purpose of this study is to examine the trajectory of anxiety symptoms among dyads of neurocritical care patients without major cognitive impairment and their family caregivers and to elucidate the relationship between resiliency (e.g., mindfulness and coping) and anxiety in these dyads.; Methods: Prospective, longitudinal study of adults admitted to the neurological intensive care unit (Neuro-ICU) and their caregivers. Dyads of patients (N = 102) and family caregivers (N = 103) completed self-report measures of mindfulness (Cognitive Affective Mindfulness Scale-Revised) and coping (Measure of Current Status-Part A) during Neuro-ICU hospitalization and anxiety symptoms (anxiety subscale of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) during hospitalization and at 3- and 6-month follow-up. We used actor-partner interdependence modeling to predict the effect of one's own baseline characteristics on one's own and one's partner's future anxiety symptoms.; Results: Rates of clinically significant anxiety symptoms were 40% for patients and 42% for caregivers at baseline. Of these, 20% of patients and 23% of caregivers showed moderate and severe symptoms. Approximately, one-third of patients and caregivers reported clinically significant anxiety symptoms at 3- and 6-month follow-ups, with more than 20% endorsing moderate or severe symptoms. Patients' own baseline mindfulness, coping, and anxiety symptoms were associated with lower anxiety symptoms at all time points (ps < 0.001)-this was also true for caregivers. For both patients and caregivers, one's own baseline mindfulness predicted their partner's anxiety symptoms 3 months later (p = 0.008), but not at 6-month follow-up.; Conclusions: Anxiety symptoms in Neuro-ICU patient-caregiver dyads are high through 6 months following admission. Mindfulness is interdependent and protective against anxiety in dyads at 3-month but not 6-month follow-up. Early, dyad-based interventions may prevent the development of chronic anxiety in patients without major cognitive impairment and caregivers.

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Facilitating pathways to care: A qualitative study of the self-reported needs and coping skills of caregivers of young adults diagnosed with early psychosis

Introduction: Caregivers play a critical role in detecting and managing psychotic symptoms before young people diagnosed with early psychosis present to care. Little is known about the specific needs of caregivers in navigating pathways to care for their loved one.; Aim: The purpose of this study is to understand the needs of family caregivers and their ways of coping on the pathway to care for early psychosis.; Method: Twenty family caregivers of individuals diagnosed with early psychosis participated in three focus groups that explored caregiving needs provision for early psychosis. Thematic analysis was conducted.; Results: We identified four major themes: education and skill training; raising wider awareness, such as police offers and teachers; adopting technologies for coping; effective coping strategies.; Implications For Practice: These findings provide important insights into caregiving needs and the ways for nurses to address those needs and better equip carers to recognize early symptoms, monitor behavior changes, and navigate care to support people with first episode psychosis. Nursing researchers can use the information to develop on-demand and tailored family-centered intervention in addressing caregivers' needs in education, increasing awareness of early psychosis, and fostering effective coping strategies.

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The Diagnosis of Hereditary Angioedema: Family Caregivers' Experiences

The aim of this study was to understand the experiences of family caregivers in the process of diagnosing hereditary angioedema. An interpretive and qualitative research methodology based on Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics was carried out. Data collection took place between May 2015 and August 2016 and included a focus group and in-depth interviews with 16 family caregivers. Two themes define the experiences of family caregivers: "Family life focuses on identifying the problem" and "Discovering and coping with a complex diagnosis." The process of diagnosis generates fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and incomprehension. Family caregivers are the main support for patients diagnosed with hereditary angioedema. As they share in the patients' suffering, they need a diagnosis to be established to be able to cope with the disease and offer support. Family health nurses can contribute to improving the coping process in this phase of the disease. 

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Coping with cognitive impairment and family caregiving: Introduction to the special section

Consistent with the long history within Psychology and Aging of publishing high impact articles on family caregiving, the current Special Section includes 5 articles that provide important advances, in knowledge and in methodological sophistication, to the study of cognitive difficulty, impairment and family caregiving. One study used daily diary data over 14 days to conduct microlongitudinal analyses of the prospective impact of everyday memory failures on negative affect and marital interactions in older couples. Also relying on dyadic data, 2 other articles addressed the impact of caregiving on family members, including a study of the effects of transitioning to family caregiving over time on well-being in older husbands and wives, and a comparison of primary and secondary caregivers. Together, these articles represent important methodological advances in terms of the use of longitudinal data to study the effects of transition to cognitive impairment and spousal caregiving within the couple, and the inclusion of multiple caregivers to illustrate the impacts of caregiving in the broader family. In addition, two articles examined issues in clinical intervention for caregivers. Both articles offer new insights about the effectiveness of caregiver interventions, with the former focusing on the relative merits of offering intervention components in a flexible way over the manualized approach, and the latter a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis to tease out the relative utility of different intervention characteristics and approaches, with a new lens to look at psychoeducational programs. The implications of these articles for family caregiving and further research advances are discussed. 

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The caring experience in multiple sclerosis: Caregiving tasks, coping strategies and psychological well‐being

Informal caregivers play a crucial role in supporting persons with multiple sclerosis (MS), a neurodegenerative disease resulting in progressive worsening of physical and cognitive functioning. While research extensively showed that caregiving workload can be perceived as burdensome, little attention was devoted to the relation connecting workload and caregivers' well‐being. Building on previous literature on stress and coping, the aim of this study was to test the mediational role of coping between caregivers' tasks and well‐being. A group of 680 caregivers of persons with MS (M age = 46.45; 51.2% women) was recruited in eight Italian MS centres between June 2015 and December 2016. Caregiving tasks related to basic activities of daily living (ADL), instrumental ADL, psycho‐emotional and social‐practical care were assessed through the Caregiving Tasks in MS Scale; coping strategies (avoidance, criticism and coercion, practical assistance, supportive engagement, positive reframing) were investigated through the Coping with MS Caregiving Inventory; well‐being was evaluated through the Psychological Well‐Being Scales. Analyses substantiated a multi‐mediation model including tasks in basic ADL, psycho‐emotional and social‐practical care, and the coping strategies avoidance, criticism/coercion, supportive engagement, positive reframing. Basic ADL care was negatively related to psychological well‐being through lower use of supportive engagement and positive reframing. By contrast, psycho‐emotional and social‐practical tasks were both negatively and positively related to psychological well‐being, through higher use of avoidance and criticism/coercion as well as supportive engagement and positive reframing. Findings suggest that caregiving tasks are not solely detrimental to well‐being, but they may also provide a positive contribution through the adaptive coping strategies supportive engagement and positive reframing. Findings also highlighted task‐specific areas that could be targeted in intervention in order to effectively lighten burden and promote well‐being among caregivers. 

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Caregivers' resilience in mild and moderate Alzheimer's disease

Objectives: To investigate the resilience of caregivers of people with mild and moderate Alzheimer's disease (PwAD) and the related sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. Methods: Cross-sectional assessment of dyads of PwAD and family caregivers (N = 106). Caregivers were assessed for resilience, depression, anxiety, hopelessness, quality of life, burden and cognition. PwAD were assessed for severity of dementia, cognition, neuropsychiatric symptoms, functionality, quality of life and awareness of disease. Results: Most of the caregivers (51.1%) reported emotional problems (symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression). In both mild (p < 0.05) and moderate (p < 0.05) PwAD groups, resilience was inversely related to self-reported emotional problems. There was not a significant difference between caregivers of mild and moderate PwAD resilience (p < 0.05). Upon analyzing the factors related to resilience, we found some differences between the groups of caregivers of mild and moderate PwAD. Neuropsychiatric symptoms of PwAD (p < 0.05) and caregiver's depressive symptoms (p < 0.05) were related to resilience of caregivers of mild PwAD. In the moderate group, caregivers' higher levels of quality of life (p < 0.05) and co-residing with PwAD (p < 0.05) were related to resilience. Conclusion: Caregivers' resilience is driven by different factors according to disease severity. The findings suggest that resilience allows caregivers to manage and respond positively to stressful demands of care.

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Baseline resilience and depression symptoms predict trajectory of depression in dyads of patients and their informal caregivers following discharge from the Neuro-ICU

Objective: To explore the impact of resiliency factors on the longitudinal trajectory of depressive symptoms in patients admitted to the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit (Neuro-ICU) and their family caregivers.; Materials and Methods: Patients (N = 102) and family caregivers (N = 103) completed self-report assessments of depressive symptoms (depression subscale of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; HADS-D) and resiliency factors (i.e., mindfulness and coping) during Neuro-ICU hospitalization. The HADS-D was administered again at 3 and 6 months after discharge. The Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) was used to assess patient-caregiver interdependence.; Results: Baseline rates of clinically significant depressive symptoms were high among patients (23%) and caregivers (19%), and remained elevated through 6-months. Higher depressive symptoms predicted higher levels of symptoms at the subsequent timepoint (ps < 0.05). Higher baseline mindfulness and coping were associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms at all timepoints (ps < 0.001). APIM analysis showed that one's own higher baseline mindfulness was associated with concurrent levels of depressive symptoms in a partner (p < 0.05).; Conclusions: Depressive symptoms in Neuro-ICU patient-caregiver dyads are high through 6 months. Mindfulness is protective against depressive symptoms and interdependent between patients and caregivers. Early, dyadic, mindfulness-based interventions may prevent the development of chronic depression in both patients and caregivers.

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Telephone-based behavioral activation intervention for dementia family caregivers: Outcomes and mediation effect of a randomized controlled trial

Objectives: The study examined the effects of a telephone-administered psycho-education with behavioral activation intervention (TBA) for family caregivers of person's with Alzheimer's dementia to reduce levels of depressive symptoms and burden and to enhance relationship satisfaction with the care-recipient METHODS: A double-blinded randomized trial compared TBA with telephone-based psycho-education with general monitoring (TGM). Ninety-six dementia caregivers were randomized. Both conditions received four weekly psycho-education sessions led by a social worker. TBA participants then received eight bi-weekly behavioral activation practice sessions delivered by paraprofessionals. TGM participants received eight bi-weekly monitoring sessions by paraprofessionals.; Results: As compared to TGM, TBA participants reported significantly larger reductions in depressive symptoms and burden and larger improvement in relationship satisfaction. Self-efficacy for controlling upsetting thoughts was found to have a partial meditation effect between TBA and the reduction of depressive symptoms. Qualitative feedback suggested that TBA participants expressed unique gains in awareness and developing new ways of reappraising the caregiving situation.; Conclusion: TBA was an effective intervention to reduce depressive symptoms and burden as well as to enhance relationship satisfaction in dementia caregivers.; Practice Implications: The use of telephone and trained paraprofessionals can enhance the accessibility and sustainability of behavioral activation intervention for dementia family caregivers.

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Purpose in Life Among Family Care Partners Managing Dementia: Links to Caregiving Gains

Background and Objectives Purpose in life is associated with better health and has been found to minimize caregiving stress. Greater purpose may also promote caregiving gains (i.e. rewards or uplifts from providing care), yet the implications of purpose for positive aspects of the care role are largely unknown. The present study determined how perceptions of purpose in life among persons with dementia (PWDs) and their family caregivers are linked to caregiving gains. Research Design and Methods This cross-sectional study examined 153 co-resident family caregivers drawn from the 2011 National Health and Aging Trends Study and National Study of Caregiving. Linear regressions were estimated to evaluate associations between caregivers' and PWDs' reports of their own purpose in life and caregivers' perceived caregiving gains, along with whether these associations vary by caregiver gender. Models controlled for caregivers' sociodemographic characteristics, relationship to the PWD, care tasks, role overload, negative caregiving relationship quality, and both care partners' chronic health conditions. Results Caregivers' higher purpose in life was significantly linked to greater caregiving gains. Beyond this association, PWDs' higher purpose in life was significantly associated with greater caregiving gains for women but not for men. Discussion and Implications Purpose in life is a psychological resource that contributes to positive caregiving outcomes. Interventions to improve caregiver well-being could benefit from strategies that strengthen and maintain feelings of purpose among caregivers and PWDs. 

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Post-Traumatic Growth among Family Caregivers of Cancer Patients and Its Association with Social Support and Hope

Background: Cancer not only is a traumatic experience for the patients, but also can affect the family caregivers. Post-traumatic growth (PTG) refers to positive psychological changes experienced by people as a result of a struggle in dealing with traumatic events in life. Both the patients and their caregivers may experience PTG. The present study aimed to assess the extent of PTG in caregivers of patients with gastrointestinal cancer and to examine the relationship between the PTG dimensions and both the social support (SS) and hope.; Methods: The present descriptive correlational study was conducted during May-August 2018 in Shiraz, Iran. The target population included 112 caregivers who visited hospitals affiliated to Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Data collection instruments included a demographic information form, post-traumatic growth inventory, social support appraisals scale, and Miller hope scale. The data were analyzed using the SPSS software (version 23.0). P<0.05 was considered statistically significant.; Results: The mean score for PTG, hope, and SS was 75.41±16.49, 190.95±24.20, and 89.10±12.84, respectively. A significant positive correlation was found between PTG and both SS (P<0.001, r=0.59) and hope (P<0.001, r=0.70). The results of the multiple regression analysis showed a significant relationship between PTG, SS, and hope (P<0.001). Hope had a higher effect on PTG (ẞ=0.62) compared to SS (ẞ=0.27).; Conclusion: The results showed a good level of PTG among the caregivers and the experience of stressful situations positively affected their psychological condition. The positive change was associated with the perceived SS and hope.

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Patient-family communication mediates the relation between family hardiness and caregiver positivity: Exploring the moderating role of caregiver depression and anxiety

Purpose: Despite the theoretical and empirical significance of positive aspects of caregiving in caregiver well-being, relatively little is known regarding family-related predictors of caregiver positivity. This study examines whether patient-family communication (p-f communication) mediates the relation between family hardiness and caregiver positivity and whether the mediating effects of p-f communication are moderated by the levels of caregiver depression and anxiety. Design/Sample: This study used secondary data obtained from a large-scale cross-sectional national survey conducted in South Korea. Participants were 544 spousal cancer patient-caregiver dyads recruited from the National Cancer Center and nine government-designated regional cancer centers in South Korea. Methods: To test the hypotheses, a simple mediation model and two moderated mediation tests were conducted using the PROCESS macro for SPSS. Findings: Higher family hardiness was related to higher p-f positive communication and higher caregiver positivity. The effects of family hardiness were partially mediated by p-f communication, controlling for caregiver sex, education, health status, depression and anxiety, time spent caregiving, and patient depression and anxiety, cancer stage, and time since diagnosis. The mediating effects of p-f communication were not significantly moderated by caregiver depression and anxiety. Conclusions/Implications: Health care professionals could consider p-f communication as a reasonable target of intervention to increase caregiver positivity, even for caregivers with heightened depression and anxiety.

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Overcoming a Bad Day: a Qualitative Look into the Dementia Caregiving Experiences of Mexican-Origin Women in East Los Angeles

The number of Latinos with Alzheimer's disease (AD) is projected to more than double by 2030. Yet, the current literature is lagging on Alzheimer's caregiving among Latinos. This study explores how Mexican origin women experience dementia caregiving, and the coping strategies they use to manage their caregiving situations. Nine women were identified as caregivers of a family member with AD or dementia from a larger study on caregiving. Interviews with them were collected and subsequently analyzed using a modified grounded theory approach to reduce the data to identify thematic content. All but one participant described caregiving as "tiring," "wearing," or "hard." They reported suffering from stress, insomnia, nervousness, migraines, and/or depression because of their caregiving experiences. Participants engaged in various coping strategies to help combat the perceived negative consequences of their caregiving experiences. The most commonly reported strategies were various forms of distraction, and meditation or prayer. The Mexican origin women in this study experience faced two types of interpersonal challenges related to dementia caregiving: changes in the care receiver's personality and behaviors, and physical care needs. They engaged in various coping to strategies to address the difficulties of their situation. This study provides formative research for identifying research questions and topics of examination in the future. 

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Nomenclature Used by Family Caregivers to Describe and Characterize Neuropsychiatric Symptoms

Background and Objectives: Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) are a core feature of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias that are characterized by a fluctuating course. NPS are challenging to manage and contribute to high rates of burden among family caregivers. Successful information exchange between clinicians and family caregivers is critical for facilitating effective management of NPS. However, this communication is often challenging due to inconsistent terminology and classification of symptoms and limited understanding of how family caregivers recognize and describe symptoms. The objective of this study was to examine the language family caregivers' use to describe and contextualize NPS.; Research Design and Methods: Descriptive qualitative study of 20 family caregivers in a mostly urban county in the Midwestern United States using semistructured interviews. Caregiver descriptions of NPS were analyzed using directed content and text analysis to examine terminology, followed by a thematic analysis approach to examine contextualization of NPS.; Results: Caregivers employed shared terminologies to describe NPS that differed substantially from clinical terminology used to classify symptoms. Caregivers frequently engaged sense-making as a strategy to explain NPS. This sense-making served to contextualize patterns in behavior and was characterized by explanatory, situational, and strategy-oriented frameworks for understanding behavior in terms of its purpose and meaning. Caregivers' descriptions of NPS reflected broad overlap between individual NPS (i.e., agitation and care resistance) that would generally be considered clinically distinct symptoms.; Discussion and Implications: Nomenclature surrounding NPS may vary considerably between family caregivers and clinicians, and should be evaluated in partnership with people with dementia and their caregivers to ensure supportive interventions and resources are responsive to caregivers' interpretation of symptoms and sense-making.

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A Mobile Health App (Roadmap 2.0) for Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant: Qualitative Study on Family Caregivers' Perspectives and Design Considerations

Background: Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT), also referred to as blood and marrow transplantation (BMT), is a high-risk, but potentially curative therapy for a number of cancer and noncancer conditions. BMT Roadmap (Roadmap 1.0) is a mobile health app that was developed as a family caregiver-facing tool to provide informational needs about the health status of patients undergoing inpatient HCT.; Objective: This study explored the views and perceptions of family caregivers of patients undergoing HCT and their input regarding further technology development and expansion of BMT Roadmap into the outpatient setting (referred to as Roadmap 2.0).; Methods: Semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted among 24 family caregivers. Questions were developed from existing literature coupled with prior in-depth observations and interviews in hospital-based settings to explore the study objectives. Participants were recruited during routine outpatient clinic appointments of HCT patients, and all interviews were conducted in the participants' homes, the setting in which Roadmap 2.0 is intended for use. A thematic analysis was performed using a consistent set of codes derived from our prior research. New emerging codes were also included, and the coding structure was refined with iterative cycles of coding and data collection.; Results: Four major themes emerged through our qualitative analysis: (1) stress related to balancing caregiving duties; (2) learning and adapting to new routines (resilience); (3) balancing one's own needs with the patient's needs (insight); and (4) benefits of caregiving. When caregivers were further probed about their views on engagement with positive activity interventions (ie, pleasant activities that promote positive emotions and well-being such as expressing gratitude or engaging in activities that promote positive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors), they preferred a "menu" of positive activities to help support caregiver health and well-being.; Conclusions: This study involved family caregivers as participants in the development of new components for Roadmap 2.0. Our research provided a further understanding of the many priorities that hematopoietic stem cell transplant family caregivers face while maintaining balance in their lives. Their schedules can often be unpredictable, even more so once the patient is discharged from the hospital. Our findings suggest that expanding Roadmap 2.0 into the outpatient setting may provide critical caregiver support and that HCT caregivers are interested in and willing to engage in positive activities that may enhance well-being and attenuate the stress associated with caregiving.; International Registered Report Identifier (irrid): RR2-10.2196/resprot.4918

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The mediating effects of leisure engagement on relationships between caregiving stress and subjective wellbeing among family caregivers of persons with cognitive impairment: A cross-sectional study

Family caregivers of persons with cognitive impairment experience changes in reductions in leisure engagement, which can decrease their subjective wellbeing (leisure satisfaction, negative affect and positive affect). We recruited 100 dyads of patients with cognitive impairment and family caregivers by convenience sampling from outpatient memory clinics and daycare centers in northern Taiwan. Hierarchical regression analysis tested the mediating effects of leisure engagement on the relationship between caregiving stress and subjective wellbeing. Results indicated that the restorative experience of event/tourism activities (β = 0.23, p < .05) significantly mediated between caregiving stress and leisure satisfaction. In addition, the only significant mediator between caregiving stress and negative affect was leisure barriers (β = 0.21, p < .05). Both of the regression models explained 27% of the variance. Future development of leisure interventions should focus on reducing leisure barriers and providing event and tourism activities to the dyads. 

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"It's More than Just Needing money": The Value of Supporting Networks of Care

It is well established in research, practice, and policy that unpaid caregivers (family and friends of people with care needs) experience stress in their role. Supports that have been put in place by policy planners and program developers to support caregivers may not be accessed by caregivers at all or may do little to reduce their stress. Accessing personal resources (education, finances), in addition to social resources (individual connections) and societal resources (community supports) are critical in fostering resilience in caregivers (helping them adapt to stress and adversity). Social capital theorists argue that creating connections at various levels can improve access to resources. This research, through qualitative interviews (n = 21), identifies the different levels of resources required to address the needs of caregivers. Our findings indicate that interventions that focus on access to personal-level resources (education, funding) are important, but are on their own insufficient. Of more importance were interventions that work to improve relationships between formal providers and families; access to interdisciplinary teams; cross-sectoral collaborations; and inter-organization relationships, highlighting that a system that works together is likely to improve caregivers' access to resources.

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'The Future is Probably Now': Understanding of illness, uncertainty and end‐of‐life discussions in older adults with heart failure and family caregivers

Background: Earlier end‐of‐life communication is critical for people with heart failure given the uncertainty and high‐risk of mortality in illness. Despite this, end‐of‐life communication is uncommon in heart failure. Left unaddressed, lack of end‐of‐life discussions can lead to discordant care at the end of life. Objective: This study explores patients' and caregivers' understanding of illness, experiences of uncertainty, and perceptions of end‐of‐life discussions in advanced illness. Design: Interpretive descriptive qualitative study of older adults with heart failure and family caregivers. Fourteen semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 19 participants in Ontario, Canada. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and content analysis was used to analyse the data. Main results: Understanding of illness was shaped by participants' illness‐related experiences (e.g. symptoms, hospitalizations and self‐care routines) and the ability to adapt to challenges of illness. Participants were knowledgeable of heart failure management, and yet, were limited in their understanding of the consequences of illness. Participants adapted to the challenges of illness which appeared to influence their perception of overall health. Uncertainty reflected participants' inability to connect manifestations of heart failure as part of the progression of illness towards the end of life. Most participants had not engaged in prior end‐of‐life discussions. Conclusion: Detailed knowledge of heart failure management does not necessarily translate to an understanding of the consequences of illness. The ability to adapt to illness‐related challenges may delay older adults and family caregivers from engaging in end‐of‐life discussions. Future research is needed to examine the impact of addressing the consequences of illness in facilitating earlier end‐of‐life communication.

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Effectiveness of Resilience Education in the Mental Health of Family Caregivers of Elderly Patients with Alzheimer's Disease

Background: Continuing care of an elderly patient with Alzheimer's disease may result in psychosocial and physical disorders in family caregivers, as well as limitations to providing complete care. Objectives: The aim of the present study was to determine the effectiveness of resilience education in the mental health of family caregivers of elderly patients with Alzheimer's disease. Methods: This study followed a randomized, clinical trial design. The study population consisted of family caregivers of elderly patients with Alzheimer's disease who referred to hospitals and neurologists' offices located in the western cities of Mazandaran province, Iran. Data were collected between 2016 and 2017. Fifty-four family caregivers were recruited through convenience sampling and randomized into control and intervention groups (27 in each group). Demographic characteristics, Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, and General Health Questionnaire were used for data collection. Resilience education was provided in eight sessions (45 min each) using PowerPoint presentations and educational pamphlets. The mental health scores were calculated using the indices including normality tests and analyzed using the independent and paired t-tests, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and Bonferroni test. Results: An independent t-test showed improvements in the mental health status of those who received the educational intervention (mean difference: 23.8±6.4; P < 0.001). The independent t-test also indicated statistically significant differences between the groups' anxiety/insomnia (8.8±2.3 versus -0.12±2.5), somatic symptoms (7.2±2.2 versus -0.9±1.03), social dysfunction (4.5±2.9 versus 0.2±1.3), and depression (3.2±2.2 versus -0.08±0.6; P < 0.001). Conclusions: Resilience education successfully improved the mental health of family caregivers. Therefore, it is suggested that healthcare providers, Alzheimer's associations, andNGOsprovide educational interventions to help promote the caregivers' mental health. 

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The Effect of a Nurse-Led Cognitive Behavioral Protocol on Depressive Symptoms and Coping Strategies of Dementia Caregivers

Background: Family caregivers of patients with dementia (PWD) often experience depressive symptoms and use poor coping strategies. Cognitive behavioral interventions may enhance positive appraisals of caregiving-related issues and the utilization of active coping strategies among caregivers, which may help prevent caregiver depression. However, there is a shortage of primary, community-based mental health services in China, and little research has been conducted on the effect of nurse-led mental health programs in this population.; Purpose: This study explored the effect of a nurse-led cognitive behavioral intervention on depressive symptoms and coping strategies among family caregivers of PWD in China.; Methods: This randomized controlled trial used data from a sample of 112 caregivers screened from 276 potential participants in a city in southeastern China. The sample was randomly assigned to an intervention group (n = 56) and a control group (n = 56). The intervention group received five monthly in-home, nurse-led cognitive behavioral sessions and telephone consultations after each session. The control group received five monthly, short, general conversations with nurse interventionists at the participants' homes, in the hospital, or via telephone. Depressive symptoms, coping strategies, and the demographics of caregiving dyads were collected at Time 1 (baseline), Time 2 (the end of the 5-month intervention), and Time 3 (2-month follow-up). IBM SPSS Statistics Version 19.0 was used for data analysis.; Results: Eighty-two participants (intervention group: n = 47, control group: n = 35) completed the three evaluations. No significant group differences were found in baseline characteristics between the two groups. The general linear model repeated-measures analysis of variance indicated a significant difference in depressive symptoms and active coping between groups over time, with p < .001 for the interaction between depressive symptoms and groups and p < .01 for the interaction between active coping and groups. A similar result did not occur for passive coping. The t tests further supported a significant interventional effect on participants' depressive symptoms and active coping.; Conclusions/implications For Practice: This nurse-led cognitive behavioral intervention was effective in decreasing depressive symptoms and improving active coping among study participants. The findings suggest the improvement of mental health services and social policies in China to support family caregivers of PWD.

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Coping Strategies Utilized by Middle-Aged and Older Latino Caregivers of Loved Ones with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia

We aimed to explore the coping strategies utilized by Latino caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease or related dementia (ADRD). We conducted 16 semi-structured interviews with Latinos family caregivers. The interviews explored the caregivers' experiences utilizing coping strategies. Coping strategies were identified based on a direct content analysis of the interviews. Participants were 50 to 75 years old, majority female, and from Mexico. The most common coping strategies adopted were: rationalization, social interactions, physical activity, and leisure activities. Other strategies used included avoidance, keeping busy, self-care, and spirituality or faith. Strategies such as using social interactions and spirituality and faith may be rooted in Latino cultural values such as familismo and fatalismo. The possible origin from cultural values might make some of the coping strategies more prevalent or effective in Latinos. Effective interventions aiming to reduce stress in Latino caregivers should prioritize culturally relevant problem-focused coping strategies.

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Coping and Support Needs of Caregivers of the Mentally Ill: A Phenomenological Study in the Philippines

There are currently very few studies exploring the area of mental health in the Philippines. The topic on mental illness remains widely stigmatized that even the concerns of the caregivers of the mentally ill stay unexplored on the background. This qualitative study aims to help families, mental health professionals, and the general community, understand the different coping and support needs of caregivers of the mentally ill. The researchers employed a phenomenological method of identifying the coping and support needs of these caregivers whose mentally ill family members were admitted in a Mental Health Facility in Leyte, Philippines. Data collection was made through in-depth interviews with carers/caregivers/relatives of five (5) mentally ill persons. Library and internet desk research in its related literature were also employed. Results of the study revealed two major themes, namely 1) coping strategies of caregivers of the mentally ill, and, 2) support to caregivers of the mentally ill. In the theme of coping strategies of caregivers of the mentally ill, three sub-themes emerged, namely 1.1) religious practice, 1.2) being productive, preoccupied and proactive, and 1.3) acceptance and resolve. Several support programs and services such as provision of mental health education and counseling regarding facts about the illness, its treatment and management, and leniency on watcher requirements during hospital admission are among the recommended support needs identified by the caregivers of the mentally ill.

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Communal Orientation, Benefit-finding, and Coping among Young Carers

A substantial body of research documents the impact of informal care on adult caregivers' wellbeing, but little is known of the experiences of young carers who attend postsecondary schools in Canada. Despite the estimated 1.25 million young people ages 15–24 assuming caregiving roles in Canada, young carers are a hidden and largely unsupported demographic in Canada. To gain a better understanding of young caregiving in Canada, the current study explores the role of communal orientation, benefit-finding, life satisfaction, and family satisfaction among young student carers. Further, we examine the mediating role of diverse coping strategies to better understand how communal orientation may be associated with wellbeing. One hundred and thirty-seven participants were recruited from two Canadian universities, and data were collected through online surveys. Results showed that while communal orientation and the use of coping strategies were positively associated with benefit finding, communal orientation was negatively associated with life satisfaction and family satisfaction. Use of instrumental support mediated the association of communal orientation with benefit finding. The findings suggest a communal orientation may help young carers find benefit in the caregiving role by enhancing the use of instrumental support coping strategies. 

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Caring ability, burden, stress and coping of family caregivers of people in cancer treatment

Objective: To analyze the association between the caring ability and the burden, stress and coping of family caregivers of people in cancer treatment. Method: A crosssectional study with 132 family caregivers. The following instruments were applied: a characterization instrument, the Caring Ability Inventory, the Zarit Burden Interview, the Perceived Stress Scale, and the Brief COPE. The Spearman Correlation was used with significance <5%. Results: There were significant and positive correlations between total caring ability and: burden - interpersonal relationship (p=0.03); stress (p=0.02) and maladaptive coping (p=0.00); and inversely proportional correlations with problem-focused coping (p=0.03). The courage had inversely proportional correlation with: self-efficacy (p=0.03), interpersonal relationship (p=0.00), stress (p=0.04) and maladaptive coping (p=0.00). The knowledge had significant and positive correlation with problem-focused coping (p=0.00), adaptive coping (p=0.01), and inverse correlation with stress (p=0.02). Conclusion: The level of caring ability correlates with levels of stress and burden, and with the type of coping strategy used by family caregivers.

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Cancer as Communal: Understanding Communication and Relationships from the Perspectives of Survivors, Family Caregivers, and Health Care Providers

With cancer increasing in prevalence and high priorities placed on concurrent oncological and palliative care to help meet the familial, spiritual, and individual needs of stakeholders in cancer, research is needed that assesses the factors that facilitate coping across stakeholders in cancer care. We were interested in synthesizing our understanding of communication and relationships among patients, caregivers, and providers based on the reasoning that illness is relational, but often conceptualized and researched from the individual perspectives of various stakeholders. The current study examined the experiences of relational and communication opportunities and challenges during cancer for current and former family caregivers, cancer survivors, and palliative and oncology health care practitioners. The thematic analysis of 30 semi-structured interviews revealed an overarching theme on the benefits of orienting toward cancer as communal, which was, in turn, facilitated or impeded by four additional themes/sets of behaviors: support, presence, perspective-taking, and reframing hope. Results of a cross-case data matrix analysis reveal that stakeholders in different roles experience qualitative differences in their experience of cancer as communal, isolated, or ambivalent. Implications for education, palliative care, and interventions are discussed.

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Antonovsky's sense of coherence and resistance resources reduce perception of burden in family carers of people with Alzheimer's disease

Objectives: Taking care of people with dementia (PWD) has been associated with some degree of burden. The variability of the carer's burden can be partially explained by their personal characteristics. Antonovsky's model of health defined the resistance resources (RRs) as essential mechanisms to cope with stressors, and to shape the personal sense of coherence (SOC). This study identifies the RRs related with carer's SOC, and their implications in the perception of burden in family dementia carers. Methods: A sample of 308 participants from the 'SOC & DEM study' (154 carers and 154 PWD) was recruited from two memory clinics. Carer's personal characteristics of burden, SOC, self-efficacy, coping strategies, perceived social support, and depression were evaluated using standardized instruments. PWD's degree of dependence and behaviour and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) were assessed too. A path analysis was used to test the relationship between caregiver burden and SOC including the personal RRs of the carers and clinical data of PWD. Results: The path model identified SOC as a major factor related to carer's burden perception (r = -.327). Self-efficacy (r = .285), two coping strategies, 'use instrumental support' (r = -.235) and 'behavioural disengagement' (r = -.219), and social support perceived (r = .304) were the main carer's personal characteristics directly related with SOC. Caring experience (r = -.281) was the main carer factor related with burden while dependence (r = .156) and BPSD (r = .157) were the dementia factors. Conclusion: The SOC has previously related with carer's burden. The results contributed to identify relevant and modifiable personal characteristics as RRs that could reduce this burden.

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Personalisation, customisation and bricolage: how people with dementia and their families make assistive technology work for them

Assistive technologies (ATs) are being 'mainstreamed' within dementia care, where they are promoted as enabling people with dementia to age in place alongside delivering greater efficiencies in care. AT provision focuses upon standardised solutions, with little known about how ATs are used by people with dementia and their carers within everyday practice. This paper explores how people with dementia and carers use technologies in order to manage care. Findings are reported from qualitative semi-structured interviews with 13 people with dementia and 26 family carers. Readily available household technologies were used in conjunction with and instead of AT to address diverse needs, replicating AT functions when doing so. Successful technology use was characterised by 'bricolage' or the non-conventional use of tools or methods to address local needs. Carers drove AT use by engaging creatively with both assistive and everyday technologies, however, carers were not routinely supported in their creative engagements with technology by statutory health or social care services, making bricolage a potentially frustrating and wasteful process. Bricolage provides a useful framework to understand how technologies are used in the everyday practice of dementia care, and how technology use can be supported within care. Rather than implementing standardised AT solutions, AT services and AT design in future should focus on how technologies can support more personalised, adaptive forms of care.

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146 The Lived Experience of Carer Resilience Told by Carer Advocates

Background Established in 2013 this network of volunteer family carers is a national advocacy group that presents a vital opportunity for carers to use their voice to raise awareness of issues affecting families living with dementia in Ireland. The network is facilitated by a dementia specific service provider. These carer advocates wish to present on a piece of qualitative research they have recently conducted on the topic of carer resilience at the advanced stages of caring for a loved one with dementia. Methods There are 43 family carer advocates on the network, all of whom were invited to participate in this research. The piece of qualitative research conducted by the network with its members took the form of a questionnaire. The research sought to ascertain how informed and supported carers felt as their loved ones transitioned to long term residential care and the stage thereafter. This research did not discuss the level of professional care given to their loved one but what supports and services were offered to the carer at that time and how this affected their resilience. The aspect of caring for a loved one availing of hospice care naturally emerged during the research process and this topic was also explored in relation to carer resilience. Completed questionnaires were analysed to show findings and draw conclusions. Results The research gives insight into the lived experience of carer resilience told by carer advocates. The results show that carer advocates feel ill-informed and badly supported as their loved one transitions to or resided in long term residential care. The research also showed that carers feel more informed and supported if their loved one availed of hospice care rather than long term residential care. Conclusion Carers are not properly informed or supported when their loved one transitions to or resides in long term residential care and this negatively affects their resilience.

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59 Male Family Carers' Perceptions of Formal Support Services, a Meta-ethnography

Background Family carers provide thousands of hours of unpaid work every year, a third of whom are men, however this group are generally under-represented in research. Comparative studies have shown that male carers experience their caring role differently to female counterparts. Social concepts related to masculinity can help to explain help-seeking behaviours of male carers, as well as their attitudes to accessing outside support. Compared to women carers, men have lower rates of uptake of formal support services. This aim of this review, therefore, was to examine accounts of male carers' experiences and perceptions of receiving formal support. Methods The study followed a meta-ethnography process starting with a systematic literature search of five electronic databases. The methodological quality of the included studies was evaluated using the McMaster checklist. Using NVivo 12 software, primary qualitative data was analysed and key themes were identified. Results were synthesised using Noblit and Hare's (1988) process of meta-ethnography, retaining direct quotes from the studies. Results Eighteen studies were included in the final paper. Three main themes were identified: 1) asserting control over the caring role 2) desire to excel in caring role and 3) coping without formal support. Conclusion For the most part, male carers expressed a desire to be competent in their caring role. Perceived loss of control within the caring relationship was a key factor when men had low trust and dissatisfaction with services. Support services that were collaborative, education-based and gender-sensitive were favoured by the men. To engage more male carers, service providers should acknowledge men's experience and capabilities as well as their wish to stay involved in decision-making around care for their family member. For men over the age of 85 male family carers outnumber females in Ireland (CSO 2016). It is important to understand male carers' experience to develop more inclusive supports and consequently increase service uptake

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An Evaluation of the Information Sources of Cancer Patients' Relatives. A Prospective Survey

Patients followed up with a cancer diagnosis must be well-informed about cancer to be able to cope with it. Besides, informing the relatives of the cancer patients who are also experiencing the same process about the diagnosis and follow-up period of cancer is highly important. In the current study, it was aimed to evaluate the information sources about cancer which are referred to by relatives of cancer patients. Three hundred ninety-one cancer patient relatives were included in medical oncology clinic between May 1 and June 30, 2015. A questionnaire was applied to the participants, comprising 12 questions to elicit demographic information and 11 questions about the information sources to which they referred. The study included 183 female and 208 male participants with amean age of 47.9 +/- 13.6 years. While the oncologists were the primary information sources referred to by 87%, the Internet was the second most preferred information source by 72%. The websites most frequently referred were the official websites (70%), the websites of oncology associations (53%), and social networks and forums (32%). The primary factors affecting the Internet preference were age, education level, income level, and place of residence. The Internet was the second most referred information source about cancer by family caregivers following oncologists. Therefore, it is of crucial importance that physicians inform patients and their relatives comprehensively as well as guiding them to correct and reliable information sources.

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Development and validation of a quality of relationship intervention for stroke survivor-family caregiver dyads

Background: The relationship between stroke survivors and family caregivers is critical for the well-being of both dyad members. Currently, there are few interventions targeted at dyads and focused on strengthening the relationship between survivors and family caregivers. Objectives: This study reports on the development of a customizable, strengths-based, relationship-focused intervention driven by the real-world experience and advice of stroke dyads. It also describes the "tips" that survivors and family caregivers offered for dealing with relationship challenges after stroke. Methods: Content of the intervention, including relationship tips, was derived from semi-structured interviews with N= 19 stroke dyads. A modified Delphi process with a national panel of 10 subject matter experts was used to evaluate and refine the content of the intervention and the associated screening tool. Results: Seventeen domains of relationship challenges and tips were identified. Consensus was reached among experts that the intervention content was relevant to the goal of helping survivors and family caregivers maintain a strong relationship after stroke; (2) clear from the perspective of stroke survivors and family caregivers who would be using it; (3) accurate with respect to the advice being offered, and; (4) useful for helping stroke survivors and family caregivers improve the quality of their relationship. Conclusions: This study extends the limited body of research about dyadic interventions after stroke. The next steps in this line of research include feasibility testing the intervention and evaluating its efficacy in a larger trial.

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Self-esteem, self-efficacy, and optimism as psychological resources among caregivers of people with dementia: findings from the IDEAL study

Objectives: Being a family caregiver, and in particular giving care to someone with dementia, impacts mental and physical health and potentially reduces the ability of caregivers to "live well." This paper examines whether three key psychological resources-self-efficacy, optimism, and self-esteem-are associated with better outcomes for caregivers of people with dementia. Design and Participants: Caregivers of 1,283 people with mild-to-moderate dementia in the Improving the Experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life (IDEAL) project responded to measures of self-efficacy, optimism, and self-esteem, and "living well" (quality of life, life satisfaction, and well-being). Multivariate linear regression was used to examine the association between psychological resources and "living well". Results: Self-efficacy, optimism, and self-esteem were all independently associated with better capability to "live well" for caregivers. This association persisted when accounting for a number of potential confounding variables (age group, sex, and hours of caregiving per day). Conclusions: Low self-efficacy, optimism, and self-esteem might present a risk of poor outcomes for caregivers of people with dementia. These findings encourage us to consider how new or established interventions might increase the psychological resilience of caregivers.

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Enhancing the cancer caregiving experience: Building resilience through role adjustment and mutuality

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the dyadic experience of caring for a family member with cancer. Particular attention was given to examine the relationship between dyadic perceptions of role adjustment and mutuality as facilitators in resilience for posttreatment cancer patients and family caregivers. Method: For this convergent parallel, mixed-methods study using grounded theory methodologies, 12 dyads were recruited from the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Qualitative data collection focused on social interactions between cancer patients and their family caregivers to better understand and describe how post-treatment patients and caregivers create mutuality in their relationships, how they describe the processes of role-adjustment, and how these processes facilitate dyadic resiliency. Quantitative data collected through electronic survey included the Family Caregiving Inventory (FCI) for Mutuality Scale, Neuro QoL Ability to Participate in Social Roles and Activities, and Satisfaction with Social Roles and Activities-Short Forms, and Mental Health Continuum-Short Form (MHC). Results: Eleven participants were spouses. Twenty-two self-reported as Caucasian. The sample ranged from 35 to 71 years of age (Caregiver M = 53.7, Patient M = 54.3). Most of the caregivers were female (n = 8; 66.7%) and most of the patients were male (n = 9; 75%). Qualitative interview data illuminated two primary psychosocial processes relating to resilience, role adjustment and mutuality, as key facilitators for transformation and growth within dyadic partnerships coping with the challenges of cancer treatment and cancer caregiving. The FCI-mutuality score for patients (M = 3.65 ± 0.47) and caregivers (M = 3.45 ± 0.42) reflected an average level of relationship quality. Relative to participation in, and satisfaction with social roles and activities, patients (M = 50.66 ± 7.70, M = 48.81 ± 6.64, respectively) and caregivers (M = 50.69 ± 8.6, M = 51.9 ± 8.75, respectively) reported scores that were similar to the US General Population (M = 50 ± 10). Conclusions: New patterns of role adjustment and mutuality can assist with making meaning and finding benefit, and these patterns contribute to dyadic resilience when moving through a cancer experience. There are few interventions that target the function of the dyad, yet the emergent model identified in this paper provides a direction for future dyadic research. By developing interventions at a dyadic level, providers have the potential to encourage dyadic resilience and sustain partnerships from cancer treatment into survivorship. 

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Understanding rural caregivers’ experiences of cancer care when accessing metropolitan cancer services: a qualitative study

Objective To explore the experiences of cancer caregivers who live in rural Australia and travel to a metropolitan cancer health service to access cancer treatment. Design A qualitative study using semistructured, audio-recorded interviews conducted between December 2017 and July 2018 with caregivers and social workers. Thematic analysis using interpretative descriptive techniques performed on textual interview data within a critical realist paradigm to develop understanding of rural caregivers’ lived experiences. Setting Participants were from rural areas attending a metropolitan cancer centre in Australia and social workers. Participants 21 caregivers (16 female) of people with cancer living in rural Australia within a minimum distance of 100 km from the metropolitan cancer centre where they access treatment, and five social workers employed at a metropolitan cancer service with experience of working with rural patients and caregivers. Results Thematic analysis developed two overarching themes: theme 1: caregiving in the rural setting describes the unique circumstance in which caregiving for a person with cancer takes place in the rural setting at considerable distance from the cancer service where the person receives treatment. This is explored in three categories: ‘Rural community and culture’, ‘Life adjustments’ and ‘Available supports’. Theme 2: accessing metropolitan cancer services captures the multiplicity of tasks and challenges involved in organising and coordinating the journey to access cancer treatment in a metropolitan hospital, which is presented in the following categories: ‘Travel’, ‘Accommodation’ and ‘Health system navigation’. Conclusions Caregivers who live in rural areas face significant challenges when confronting geographic isolation between their rural home environment and the metropolitan setting, where the patient accessed cancer treatment. There is a need for healthcare services to identify this group to develop feasible and sustainable ways to provide interventions that have the best chance of assisting rural caregivers in supporting the patient while maintaining their own health and well-being.

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Challenges, personal growth and social support among family caregivers of terminally ill cancer patients in Southern China

The purpose of this study was to obtain a deeper understanding of the experiences of family caregivers of terminally ill cancer patients in Shenzhen, Southern China. This study sought to describe how being the main caregiver influences family caregivers’ daily lives. This article reports on the findings from individual interviews with 20 family caregivers of terminally ill cancer patients. The interview transcripts were analyzed using qualitative thematic analysis, which revealed that caring for a cancer patient over the course of his or her illness significantly affected many aspects of family caregivers’ lives. Three major themes were identified in their experiences: (1) challenges, (2) personal growth, and (3) social support. In exploring these themes, this article offers insights into family caregivers’ experiences in Southern China, particularly among family members of terminally ill cancer patients and presents implications for future professional practice, especially oncology social work. 

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Validating the Revised Scale for Caregiving Self-Efficacy: A Cross-National Review

Background and Objectives This article reviews an instrument used in cross-national research with dementia family caregivers-the Revised Scale for Caregiving Self-Efficacy (RSCSE). Although the RSCSE has been translated into multiple languages, few studies have examined scale performance across samples. We examine congruence of psychometric, reliability, and validity data to inform research and practice. Methods We conducted citation searches using Scopus, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and PsycINFO. Identified dementia caregiving studies cited the original RSCSE article and described results of English and/or non-English translations of the scale. Results Peer-reviewed published studies (N = 58) of dementia family caregivers included data for Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Italian, and Spanish translations of the RSCSE; the majority (72%) reported use of non-English translations. Studies utilizing confirmatory factor analytic approaches reported findings consistent with the original development study. Internal consistency, convergent/discriminant validity, and criterion validity indices were congruent across diverse cross-national caregiving samples assessed with different translations. Data supported the RSCSE's sensitivity to change following specific psychosocial caregiving interventions. Discussion The reliability and validity of different translations of the RSCSE support continued use with cross-national samples of dementia family caregivers. Limitations of the scale point to the need for further self-efficacy measurement development within caregiving domains. Consistent with Bandura's discussion of social cognitive theory in cultural contexts, personal agency for caregiving challenges remains generalizable to cross-national populations. This review discusses the implications for cross-cultural research and practice.

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Mediating effect of social support on the relationship between resilience and burden in caregivers of people with dementia

Objective: This study examined different predictive factors of burden in a sample of family caregivers of patients with dementia (PWD). In particular, the influence of social support and resilience on burden was tested, considering potential mediation effects. Methods: A total of 283 primary and family caregivers in Spain were evaluated using a standardized protocol to assess sociodemographic characteristics, clinical state of PWD and specific variables of caregiving and care providers. Results: The role of caregiver of PWD was more common in women, reporting significantly higher levels of burden than men. Resilience and social support accounted for most of the variance in burden. Furthermore, social support partially mediated the relationship between resilience and burden in caregivers. Conclusions: Caregivers’ resilience and social support are protective factors against burden in caregivers of PWD. Both factors should be considered for tailored interventions aimed at reducing the health costs of burden in this population. 

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Coping and anxiety in caregivers of dependent older adult relatives

The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between coping and anxiety in caregivers of dependent older adult relatives. A cross-sectional study was carried out in the province of Jaén (Andalusia, Spain). The convenience sample consisted of 198 family caregivers of dependent older adults. The main measurements were anxiety (Hamilton scale), coping (Brief COPE), subjective burden (Caregiver Strain Index), objective burden and sex of the caregiver. The main analyses were bivariate analysis using the Pearson correlation coefficient, and multivariate analysis using multiple linear regression. An independent regression model was developed for anxiety and each type of coping, adjusting for sex, subjective burden and objective burden. Our results demonstrate that anxiety was negatively associated with planning (partial r = -0.18), acceptance (partial r = -0.22) and humor (partial r = -0.20), and it was positively associated with self-distraction (partial r = 0.19), venting (partial r = 0.22), denial (partial r = 0.27) and self-blame (partial r = 0.25). Planning, acceptance and humor coping strategies may be protective factors of anxiety. Strategies such self-management, relief, denial and self-blame may be risk factors for anxiety.

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The Beneficial Role of Mindfulness Facets in Relatives of People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Objectives: Providing support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) can be a major source of stress for the family caregivers. It is therefore important to identify resilient and protective factors for caregivers. This study examined whether mindfulness facets predict over time fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression and better quality of life for the family caregivers of people with IDD. Methods: A sample of 143 Spanish relatives of people with IDD (122 women and 21 men), aged between 18 and 78 (M = 46.87, SD = 12.16), participated in a two-time 6-month longitudinal study. Participants completed measures of anxiety, depression, quality of life, and mindfulness facets at the beginning of the study. Six months later, they again completed measures of psychological symptoms and quality of life. Results: The findings indicated that acting with awareness and non-reacting were the most beneficial mindfulness facets for caregivers. Acting with awareness predicted a reduction of anxiety (β = − 0.16, p < 0.01) and depression (β = − 0.17, p < 0.05) and an increase in quality of life (β = 0.19, p < 0.05) at the follow-up. Non-reacting predicted a reduction of anxiety (β = − 0.16, p < 0.05) and depression (β = − 0.13, p < 0.05) over time. Conclusions: The results of the study show the beneficial role of mindfulness facets and suggest the importance of studying the effect of mindfulness-based interventions for the relatives of people with IDD. 

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Toward overcoming physical disability in spinal cord injury: A qualitative inquiry of the experiences of injured individuals and their families

Background: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a life-changing experience for the individuals with SCI and their families. This study aimed to investigate physical strategies used for overcoming physical disability in individuals with SCI. Methods: In this qualitative study, 17 SCI persons and 13 family caregivers were selected by a purposeful sampling. Settings of the study were Brain and SCI research (BASIR) center of Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Southern Social Welfare Center of Tehran and SCI Association of Tehran, Iran. Data were collected by face-to-face semi-structured interviews, which were continued until data saturation. The gathered data were concurrently analyzed by the content analysis method. Results: The data analysis revealed one main theme (towards overcoming physical disability) and three sub-themes: 1) physical rehabilitation by various methods; 2) tendency towards the use of alternative medical methods; and 3) making effort for self-reliance. Conclusion: The participants used physiotherapy and occupational therapy as an effective and essential approach offered by the healthcare team. Some individuals with SCI with help of their family had invented simple rehabilitation equipment for help to their physical rehabilitation. However, most participants had referred to different complimentary medicine specialists based on advice friends and relatives and they often had spent a lot of time and money ineffectively. Therefore, they need training and support of the healthcare team as well as social support to achieve physical independence and physical recovery. Further research is suggested to investigate the barriers to achieving physical empowerment in people with SCI in Iran.

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Experiences of family care during breast cancer: the perspective of caregivers

OBJECTIVE: To describe the experience of family care to women with breast cancer during treatment from the perspective of caregivers in the Mexican context. METHOD: Qualitative phenomenological study. In-depth interviews were conducted with caregivers of women who survived breast cancer. Participants were selected by intentional, cumulative and sequential sampling. A conventional content analysis was performed. RESULTS: Participation of seven caregivers, who reported their positive and negative experiences when assuming their role as informal caregivers in the family context. On the strength of the reciprocity of care and its reward, prevailed critical moments, negative feelings, and lack of support resources during the experience. This enables the understanding of the informal care bond in order to enhance it with coping strategies and specific guidance from the nursing staff. CONCLUSION: Participants experienced a transformation in their identity as caregivers and by being aware of their experience, they could describe their qualities, which increased their coping strategies with the disease and the care challenges.

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Building Better Caregivers: A Pragmatic 12-Month Trial of a Community-Based Workshop for Caregivers of Cognitively Impaired Adults

Building Better Caregivers (BBC), a community 6-week, peer-led intervention, targets family caregivers of those with cognitive impairments. BBC was implemented in four geographically scattered areas. Self-report data were collected at baseline, 6 months, and 1 year. Primary outcome were caregiver strain and depression. Secondary outcomes included caregiver burden, stress, fatigue, pain, sleep, self-rated health, exercise, self-efficacy, and caregiver and care partner health care utilization. Paired t tests examined 6 month and 1-year improvements. General linear models examined associations between baseline and 6-month changes in self-efficacy and 12-month primary outcomes. Eighty-three participants (75% of eligible) completed 12-month data. Caregiver strain and depression improved significantly (Effect Sizes =.30 and.41). All secondary outcomes except exercise and caregiver health care utilization improved significantly. Baseline and 6-month improvements in self-efficacy were associated with improvements in caregiver strain and depression. In this pilot pragmatic study, BBC appears to assist caregivers while reducing care partner health care utilization. Self-efficacy appears to moderate these outcomes. 

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Rise Above: Experiences of Spirituality Among Family Caregivers Caring for Their Dying Family Member in a Hospice Setting in Pakistan

Family caregivers experience multiple transitions, resolutions, loss, and grief where their search for meaning becomes evident. Spirituality is an important dimension of palliative care, yet little attention has been given to this important aspect of spirituality especially among the family caregivers in a hospice setting. The study aimed to bring the hidden voices of family caregivers, their own spiritual experiences caring for their dying patients in a hospice setting, to guide and direct the care practices of health care professionals. An interpretive descriptive approach guided the study using a purposive sample of 18 family caregivers from a hospice in Karachi, Pakistan. Major themes were family love, attachment, and belongingness; honoring family values and dignity; acts of compassion and selfless service; and seeking God's kindness and grace. Spirituality enabled family caregivers to uncover meaningful engagement and provided strength and peace while serving a dying family member in challenging caregiving situations such as adversity and limited resources. They highly valued the love, respect, and honor of the family; showed compassion; believed in God's blessings; and experienced spiritual growth and self-transcendence. Spirituality was found to be a major resource of coping among family caregivers. Health care professionals need to integrate spirituality while developing family-centered interventions in hospice care.

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Savouring and psychological well‐being in family dyads coping with cancer: An actor–partner interdependence model

Previous studies have investigated interdependence of the associations between predictors and negative psychological outcomes in dyads of cancer patients and family caregivers. This study examined the dyadic effects of perceived capability of savouring the moment on psychological well‐being. A total of 152 dyads of cancer patients and caregivers reported their perceived capability of savouring the moment (Savoring Beliefs Inventory), state positive affect (Chinese Affect Scale) and life satisfaction (Satisfaction With Life Scale) within 6 months following diagnosis. Actor–Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) demonstrated that patients’ and caregivers’ savouring the moment was positively associated with their own positive affect and life satisfaction (actor effects: βs = 0.309–0.603, 95% CIs = 0.171–0.502, 0.446–0.703, ps < 0.001). Patients’ savouring the moment was positively associated with caregivers’ positive affect (β = 0.158, 95% CI = 0.018, 0.299, p = 0.028), whereas caregivers’ savouring the moment was positively associated with patients’ life satisfaction (β = 0.158, 95% CI = 0.026, 0.289, p = 0.020). Partner effects between caregivers’ savouring the moment and patients’ positive affect and between patients’ savouring the moment and caregivers’ life satisfaction were not significant. The findings suggest the role of savouring in psychological well‐being within patient–caregiver dyads, highlighting the importance of investigating positive psychological pathways in their joint adaptation.

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Adapting the Resilience Framework for Family Caregivers of Hospice Patients With Dementia

Family caregivers face ongoing, formidable stress and burden. Caregivers need sustainable support to maintain resilience. We aim to identify challenges, possible solutions that are resources for resilience, and expected consequences from the perspective of 39 family caregivers of hospice patients with dementia. The resilience framework was used to guide the coding and synthesis of the qualitative data. Identified challenges included difficulties in communication, providing care and decision-making, lack of knowledge, emotional challenges, concern about care facility selection, death with dignity, and lack of public awareness. Resilience resources for caregiving challenges were identified at the individual, community, and societal levels. Anticipated benefits of using these resources included the ability to provide better care and have a better quality of life for both patients and caregivers. The findings of this study can guide the design and implementation of supportive interventions designed for family caregivers of hospice patients with dementia to bolster available resilience resources. 

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The emotional and psychological burden of the "burnout" in families of psychiatric patients

People, who assist patients with chronic health problems for work, voluntary or for family reasons, may be affected by burnout. This is defined as an excessive reaction to stress caused by one's environment that may be characterized by feelings of emotional and physical exhaustion, coupled with a sense of frustration and failure. A person who assists a suffering person, beyond the professional role, is indicated generally by the term "caregiver". The definition of Burnout in families is fairly recent, because the psychology of trauma has ignored a large segment of traumatized and disabled subjects (family and other assistants of "suffering people") unwittingly, for a long time. The burnout of secondary stress is due to one's empathic ability, actions trough disengagement, and a sense of satisfaction from helping to relieve suffering. Figley (1995) claims that being a member of a family or other type of intimate or bonded interpersonal relationship, one feels the others' pain. Closely associated with the suffering of the family caregiver is the concept of compassion fatigue, defined as a state of exhaustion and disfunction-biologically, psychologically, and socially - as a result of prolonged exposure to compassion stress and all that it evokes. In families, this can be the cause of serious conflicts and problems, quarrels, verbal and physical aggression, and broken relationships. The intervention on families requires practice and effectiveness approaches performed by experienced professionals. Some approaches focus more specifically, such as those that adopt a cognitive/behavioural technique with direct exposure, implosion methods, various drug treatments and family group psychotherapy. One of the most common models of intervention is based on the principle that the observation unit for the understanding of the disorder is not the single individual but the relationship between individuals.

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Caregiver Burden and Desire for Institutional Placement—The Roles of Positive Aspects of Caregiving and Religious Coping

Based on stress coping theory, this study investigated whether and how positive aspects of caregiving (PAC) and religiosity buffered the association between caregiving burden and desire to institutionalize (DTI). Secondary data (N = 637) were drawn from the baseline assessment of the Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health II project. Descriptive analysis, bivariate correlation, and multiple linear regressions were conducted. The results indicated that higher levels of caregiver burden, daily care bother, and Revised Memory and Behavioral Problem Checklist bother were all significantly associated with higher level of DTI. Both PAC and religious coping were negatively associated with DTI; however, only PAC was significant. Only the interaction between daily care bother and religious coping was significant, which indicated that the harmful effect of daily care bother on DTI was significantly buffered among those who have religiosity. Study findings have important implications for policy makers and for providers who serve dementia family caregivers. 

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“Did I make the right decision?”: The difficult and unpredictable journey of being a surrogate decision maker for a person living with dementia

Many people living with dementia eventually lose the capacity to make their own decisions and will rely on another person – a surrogate decision maker – to make decisions on their behalf. It is important – especially with the increasing prevalence of dementia – that the role of surrogate decision maker is understood and supported. This qualitative study explored the experiences of 34 surrogate decision makers of persons living with dementia in Australia. Face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted over six months in 2014. Five themes were identified: becoming the only – or main – surrogate decision maker; growing into the role of surrogate decision maker; dealing with the stress of making decisions; having to challenge healthcare professionals; and getting support – or not – from family members. An overarching construct tying the themes together is the description of the participants’ experience as being on a difficult and unpredictable journey. Healthcare professionals can provide support by acting as empathic guides on this journey.

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Perceived stress, resilience, and health‐related quality of life among Parkinson's disease caregivers in Mexico

The stress process model of caregiving posits that caregivers' internal psychosocial resources may serve as buffers between the stress associated with caregiving and well‐being. Empirical support for the stress process model exists for several caregiving contexts, but little research has investigated the Parkinson's disease caregiving experience in Mexico. Using a cross‐sectional, correlational design, the objective of this study was to examine whether resilience moderates the relation between perceived stress and health‐related quality of life (HRQOL) among Parkinson's disease caregivers in Mexico. Data were collected from April 2015 to February 2016 during outpatient neurology appointments in Mexico City, Mexico. Participants included informal caregivers (N = 95) for a family member with Parkinson's disease. Participants completed a battery of questionnaires assessing their level of perceived stress, resilience, and HRQOL. Regression analyses indicated that resilience moderated the inverse relation between perceived stress and mental HRQOL. However, contrary to hypotheses, resilience did not moderate the relation between stress and physical HRQOL. Findings shed light on resilience as a potential protective factor for mental HRQOL among Parkinson's disease caregivers in Mexico and indicate that resilience may be beneficial to target in mental health promotion interventions.

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What Does Death Preparedness Mean for Family Caregivers of Persons With Dementia?

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to clarify the concept of death preparedness for family caregivers in dementia. Conceptualization was required to support the assessment, promotion, and operationalization (ie, measurement) of death preparedness through palliative care interventions such as advance care planning. Methods: Rodgers evolutionary method of concept analysis was selected to guide this study because of the dynamic nature of death preparedness influenced by context, setting, and time. A comprehensive literature search was conducted. Authors performed constant comparative analysis to identify and interpret surrogate/related concepts, attributes, antecedents, and consequences of death preparedness. Results: Most importantly attributes included (1) knowing and recognizing the symptoms of decline in dementia and what dying looks like; (2) understanding emotions and grief responses; (3) accessing and appraising supports needed to manage and care for dying; (4) organizing affairs and completing tasks in advance; (5) accepting that losses are inevitable and imminent; (6) reflecting on caregiving and finding meaning, “a silver-lining”; and (7) closing, reconciling, and renewing relationship bonds and completing the family member’s life. Discussion: This study contributed a full definition of death preparedness in dementia. Findings aligned with/expanded upon Hebert et al Theoretical Framework of Preparedness for End-of-Life. The use of problem- and emotion-based coping strategies by caregivers with support from health-care providers to promote feelings of death preparedness (including self-efficacy and control) and minimize uncertainty was the implication of this study. Development of a holistic preparedness instrument is underway. 

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Coping strategies and psychological distress in family carers of frail older people: A longitudinal study

Background: Carers of dependent older people experience high levels of psychological distress. However, little is known about the effects of coping on carer distress over time. In this one year longitudinal study we investigated the relationship between distress, and coping strategies in a representative sample of family carers living in Spain. Methods: Primary carers of older people were recruited (N = 200). We used probability sampling and collected data via individual interviews from 2013 to 2015. Variables investigated included psychological distress, coping, and levels of objective and subjective burden. Panel data analysis was used to test a model of association of psychological distress, and coping strategies controlling for key confounders. Results: Acceptance and emotional support were the most frequently used strategies, whereas behavioural disengagement and humour were the least used. In the panel data regressions, positive reframing (B = -0.79, p < 0.001), self-distraction (B = -0.46, p = 0.034), substance use (B = 0.57, p < 0.001) and denial (B = 0.57, p = 0,049) were significantly related to psychological distress at one year follow-up. Limitations: Limitations include participant drop out and assessing substance use coping via a brief measure. Conclusions: Positive reframing and self-distraction were longitudinally associated with lower levels of carer psychological distress. Using denial and substance use coping increased distress long-term. Our results suggest that interventions that focus on positive reframing and assisting carers in decreasing dysfunctional coping may be useful therapeutic targets mitigating carer psychological morbidity. 

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Long-Term Outcomes of the Benefit-Finding Group Intervention for Alzheimer Family Caregivers: A Cluster-Randomized Double-Blind Controlled Trial

Objectives: To examine the effects of the group benefit-finding therapeutic intervention (BFT) for Alzheimer family caregivers up to 10-month follow-up. Methods: This was a cluster-randomized double-blind controlled trial in social centers and clinics. Participants included 129 caregivers. Inclusion criteria were 1) primary caregiver aged 18 years and older and without cognitive impairment, 2) providing 14 or more care hours per week to a relative with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer disease, and 3) scoring 3 or more on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Exclusion criterion was care-recipient having parkinsonism or other forms of dementia. BFT (using cognitive reappraisal to find positive meanings) was evaluated against two forms of psychoeducation as controls—standard and simplified (lectures only) psychoeducation. All interventions had eight weekly sessions of 2 hours each. Primary outcome was depressive symptoms, whereas secondary outcomes were global burden, role overload, and psychological well-being. Measures were collected at baseline, postintervention, and 4- and 10-month follow-up. Results: Mixed-effects regression showed that BFT's effect on depressive symptoms conformed to a curvilinear pattern, in which the strong initial effect leveled out after postintervention and was maintained up to 10-month follow-up; this was true when compared against either control group. The effect on global burden was less impressive but moderate effect sizes were found at the two follow-ups. For psychological well-being, there was an increase in the BFT group at 4-month follow-up and a return to baseline afterward. No effect on role overload was found. Conclusion: Benefit-finding reduces depressive symptoms as well as global burden in the long-term and increases psychological well-being in the medium-term.

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Factors associated with high strain in caregivers of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in Malaysia

A cross-sectional study design involving a total of 230 participants, recruited through Alzheimer's Disease Foundation Malaysia (ADFM), was adopted to access and correlate caregiver strain index (CSI) and resilience (RES) levels of the AD caregivers with various patients’ and caregivers’ factors. Findings revealed that 77.7% of caregivers had a high level of stress, and there was a significant negative correlation between RES and CSI (P < 0.001). Care recipients’ physical function was negatively associated with CSI level. Caregivers’ gender and employment status were not directly associated with CSI but were significantly associated with caregivers’ RES level. Among the mediator variables, years of care was related to increase CSI and adult-children of AD patients experienced a higher level of caregiver strain compared to the other caregiver groups (P = 0.025). Thus, interventions to improve the family caregivers’ RES level, and support for AD patients will be helpful in lowering the strains of AD caregivers.

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In Their Own Words: Experiences of Caregivers of Adults With Cancer as Expressed on Social Media

PURPOSE: To explore caregivers' writings about their experiences caring for adult individuals with cancer on a social media health communication website. PARTICIPANTS & SETTING: Journal entries (N = 392) were analyzed for 37 adult caregivers who were posting on behalf of 20 individuals with cancer. CaringBridge is a website used by patients and informal caregivers to communicate about acute and chronic disease. METHODOLOGIC APPROACH: A retrospective descriptive study using qualitative content analysis of caregivers' journal entries from 2009 to 2015. FINDINGS: Major categories identified in caregivers' online journals included patient health information, cancer awareness/advocacy, social support, caregiver burden, daily living, emotions (positive and negative), and spirituality. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: Nurses often recommend using social media as a communication strategy for patients with cancer and their caregivers. The findings from this study provide potential guidance nurses may wish to offer caregivers. For example, nurses may talk with caregivers about how and what to post regarding treatment decisions. In addition, nurses can provide support for caregivers struggling with when and how often to communicate on social media.

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Relationship Between Care Burden and Religious Beliefs Among Family Caregivers of Mentally Ill Patients

Families are considered as primary sources of care for individuals suffering from mental disorders. However, one of the major stresses in families is the infliction of a family member with mental illnesses causing dysfunction in health dimensions or generally their quality of life. Currently, most experts believe that religion can affect physical health and other aspects of human life. So, the aim of this study was to investigate “the relationship between care burden and religious beliefs among family caregivers of mentally ill patients.” This cross-sectional study was carried out in Iran on 152 families with mentally ill patients who were hospitalized in psychiatric wards. The sampling method was nonprobability and consecutive sampling method. The data collection instruments included a demographic characteristic questionnaire, Religious Beliefs, and Zarit Care Burden Questionnaires. The mean score for care burden was 30.99 (SD = 16.45). 5.9% of the participants reported a low level, and 39.5% experienced a moderate level of care burden. Moreover, the mean score for religious beliefs was 115.5 (SD = 13.49), and majority of the participants (70.4%) were endowed with strong religious beliefs. There were no significant associations between care burden and intensity of religious beliefs among the study samples (P = 0.483). Considering the results of this study indicating experience of moderate-to-high levels of care burden in families with mentally ill patients, it is recommended to consider such families and their religious beliefs as contributing factors in coping with challenges of mental disorders. 

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Care Burden and Mental Ill Health in Spouses of People With Parkinson Disease Dementia and Lewy Body Dementia

Objectives: To explore and compare levels of mental health, care burden, and relationship satisfaction among caregiving spouses of people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia in Parkinson disease (PD-MCI or PDD) or dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Methods: Spouses (n = 136) completed measures of mood, stress, resilience, general health, quality of life, care burden, and relationship satisfaction, as well as sociodemographic factors. Additionally, data on motor and neuropsychiatric symptom severity of people with PD-MCI, PDD, or DLB were obtained in a subsample. Results: Most spouses were married women (>85%) who provided a median of 4 years of care and 84 hours of weekly care. Among these, relationship dissatisfaction, stress, anxiety, care burden, and feelings of resentment were common. Spouses of people with PDD and DLB had significantly higher rates of burden, resentment, and depression compared to spouses of people with PD-MCI. Furthermore, unique group differences emerged whereby spouses of people with PDD had significantly longer duration of care provision, higher stress, more relationship dissatisfaction, and fewer positive interactions, compared to PD-MCI group, whereas anxiety and lower levels of mental health were prominent in spouses of people with DLB, compared to PD-MCI group. Despite this, the majority of spouses reported good quality of life, resilience, and satisfaction with the caring role. Conclusion: Both PDD and DLB significantly contribute to poorer mental health and higher levels of care burden in spouses. Clinicians should actively screen the risk of burden, stress, depression, and anxiety among caregiving spouses of people with these conditions.

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"I Don't Feel Like I Have Any Control of My Life at All . . . Everything Overwhelms Me. Everything": Analyzing Caregiver Uncertainty and Control Through Stance Marking

Informal caregivers immersed in the daily care of loved ones at end-of-life stages face such challenges as medical and household issues, worries, doubts, and uncertainties. Using a macro-mezzo-micro approach to discourse, we analyzed parent study interview data involving 46 caregivers facing end-of-life realities. At the mezzo level, we examined caregivers' expressed perceptions of control. We then more finely analyzed discursive expressions of affective stances pertaining to caregivers' emotions and feelings, and epistemic stances pertaining to their knowledge and belief states. Theories of uncertainty and control inextricably interweave areas of cognition, affect, and behavior regarding how caregivers perceive their realities and how they engage in or disengage from coping mechanisms in the process. The findings in this three-tiered approach make salient specific discursive patterns gleaned from systematic and fastidious attention to caregivers' own ways of using language that methodically afford deeper entry into the emotional, physical, and cognitive challenges in their everyday lived experiences.

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Exploring the associations between spiritual well-being, burden, and quality of life in family caregivers of cancer patients

Objective: The spiritual dimension is important in the process of coping with stress and may be of special relevance for those caring for cancer patients in the various phases of caregivership, although current attention is most prevalent at the end of life. This study explores the associations among spiritual well-being (SWB), caregiver burden, and quality of life (QoL) in family caregivers of patients with cancer during the course of the disease. Method: This is a cross-sectional study. All participants (n = 199) underwent the following self-report questionnaires: the SWB-Index, the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form, and the Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI). SWB scores were dichotomized at a cutoff corresponding to the 75th percentile. Statistical analyses were made using the Student t or by chi-square test to compare high and low SWB groups. Result The high SWB group reported significantly better Medical Outcomes Study Short Form scores in bodily pain (p = 0.035), vitality (p < 0.001), social activities (p = 0.001), mental health (p < 0.001), and in standardized mental component subscales (p < 0.001) than the low SWB group. No significant differences were detected between the two SWB groups in physical activity, physical role, general health, emotional status, and standardized physical component scale. The high SWB group also had better CBI scores in the physical (p = 0.049) and developmental burden (p = 0.053) subscales. There were no significant differences in the other CBI scores (overall and sections). Significance of results This study points out that high SWB caregivers have a more positive QoL and burden. Knowledge of these associations calls for more attention on the part of healthcare professionals toward spiritual resources among family cancer caregivers from the moment of diagnosis and across the entire cancer trajectory.

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Care Stress Experienced by Caregivers of Elderly Individuals With Disabilities and the Coping Strategies Utilized: A Survey Study in the City of Nanjing, China

The objectives of this study were to (1) analyze the circumstances of caregivers of elderly individuals with disabilities; (2) present their levels of care stress; (3) examine family, market, and government factors that help reduce this care stress; and (4) identify the most effective method of alleviating stress for these individuals. Face-to-face interviews were conducted using standardized questionnaires. Caregivers experienced a moderate level of stress, which increased with time. Spouse caregivers experienced highest care stress, with psychological stress being greatest. All caregiver groups received different levels of care assistance from family, market, and government. Most received support from family, few paid for professional care market services, and most were unsatisfied with government care services. Stress was associated differently with care time, care assistance, and sociodemographic characteristics. Spouse caregivers, psychological counseling, and quality of public care services require further attention, with an integrated care system required to help alleviate care stress among caregivers.

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Coping but not allowing the coping to be everything: Resilience in informal dementia care

Health and social sciences literature recognises the significance of psychological resilience in relation to stressful life events. Providing ongoing care for a friend or relative with dementia can be inherently stressful. The aims of this qualitative study were to: (a) explore discrepancies and congruency between definitions of resilience in the academic literature and carers own conceptualisations; (b) assess differences and similarities in conceptualisations of resilience between carers with high, medium and low resilience scores; (c) compare carers’ perceived level of resilience with the level of resilience when measured on a standardised tool. Participants were recruited from an earlier study examining levels of resilience and well‐being in UK carers of people with dementia. A subset of carers were identified using theoretical sampling, to ensure a diversity of participant characteristics and caring experience. Thirteen carers took part in semi‐structured interviews between September and October 2017. Interpretative description was used to elicit findings relevant to clinical practice. We found carers’ definitions were concordant with clinical and academic definitions described in the literature. However, they extended the concept and placed greater value on the role of self‐compassion. Carers recognised that the appearance of resilience may have negative consequences in terms of securing support from others. Scores on the Brief Resilient Coping Scale did not always match carers’ own perceptions of their level of resilience. Additionally, service providers’ offers of support did not always reflect carers’ priorities. Aligning these two areas would better enable carers and providers to work together to identify resources to support resilience.

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The impact of goal adjustment and caregiver burden on psychological distress among caregivers of cancer patients

Objectives: Research has demonstrated that serving in the caregiver role is often associated with increased symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety, but some people fare better than others in managing the burden of caregiving. The goal of the present study was to examine the potential moderating role of goal adjustment (the ability to disengage from unattainable goals and reengage in alterative ones) on the relation between caregiver burden and distress in family caregivers of cancer patients. Methods: Caregivers of adult family members diagnosed with cancer in the past 3 years participated (N = 102). Participants were consented and completed online questionnaires on psychological distress, caregiver burden, and goal adjustment. Results: The ability to disengage from unattainable goals was associated with lower anxiety and stress in the face of increasing caregiver burden. By contrast, the ability to reengage in alternative goals was associated with lower depression as burden increased. Conclusions: The present study suggests that goal adjustment may play an important moderating role in the relationship between caregiver burden and distress. Caregivers who are better able to disengage from unattainable goals may experience less stress and anxiety, and caregivers who are better able to reengage in alternative goals experience less depressed mood. This study provides preliminary evidence that learning different ways to approach and adjust goals may reduce depression, anxiety, and stress in family caregivers. 

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Experiences of caregivers of family member with schizophrenia in China: A qualitative study

Purpose: To explore the experience of caregivers of family members with schizophrenia.; Design and Methods: A qualitative approach was adopted to examine the experience of caregivers of people with schizophrenia. The researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with 16 participants recruited through purposive sampling.; Findings: The change findings encompassed five major themes: (a) loss of personal life, (b) mixed emotions, (c) changes in family relationships, (d) the need for professional support and help, and (e) coping strategies.; Practice Implications: Clinicians, including nurses, must be aware of the cultural importance of mental illness, particularly the widespread cultural beliefs and patterns of help-seeking behaviors, to provide culturally sensitive health care and develop empirical strategies for helping both these caregivers and their dependents.

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Gender Differences in Longitudinal Associations Between Intimate Care, Resiliency, and Depression Among Informal Caregivers of Patients Surviving the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit

Background/Objective: Informal caregivers (e.g., family and friends) are at risk for developing depression, which can be detrimental to both caregiver and patient functioning. Initial evidence suggests that resiliency may reduce the risk of depression. However, gender differences in associations between multiple psychosocial resiliency factors and depression have not been examined among neuroscience intensive care unit (neuro-ICU) caregivers. We explored interactions between caregiver gender and baseline resiliency factors on depression symptom severity at baseline through 3 and 6 months post-discharge. Methods: Caregivers (N = 96) of neuro-ICU patients able to provide informed consent to participate in research were enrolled as part of a prospective, longitudinal study in the neuro-ICU of a major academic medical center. Caregiver sociodemographics and resiliency factors (coping, mindfulness, self-efficacy, intimate care, and preparedness for caregiving) were assessed during the patient’s hospitalization (i.e., baseline). Levels of depressive symptoms were measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months post-discharge. Results: Baseline depressive symptoms predicted depressive symptoms at both 3- and 6-month follow-ups, with no difference at any time point in rates of depression by gender. At baseline, greater levels of coping, mindfulness, and preparedness for caregiving were individually associated with lower levels of concurrent depression regardless of gender (ps < 0.006). The main effect of baseline coping remained significant at 3-month follow-up (p = 0.045). We observed a trend-level interaction between gender and baseline intimate care, such that among male caregivers only, high baseline intimate care was associated with lower depression at 3-month follow-up (p = 0.055). At 6-month follow-up, we observed a significant interaction between caregiver gender and baseline intimate care, such that male caregivers reporting high intimate care reported lower symptoms of depression than females reporting high intimate care (p = 0.037). Conclusions: Results support implementation of psychosocial resiliency interventions for caregivers of patients admitted to the neuro-ICU early in the recovery process. Male caregivers may particularly benefit from strategies focused on increasing intimate care (e.g., physical and emotional affection with their loved one) and quality of the patient-caregiver dyadic relationship.

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Social support and high resilient coping in carers of people with dementia

High resilience is associated with improved carer outcomes. Both individual factors and the availability of social support have been linked with resilience. This study was conducted to compare socio-demographic characteristics and the availability of social support for carers with low and high resilient coping, and identify if any domain of social support predicted high resilient coping in informal carers of people with dementia. The participants in this cross sectional survey included 108 informal carers of people with dementia. Findings showed the availability of emotional/informational support was most likely to predict resilient coping and tangible support the least likely. However, when controlling for all covariates, only gender predicted high resilient coping, individual social support domains were no longer significant. Therefore, as no single domain of social support has a significantly greater influence on resilient coping, service providers should enable carers to build a wide, multi-function support network.

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Re-building relationships after a spinal cord injury: experiences of family caregivers and care recipients

Background: Following spinal cord injury (SCI), family members are often called upon to undertake the caregiving role. This change in the nature of the relationship between the individuals with SCI and their families can lead to emotional, psychological, and relationship challenges. There is limited research on how individuals with SCI and their family caregivers adapt to their new lives post-injury, or on which dyadic coping strategies are used to maintain relationships. Thus, the objectives of this study were to obtain an in-depth understanding of 1) the experiences and challenges within a caregiving relationship post-SCI among spouses, as well as parents and adult children; and 2) the coping strategies used by caregivers and care recipients to maintain/rebuild their relationships.; Methods: A qualitative descriptive approach with an exploratory design was used. Semi-structured face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted. Thematic analysis was used to identify key themes arising from individuals with SCI's (n = 19) and their family caregivers' (n = 15) experiences.; Results: Individuals with SCI and family caregivers spoke in-depth and openly about their experiences and challenges post-injury, with two emerging themes (including subsequent sub-themes). The first theme of deterioration of relationship, which reflects the challenges experienced/factors that contributed to disintegration in a relationship post-injury, included: protective behaviours, asymmetrical dependency, loss of sex and intimacy, and difficulty adapting. The second theme of re-building/maintaining the relationship, which reflects the strategies used by dyads to adjust to the changes within the relationship brought upon by the injury, included: interdependence, shifting commonalities, adding creativity into routine, and creating a new normal.; Conclusions: These findings should alert healthcare professionals and peer support groups as to the need for possible education and training (e.g., coping strategies, communication skills training) as well as counseling prior to discharge to assist individuals with SCI and family caregivers with adaptation to a new life post-injury.

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Family Caregiver Perspectives on End-of-Life Dreams and Visions during Bereavement: A Mixed Methods Approach

Background: End-of-life dreams and visions (ELDVs) are prevalent experiences that provide comfort and meaning to dying individuals. Limited research has examined the impact of ELDVs on the bereaved. Objective: This study aimed to explore differences in self-reported grief for people whose loved ones shared ELDVs and those who did not, and to describe the role of ELDVs in the grieving process. Design: Mixed-methods cross-sectional survey. Settings/Subjects: A total of 228 bereaved family caregivers (FCGs) of patients who died while under the care of a comprehensive hospice program were recruited. Measurements: Demographics and ELDV prevalence were collected. Bereavement was assessed using the Core Bereavement Items (CBI) a validated measure. Impact on grief was also evaluated using an ad hoc tool. Results: Comfort from dreams significantly related to total CBI score (r = 0.224, p = 0.047) as well as the images and thoughts (r = 0.258, p = 0.025) and acute separation subscales (r = 0.224, p = 0.047). Comfort from dreams had a positive relationship with accepting the reality of loss (r = -0.511, p < 0.001), working through the pain of grief (r = -0.556, p < 0.001), adjusting to the new environment (r = -0.405, p = 0.001), and continuing bonds (r = -0.538, p < 0.001). CBI scores were not significantly different between caregivers who reported loved ones with ELDVs and others. Open-ended responses were thematically analyzed resulting in three emergent themes: comfort, reflection and emotions, and sense-making. Conclusions: ELDVs' impact extends beyond those experiencing them to bereaved loved ones. Bereaved FCGs report that comforting ELDVs experienced by their dying loved ones influenced their grief process in terms of the Worden's tasks of mourning.

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Development and validation of the Family Resilience (FaRE) Questionnaire: an observational study in Italy

Objective: Develop and validate an instrument to assess family resilience and, more specifically, the family dynamics and resources, estimating the adaptation flexibility to cancer disease. Cohesion, communication, coping style and relational style were considered as critical functional areas in the construction of the instrument.; Design: Two cross-sectional studies. Study 1: identification of factorial structure of the questionnaire in two samples with different cancer sites. Study 2: validation of the questionnaire in patients with cancer in two different phases of their therapeutic pathway.; Participants and Setting: A total of 213 patients with a histologically confirmed non-metastatic breast or prostate cancer and 209 caregivers were recruited for the two studies from an oncological hospital in Italy.; Outcome Measures: The Resilience Scale for Adults and the Family Resilience (FaRE) Questionnaire, developed by the researchers, were administered to all patients and caregivers who gave consent.; Results: In study 1, the 60-item version of the FaRE Questionnaire underwent discriminant and construct validity, internal consistency and factorial analysis. Comparisons between patient and caregiver populations showed that patients perceived higher levels of family resources (p=0.048) and that patients with prostate cancer perceived less social support compared with patients with breast cancer (p=0.002). Factor analysis demonstrated four domains: communication and cohesion, perceived social support, perceived family coping, and religiousness and spirituality. In study 2, the validity and factorial structure of the final scale, composed of 24 items, were confirmed. The Cronbach alpha of all subscales was above 82. Normative values for patients with breast cancer can provide indications of family resilience levels.; Conclusions: Preliminary findings showed acceptable psychometric properties for the FaRE Questionnaire to evaluate family resilience in oncological patients and their caregivers. Further research should test its sensibility to change to assess its use as a psychoemotional monitoring tool and its validity in other medical contexts.

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Addressing personal barriers to advance care planning: Qualitative investigation of a mindfulness-based intervention for adults with cancer and their family caregivers

Objective: Advance care planning (ACP) increases quality of life and satisfaction with care for those with cancer and their families, yet these important conversations often do not occur. Barriers include patients' and families' emotional responses to cancer, such as anxiety and sadness, which can lead to avoidance of discussing illness-related topics such as ACP. Interventions that address psychological barriers to ACP are needed. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of a mindfulness intervention designed to cultivate patient and caregiver emotional and relational capacity to respond to the challenges of cancer with greater ease, potentially decreasing psychological barriers to ACP and enhancing ACP engagement. Method: The Mindfully Optimizing Delivery of End-of-Life (MODEL) Care intervention provided 12 hours of experiential training to two cohorts of six to seven adults with advanced-stage cancer and their family caregivers (n = 13 dyads). Training included mindfulness practices, mindful communication skills development, and information about ACP. Patient and caregiver experiences of the MODEL Care program were assessed using semistructured interviews administered immediately postintervention and open-ended survey questions delivered immediately and at 4 weeks postintervention. Responses were analyzed using qualitative methods.Result Four salient themes were identified. Patients and caregivers reported the intervention (1) enhanced adaptive coping practices, (2) lowered emotional reactivity, (3) strengthened relationships, and (4) improved communication, including communication about their disease. Significance of resultsThe MODEL Care intervention enhanced patient and caregiver capacity to respond to the emotional challenges that often accompany advanced cancer and decreased patient and caregiver psychological barriers to ACP.

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The use of carer perspectives and expert consensus to define key components of a biopsychosocial support intervention for stroke carers

Objective: To identify the key components of a biopsychosocial support intervention to improve mental wellbeing for informal stroke carers within the first year post-stroke based on the combined perspectives of experts in the field of psychological care after stroke and informal stroke carers themselves. Methods: After reviewing the existing literature a cross-sectional mixed-methods design was adopted comprising 1) focus groups with informal stroke carers about their psychological support needs, and 2) nominal group technique with academic and clinical stroke care experts to reach consensus on intervention priorities. Transcripts were thematically analyzed and combined with the ranked priorities from the nominal group to identify key components for intervention content. Results: Key themes for informal stroke carers were associated with: 1) changes in relationships, roles, and dynamics; 2) emotional impact and acceptance; 3) drawing on inner resources; 4) looking for information, solutions, and explanations; 5) support from others. The expert nominal group placed priority on eight ranked areas: 1) acknowledging "normal" emotions; 2) education about the effects of a stroke; 3) reactions to loss and adjustment; 4) recognizing signs and symptoms of not coping; 5) knowing how and when to access practical and emotional support; 6) strategies for taking care of own health; 7) dealing with difficult emotions; and 8) problem solving skills. Conclusions: Themes from the informal carer focus groups, and ranked priority areas will inform the development of a biopsychosocial support intervention for stroke carers to be tested in a feasibility randomized controlled trial.

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Dyadic construction of dementia: meta-ethnography and behaviour-process synthesis

Objectives: Good interaction with family caregivers helps maintain positive identity in people with dementia. However, research in this area is limited. We aimed to systematically review the dyadic experience of dementia caring. Method: We searched on five databases: MedLine, EMBASE, PsycInfo, ASSIA, and CINAHL. Eligible studies employed qualitative or mixed method design, reported the experience of dyads of dementia with no comorbid organic or psychiatric disorders. No restrictions were made on language, year of publication, sex or age of participants. Two independent researchers conducted the quality appraisal of studies. We synthesise data through meta-ethnography and developed a behavioural model to explain dyadic interaction. Results: Seventeen studies were included in the review. The meta-ethnography generated two third-order constructs: Personal orientation and noises. When people with dementia and their carers have dyadic-oriented goals, their behavioural responses may promote positive interaction. When only one partner has dyadic goals, context-related stress may affect the interaction, because of no perceived shared understanding of the situation. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that unequal power distribution within dyads, can cause significant stress, when coping strategies are impaired. We discussed implications for family carers, people with dementia, and health professionals deriving from greater understanding of dyadic dynamics to care.

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How Is the Caregiver Doing? Capturing Caregivers' Experiences With a Reflective Toolkit

Background: This paper describes the Co-Care-KIT, a reflective toolkit designed to provide insights into the diverse experiences of home-based informal caregivers during the delivery of care to a relative or loved one.  Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the toolkit, including a custom-designed journal, tools for photography-based experience sampling, and heart rate tracking, which enables caregivers to collect and reflect on their positive and negative daily experiences in situ. Methods: A 2-week field study with informal caregivers (N=7) was conducted to evaluate the Co-Care-KIT and to capture their daily personal emotional experiences. The collected data samples were analyzed and used for collaborative dialogue between the researcher and caregiver. Results: The results suggest that the toolkit (1) increased caregivers’ awareness of their own well-being through in situ reflection on their experiences; (2) empowered caregivers to share their identities and experiences as a caregiver within their social networks; (3) enabled the capturing of particularly positive experiences; and (4) provided caregivers reassurance with regards to their own mental health. Conclusion: By enabling capturing and collaborative reflection, the kit helped to gain a new understanding of caregivers’ day-to-day needs and emotional experiences.

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Effects of Positive Thinking on Dementia Caregivers' Burden and Care-Recipients' Behavioral Problems

Most dementia care is provided at home by family members. This caregiving places an additional burden on the family members, which can negatively impact their physical and psychological well-being. The caregivers' burden can also contribute to behavioral problems in the care-recipients. The purpose of this study was to examine the mediating/moderating effects of positive thinking (PT) on the relationship between caregivers' burden (embarrassment/anger, patient's dependency, and self-criticism) and their care-recipients' behavioral problems (memory, depression, and disruption) in a sample of 100 dementia caregivers. Results indicated that caregivers' embarrassment, self-criticism, and perception of patient dependency predicts depression in care-recipients, and these relationships are moderated by PT. Results also indicated that as PT increases, the relationship between embarrassment and disruption goes down as well as does the relationship between self-criticism and depression. The study provided direction for the development of a PT training intervention to help caregivers to combat their burden.

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Nonpharmacological Strategies Used By Family Caregivers of Persons With Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias as Presented in Blogs

Individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) may exhibit behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia that can increase the strain experienced by their family caregivers. This strain correlates with increased stress and reduced quality of life for the family caregiver and individual with ADRD. More information is needed regarding the ways in which caregivers manage the caregiving experience in their efforts to reduce strain and maintain or improve quality of life. Many individuals, including dementia caregivers, use web blogs as online journals to share their lived experiences. The current study used blogs written by family caregivers of persons with ADRD to explore strategies used to support their care recipients. Using a qualitative thematic analysis, six themes related to the strategies used by caregivers were identified: Modifying the Physical and Personal Environment; Engaging the Person With ADRD; Seeking Outside Assistance; Using Complementary Therapies; Planning and Organization; and Reminiscing and Traditions. The current findings extend our understanding of strategies for caregiving that are used by and acceptable to family caregivers of persons with ADRD. This information can be used to develop or modify nursing-related interventions and services aimed at improving caregiver strain and quality of life. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 45(7), 25-35.].

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Male working carers: a qualitative analysis of males involved in caring alongside full-time paid work

Given ageing demographics, the need for carers will increase and studies suggest that men are nearly as likely as women to become carers. The purpose of this study is to understand the specific challenges that male working carers experience with regard to social life and paid work. Participant recruitment was conducted through local carer support groups and male-dominated workplaces. Using a semi-structured format, 15 interviews were conducted. Findings suggest a variety of themes, including caring characteristics, the effects of caring, support systems and coping strategies. Our results indicate that the male working carer population faces specific challenges in the workplace and social settings.

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Depression of persons with dementia and family caregiver burden: Finding positives in caregiving as a moderator

Aim: The present study examined the association between depression of persons with dementia and family caregiver burden, as well as whether the association depended on the level of caregivers' ability to find positives in caregiving.; Methods: Based on the medical records of a local mental health hospital and the statistics of an epidemiological survey, this cross-sectional study included 157 major family caregivers of non-institutionalized dementia patients in the rural sector of Western China's Sichuan Province. They responded to the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia, a short version of the Zarit Burden Interview, a subscale of a caregiver meaning scale and demographic questions.; Results: Controlling for the demographic variables of the caregivers, the present study found that dementia patients' depression level was significantly associated with caregiver burden (P < 0.001), and the caregivers' levels of finding positives in caregiving significantly moderated the association (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the positive correlation between dementia patients' depression and caregiver burden was weaker among the family caregivers with a high level of finding positives in caregiving, compared with those with a low level of finding positives in caregiving.; Conclusions: This research suggests the importance of facilitating family caregivers of dementia patients to find positives in caregiving. It provides initial data for the development of dementia caregiver burden interventions that are based on the understanding of the deep meaning of dementia caregiving. 

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Recovery from burden: informal caregiver profiles that predict treatment success

Background: Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPI) of dementia are important determinants of caregiver burden, while caregiver coping styles and competences can relieve burden. Caregivers differ in coping with the demands made on them and in experienced burden. What changes in caregivers explain recovery from burden, and which caregiver characteristics predict recovery from burden over time, and does treatment make a difference?Methods: This study into recovery from burden was a secondary analysis of data collected in a formerly conducted randomized controlled trial (RCT) on the integrated reactivation and rehabilitation (IRR) programme in a psychiatric-skilled nursing home, compared to usual care (UC; i.e. day care, assisted living arrangements, and nursing home wards). For this secondary analysis, longitudinal data on persons with dementia and caregivers were used from baseline (T1), end of treatment (T2), and at nine months (T3). Results: Caregivers with an improved sense of competence (SCS) who care for persons with dementia with a decreased severity of NPI have the highest chance of recovering from burden (CSI). Caregivers with a tendency to feel involved with others and sympathize with others (affiliation, ICL-R) have a slightly lower probability of improvement with respect to their sense of competence in the short term. The number of improved caregivers was higher in IRR than UC. Conclusion: Recovery depends on both an improved sense of competence and a decreased severity of NPI. Combined interventions that address both NPI and focus on enhancing caregiver's sense of competence have added value when it comes to decreasing caregiver burden.

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The impact of early‐stage dementia on community‐dwelling care recipient/carer dyads' capacity to self‐manage

Aims and objectives: To explore the impact of early‐stage dementia on care recipient/carer dyads' confidence or belief in their capacity to manage the behavioural and functional changes associated with dementia and to access appropriate support networks. Background: Living with dementia has predominantly been explored from the carer perspective and focused on the stress and burden of supporting a person with dementia. There has been a shift towards a more positive discourse to accommodate the role of self‐efficacy in supporting self‐management by people living with dementia. However, little has been reported on the dyadic experience of self‐efficacy in managing life with dementia. Design: A qualitative study using an interpretive descriptive approach. Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 13 dyads in the early stages of dementia. The collected data underwent a process of thematic analysis. The study followed the COnsolidated criteria for REporting Qualitative research (COREQ) checklist. Results: Dyadic adjustment to dementia was dynamic, involving shifts between loss and adaptation. Threats to self‐efficacy, declining autonomy and stigma, were significant causes of concern for both members of the dyad. Dyadic self‐efficacy was demonstrated through recognition of and adaptation to dementia‐related changes and development of coping strategies to integrate impairment into everyday life. Conclusions: Solution‐focused approaches that improve knowledge and skills enable the dyad to adjust. The considerable impact of stigma on self‐efficacy indicates that supportive disclosure strategies developed in mental health may also have a role to play in dementia interventions. Relevance to clinical practice: Nurses play a significant role in advising and supporting care recipient/carer dyads with dementia, and a better understanding of the dyadic perspective provides them with essential information to support self‐management. A proactive approach including information and support, offered at the beginning of the condition/care trajectory, may have the potential to delay progression into more dependent stages.

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Sense of coherence in family caregivers of people living with dementia: a mixed-methods psychometric evaluation

Background: Family caregivers of people living with dementia can experience feelings of burden and stress but the concept of sense of coherence has been identified as an important protective trait against the negative impact of caregiving. Despite this, there has been no psychometric evaluation of the Sense of Coherence scale-13 with this population. Therefore, a psychometric evaluation was conducted using a mixed-methods approach.; Method: Five hundred and eighty-three caregivers of people living with dementia participated in the study. We examined the feasibility, internal consistency, construct validity, floor and ceiling effects, concurrent validity and face validity of the Sense of Coherence scale-13.; Results: The Sense of Coherence scale-13 demonstrated adequate internal consistency. Sense of coherence was positively related to resilience, sense of competence and health related quality of life, demonstrating good concurrent validity. However, the face validity of the scale was assessed as poor.; Conclusion: The sense of coherence scale performed well under psychometric evaluation however guidance for caregivers should be examined and revised to reflect feedback from caregivers who completed this study, which could lead to improved face validity for this scale.; Trial Registration Number: ISRCTN10748953 . Registered 18th September 2014.

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How to relieve stress in adult child caregivers of the older adults with disabilities: a survey study from the city of Nanjing, China

The care of older adults with disabilities (OADs) in China is mostly provided by their adult offspring. As the population continues to age, carer stress will increase. A survey of 900 adult child caregivers of OADs was conducted in Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, China, and used to investigate the status and stress levels of caregivers in order to explore effective support for offspring caregivers and suggest improvements to the social care system. Multiple linear regression models were used to examine the effects of coping strategies on carer stress. Caregivers experienced stress at moderate or high levels due to physical, psychological, financial, and work issues. Stress was significantly associated with OADs' health status and self-care ability, and the amount of care time. Caregivers sought help from their families to care for elderly parents, which significantly relieved stress. The purchase of social care services and professional medical services for OADs significantly reduced stress; however, for elderly persons with high self-care ability, the purchase of social care services increased caregiver stress, while government-subsidized family nursing allowances reduced it. It is necessary to focus on the role of family care to stimulate mutual family support, and to integrate society and government support systems.

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Family dynamics in young adult cancer caregiving: "It should be teamwork"

Purpose/objectives: Young adult cancer patients undergo stress at a time when their primary source of psychosocial support may be changing. Our goal was to provide insight into the expectations young adult patients and their family caregivers for types of psychosocial support.; Research Approach: Semi-structured interviews.; Participants: Fifteen patients, 9 caregivers recruited from an AYA clinic. Methodological Approach: Thematic content analysis using the constant comparison method.; Findings: Two themes were identified. First, families described coordinating support around strengths to determine who would take on caregiving roles/tasks. Second, families described the importance of patient-caregiver relationship status/history in determining trust and expectations.; Interpretation: Family strengths and existing relationships can impact caregiving roles and expectations for families of young adult cancer patients. Implications for Psychosocial Providers: Cancer clinics may need to involve members of the psychosocial provider team to better understand the family dynamics of their patients and how these relate to support.

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Caregivers of older adults with dementia and multiple chronic conditions: Exploring their experiences with significant changes

Family caregiving is considered a social transition as changes in the health of the care recipient create a process of transition for the caregiver when they are more vulnerable to threats to their own health. Family and friend caregivers take on many responsibilities and experience high levels of burden when caring for community-dwelling older adults living with dementia and multiple chronic conditions. However, little is known about the changes they experience in their caring roles or how they cope with these changes. This qualitative descriptive study was part of a larger mixed methods randomized controlled trial evaluating a web-based caregiver support toolkit. Multiple semi-structured phone interviews were conducted with caregivers of older adults with dementia and multiple chronic conditions. Content analysis was used to generate thematic descriptions. Six themes were generated and grouped into two categories. Significant changes experienced by caregivers are described by the following themes: 'everything falls on you - all of the responsibilities,' 'too many feelings' and 'no time for me.' The themes describing how caregivers coped with these changes include: seeking support, self-caring, and adapting their caregiving approach. Study results indicate that caregivers of older adults with dementia and multiple chronic conditions experienced many changes in their caregiving journey resulting in increasing complexity as they tended to the care recipients' declining health and well-being. These caregivers used several creative strategies to cope with these changes. Health care providers should consider both the caregiver and care recipient as clients in the circle of care, and facilitate their linkage with health and community support services to help address the increasing complexity of care needs.

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Beyond care burden: associations between positive psychological appraisals and well-being among informal caregivers in Europe

Purpose: The burden of caring for a family member or friend can have a negative impact on caregiver health and well-being, yet caring can also have positive consequences. Understanding the factors that may enhance caregiver well-being is merited.; Methods: We used data gathered from the European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS). Using complete case analysis followed by multiple imputation analysis, a series of multilevel regression models were developed to systematically explore the role of three distinct blocks of factors in predicting caregiver well-being as measured by the WHO-5 well-being index: (1) sociodemographic and health factors, (2) care and burden-related factors, and (3) psychological and social appraisals. Differences between frequent caregivers and the general population were also compared on all measures.; Results: 36,908 respondents took part in EQLS, with 4171 (11%) identifying as frequent carers. While frequent caregivers reported lower well-being compared to the remaining population, most were happy with the amount of time spent caring. Our model explained approximately 32% of variance in well-being scores. After examining the role of known risk factors, all positive psychological appraisals were associated with higher well-being (p < .001). In order of magnitude these were optimism, perceived autonomy, sense of purpose, resilience, and perceived levels of social inclusion. Self-rated health was the strongest predictor of well-being while female carers and those with high levels of various burden measures reported lower well-being.; Conclusions: Findings suggest that caregiver well-being is influenced by more than simply the burden of care. As well as attempting to reduce burden, interventions aimed at supporting caregivers could focus on fostering more positive appraisals to enhance well-being in this group.

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Love and incomprehensibility: The hermeneutic labour of caring for and understanding a loved one with psychosis

Informal carers are increasingly involved in supporting people with severe and enduring mental health problems, and carers' perceptions impact the wellbeing of both parties. However, there is little research on how carers actually make sense of what their loved one is experiencing. Ten carers were interviewed about how they understood a loved one's psychosis. Data were analysed using a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach. Three themes described the carers' effortful quest to understand their loved one's experiences while maintaining their relational bonds. Carers described psychosis as incomprehensible, seeing their loved one as incompatible with the shared world. To overcome this, carers developed hermeneutic 'mooring points', making sense of their loved one's unusual experiences through novel accounts that drew on material or spiritual explanations. The findings suggest that informal carers resist biomedical narratives and develop idiosyncratic understandings of psychosis, in an attempt to maintain relational closeness. We suggest that this process is effortful - it is hermeneutic labour - done in the service of maintaining the caring relationship. Findings imply that services should better acknowledge the bond between carers and care-receivers, and that more relationally oriented approaches should be used to support carers of people experiencing severe mental health problems.

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Family resilience and psychological well-being among Chinese breast cancer survivors and their caregivers

Walsh's family resilience theory indicated that families could foster resilient outcomes among their members when they are facing changes or crises. However, little is known about family resilience and psychological well-being among Chinese breast cancer survivors and their caregivers. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the direct and indirect relationships between family resilience, breast cancer survivors' post-traumatic growth (PTG), quality of life (QOL), and their principal caregivers' caregiver burden. A total of 108 breast cancer survivors/principal caregivers pairs completed a cross-sectional questionnaire survey in a comprehensive cancer of a public hospital in Shandong Province, China. The structural equation modelling (SEM) results showed that family resilience had direct and indirect effects on QOL and caregiver burden, and it was positively related to the PTG of the survivors. The survivors' PTG was positively related to their QOL, and their QOL was negatively associated with caregiver burden. Therefore, a better understanding of how family resilience contributes to PTG and QOL of the survivors and caregiver burden could help clinicians tailor interventions to enhance interventions aimed at improving both survivors' and caregivers' well-being.

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The experience of family caregivers of patients with cancer in an Asian country: A grounded theory approach

Background: Strong family bonds are part of the Indonesian culture. Family members of patients with cancer are intensively involved in caring, also in hospitals. This is considered "normal": a societal and religious obligation. The values underpinning this might influence families' perception of it.; Aim: To explore and model experiences of family caregivers of patients with cancer in Indonesia in performing caregiving tasks.; Design: A grounded theory approach was applied. The constant comparative method was used for data analysis and a paradigm scheme was employed for developing a theoretical model.; Setting/participants:: The study was conducted in three hospitals in Indonesia. The participants were family caregivers of patients with cancer.; Results: A total of 24 family caregivers participated. "Belief in caregiving" appeared to be the core phenomenon. This reflects the caregivers' conviction that providing care is an important value, which becomes the will power and source of their strength. It is a combination of spiritual and religious, value and motivation to care, and is influenced by contextual factors. It influences actions: coping mechanisms, sharing tasks, and making sacrifices. Social support influences the process of the core phenomenon and the actions of the caregivers. Both positive and negative experiences were identified.; Conclusion: We developed a model of family caregivers' experiences from a country where caregiving is deeply rooted in religion and culture. The model might also be useful in other cultural contexts. Our model shows that the spiritual domain, not only for the patient but also for the family caregivers, should be structurally addressed by professional caregivers.

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Resilience in Carers of People With Young-Onset Alzheimer Disease

Young-onset Alzheimer disease (YOAD) causes psychological and emotional difficulties for carers. However, even in the face of considerable caregiving demands and burden, some carers are resistant to stress, which may be a sign of resilience. This study investigated whether the clinical symptoms of the person with YOAD might be associated with resilience in their carers. A consecutive series of 43 persons with YOAD and their 43 family caregivers were assessed. The carers showed moderate to high level of resilience, low level of anxiety and depressive symptoms, and moderate level of burden. No relationship was found between resilience and sociodemographic characteristics of both carers and care recipient and with clinical characteristics of persons with YOAD. A linear regression analysis showed that resilience was inversely associated with carers' depressive symptoms. The findings suggest that resilience may mainly be related to carers' mental health. 

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Facilitators and barriers to supporting individuals with spinal cord injury in the community: experiences of family caregivers and care recipients

Purpose: Family members make an important contribution to informal and formal care, as well as the overall health and wellbeing of individuals with spinal cord injury. Caregiving often results in negative outcomes which, if not addressed, threaten the sustainability of these critical supports. We sought to explore the perceptions of individuals with spinal cord injury and their family caregivers regarding the facilitators and barriers to undertaking and sustaining the caregiving role in the community.; Methods: A qualitative descriptive approach with semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis was employed to determine key themes arising from individuals with spinal cord injury (n = 19) and their family members' (n = 16) experiences.; Results: The following four facilitators to caregiving were identified: access to community support services, positive coping in relationship, social support, and mastery of caregiving roles. Conversely, the following six barriers to caregiving were identified: lack of access to community resources, lack of knowledge about resources and formal training, fragmented continuity of care, negative coping in relationship, role strain, and caregiver injury or illness.; Conclusions: The current study demonstrated that positive coping, social support, skills training, access to community services and continuity of care contribute significantly to the sustainability of the spinal cord injury family caregiving role. As such, the development of future caregiver interventions should consider these facilitators. Implications for Rehabilitation Family caregivers make an important contribution to the care processes and overall quality of life of individuals with spinal cord injury post-discharge into the community. The potential negative effects of caregiving could threaten the sustainability of these critical supports. Positive coping, social support, skills training, access to community services, and continuity of care contribute significantly to the sustainability of the spinal cord injury family caregiving role. This study shows the need for better integration of family members during the rehabilitation and discharge process to better prepare them for the caregiving role.

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Barriers and Facilitators to Preparedness for Death: Experiences of Family Caregivers of Elders with Dementia

Less is known about how caregivers prepare (or not) for the death of a family member with dementia. This study's purpose was to explore how caregivers handle these dementia deaths, including identification of barriers and facilitators to preparing caregivers for the death of an elder family member dying with dementia. This qualitative, descriptive study employed a purposive sampling strategy in which the principal investigator interviewed 36 caregivers of family members age 65 and older who died from a dementia-related diagnosis. Directed content analysis was used to analyze the data. Four primary themes were identified as barriers: (1) hindrances to information; (2) barriers to hospice; (3) ineffective attempts to comfort; and (4) the nature of death with dementia. Six themes were identified as facilitators: (1) religious/spiritual beliefs; (2) caregiver initiative; (3) prior experience; (4) bearing witness to decline; (5) professionals alerting caregiver (of what to expect of impending death); and (6) culture and legacy of family caregiving. The results support an increased role of social work in addressing caregivers' awareness of impending death and helping prepare them for the death of an elder with dementia.

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Stress-buffering Effect of Coping Strategies on Interrole Conflict among Family Caregivers of People with Dementia

Objectives: To examine the stress-buffering effect of coping strategies on the adverse effects of interrole conflict on the mental health of employed family caregivers, and clarify the moderating role of attentional control on this stress-buffering effect. Methods: Data were drawn from a two-wave longitudinal online survey of employed Japanese family caregivers of people with dementia (263 males, 116 females; age 51.54 ± 9.07 years). We assessed interrole conflict, coping strategies, attentional control, mental health variables (psychological strain and quality of life), and confounding factors. Results: Hierarchical regression analyses controlled for sociodemographic factors found formal support seeking had a stress-buffering effect for strain- and behavior-based caregiving interfering with work (CIW) only on psychological strain, and was moderated by attentional control. Single slope analysis showed higher CIW was related to higher psychological strain in those with greater use of formal support seeking and lower attentional control, but not in those with higher attentional control. Conclusions: Greater use of formal support seeking weakens the adverse effects of strain- and behavior-based CIW on psychological strain in people with high attentional control. Clinical Implications: Attentional control is a key factor in the stress-buffering effect of formal support seeking on strain- and behavior-based CIW. 

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The experiences of family caregivers of people with advanced dementia living in nursing homes, with a specific focus on spouses: A narrative literature review

Dementia affects individuals, families and their relationships. While there is increasing evidence about the experiences of family caregivers of people with dementia, relatively little is known of their experiences when their relatives are living in nursing homes with dementia. This narrative literature review aimed to synthesise current knowledge about family caregivers' experience of having relatives living in nursing homes with advanced dementia, particularly focussing on community-dwelling spouses. Using a systematic approach, textual narrative synthesis was undertaken. Four themes were identified: changing relationships, the need for companionship, adjusting to new roles and relationships and anticipating death/looking towards the future. Two additional themes were present only for spouses: changing identity – feeling married, being married; and alone but... The review demonstrates that some aspects of spouses' experiences are different from those of other family caregivers. Longitudinal studies are required to better understand spouses' motivations to continue caring in this context and to find ways of supporting them.

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High Priority Problems Experienced by Informal Caregivers of Individuals With Heart Failure

The purpose of this study was to identify high priority problems experienced by informal caregivers when providing care for individuals with heart failure in the home. This secondary analysis was part of a cross-sectional, descriptive study using online self-report instruments (N = 530), including one researcher-developed item identifying top priority problems for heart failure caregivers. Content and quantitative data analyses were conducted. Performing multifaceted activities and roles that evolve around daily heart failure demands (n = 463) and maintaining caregiver physical, emotional, social, and financial well-being (n = 138) were the two most common themes experienced by caregivers of individuals with heart failure. Each of these two problems had several dimensions. Another theme was providing unending care (n = 40), with two dimensions. 

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Caregivers' attitude and perspective on coercion and restraint practices on psychiatric inpatients from South India

Background: Coercion and restraint practices in psychiatric care are common phenomena and often controversial and debatable ethical issue. Caregivers' attitude and perspective on coercion and restraint practices on psychiatric inpatients have received relatively less research attention till date. Aims: Caregivers' attitude and perspective on coercion and restraint practices on psychiatric inpatients. Methodology: This is a hospital-based, a descriptive, cross-sectional study. A total of 200 (n = 200) consecutive patient and their caregivers were chosen between June 2013 and September 2014 through computer-generated random numbers sampling technique. We used a semi-structured interview questionnaire to capture caregivers' attitude and perspective on coercion and restraint practices. Sociodemographic and coercion variable were analyzed using descriptive statistics. McNemar test was used to assess discrete variables. Results: The mean age was 43.8 (±14.9) years. About 67.5% of the caregivers were family members, 60.5% of them were male and 69.5% were from low-socioeconomic status. Caregivers used multiple methods were used to bring patients into the hospital. Threat (52.5%) was the most common method of coercion followed by persuasion (48.5%). Caregivers felt necessary and acceptable to use chemical restraint (82.5%), followed by physical restraint (71%) and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) (56.5%) during acute and emergency psychiatric care to control imminent risk behavior of patients. Conclusion: Threat, persuasion and physical restraint were the common methods to bring patients to bring acutely disturbed patients to mental health care. Most patients caregivers felt the use of chemical restraint, physical restraint and ECT as necessary for acute and emergency care in patients with mental illness. 

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Burden and Coping Ability of Individuals Caring for Chronically Ill Older Adults in Nigeria: A Mixed Methods Study

Family members play key roles in the care of older adults with chronic illness. However, little is known about the negative consequences of caregiving in Sub-Sahara Africa. The current study examined the influence of caregivers' burden and coping ability on the health-related quality of life of caregivers of older adults with chronic illness. An exploratory sequential mixed methods study was conducted among 16 family members. Findings showed that caregivers experienced severe burden, coped moderately with the burden, and had poor quality of life. Furthermore, directed content analysis of the in-depth interviews uncovered six major themes: (a) Being Pulled in Opposite Directions, (b) Experiencing Poor Health, (c) Receiving Support From Family and Friends, (d) Turning to God for Help, (e) Seeking Relief for Aching Bodies, and (f) Seeking Remedies for Sleeplessness. The current findings may have implications for designing programs that aim to improve the well-being of caregivers.

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Assessment of the resilience of people with chronic conditions and their caregivers

Objective: to evaluate the resilience of people with chronic diseases and their caregivers. Method: this is a quantitative, descriptive and cross-sectional study, conducted with 98 patients and family members, in the participant's residence. Data collection occurred through semi-structured interviews and the Young resilience scale. Descriptive statistics were performed, as well as the chi-square and Fisher's exact test adopting pvalue <0.05 as significant. The results are presented in tables. Results: of the 98 participants, 26.53% are caregivers and 73.47%, patients. The average resilience scale score were 143.90 points (±15.98) and median of 145.00 points, with a minimum score of 53 and a maximum of 171, considering the maximum possible scale score of 175 points. Conclusion: prevalence of caregivers aged less than 60 years, females and with incomplete elementary education. The patients presented higher minimum resilience scale scores, proving to be more resilient than their caregivers.

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Acceptance and identity change: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of carers' experiences in myalgic encephalopathy/chronic fatigue syndrome

Myalgic encephalopathy/chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating condition and many people rely heavily on family carers. This study explored the caring experiences of seven family carers. Four themes were established: relations with others, role and identity changes, coping with change and uncertainty, and information and support seeking. Caring disrupted multiple areas of carers' lives, including their identities and relationships. Scepticism from others about myalgic encephalopathy/chronic fatigue syndrome was particularly distressing. Acceptance was important for coping and helped some carers achieve positive growth within spousal relationships. Improving support and advice for carers and acknowledging their caring burden could improve their well-being.

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Community-Based Mental Health Care: Stigma and Coping Strategies Among Professionals and Family Caregivers in the Eastern Region of Ghana

To a large extent caregivers perceive stigma through their social and community interactions by virtue of their association with persons with mental health problems. Meanwhile, evidence on their strategies for coping with potentially undesirable experiences linked with stigma is limited. Using a descriptive qualitative approach, the present study explored affiliate stigma among mental health professionals and family caregivers of persons with mental illness. Data, collected through one-on-one interviews with 10 mental health professionals and 10 family caregivers, were examined with content analysis. Findings revealed that, although stigma attached to mental illness was largely directed at sufferers and family caregivers, professionals sometimes had their fair share. To manage the negative impact of stigma, caregivers adopted various strategies including the use of realisation, tactical or planned ignoring, self-motivation, acceptance and religion. Implications of the findings necessitate the intensification of mental health education among the general populace, which must be targeted at demystifying mental illness.

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Accounts of Family Conflict in Home Hospice Care: The Central Role of Autonomy for Informal Caregiver Resilience

End-of-life caregiving is a highly stressful experience often fraught with conflict and tension. However, little is known about the ways family conflict manifests for informal caregivers of home hospice patients (IHCs). Framed by relational dialectics theory, the purpose of this study was to provide nurses and other health care professionals with an empirical understanding of how IHCs experience family conflict and tensions associated with caregiving. A second aim was to determine what strategies IHCs use to manage these family conflicts. Data used in this qualitative secondary analysis were originally collected as part of a randomized clinical trial of an IHC support intervention. Based on thematic analysis of data from 25 IHCs who reported family conflict, a conceptual model of caregiver resilience was developed from the themes and categories that emerged during the coding stage. Autonomy was identified as a central tension. IHCs used several strategies to address family conflict including communication, formal support, and emotional self-care.

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Turkish Adult Children as Caregivers of Parents with Alzheimer's Disease: Perceptions and Caregiving Experiences

There is substantial evidence suggesting that Western and non-Western caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease have different caregiving experiences depending on the cultural values they adopt. Although family-centered constructs such as familism and filial piety have taken some attention, there is still a paucity of research on how cultural values and norms shape caregiving appraisals, coping strategies, and formal service use specifically in Eastern-oriented contexts. The aim of this study was to investigate Turkish adult children caregivers' perceptions of Alzheimer's disease and caregiving experience. Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 20 primary caregivers and analyzed data with interpretative phenomenological analysis. First, most caregivers viewed family disharmony as the main cause of the disease. Second, although burden is evident in their accounts, caregivers reported positive changes during their caregiving experiences, as well. Third, caregivers employ religious/fatalistic coping and they benefit from social support during their caregiving experiences. Forth, most caregivers opposed to nursing home placement because they view it as a morally improper act; they are afraid of neighborhood pressure; they perceive caregiving as a child's responsibility; they do not want their children to do so; and they do not trust conditions of care facilities in Turkey. Findings indicated that Eastern norms and values might have differential impacts on Alzheimer's disease caregiving outcomes. Hence, we invite mental health professionals to integrate culturally sensitive aspects into the possible intervention programs targeting Alzheimer's disease caregivers from non-Western contexts.

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"A Fine Line That We Walk Every Day": Self-Care Approaches Used by Family Caregivers of Persons with Dementia

Individuals living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) often exhibit behavioral and psychological symptoms of distress that can contribute to the strain experienced by their family caregivers. This strain can increase levels of stress for family caregivers and reduce quality of life, which can have a negative impact on physical health and wellbeing for both the caregiver and the person with ADRD. This study used blogs written by family caregivers of persons with ADRD to explore self-care strategies practiced by these caregivers. Using a qualitative thematic analysis, seven themes related to self-care approaches used by caregivers of persons with ADRD were identified: (1) health and wellness; (2) altruism and activism; (3) reminiscing and legacy building; (4) social support; (5) information exchange; (6) organization and planning; and (7) spirituality. By understanding the ways in which caregivers for someone with ADRD practice self-care, interventions and services can be developed in an effort to improve caregiver quality of life.

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How People with Dementia and their Carers Adapt their Homes. A Qualitative Study

The objective was to explore the ways in which people with dementia and their carers adapt their homes, including the barriers and use of available information. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 people with dementia and their informal carer. The collected data were analysed using thematic analysis. Three core themes emerged: Maintaining familiarity and coping with change, Having knowledge and finding knowledge and Meeting challenges through home adaptation. The most significant barriers to making home adaptations were lack of knowledge and maintaining familiarity. Having more information and making home modifications earlier might enable individuals with dementia to adjust to their adapted environment.

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The role of resilient coping in dementia carers' wellbeing

Background: Carers of people with dementia are at risk of psychological distress. However, some carers experience positive outcomes and resilient coping may account for this variance in carers' wellbeing. Aims: To assess the role of resilient coping in dementia carers' wellbeing. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of carers measured resilient coping, depression, anxiety, stress and burden. First, group comparisons between carers with high, medium and low resilient coping were made. Next, mediation analyses were conducted to identify if resilient coping was a mediator in the relationships between carer wellbeing and distress. Findings: Carers (n=110) were aged 30–80+ years; 66% female; 72% provided 40+ hours care per week; 23% were highly resilient. Highly resilient carers report significantly less distress than low resilient carers. Resilient coping was a partial mediator in the relationships between wellbeing and depression, anxiety, stress and burden. Conclusions: Interventions promoting or maintaining resilient coping may reduce morbidity in family carers.

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Male Caregivers Report Problems in Caring at Home After Spouses Survive Stroke

Stroke is sudden and often traumatic with results that affect both the patient and family members who provide care. Approximately 40% of individuals caring for family members/friends are male. Transitioning from the noncaregiver role to caregiver can be unsettling. Guided by Friedemann's framework of systemic organization, this secondary data analysis examined problems reported by men caring for spouses in the first year after stroke. Using a mixed methods design, 73 caregivers (CGs) participated in bimonthly telephone interviews for 1 year. For this analysis, only the males caring for spouses (n = 12 married and n = 1 unmarried partner) were examined. These data were analyzed using Colaizzi's rigorous method of content analysis. Five problem themes emerged: 1) adjusting to multitasking in everyday living (Friedemann's system maintenance and individuation), 2) recognizing physical and mental disabilities (coherence), 3) dealing with outside forces and limited resources (individuation), 4) struggling to return to normal (system maintenance), and 5) feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted (system maintenance). These problem themes demonstrated incongruence as the men sought to maintain their prior lives. Theory-based themes of male stroke CGs' problems were uncovered that can be used to target interventions to help them achieve balance between incongruence and congruence in their lives.

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Employed Caregivers’ Response to Family-Role Overload: the Role of Control-at-Home and Caregiver Type

Drawing from role theory, stress and coping, and caregiving literatures, this paper develops a model of family-role overload involving two forms of caregiver burden (subjective, objective) and two types of maladaptive changes in employee behavior (at work, personal), and hypothesizes that caregiver type (eldercare-only vs. sandwich) moderates all paths in the model. Partial Least Squares structural equation modeling (SEM) supported all hypothesized direct paths. Contrary to our hypotheses, data analysis showed two positive relationships (i.e., objective caregiver burden to family-role overload, family-role overload to maladaptive changes in personal behavior) were stronger for those in the eldercare-only sample than for those in the sandwich sample. Post hoc analysis revealed five significant gender differences in the relationships included in our model. This study contributes to work–family theory by reinforcing the need to consider both caregiver type and gender when researching the challenges faced by employees trying to balance work and caregiving.

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Influences on uptake of a community occupational therapy intervention for people with dementia and their family carers

Introduction: Health policy promotes living well with dementia. Occupational therapists deliver interventions to support people with dementia and family carers to live well. This study aimed at identifying influences on uptake of a community occupational therapy intervention by people with dementia and carers, as little evidence about this topic exists. Method: Seventeen semi-structured, paired interviews with people with dementia and carers were conducted as part of the ‘Valuing Active Life in Dementia’ research programme. A secondary, qualitative analysis of these interviews explored influences on uptake of the intervention. Findings: Four main themes were identified: ‘Grabbing at straws and keen to take part’; ‘We’re trying to put a routine in’; ‘We didn’t know what to expect’, and ‘Give it a go’. Factors identified as potentially influencing uptake included whether the intervention was perceived as potentially meeting needs for support and activity, and whether participants were struggling to adjust or cope. Conclusion: Despite limited expectations or apprehension, uptake of this intervention was demonstrated. Understanding why people with dementia and carers accept intervention offers can inform what occupational therapists provide and how it is offered. Further research is required to determine the occupational therapy interventions people with dementia and carers might find supportive at different stages of the disease trajectory.

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Strain and Satisfaction in Caregivers of Veterans With Type 2 Diabetes

Purpose The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of informal caregiver strain and satisfaction associated with caring for veterans with type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Methods This study is a secondary analysis of data from 2 prior studies of caregiving in the Veterans Health Administration. The original studies used a telephone survey to examine veteran and caregiver (CG) characteristics associated with caregivers’ responses to caregiving. The data reported here include 202 veterans with T2DM and 202 caregivers. Linear regression models were generated alternatively using forward and backward selection of veteran and caregiver characteristics. Results Higher caregiver strain was associated with the CG providing activities of daily living assistance, CG receiving less help from friends and relatives and use of unpaid help, CG use of coping strategies, and CG depression scores. Predictors of CG satisfaction included better relationship quality with the veteran and receipt of social support. Conclusions The important role of family and friends in supporting patients with T2DM is widely accepted. Clinicians may engage the caregiver when there is inadequate self-care by the patient. However, less attention has been focused on the effect of caregiving on the caregiver. Greater attention needs to be focused on in-depth exploration of family needs to design and test effective interventions to meet these needs.

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Caring for stroke survivors: experiences of family caregivers in Sri Lanka - a qualitative study

Background: Stroke is a life-changing event for both stroke survivors and their family caregivers. After receiving acute care at the hospital, family members are expected to take care of stroke survivors at home and to continue treatment and rehabilitation. The new role of "informal caregiver" is a challenge that creates many difficulties for family caregivers that are not explicit in the Sri Lankan context.; Objectives: This study aimed at exploring family caregivers' experiences of providing informal care for dependent stroke survivors.; Methods: The sample was chosen by purposive sampling with a maximum variation by age, ethnicity, religion, educational level, relationship, and monthly income. Ten informal family caregivers to stroke survivors with hemiplegia who had been treated at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka participated in in-depth interviews analyzed using conventional content analysis.; Results: Qualitative content analysis of data resulted in an overriding theme, "Caring with love, against all odds," along with four categories, "Life alterations," "Lack of resources," "Compassionate care," and "Coping strategies." Although the increased workload, restricted social life, physical problems, and knowledge and financial deficits were challenging for the family caregivers, self-strength and supportive social networks helped them to compassionately care for their stroke survivor.; Conclusions: The phenomenon of family caregivers providing informal care for stroke survivors was explicated as compassionate care, notwithstanding numerous difficulties. The findings motivate further research and strategies to minimize family caregivers' burden and facilitate the positive aspects of caregiving to promote the health and well-being of both stroke survivors and their families.

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Informal Caregivers' Learning Experiences With Self-Management Support of Individuals Living With Bipolar Disorder: A Phenomenological Study

Background: The degree of informal caregiver involvement influences the self-management of individuals living with bipolar disorder (BD).; Objective: This article aims to provide a description of informal caregivers' learning experiences in self-management support of BD in order to guide professionals in tailoring future psychosocial and psychoeducational interventions.; Design: In-depth open interviews with 10 informal caregivers of patients with BD who followed treatment in the context of specialized outpatient bipolar care were conducted.; Results: Four learning phases emerged from the phenomenological analysis describing the informal caregivers learning process: (1) understanding BD, (2) overcoming the dilemmas in self-management support for individuals living with BD, (3) dividing tasks and responsibilities, and (4) acquiring a personal definition of self-management support for individuals living with BD.; Conclusion: By grasping the concept of BD, informal caregivers gradually learn how to overcome dilemmas resulting from living with someone with BD, and how to control the expression of emotions. They learn to reflect on the nature of conflicts and how to share the responsibilities of illness management with individuals living with BD and professionals. Mastering these skills eventually allows them to define and delimit their supporting informal caregiver role in the self-management of BD.; Practice Implications: Our findings provide information regarding the educational needs of informal caregivers to tailor counseling, and psychosocial and psychoeducational interventions in specialized outpatient care for individuals living with BD.

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Exploring dimensions of social support and resilience when providing care at the end of life: a qualitative study

Background: Research shows that formal and informal social support can facilitate resilience in carers. There is a paucity of research exploring social support and resilience amongst recently bereaved informal carers.; Aim: To examine how the presence or absence of distinct dimensions of social support facilitate or hinder resilience in recently bereaved informal carers.; Participants: 44 bereaved carers, who had been identified by GP as 'main carer' of someone recently deceased (3-12 months), aged between 38 and 87 years old (mean= 67).; Methods: Thematic analysis then the Ecological Framework of Resilience as an organisational tool to develop overarching themes in the data. We used the Sherbourne and Stewart model to identify social support that was lacking as well as social support that was present.; Results: A range of social support types were identified. There was an emphasis on the importance of relationships with both health professionals and family members, including the care recipient. However, social support was not necessary for resilience if the participant had other resources.; Conclusions: Social support for carers providing end of life care is almost exclusively based around end of life care 'work'. In comparison to other research our study suggests that relationships with family and health professionals are paramount. Multidimensional support is needed for carers to enhance their resilience.

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Spiritual needs experienced by the patient's family caregiver under Oncology palliative care

Objective: To understand the spiritual needs of the patients' family caregiver under Oncology palliative care. Method: A descriptive, qualitative study with 20 family caregivers of patients hospitalized in an Oncology palliative unit. The data were collected through a phenomenological interview, and analyzed by the method of Amadeo Giorgi supported in the Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception. Results: The categories were unveiled: "Spirituality as a foundation for life"; "Spiritual needs sublimated by the family caregiver"; and "Care expected by the nurse". Conclusion: Family caregivers appropriate spirituality as a coping strategy and meeting the purpose and meaning of the moment experienced. It is profitable for the nurse to contemplate the spiritual needs of the caregiver in order to provide a guided assistance in the humanization of care and comprehensive care. Therefore, there is a need for new studies that address this dimension to the family caregiver in the field of Oncology, since this care is incipient by the nurse.

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Preventing Chronic Emotional Distress in Stroke Survivors and Their Informal Caregivers

Background/objective: Chronic emotional distress (e.g., depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress) is common after stroke and interdependent between patients and their informal caregivers. We measured stroke survivors', caregivers', and neurocritical care nurses' views of primary drivers of distress during the stroke experience, and needs and preferences for the structure, topics, mode of delivery, and timing of an intervention to promote emotional recovery.; Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 24 patient-caregiver dyads within the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit (Neuro-ICU). Additionally, we conducted two focus groups with 15 nurses. Interviews and focus groups were audio-recorded, transcribed, and coded using NVivo 11 (QSR International) software.; Results and Conclusions: The challenges and impacts of stroke most commonly reported by dyads were: uncertainty about future health, fear of recurrent strokes, negative emotions, and role changes post-stroke. Dyads and nurses agreed that resiliency skills such as mindfulness/focusing on the present, problem solving, gratitude/optimism, self-care, interpersonal communication and developing a supportive team of family, friends, and medical staff are beneficial to optimize recovery. The potential barrier to intervention delivery was accessibility, due to challenges of time and travel to appointments. Participants agreed that starting the intervention at hospitalization and continuing via live video after discharge is an ideal delivery modality. Stroke survivors, caregivers, and Neuro-ICU nurses believe that a resiliency skills-based intervention to prevent chronic emotional distress is necessary and urgent. This qualitative study provides valuable information on the challenges faced by dyads, intervention topics to prioritize, and strategies to maximize feasibility, acceptability, and effect.

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Relationships between family resilience, breast cancer survivors' individual resilience, and caregiver burden: A cross-sectional study

Background Caregivers of breast cancer survivors experience various types of burden, which in turn is linked to patients' physical and psychological status. Family resilience might be able to decrease caregiver burden and facilitate survivors' individual resilience, and individual resilience might be related to caregiver burden. Nevertheless, these relationships have not yet been confirmed. Objective To determine the relationships between family resilience, breast cancer survivors' resilience, and principal caregivers' caregiver burden, as well as determine whether breast cancer survivors' individual resilience plays a mediating role in the relationship between family resilience and caregiver burden. Design Cross-sectional study design. Setting The comprehensive cancer center of a public hospital in Shandong Province, China. Participants The sample comprised 108 dyads of early-stage breast cancer survivors and their principal caregivers. Methods The principal caregivers completed the Shortened Chinese Version of the Family Resilience Assessment Scale and the Chinese Version of the Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview, while the breast cancer survivors completed the 10-item Chinese version of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale and provided their sociodemographic information. The mediating effect of individual resilience was estimated using the bootstrap method via IBM SPSS Amos 21.0. Results Caregiver burden was significantly negatively associated with both family resilience and breast cancer survivors' individual resilience (both p <.01). Furthermore, individual resilience mediated the relationship between family resilience and caregiver burden (b = −0.052; 95% confidence interval: −.412, −.036). Conclusions The findings suggest that both family resilience and breast cancer survivors' individual resilience may ease caregiver burden among the principal caregivers of breast cancer survivors, and family resilience tends to promote the survivors' individual resilience. Therefore, family resilience and survivors' individual resilience should be enhanced for breast cancer survivors and their family to ease the principal caregivers' caregiver burden.

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The Relationship between Resilience and Quality of Life in Family Caregivers of Patients with Mental Disorders

Introduction: In the past, patients with mental disorders were often isolated, but these patients now-a-days enter the society, as therapeutic interventions have advanced. Family members play an important role in the life of many adults with mental disorders and are under considerable amounts of stress that may affect caregiver's physical health, quality of life and resilience. Aim: The present study aimed to determine the relationship between the resilience and quality of life in family caregivers of patients with mental disorders. Materials and Methods: The present cross-sectional, correlational, descriptive study was conducted on 238 family caregivers of patients with mental disorders. The Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) was used to measure the quality of life and the Connor and Davidson Resilience Scale was used to measure resilience in the participants. The SF-36 consists of two general dimensions and eight domains of health and the resilience scale consists of 25 items. The data obtained through the questionnaires were analysed in SPSS version 16.0 using Pearson's correlation test. Results: The majority of the family caregivers were the patients' mothers. The results showed a significant direct relationship between resilience and quality of life (p<0.001, r=0.40). Conclusion: Resilience is a personal resource that affects quality of life directly. Resilience can enhance quality of life. The design and implementation of programs to enhance resilience and improve quality of life in family caregivers in line with the emerging needs of this group are therefore necessary. 

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Impact of Penny Brohn UK's Living Well Course on Informal Caregivers of People with Cancer

Objectives: This study evaluated the change in the concerns, wellbeing, and lifestyle behaviors of informal caregivers of people with cancer attending Penny Brohn UK's Living Well Course (LWC), a self-management education intervention. Design: A pre–postcourse design collected self-reported quantitative and qualitative data from informal caregivers attending a LWC. Setting/Location: Penny Brohn UK is a United Kingdom-based charity (not-for-profit) providing specialist integrative, whole person support, free of charge, to people affected by cancer. Subjects: Informal caregivers taking part in a Penny Brohn UK LWC between June 2014 and May 2016 attending alongside the person with cancer. Intervention: The LWC is a structured 15 h, multimodal group self-management educational course, designed to help people affected by cancer learn tools and techniques to help build resilience. Trained facilitators deliver LWCs to around 12 people with various types and stages of cancer and their informal caregivers. Outcome measures: Measure Yourself Concern and Wellbeing (MYCaW) completed precourse and at 6 weeks postcourse; and bespoke 6-week follow-up Patient Reported Experience Measure. Results: Four hundred eighty informal caregivers attended a LWC June 2014 to May 2016. One hundred eighteen completed a 6-week follow-up MYCaW: MYCaW Concerns 1 and 2 showed statistically significant improvements (p < 0.0001), there was no significant improvement in wellbeing. Informal caregivers' most reported concerns relating to themselves were psychological and emotional issues (59%). The primary concern of the caregiver for the care recipient was related to the physical health of the person with cancer (40%). Eighty-seven percent of responding informal caregivers stated that the LWC enabled health self-management. Conclusions: The LWC was followed by an improvement in informal caregivers' concerns, and increased self-management of their own health needs. More studies, with larger sample size, are needed to explore if better self-management by informal caregivers may also lead to improvements in patients' health and wellbeing. 

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Coping and spirituality among caregivers of patients with schizophrenia: a descriptive study from South India

In many parts of the world family members are the primary caretakers of persons with mental illness. The chronic stress associated with being a caregiver for an individual with schizophrenia can result in a variety of emotional responses, influenced by religion, spirituality and different styles of coping. The aim of this study was to assess patterns of coping, and spiritual and religious beliefs among caregivers of patients with schizophrenia. Consecutive patients with schizophrenia and their caregivers attending an outpatient clinic were recruited. Patients were rated on the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale. The Royal Free Interview for Religious and Spiritual Beliefs, Modified Jalowiec Coping Scale and General Health Questionnaire-12 were administered to caregivers. Socio-demographic details of carers and clinical details of patients were recorded. Caregivers of patients with schizophrenia were found to cope in a variety of ways; the most useful and frequently used was the optimistic style of coping. While religious beliefs had an influence, factors significantly associated with coping included caregiver education and employment and patient psychopathology. Providing support to carers of patients with schizophrenia and enhancing their coping is an essential part of quality clinical care. Spirituality and religion can serve as a positive coping strategy.

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The consensual universe of family caregivers and their standing in the care services: a social representation study

Objective: The study's aim has been to analyze the relatives' representations of patients under palliative care. Methods: It is a descriptive research with a qualitative approach, which is based on the Serge Moscovici's Social Representation Theory. Results: The research's results showed that death is described as a final physiological stage, in other words, a technically well-ordered process of nature and the only certainty that we have in life. Moreover, death can be understood as an incomprehensive mystery, an unacceptable absurd or can be treated as a taboo or a social representation of a personal universe. Conclusion: Although a patient can be cured through standard treatment, he needs either special or palliative care.

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Creating a conceptual model for family caregivers of older adults intervention research: A narrative review of learned resourcefulness, resourcefulness, and the transtheoretical model

Providing and maintaining optimal care is challenging for older family caregivers who are caring for disabled older adults. Learned Resourcefulness can facilitate family caregivers' self-help strategies, and Resourcefulness can facilitate help-seeking from others. However, little is known about how older family caregivers can effectively maintain and adapt self-help and help-seeking strategies over time, especially as the dynamic nature of caregiving for disabled older adults demands change. To this end, the Transtheoretical model (TTM) provides useful constructs that address family caregivers' readiness to change their self-help and help-seeking behaviors. This paper reviews relevant literature regarding Learned Resourcefulness, Resourcefulness, and the TTM. The proposed conceptual model incorporates constructs from the TTM integrated with Learned Resourcefulness and Resourcefulness strategies to aid in the development and testing of interventions that are designed to promote the quality of life and health of older family caregivers while they are providing care to disabled older adults.

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Adaptation and resilience in families of individuals with Down syndrome living in Ireland

Accessible Summary: This study describes an Irish‐based study that examined how families of children with Down syndrome living in Ireland adapt to their child’s diagnosis. We found that good family communication and family hardiness have a positive affect on how families adapt. Families of children with Down syndrome have the potential to lead full and productive lives and positively adapt to their child’s diagnosis. Abstract: Background: Down syndrome is a genetic condition that affects people of all races, nationalities and socioeconomic status. The incidence of Down syndrome in Ireland is estimated to be 1 in 546, with approximately 7,000 people with Down syndrome living in Ireland. While some families of individuals with Down syndrome may find it difficult to adapt, other families adapt successfully and some even thrive. The aim of this study, which is guided by the Resiliency Model of Stress, Adjustment and Adaptation was to examine linkages between family demands, family appraisal, family resources, family problem‐solving communication and family adaptation in families of individuals with Down syndrome living in Ireland. Methods: Ninety‐five parents (79 mothers, 16 fathers) of children with Down syndrome aged between 1 and 30 years completed six self‐report measures designed to assess key dimensions of the Resiliency Model of Family Stress, Adjustment and Adaptation. Results: This study found that families of children with Down syndrome can adapt and become resilient. Factors found to positively influence this process include family hardiness and affirming family communication. Factors that negatively influenced this process were incendiary family communication and view of the condition impact. Conclusion: Families of children with Down syndrome have the potential to lead full and productive lives and positively adapt to their child’s diagnosis. Early recognition of the difficulties being experienced by families and the provision of interventions that target and foster positive resiliency traits such as affirmative communication and the development of overall family hardiness are key to adaptation.

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Gender-based analysis of working-carer men: a North American scoping review

The purpose of this scoping review is to find all existing North American literature on male working carers and compare this information with female working carers. Searches were performed using various databases, published between 1996 and 2016. A total of 506 articles were found and 45 (<i>n</i> = 45) met all inclusion criteria. Five qualitative themes were identified: caregiving characteristics; motives for caring; work impacts; health impacts; and caring in the workplace and coping strategies. This review narrows the gap in the literature with respect to the similarities and differences between male and female working carers, and the way in which they approach caregiving tasks.

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Intergenerational Caregivers of Parents With End-Stage Heart Failure

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to longitudinally explore the experiences of young adult, adult, and older adult intergenerational caregivers caring for a parent with end-stage heart failure (HF). Design: This study was a secondary analysis of qualitative data collected during a longitudinal study that sought to determine the palliative care needs of individuals with end-stage HF and their family caregivers. Methods: Longitudinal interviews from 23 young adult, adult, and older adult children who were caring for a parent with end-stage HF were selected for thematic analysis. Researchers individually analyzed the interviews and then, as a group, came to a consensus about themes. Findings: Five major themes were identified: caregiver resources, role management, caregiver–parent relationships, filial responsibility , and personal benefits and challenges. Conclusions: These intergenerational caregivers struggled to balance their busy lives and caregiving roles. However, most felt supported by other family members or external resources. Longitudinal findings support a need for improved employer-based support for intergenerational caregivers and special attention to young carers in research and practice. Recognition of and advocacy for intergenerational caregivers providing care for a chronically ill parent is needed.

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Improving Coping Styles in Family Caregivers of Psychiatric Inpatients Using Planned Behavior Problem-Solving Training

Background: The consequences and high costs of psychiatric disorders impact family caregivers greatly. Health services should identify and provide accessible support programs to facilitate effective caregiver coping.; Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a theory-of-planned-behavior-based problem-solving training program on the coping styles of family caregivers of psychiatric inpatients.; Methods: In this two-group, randomized control trial, 72 family caregivers were randomly assigned to either a control group receiving standard care or an intervention group receiving a training program (eight sessions over 4 weeks). Demographic information was recorded at baseline, and the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations was administered to both groups at baseline, immediately postintervention, and 1-month follow-up.; Results: Immediately after the intervention, the intervention group earned significantly higher task-oriented coping style scores (mean difference = 5.03, p = .015) than the control group, but no significant difference was detected between the two groups for either emotion- or avoidance-oriented coping style scores. At 1-month follow-up, the intervention group earned significantly higher scores than the control group for task-oriented (mean difference = 8.56, p < .001) and emotion-oriented (mean difference = 7.14, p = .002) coping styles. No improvement in avoidance-oriented coping style at the postintervention or follow-up time points was detected.; Conclusions: Implementation by nurses and other health professionals of problem-solving training programs that are based on the theory of planned behavior is recommended to strengthen the use of task- and emotion-oriented approaches that help family caregivers of psychiatric patients better cope with stress.

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The Spiritual Challenges Faced by Family Caregivers of Patients With Cancer: A Qualitative Study

This qualitative study was conducted to investigate the spiritual challenges faced by Iranian family caregivers of patients with cancer. The findings showed, 2 main themes, including "spiritual crisis" and "spiritual coherence", and 6 classes, including "spiritual distress", "disappointment," "faith and trust in God," "praying," "inner peace," and "transcendence."

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Bridging the divide: The adjustment and decision-making experiences of people with dementia living with a recent diagnosis of cancer and its impact on family carers

The risk of living with dementia and, separately, cancer, increases exponentially with age. However, to date, there is a paucity of research investigating the experiences of people living with both these conditions. This study used semi-structured interviews to explore the decision-making and treatment options for people who live with both dementia and cancer. In total, ten people living with both dementia and cancer (aged 39-93 years) and nine family carers were interviewed. Braun and Clarke's approach to thematic analysis was used together with framework matrices to organise the data. In this article four sequential and descriptive themes are presented. 'Reaching a diagnosis of cancer' describes the vital role that family carers play in encouraging the person with dementia to seek an explanation for their presenting (undiagnosed cancer) symptoms to their general practitioner. 'Adjusting to the cancer diagnosis when living with dementia' outlines a variety of emotional and practical responses to receiving news of the diagnosis. 'Weighing up the cancer treatment options' highlights the different decisions and circumstances that family carers and people living with both dementia and cancer are faced with post-diagnosis. 'Undergoing cancer treatment' shares the finding that cancer treatment decision-making was not straightforward and that people living with both dementia and cancer would often forget about their cancer and what procedures they had been through.

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The Challenges, Emotions, Coping, and Gains of Family Caregivers Caring for Patients With Advanced Cancer in Singapore: A Qualitative Study

Background: Caring for a family member with advanced cancer at home is demanding as the ill family member is likely to have complex physical and emotional needs. There is a paucity of studies on the experience of home family caregivers of people with advanced cancer in the Asian region. Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the experiences of family caregivers caring for a person with advanced cancer at home in Singapore. Methods: This was a qualitative study; data were collected by semistructured interviews and analyzed using content analysis. A purposive sample of 19 family caregivers who were taking care of a family member with advanced cancer were recruited from home hospice care services in Singapore. Results: Most of the caregivers were female (n = 14), ranging in age from 21 to 64 years (mean, 46.4 [SD, 10.5] years). Four themes were generated from the data: (1) caregiving challenges, (2) negative emotions, (3) ways of coping, and (4) positive gains of caregiving. Conclusions: This study generated insights into the challenges, emotions, and coping of Asian family caregivers caring for patients with advanced cancer. Such understanding could help in developing appropriate intervention for caregivers to reduce their burden and stress. Implications for Practice: Caregivers require knowledge on resolving family conflicts and about communicating and enhancing closeness with the ill family member. Support from healthcare professionals is essential even if caregivers have support from family members and friends; nurses can make conscious efforts to show concern for caregivers as well as for patients.

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Caring for relatives with agitation at home: A qualitative study of positive coping strategies

Background Trials of psychological interventions for reducing agitation in people with dementia living at home have been unsuccessful. Aims To inform future interventions by identifying successful strategies of family carers with relatives with dementia and agitation living at home. Method Qualitative in-depth individual interviews were performed with 18 family carers. We used thematic analysis to identify emerging themes. Results Carers described initial surprise and then acceptance that agitation is a dementia symptom and learned to respond flexibly. Their strategies encompassed: prevention of agitation by familiar routine; reduction of agitation by addressing underlying causes and using distraction; prevention of escalation by risk enablement, not arguing; and control of their emotional responses by ensuring their relative's safety then walking away, carving out some time for themselves and using family and services for emotional and practical help. Conclusions These strategies can be manualised and tested in future randomised controlled trials for clinical effectiveness in reducing agitation in people with dementia living at home. 

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The Effect of Problem Oriented Coping Strategies Training on Quality of Life of Family Caregivers of Elderly with Alzheimer

Elderly with Alzheimer requires care to continue their lives and such care is given mostly by families. Care of elderly with Alzheimer is a stressful process and it has negative consequences on physical and mental health of caregivers and reduces their quality of life. The present research aims to determine the effect of problem oriented coping strategies training on quality of life of family caregivers of elderly with Alzheimer. In this randomized clinical trial 72 caregivers were chosen by purposeful sampling and were divided randomly into control and experimental groups. Before the intervention, participants' quality of life was assessed by SF36 quality of life questionnaire. Eight sessions of educational intervention were held for the experimental group. The educational contents were included subjects such as problem solving, anger management and making an affective relationship. Two weeks after the intervention, information was recollected. Finding indicated that in intervention group, caregivers' quality of life significantly increased after the educational intervention (P= 0.001). After the intervention, caregivers' quality of life in experimental group was more than control group but such difference was not statistically significant (P= 0.112). Problem-oriented coping strategies training can enhance most dimensions of quality of life of caregivers and such education can be effective on their lives.

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Keeping up appearances: Family carers and people with dementia negotiating normalcy through dress practice

Dress forms part of the taken-for-granted routines that constitute everyday life, but can be dys-rupted in the context of disability-in this case, dementia. Drawing on qualitative research, this chapter situates dress practice as part of how people with dementia and family carers manage the disruption caused by dementia, focusing on the renegotiation of ideas of normality and ordinariness. Maintaining ordinariness in this context, however, becomes more than just the achievement of continuity, representing efforts to pass and manage the public presentation of self in ways that can normalise dementia, and demonstrate how family carers are coping and caring adequately. 

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Health Information–Seeking Behaviors of Family Caregivers: Analysis of the Health Information National Trends Survey

Background: The growing population of aging adults relies on informal caregivers to help meet their health care needs, get help with decision making, and gather health information. Objective: The objective of this study was to examine health information–seeking behaviors among caregivers and to identify caregiver characteristics that contribute to difficulty in seeking health information. Methods: Data from the Health Information National Trends Survey 5, Cycle 1 (N=3181) were used to compare health information seeking of caregivers (n=391) with noncaregivers (n=2790). Results: Caregivers sought health information for themselves and others using computers, smartphones, or other electronic means more frequently than noncaregivers. Caregivers born outside of the United States reported greater difficulty seeking health information (beta=.42; P=.02). Nonwhite caregivers (beta =−.33; P=.03), those with less education (beta =−.35; P=.02), those with private insurance (beta =−.37; P=.01), and those without a regular health care provider (beta =−.35; P=.01) had less confidence seeking health information. Caregivers with higher income had more confidence (beta =.12; P≤.001) seeking health information. Conclusions: This study highlights the prevalence of electronic means to find health information among caregivers. Notable differences in difficulty and confidence in health information seeking exist between caregivers, indicating the need for more attention to the socioeconomic status and caregivers born outside of the United States. Findings can guide efforts to optimize caregivers’ health information–seeking experiences.

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People with Dementia Who Go Missing: A Qualitative Study of Family Caregivers Decision to Report Incidents to the Police

Walking and exercising are an important part of living well with dementia. People with dementia may have an inability to recognize familiar places, find a familiar location, or become disoriented and are more likely to become missing. The aim of this article is to identify what factors influence family caregivers of people with dementia reporting them missing to the police. We used a qualitative approach based on semi-structured interviews of 12 family caregivers of people with dementia in UK. We identify four factors that inhibit family caregivers from reporting a missing person incident to the police and three factors that prompt family caregivers to call the police. We discuss implications for improved policy and practices by law enforcement agencies, social services, health services, and non-government organizations.

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Carers' involvement in decision making about antipsychotic medication: a qualitative study

Background: Current Australian mental health policy recommends that carers should be involved in the provision of mental health services. Carers often provide intensive support to mental health consumers and gain detailed insight into their lives. As such, carers could make valuable contributions to well-informed decisions about mental health consumers' use of antipsychotic medication. Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore carers' participation in antipsychotic medication decision making. Methods: Snowball sampling was used to enrol 29 carers in this study. Of these carers, 19 participated in semi-structured interviews, and ten participated in a focus group. Data were analysed thematically. Results: Four main themes emerged from the analysis. The findings highlighted that carers typically received little or no information about antipsychotic medication. Carers commonly addressed the shortfall in information by obtaining additional information through online sources or distributing among carer networks material that they had developed themselves. Almost all carers emphasised that they should be involved in decisions about antipsychotic medication, but noted that they were typically excluded. The lack of involvement in medication decisions was a source of frustration, as carers could contribute saliently through sharing detailed knowledge about mental health consumers' lives, address communication gaps that resulted from disjointed care and improve communication between health professionals and mental health consumers. Conclusion: Health professionals could consider improving the extent to which they collaborate with carers in medication decisions.

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Dementia caregivers’ coping with pre-death grief: effects of a CBT-based intervention

Objectives: Pre-death grief plays a significant role in dementia caregiving, and has adverse impacts on caregivers. It was the purpose of the present study to examine whether a cognitive-behavioural intervention including a grief intervention module could increase caregivers’ coping with pre-death grief and whether these effects could be maintained as of a six-month follow-up assessment. Method: In a randomized-controlled trial examining the effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioural intervention, 273 caregivers were allocated to either an intervention or control group. Intervention group participants received 12 therapy sessions over six months; all participants completed a measure of pre-death grief. The analysis was conducted using latent change models. In the first model, study group was included as a predictor of change in pre-death grief; subsequent models also included care situation and sociodemographic variables. Results: The burden due to pre-death grief was reduced for intervention but not control group participants at the time of the six-month follow-up assessment (Cohen's d = −0.361). When controlling for changes in the care situation and sociodemographic variables, the treatment effect was also found in the assessment completed post intervention (Cohen's d = −0.248). Conclusion: Results indicate that a cognitive-behavioural intervention including grief-specific strategies can successfully foster caregivers’ coping with loss and reduce burden of pre-death grief.

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Gratitude and coping among familial caregivers of persons with dementia

Objectives: Gratitude is widely perceived as a key factor to psychological well-being by different cultures and religions. The relationship between gratitude and coping in the context of familial dementia caregiving has yet to be investigated. Design: This study is the first to examine the associations among gratitude, coping strategies, psychological resources and psychological distress using a structural equation modelling approach. Results: Findings with 101 Chinese familial caregivers of persons with dementia (mean age = 57.6, range = 40–76; 82% women) showed that gratitude was related to the greater use of emotion-focused coping (positive reframing, acceptance, humour, emotional social support seeking, religious coping) and psychological resources (caregiving competence and social support). Psychological resources and emotion-focused coping in turn explained the association between gratitude and lower levels of psychological distress (caregiving burden and depressive symptoms). Conclusion: The present results indicate the beneficial role of gratitude on coping with caregiving distress and provide empirical foundation for incorporating gratitude in future psychological interventions for caregivers.

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It's Interpersonal: Family Relationships, Genetic Risk, and Caregiving

My research program considers family relationships across the life course: in early life, with a focus on disease prevention -- leveraging genetic risk information and relationships to motivate health-promoting behaviors -- and in later life, with a focus on informal caregiving -- identifying characteristics of those most vulnerable to, or resilient from, caregiver stress. It is fortuitous, if not tragic, then, that my research and personal worlds collided during my mother's final 8 months of life. Here, I discuss how this experience has shifted my thinking within both arms of my research program. First, I consider the state of the science in family health history, arguing that the current approach which focuses on an individual's first- and second-degree relatives does not take us far enough into the relational landscape to activate communal coping with disease risk. Second, I discuss caregiving from a family systems perspective. My family's experience confirmed the importance of using a systems approach and highlighted a need to identify underlying variability in members' expectations of caregiving roles. In so doing, I capture the significance of understanding the multiple perspectives that frame a context in which families adapt and cope with risk and disease diagnoses.

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Filling the gaps and finding our way: family carers navigating the healthcare system to access physical health services for the people they care for

Aims and Objectives To elicit the perspectives of carers of people with mental illness regarding access to, and experience with, physical healthcare services for mental health consumers. Background People diagnosed with mental illness have increased risks of physical illness and earlier death, problems able to be addressed through better physical health services. Carers of people with mental illness play a significant role in the mental healthcare system yet research examining their views is lacking. Design Qualitative exploratory. Methods In-depth interviews were conducted with 13 mental health carers. They were asked to describe their views and experiences pertaining to the physical health and availability of physical health care for the people they care for. Data were analysed using the framework of Braun and Clarke. Results Analysis of carer responses identified two important themes: responsiveness and access, and a shortage of care coordination. Carers felt alienated from physical healthcare providers and were compelled to fill gaps in available care through persistence in ensuring access to physical healthcare services. Conclusions The findings identify carers as key stakeholders in the physical health care for the people they care for. Their involvement in accessing and coordinating care provides vital perspective on health service capacity, which requires further consideration in the practice and research domains. Relevance to clinical practice Carers of people diagnosed with mental illness are crucial to the effective delivery of mental health services. Their perspectives must be central to their research agenda and contribute to the development of initiatives to improve clinical practice and promote improved physical health care.

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Spousal caregivers and persons with dementia: increasing participation in shared leisure activities among hospital-based dementia support program participants

Spousal caregivers of persons with dementia often have difficulty engaging persons with dementia in leisure activities. This qualitative descriptive study identifies how caregivers perceive their spouses’ participation in leisure activities since dementia onset and the professional guidance caregivers require to increase persons with dementia participation in shared leisure activities. Nine spousal caregivers from a hospital-based caregiver intervention attended one of three focus groups. Using symbolic interactionism and selective optimisation with compensation theory as guiding frameworks, thematic content analysis was performed. Three major themes were identified: Recognising and acknowledging changes, Making sense of changes and conflicts, and Embracing changes and forging ahead. Findings can be used by healthcare providers to better understand caregivers’ needs for engaging persons with dementia in shared leisure activities, and inform development of feedback protocols to enhance caregiver interventions.

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Living with a parent with dementia: a family resilience study

The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with family resilience in families caring for a parent with dementia. A mixed-methods approach was followed to collect data from a convenience sample drawn from the Cape Metropolitan area in the Western Cape, South Africa. The study sample comprised 47 families in which adult children were caring for a parent with dementia. The quantitative data analysis was conducted using analyses of variance (ANOVA), Pearson’s product–moment correlation coefficients and a best-subsets multiple regression analysis. Qualitative data were analysed using thematic content analysis. It was found that acceptance, optimism, positive communication patterns, family connectedness, spirituality, social support, economic resources and the effective management of symptoms helped these families adapt to the burdens of dementia care. In addition to expanding the literature regarding family resilience, the findings could be used to develop interventions tailored to the needs of these families caring for a parent with dementia to create a family environment that enhances adjustment and adaptation.

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Older Adult Spouses with Multiple Chronic Conditions: Challenges, Rewards, and Coping Strategies

There is a paucity of research exploring how spouses to older adults with multiple chronic conditions make meaning of their caregiving experience. For this study, we asked: What is the experience of spousal caregivers to persons with multiple chronic conditions? We applied Thorne's interpretive description approach, interviewing 18 spouses who provided a rich description of their caregiving experience; interviews were transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed. Themes were categorized according to challenges encountered, rewards gleaned, and sustaining strategies employed by participants in caregiving to their spouse with multiple chronic conditions. Unique findings relate to the challenges inherent in decision-making within the context of multiple chronic conditions. This article begins to address the gap in the literature regarding the caregiving experience within the context of multiple chronic conditions.

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A Caregiver's Medication Misadventure

For Mom's valve replacement surgery, family members kept track of medications and tests while she was in the hospital. Drug therapies are involved in nearly three in four doctors' visits, more than 80% of hospital emergency department visits, and almost 73% of hospital outpatient visits. Policies that facilitate information sharing, engage pharmacists as care-team members, and align resources accordingly are needed to bridge the gaps in care transitions and address the human and economic costs associated with poor medication management.

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Psychometric properties and relations with coping and family strain of the Health Services and Caregiver Experience questionnaire (HSCE): an outcome measure of informal caregivers experience for inpatient care in Italy

Background In the last decade, the number of patients supported by informal caregivers has substantially increased. In the Italian healthcare context, informal caregivers’ experience of care is a new under-recognized construct, and no assessment tool is available. Measuring caregivers’ experience is important since in Italy the relationship between doctors and patients/relatives is still considered asymmetrical. The current study presented development and initial psychometric properties of the Health Services and Caregiver Experience questionnaire (HSCE), a self-report tool of caregivers’ global experience for inpatient clinical care, including factor structure, reliability and its relations with measures of coping strategies and family strain. Methods The HSCE was administered to a total of 503 informal caregivers of inpatients admitted at an Italian University Hospital (mean age = 48.08 years, SD = 14.82, females = 61.40%). Family Strain Questionnaire-Short Form (FSQ-SF) and Coping Orientations to Problems Experience-New Italian Version (COPE-NVI) were administered to a subgroup of participants. First-grade relatives were 73.10%, whereas 13.20% were second-grade relatives and 13.70% were home-watch caregivers. Results Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses showed a structure with a single factor, which explained 64.80% of the total variance. All the items had salient loadings. In the two subsamples, HSCE had excellent internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.95-0.97). Positive moderate correlations were found between HSCE and FSQ-SF scores (r = 0.45, p < .05), between HSCE and COPE-NVI scale scores, including COPE-NVI positive attitude and COPE-NVI problem solving scores (rs’ range = 0.51-0.57, p < .05). Moreover, a positive large correlation between HSCE and COPE-NVI social support scores emerged (r = 0.72, p < .05). Correlations were not significant between HSCE scores and COPE-NVI turning to religion and avoidance strategies. Conclusions The HSCE resulted to have good psychometric properties. Better caregivers’ experience correlated with stronger family strain but also with better problem solving and social support. The study expanded knowledge on caregiver’s experience in Italy and indicated that HSCE is a valid and reliable tool to measure this under-recognized construct in Italy.

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Resilience in family caregiving for people with dementia: A systematic review

Objective The objective of this review is to critically examine, evaluate, and synthesize the literature on resilience in family caregiving for people with dementia. Methods A systematic literature review was conducted according to PRISMA guidelines to identify articles which examined resilience and related concepts in family caregiving for people with dementia. The review was based on a systematic search of scholarly databases, to yield peer‐reviewed articles and grey literature, published between 2006 and 2016. Two independent reviewers prescreened the search results and conducted formal assessments and quality appraisals of the retrieved articles. Results A total of 13 863 articles were identified by the systematic search, and 52 articles were included in the review. Based on a critical narrative synthesis of the literature, the study proposes a model of resilience for family carers of people with dementia, which incorporates the context of caring, social and cultural characteristics, and psychological dimensions of caring. Conclusions The results indicate that there is no single approach to enhancing resilience among family carers of people with dementia. Resilience is a multifaceted response to the caregiving role, and is influenced by a multitude of interrelated factors. However, the factors and resources outlined have been addressed, with limited success in some cases, by psychosocial interventions in the field. While the work conducted to date to develop resilience‐enhancing interventions has been marked with some success, the next wave of carer research could usefully examine ecological perspectives on carer outcomes, including carer resilience.

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The impact of early psychosocial intervention on self‐efficacy of care recipient/carer dyads living with early‐stage dementia—A mixed‐methods study

Aim To evaluate the effect of a targeted community‐based psychosocial intervention on self‐efficacy outcomes for care recipient/carer dyads living with early‐stage dementia. Background There is increasing interest in the role of self‐efficacy and self‐management structures in determining positive outcomes for people with dementia. The assumption is that care recipient/carer dyads who receive early support to identify and adjust to dementia‐related changes will cope better in the long term. Design An explanatory sequential mixed‐method design was employed. Primarily quantitative with qualitative data providing a supportive secondary role to expand on and illuminate the quantitative findings. Methods Eighty‐eight dyads were recruited and allocated on a regional basis to an intervention or control group. Intervention group dyads received the Early Diagnosis Dyadic Intervention. Control group dyads received two information manuals. Quantitative data were collected at three time points. Qualitative data were collected via evaluation questionnaires and semistructured interviews. Results Intervention structure, content, and delivery were acceptable to the dyads but few quantitative self‐efficacy findings reached statistical significance. Improvements in self‐efficacy were evident in the postintervention evaluation qualitative responses where dyads expressed greater confidence in identifying and accessing community support. Conclusion There is an urgent need for effective psychosocial interventions to help reduce the impact of dementia symptoms on patients, carers, and society. This study makes an important contribution to our understanding of the capacity of psychosocial interventions to improve self‐efficacy outcomes for care recipient/carer dyads with early‐stage dementia while also illustrating the challenges associated with measuring self‐efficacy in the early stages of the condition.

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"Shared Destiny": The Dynamics of Relationships in Families of Patients With Brain Injury

This qualitative research focused on the relationships between family members of patients with acquired brain injury (ABI). The aim was to explore the dynamics between caregivers of the family member with a brain injury during rehabilitation hospitalization, and the relationships between them and the rest of the extended family. Twenty semistructured interviews were conducted with family members. In each family, the spouse of the patient and another family member involved in caregiving were interviewed. The importance of the relationships between family members during rehabilitation hospitalization justifies the examination undertaken in this research. Findings point at the change that took place in the relationships between family members because of the need to cope with a relative's injury. It is possible that direct intervention in the dynamics of the relationship, especially between the family of origin and the nuclear family of the injured person, can benefit extended families in coping with the crisis.

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Exploring Informal Caregivers’ Views on Their Perceived Burden

The problem of overburdening is increasing among informal caregivers. Some attention has been paid to relationship factors, positive effects of caregiving, and coping strategies in relation to caregivers’ perceived burdens, as these factors might make valuable contributions. The aim of this study was to thoroughly explore the views, experiences, and interpretations of informal caregivers with regard to these factors, who lived in the southernmost part of the Netherlands. In this qualitative case study design, 26 informal caregivers were interviewed using a semistructured questionnaire. The respondents indicated that having a good relationship with the care recipient, experiencing positive effects of providing care, and using coping strategies reduced their burden. In the future, longitudinal research is warranted to determine the actual contribution of these factors.

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Implementation of a multidisciplinary psychoeducational intervention for Parkinson's disease patients and carers in the community: study protocol

Background Parkinson’s disease progressively limits patients at different levels and as a result family members play a key role in their care. However, studies show lack of an integrative approach in Primary Care to respond to the difficulties and psychosocial changes experienced by them. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of a multidisciplinary psychoeducational intervention focusing on improving coping skills, the psychosocial adjustment to Parkinson’s disease and the quality of life in patients and family carers in a Primary Care setting. Methods This quasi-experimental study with control group and mixed methods was designed to evaluate a multidisciplinary psychoeducational intervention. Based on the study power calculations, 100 people with Parkinson’s disease and 100 family carers will be recruited and assigned to two groups. The intervention group will receive the ReNACE psychoeducational intervention. The control group will be given a general educational programme. The study will be carried out in six community-based health centres. The results obtained from the two groups will be collected for evaluation at three time points: at baseline, immediately after the intervention and at 6 months post-intervention. The results will be measured with these instruments: the Quality of Life Scale PDQ-39 for patients and the Scale of Quality of Life of Care-givers SQLC for family carers, and for all participants the Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness scale and the Brief COPE Inventory. Focus groups will be organised with some patients and family carers who will have received the ReNACE psychoeducational intervention and also with the healthcare professionals involved in its development. Discussion An important gap exists in the knowledge and application of interventions with a psychosocial approach for people with PD and family carers as a whole. This study will promote this comprehensive approach in Primary Care, which will clearly contribute in the existing knowledge and could reduce the burden of PD for patients and family carers, and also in other long-term conditions. Trial registration NCT03129425 (ClinicalTrials.gov). Retrospectively registered on April 26, 2017.

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The coping experiences of spouses of persons with dementia

Aims and objectives: To explore how spouses who are caregivers to persons with dementia experience everyday life 6–12 months after participation in the intervention condition in the Norwegian Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Early Dementia (N‐CORDIAL) study. Background: There is no current medical curative treatment for cognitive impairment and dementia‐associated conditions. These conditions will lead to an increased need for daily assistance and care, as well as greater stress for caregivers. The Norwegian CORDIAL Study is a manual‐based randomised controlled trial based on the German CORDIAL study (cognitive rehabilitation and cognitive behavioural treatment for early dementia in Alzheimer's disease), consisting of cognitive rehabilitation, cognitive behavioural therapy and life review methods. Design and methods: A descriptive exploratory study with qualitative semi‐structured in‐depth interviews with six spouses of persons with dementia who had participated in the Norwegian CORDIAL study. The transcribed text was analysed by systematic text condensation. Result: The main theme identified, “An everyday search for meaning,” referred to the stress experienced by the caregivers and their coping strategies in everyday life. Conclusion: The caregivers had gained increased awareness of coping strategies in everyday life 6–12 months after the intervention. Caregivers who experienced fewer neuropsychiatric symptoms in their spouses with dementia benefitted most from the intervention. Relevance to clinical practice: The study is relevant to clinical practice as interventions focusing on how to improve coping strategies may reduce caregiver stress and contribute to postponement of nursing home placement.

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The start of caring for an elderly dependent family member: a qualitative metasynthesis

Background: The family often takes care of an elderly person who suddenly becomes dependent. This greatly affects different aspects of the caregivers’ lives. The aim of this study is to explore the initial experiences, during the first year of care, of persons who suddenly become caregivers for elderly dependent relatives. Methods: A search in CINAHL, PsycINFO, WOS, Medline, and Scopus and a metasynthesis of qualitative research were conducted including 19 articles. Results: Three categories were developed to explain the process of becoming a caregiver ‘taking on the role’ (life changes, uncertainty and confusion, and acceptance or resistance); ‘beginning to realise’ (new needs, impact, and appraisal); and ‘implementing strategies’ (seeking help and self-learning, reordering family and social relationships, solving problems, and devising strategies to decrease negative emotions and stress). Conclusions: The synthesis provides a comprehensive understanding of the experience of becoming a caregiver in order to help health-care professionals to adapt care plans to this situation.

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Medicines management issues in dementia and coping strategies used by people living with dementia and family carers: A systematic review

Objectives: Medicines play a key role in the lives of people with dementia, primarily to manage symptoms. Managing medicines is complex for people with dementia and their family carers and can result in multiple problems leading to harm. We conducted a systematic review to identify and model medication issues experienced and coping strategies used by people with dementia and/or family carers. Methods: Eleven general databases and four systematic review databases were searched. Studies were quality assessed using an established framework and thematically analysed. Results: Twenty‐one articles were included in this study, and four domains affecting medication use were identified: cognitive, medication, social and cultural, and knowledge/educational and communication. People with dementia reported medication issues in all four domains, but few coping strategies were developed. Family carers reported issues and coping strategies related to the medication and knowledge/educational and communication domains. Common issues with regards to knowledge and communication about medicines remain unresolved. The “voices” of people with dementia appeared largely missing from the literature so were in‐depth understanding of how, whether, and in which circumstances coping strategies work in managing medicines. Conclusions: Medicines management is a complex set of activities and although current coping strategies exists, these were primarily used by family carers or the person with dementia‐carer dyad. Health and social care practitioners and researchers should seek to understand in‐depth the “mechanisms of action” of existing coping strategies and actively involve people with dementia as co‐producers of knowledge to underpin any further work on medicines management.

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Caregiving Attitudes, Personal Loss, and Stress-Related Growth Among Siblings of Adults with Mental Illness

As parents age, well siblings are often asked to assume caregiving responsibilities for their brother or sister with mental illness. However, relatively little is known about how well siblings prioritize sibling caregiving responsibilities with other life demands. We examined well siblings’ attitudes toward self-care and caregiving for their sibling with mental illness (self- and sibling-care) using two cross-sectional samples. The first sample of well siblings (N = 242) was used to examine the psychometric properties of the self- and sibling-care measure (SSCM), designed to assess the degree to which siblings prioritize their own needs and the needs of their sibling with mental illness. A second sample (N = 103) was used to determine the relative contribution of self- and sibling-care attitudes in accounting for variation in well siblings’ reports of personal loss and stress-related personal growth. Results support the psychometric validity of the SSCM and suggest that self- and sibling-care attitudes account for greater variance in scores on perceived personal loss and stress-related growth than demographic or caregiving factors. Our findings support the need to address family care responsibilities and resource limitations through recovery-oriented mental health policies, services, and programs.

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Experiences of family caregivers the first six months after patient diagnosis of necrotising soft tissue infection: A thematic analysis

Background Necrotising soft tissue infection, or necrotising fasciitis, is a rapidly progressing disease requiring immediate diagnosis and treatment consisting of antimicrobial therapy, hyperbaric oxygen, debridement surgery and treatment in the intensive care unit. The harrowing illness trajectory affects the family caregivers potentially producing long-term psychological issues.Objectives We aimed to explore the experiences and coping strategies of family caregivers during the first six months after patient diagnosis of necrotising soft tissue infection. Methods Our study had a prospective, explorative, qualitative design using semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis to understand necrotising soft tissue infection as an intrinsic and instrumental case. Family caregivers (n = 25) were recruited at three university hospitals in Denmark and Sweden. Findings We identified three chronological themes describing issues of importance to the family caregivers. In the intensive care unit: Coping with illness and intensive care; In the ward: Coping with injury and post-intensive care and At home: Coping with recovery and new home life. Conclusion Challenges facing family caregivers of necrotising soft tissue infections survivors are still under-recognised. Healthcare professionals need to ensure that families and stakeholders throughout the patient trajectory have access to and co-create timely information and care plans to bridge the knowledge gap across care environments and to relieve family responsibility.

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Experiences of giving and receiving care in traumatic brain injury: An integrative review

Aims and objectives: To synthesise the literature on the experiences of giving or receiving care for traumatic brain injury for people with traumatic brain injury, their family members and nurses in hospital and rehabilitation settings. Background: Traumatic brain injury represents a major source of physical, social and economic burden. In the hospital setting, people with traumatic brain injury feel excluded from decision‐making processes and perceive impatient care. Families describe inadequate information and support for psychological distress. Nurses find the care of people with traumatic brain injury challenging particularly when experiencing heavy workloads. To date, a contemporary synthesis of the literature on people with traumatic brain injury, family and nurse experiences of traumatic brain injury care has not been conducted. Design: Integrative literature review. Methods: A systematic search strategy guided by the PRISMA statement was conducted in CINAHL, PubMed, Proquest, EMBASE and Google Scholar. Whittemore and Knafl's (Journal of Advanced Nursing, 52, 2005, 546) integrative review framework guided data reduction, data display, data comparison and conclusion verification. Results: Across the three participant categories (people with traumatic brain injury/family members/nurses) and sixteen subcategories, six cross‐cutting themes emerged: seeking personhood, navigating challenging behaviour, valuing skills and competence, struggling with changed family responsibilities, maintaining productive partnerships and reflecting on workplace culture. Conclusions: Traumatic brain injury creates changes in physical, cognitive and emotional function that challenge known ways of being in the world for people. This alters relationship dynamics within families and requires a specific skill set among nurses. Relevance to clinical practice: Recommendations include the following: (i) formal inclusion of people with traumatic brain injury and families in care planning, (ii) routine risk screening for falls and challenging behaviour to ensure that controls are based on accurate assessment, (iii) formal orientation and training for novice nurses in the management of challenging behaviour, (iv) professional case management to guide access to services and funding and (v) personal skill development to optimise family functioning.

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Qualitative Analysis of Faith Community Nurse–Led Cognitive-Behavioral and Spiritual Counseling for Dementia Caregivers

This article presents themes emerging from semistructured interviews with dementia family caregivers in rural communities who participated in an integrative, cognitive-behavioral and spiritual counseling intervention, and with faith community nurses (FCNs) who delivered the intervention. The primary objectives of the counseling intervention were to ameliorate dementia caregivers’ depressive affect and the severity of their self-identified caregiving and self-care problems. The qualitative portion of the study was intended to elicit caregivers’ and FCNs’ perceptions of the benefits and drawbacks of the intervention. We conducted interviews with seven FCN/caregiver pairs 4 times during the 6-month counseling process, totaling 56 interviews. Themes emerging from the interviews included caregivers’ perception of burden and care partners’ problem behavior; formation of therapeutic alliance between FCNs and caregivers; problem-solving skills, tools, and resources; caregivers’ use of problem-solving strategies; spirituality in caregiving and counseling processes; FCNs’ prior professional experience; and caregiver and FCN time constraints.

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Children with ill parents: extent and nature of caring activities

Rationale Previous studies have shown that children may take on higher extents of caring activities if their parents are affected by severe illness or disability, especially when their parents lack access to formal and informal care. Aims and objectives This study examined the extent and nature of caring activities done by patients’ children; differences in caring activities between different types of parental illness; factors associated with caring activities. Design An explorative cross‐sectional multicentre study. Methods Parents as patients in specialised healthcare services, and their children, were recruited from five health trusts in Norway. The sample included 246 children aged 8–17 years and their 238 parents with severe physical illness (neurological disease or cancer) (n = 135), mental illness (n = 75) or substance abuse (n = 28). Main outcome measure Multidimensional Assessment of Caring Activities (MACA‐YC18). Results A large number of children with ill parents are performing various caring activities. Increased caring activities among children due to their parent's illness were confirmed by their parents, especially with regard to personal care. We found no significant differences in the extent of caring activities between illness types, but there were some differences in the nature of these activities. Factors significantly associated with the extent and nature of caring activities were as follows: better social skills and higher external locus of control among the children and poorer physical parental health. Parent's access to home‐based services was limited. Study limitations In recruitment of participants for the study, a sampling bias may have occurred. Conclusion To promote coping and to prevent inappropriate or extensive caring activities among children with ill parents, there is a need for increased access to flexible home‐based services adapted to the type of parental illness.

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Caregiving as mobility constraint and opportunity: married daughters providing end of life care in northern Ghana

In the global south where care services are sparse and familial care remains practically and socially important, end of life care often occurs within families. Furthermore, in health care related policy development, care is often assumed to be ensured by ‘traditional’ norms of extended family relationships. In this context, the demands of providing care may require care providers to relocate, as well as reorganize their everyday responsibilities. This article contributes to geographies of care by offering an examination of the mobility constraints experienced by married and externally-resident daughters seeking to provide end of life care to a parent in northern Ghana. Drawing on ethnographic research, I examine how particular familial relationships are embedded with socially constructed labour obligations, leading to conflicting responsibilities at a parent’s end of life. I then consider how a woman as a daughter works to overcome these constraints to provide end of life care. I conclude that understanding the mobility of care providers can contribute to avoiding potentially damaging assumptions of ‘traditional’ norms of care and is an important consideration towards understanding the geographies of care in the rural global south.

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Widening the net: Exploring social determinants of burden of informal carers

Objectives: Providing care for a person with dementia or other chronic illness at home often places stress on the primary caregiver. In an Irish population, ~67% of carers reported experiencing extreme physical or mental tiredness. This study aimed to identify factors that influence carer burden and identify the sub-populations of carers who are most susceptible to burden. Methods: Consecutive carers referred to a local carers’ support organisation completed the following measurements: the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, Zarit Burden Interview, Social Network Index, General Health Questionnaire, Short Form Survey, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Brown’s Locus of Control scale and provided demographic data on themselves and their patient. Results: The sample consisted 53 carers, mean age: 64.5±11.7, of whom 43 (81.1%) were females. A linear regression model found significant independent (p<0.05) factors for carer burden were: increased behavioural problems of the patient, carer characteristics including female gender, younger age, high number of contacts, lower physical functioning and emotional problems, while protective factors were marriage and higher number of embedded networks. Conclusions: The ability to predict which carers are more susceptible to burden allows service providers to more quickly and accurately identify ‘higher risk’ carers, facilitating routine check-ups by physicians and carer support services.

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Pain Management Concerns From the Hospice Family Caregivers' Perspective

Background: Pain management is a challenging task for family caregivers in home hospice care. However, there are limited studies that examine the challenges regarding pain management in hospice care from family caregivers’ perspectives. Objectives: To identify the challenges related to pain management faced by family caregivers in hospice care and to examine the validity of an existing framework that outlines pain management challenges for hospice family caregivers. Design: We conducted a theory-driven, deductive content analysis of secondary data obtained from hospice family caregivers’ interviews from a randomized clinical trial. Setting/Participants: We included baseline interviews of 15 hospice caregivers of patients from hospice agencies in the States of Washington. The majority of the participants were white and female caregivers. They were spouse/partner or adult child living with the patient. Results: The study identified 5 out of the 6 major themes in the original framework and confirmed that hospice family caregivers face a variety of challenges: caregiver-centric issues, caregiver’s medication skills and knowledge, communication and teamwork, organizational skill, and patient-centric issues. A couple of the subthemes in the original framework were not present in our findings. We also expanded the original framework by adding 1 subtheme and revised 2 definitions in the original framework. Conclusion: The study provided an investigation on hospice family caregivers’ difficulties in pain management. The results can inform health-care providers and researchers of family caregivers’ challenges and provide insights for future designs of educational tools targeting pain management strategies, so that family caregivers can perform pain management effectively at home.

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Effectiveness of a strength-oriented psychoeducation on caregiving competence, problem-solving abilities, psychosocial outcomes and physical health among family caregiver of stroke survivors: A randomised controlled trial

Background: Family caregivers provide the foundation for long-term home care of stroke survivors. The overwhelming stress associated with caregiving hinders the ability of family caregivers to utilise their internal and external resources to cope with this situation, thereby placing their own health at risk. We conducted a randomised controlled trial of a strength-oriented psychoeducational programme on conventional stroke rehabilitation for family caregivers. Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of a strength-oriented psychoeducational programme on the caregiving competence, problem-solving coping abilities, caregiver’s depressive symptoms, caregiving burden and resources (family functioning, social support) and physical health (such as caregiving-related injury), as well as potential placement of stroke survivors. Design: A prospective multi-centre and single-blinded randomised controlled trial stratified by survivors’ history of stroke. Setting and participants: Adult stroke patients and their family caregivers were recruited from the medical wards of a regional acute and two rehabilitation hospitals in the Eastern New Territories of Hong Kong. Methods: The design of the trial was based on the relational/problem-solving model. Family caregivers of stroke survivors who had been admitted to the study hospitals completed a set of questionnaires before randomisation, immediately, one- and three-months post-intervention. The control group received usual care, whereas the intervention group received an additional 26-week strength-oriented psychoeducational programme (two structured individual face-to-face pre-discharge education sessions on stroke and its associated caregiving skills and six biweekly post-discharge telephone-based problem-solving coping skills training sessions). Data were analysed using the generalized estimating equation and multiple regression models and chi-square tests. Results: We recruited 128 caregiver–survivor dyads. The intervention group demonstrated significantly greater improvements throughout the study (p < 0.01) in terms of caregiving competence, problem-solving coping abilities and social support satisfaction. This group also displayed significantly greater improvements in terms of family functioning (p < 0.05) at one-month post-intervention, an increased number of social support (p < 0.001) and a lower level of burden at three-month post-intervention. However, there was no significant effect on enabling stroke survivors to remain in their home. Post-hoc analysis showed a significant and indirect effect of problem-solving coping abilities, which suggested its mediating effect on caregiving competence of stroke caregivers. Conclusions: Findings suggest that incorporating a strength-oriented psychoeducational programme into the existing stroke rehabilitation protocol can foster a healthy transition to caregiving among family members of stroke survivors.

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A cross‐sectional study on experiences of young adult carers compared to young adult noncarers: parentification, coping and resilience

Background Most young carer studies on parentification, resilience and coping concentrated on child carers up to age 18 years, whereas the group of young adult caregivers (18–24 years) has been neglected. In our study, we focused on these young adult caregivers, who are in a life phase in which young people usually are distancing themselves from their families and are striving for autonomy and freedom. Aim To explore young adult carers’ perceptions of parentification, resilience and coping compared to young adult noncarers. Design Cross‐sectional. Methods In 2014/2015, data were collected on 297 healthcare students from a school for vocational education and a university in the Netherlands. A fully structured questionnaire was used. Young adult carers were compared with young adult noncarers on parentification, resilience and coping. Results Fifty‐six students identified themselves as a carer: 40 vocational education students and 16 university students. Carers scored significantly higher than noncarers on three out of six parentification dimensions. No differences were found for resilience and problem‐focused coping behaviour, whereas results for emotion‐focused coping demonstrated a higher score for the carers compared to the noncarers. Conclusion Although it is important to take care of the needs of all young carers, special attention should be given to those who are at the start of their adult lives, undergoing extensive changes and taking major decisions on study and career issues. Home‐care professionals and school counsellors should be able to recognise this group and their needs and activate support from specialised services and significant others.

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'Between a rock and a hard place': family members' experiences of supporting a relative with bipolar disorder

Purpose: Clinical guidelines emphasise the central role of family members in supporting people with bipolar disorder. However, there has been little focus on the challenges family members face in supporting their relative. This qualitative study explored the challenges of providing support to a relative with bipolar disorder, and how family members attempted to meet these challenges. Factors that helped or hindered their efforts were also explored, including experiences of professional support. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 family members (partners, parents, adult children, and siblings). Transcripts were analysed using the Framework approach. Results: Participants faced numerous challenges pertaining to the nature of the disorder and specific illness phases, their relative’s responses to their attempts to help, and the limitations of support from healthcare professionals. Although participants were resourceful in managing these challenges, they strongly valued professional input. Six themes were identified: ‘Not knowing: like being in a minefield’, ‘It’s out of my control: sitting waiting for the next thing to happen’, ‘Treading on eggshells’, ‘Picking up on signs’, ‘Times of crisis: between a rock and a hard place’, and ‘I have to make my voice heard’. Conclusions: Family members supporting a relative with bipolar disorder face significant challenges but show considerable resourcefulness in managing them. The findings underline the importance of input from healthcare professionals to help family members effectively support their relative and manage the challenges they face. Professional support should be strengths-based, and tailored to family members’ needs.

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Our disease: a qualitative meta-synthesis of the experiences of spousal/partner caregivers of people with multiple sclerosis

Purpose: To provide a unique and conceptually comprehensive account of the lived experiences of caregiving spouses/partners of people with multiple sclerosis, which can be used to better enable health professionals to provide appropriate support services. Method: A systematic review of qualitative studies reporting the experiences of caregiving spouses/partners was conducted. Relevant articles were identified and analysed using a meta‐ethnographic synthesis. Results: Twenty studies met eligibility criteria, of which 18 were included in the final meta‐synthesis. Six major concepts were identified: Acceptance and Appreciation, Commitment, Becoming the Carer, Living with Loss, Shifting Sands and Setbacks with Services. A model of carer experience is presented as a line of argument to synthesise the findings. Suggestions are made regarding the types of supportive interventions that might be effective for spousal carers. Conclusion: The findings increase our understanding about the experiences of partners caring for people with multiple sclerosis. Spousal carers can adapt to the challenges associated with change and loss, and have the potential to develop appreciation, acceptance and hope. Services need to be sensitive to the fluctuating demands placed upon carers and be flexible in their support.

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Resilience for family carers of advanced cancer patients—how can health care providers contribute? A qualitative interview study with carers

Background: Caring for advanced cancer patients affects carers’ psychological and physical health. Resilience has been defined as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of threat.” Aim: The aim of this study was to explore factors promoting carer resilience, based on carers’ experiences with and preferences for health care provider support. Design: Qualitative, semi-structured, individual interviews with family carers of advanced cancer patients were performed until data saturation. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using systematic text condensation. Setting/participants: Carers (n = 14) of advanced cancer patients, not receiving curative treatment, admitted to an integrated curative and palliative care cancer outpatient clinic or to a university hospital cancer clinic, were included. Results: 14 carers of advanced cancer patients were included 7 men, 7 women, and mean age of 59 years 3 were bereaved 12 were partners 5 had young and teenage children. Four main resilience factors were identified: (1) being seen and known by health care providers—a personal relation (2) availability of palliative care (3) information and communication about illness, prognosis, and death and (4) facilitating a good carer–patient relation. Conclusion: Health care providers may enhance carers’ resilience by a series of simple interventions. Education should address carers’ support needs and resilience. Systematic assessment of carers’ support needs is recommended. Further investigation is needed into how health care providers can help carers and patients communicate about death.

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Behind the smile: qualitative study of caregivers' anguish and management responses while caring for someone living with heart failure

Background Caregivers support self-management in heart failure but often experience stress, anxiety and ill health as a result of providing care. Aims 1. To identify the factors that contribute to the experience of anguish. 2. To understand how caregivers learn to live with what is frequently a challenging and demanding role. Methods Individual interviews with caregivers who had been caring for someone with heart failure for a minimum of 6 months. We used thematic analysis to inductively analyse transcripts. Results Twenty-two caregivers, from three centres in the United Kingdom, took part in individual interviews. The caregivers were aged between 39 and 84 years, and six were men. Twenty were in spousal or partner relationships. We found that caregivers often hide the extent of their emotional stress or anguish. We identified four main themes with explanatory subthemes—emotional impact (fear for the future and sense of hopelessness), role definition (changing sense of who I am, reduced resilience, learning care skills, role conflict and changing role), exclusion (exclusion by the cared-for person and by health professionals and feeling alone) and ignoring one’s own health—that were associated with anguish. From these findings, we produced a caregiver needs assessment model in the context of caring for a person with heart failure. Conclusions and implications for practice Caregivers have many unmet and hidden needs. Primary care health professionals are well placed to meet the needs of caregivers. The model may be used by health and social care professionals to identify needs and to provide caregivers with targeted practical and emotional support; and for researchers developing interventions to enhance self-management in heart failure.

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In sickness and in health: The strains and gains of caring for a chronically ill or disabled spouse

Objectives To examine the subjective experiences of spousal carers, focusing on positive, negative, and relational aspects of this role. Methods Mixed-methods exploratory study involving questionnaires (N equals 40) and in-depth interviews (N equals 8) with spousal carers in the southwest of England. Results Participants used a combination of negative and positive terms to describe their experiences, with the cared-for spouse's mental acuity, behavior towards the carer, and amount of care required, impacting on carers' subjective experience. Women were more likely to report neglecting their own health because of being a carer (p equals 0.02). The marital relationship itself was highly significant, and many carers took special measures to maintain and develop their marital bonds. Carers adapted to their roles in various ways, with those finding acceptance of their situation and accessing support appearing to cope best with the demands of the role. Discussion This study, though based on a small and geographically restricted sample, offers insight into the positive, negative, and relational experiences of spousal carers. Support that encourages carers to engage in health-promoting activities, and ideally provides opportunities for both partners to be involved in such activities together, may be particularly beneficial. 

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The Impact of the Physical Home Environment for Family Carers of People with Dementia: A Qualitative Study

Background : The majority of people with dementia are cared for by their families at home. This study aimed to elicit family carers' perceptions on home environmental aspects and strategies with the view to identify barriers and facilitators when caring for a person with dementia at home. Design and methods : Thirteen co-resident family carers were engaged in semi-structured in-depth walking interviews. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis.  Results : Home environments can pose a number of challenges and opportunities. Aspects of the architectural and interior environment (e.g. size, condition, layout and accessibility, familiarity) are perceived as important (Theme 1) as well as a plethora of environmental strategies that encourage independence and comfort at home (Theme 2). Carers' scepticism, timing, costs, property characteristics and mistrust to services are some barriers to implementing environmental strategies (Theme 3). Conclusions : Carers improvised solutions via trial and error and need further education on strategies to create an enabling and comfortable home environment.

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Resilience as a concept for understanding family caregiving of adults with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): an integrative review

Aims: This paper was a report of the synthesis of evidence on examining the origins and definitions of the concept of resilience, investigating its application in chronic illness management and exploring its utility as a means of understanding family caregiving of adults with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Background: Resilience is a concept that is becoming relevant to understanding how individuals and families live with illness, especially long-term conditions. Caregivers of adults with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease must be able to respond to exacerbations of the condition and may themselves experience cognitive imbalances. Yet, resilience as a way of understanding family caregiving of adults with COPD is little explored. Design: Literature review - integrative review. Data sources: CINAHL, PubMed, Google Scholar and EBSCO were searched between 1989-2015. Review methods: The principles of rapid evidence assessment were followed. Results: We identified 376 relevant papers: 20 papers reported the presence of the concept of resilience in family caregivers of chronic diseases patients but only 12 papers reported the presence of the concept of resilience in caregivers of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease patients and have been included in the synthesis. The term resilience in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease caregiving is most often understood using a deficit model of health.

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Caring at home until death: enabled determination

Purpose: The importance of family caregivers in providing palliative care at home and in supporting a home death is well supported. Gaining a better understanding of what enables palliative family caregivers to continue caring at home for their family members until death is critical to providing direction for more effective support. The purpose of the study was to describe the experiences of bereaved family caregivers whose terminally ill family members with advanced cancer were successful in achieving a desired home death. Method: A qualitative interpretive descriptive approach was used. Data were collected using semi-structured, audio-recorded interviews conducted in-person or via telephone in addition to field notes and reflective journaling. The study took place in British Columbia, Canada, and included 29 bereaved adult family caregivers who had provided care for a family member with advanced cancer and experienced a home death. Results: Four themes captured the experience of caring at home until death: context of providing care, supportive antecedents to providing care, determination to provide care at home, and enabled determination. Factors that enabled determination to achieve a home death included initiation of formal palliative care, asking for and receiving help, augmented care, relief or respite, and making the healthcare system work for the ill person. Conclusions: Clarifying caregiving goals and supporting the factors that enable caregiver determination appear to be critical in enhancing the likelihood of a desired home death.

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Parents Caring For Adult Children With Serious Mental Illness

BACKGROUND: Parents often become the caregivers for their adult children with serious mental illness (SMI) due to the chronic and debilitating course of the illness and shortages in funding for community mental health services and residential placements. OBJECTIVE: To examine parents' management styles when caring for adult children with SMI and parents' perspectives on what type of community-based mental health interventions would support and/or enhance overall family functioning. DESIGN: A qualitative descriptive study using semistructured interviews with parents caring for adult children with SMI. The study was undergirded by Knafl and Deatrick's Family Management Style Framework. RESULTS: Four major themes emerged from the data describing prolonged and difficult phases that parents and the family undergo in caring for an adult child with SMI. CONCLUSIONS: Successful management of these phases must include increasing access to mental health information, mental health screening, early interventions, and violence prevention for adult children and their families. 

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Tolerating Uncertainty: Perceptions of the Future for Ageing Parent Carers and Their Adult Children with Intellectual Disabilities

Background: Improved life expectancy means that more adults with intellectual disabilities are now living with ageing parents. This study explored older families' perceptions of the future. Methods: Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with nine older parents and three adults with intellectual disabilities and analysed to produce an explanatory thematic framework. Results: ‘Tolerating uncertainty’ was the major theme in participants' attempts to manage anxieties about the future, encompassing sub‐themes of ‘accepting the parenting role’, ‘facing challenges’, ‘being supported/isolated’, ‘positive meaning making’, ‘re‐evaluating as time moves on’ and ‘managing future thinking’. Some participants expressed preferences for their future which were in contrast to their parents' views, and provide a unique perspective that has often been neglected in prior research. Conclusions: This research has found commonalities in how families tolerate the uncertainty of the future, but also unique differences that require tailored interventions and prospective action by services.

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Investigating what works to support family carers of people with dementia: a rapid realist review

Introduction :Advances in longevity and medicine mean that many more people in the UK survive life-threatening diseases but are instead susceptible to life-limiting diseases such as dementia. Within the next 10 years those affected by dementia in the UK is set to rise to over 1 million, making reliance on family care of people with dementia (PWD) essential. A central challenge is how to improve family carer support to offset the demands made by dementia care which can jeopardise carers’ own health. This review investigates ‘what works to support family carers of PWD’. Methods: Rapid realist review of a comprehensive range of databases. Results: Five key themes emerged: (1) extending social assets, (2) strengthening key psychological resources, (3) maintaining physical health status, (4) safeguarding quality of life and (5) ensuring timely availability of key external resources. It is hypothesized that these five factors combine and interact to provide critical biopsychosocial and service support that bolsters carer ‘resilience’ and supports the maintenance and sustenance of family care of PWD. Conclusions: ‘Resilience-building’ is central to ‘what works to support family carers of PWD’. The resulting model and Programme Theories respond to the burgeoning need for a coherent approach to carer support.

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Not sick enough: Experiences of carers of people with mental illness negotiating care for their relatives with mental health services

WHAT IS KNOWN ON THE SUBJECT?: Existing literature provides insight into the general experience of carers of people with a mental illness. Previous studies have found that carers experience a range of emotions when looking after their relatives with a mental illness. However, experiences of carers as they engage with the healthcare system is largely absent from the literature. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS TO EXISTING KNOWLEDGE?: This paper identified the experiences of carers when their relatives are experiencing a crisis or acutely unwell. Carers found themselves in the middle between mental health services and their relatives. Strategies employed by carers to ensure their relatives receive adequate care were identified from this study. This paper identified how carers needed to become more assertive in order to receive adequate care for their relatives, and this finding has implications for any future carer education. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE?: The participants identified the need to work more collaboratively with carers of people with a mental illness as they seek treatment for their relatives in order to achieve better health outcomes for the patients. Improved health service engagement of carers was seen by participants to assist them to better care for their relative. The study also found that there needs to be a clearer definition as to what constitutes mental health crisis and how carers are able to intervene during this period. Services could provide clear information concerning crisis services and in particular triage.

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Life Interrupted: The Trauma Caregiver Experience

Traumatic injury frequently leads to an abrupt change in physical and psychological functioning; informal caregivers play a significant role in the recovery process in the hospital and at home. The purpose of this study was to describe the range of stressors and burdens experienced by orthopedic trauma family caregivers in the acute care setting, as well as responses and strategies employed. Qualitative, in-depth interviews were conducted in the hospital with 12 family caregivers of severely injured orthopedic trauma patients. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed to identify the range of experiences and common themes. Data were organized into 4 categories: stressors and needs; barriers; resources; and response. Stressors and barriers included the confusion and turmoil of life in the hospital, exposure to tragedy, difficulty obtaining and understanding information, and a sense that the family was not considered an integral part of the care plan. Factors influencing caregiver coping included access to the patient, provider communication, caregiver internal and external resources, and the presence of staff assisting in negotiation of the complex and unfamiliar hospital system. Understanding the caregiver experience enables nursing providers to build trust and offer effective support and guidance; caregiver-centered systems of information from admission to discharge may facilitate adaptation and improved caregiving.

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Core elements to understand and improve coping with Parkinson's disease in patients and family carers: A focus group study

 Aims: The aim of this study were: (1) To explore the meaning that coping with Parkinson's disease has for patients and family carers; (2) To suggest the components of an intervention focused on enhancing their coping with the disease. Background: Adapting to Parkinson's disease involves going through many difficult changes; however, it may improve quality of life in patients and family carers. One of the key aspects for facilitating the psychosocial adjustment to Parkinson's disease is the strengthening of coping skills. Design: A sequential explanatory mixed methods study was carried out. Findings from the qualitative phase are presented. Methods: Data were collected in May 2014 through three focus groups: one of people with Parkinson's disease (n = 9), one of family carers (n = 7) and one of healthcare professionals (n = 5). All focus groups were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim and content analysis was independently carried out by two researchers. Findings: The participants coincided in highlighting that coping with Parkinson's disease helped the patient and the family carer in their search for balance; and it implied a transformation in their lives. To aid the process of coping with Parkinson's disease, a  multifaceted intervention is proposed. Conclusion: Coping with Parkinson's disease is a complex process for both patients and family carers and it should therefore be considered a standard service in healthcare policies aimed at this group. The proposed intervention constitutes a nursing tool which has great potential to improve the quality of life in Parkinson's disease and in other long‐term conditions.

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Personality of the caregiver influences the use of strategies to deal with the behavior of persons with dementia

Personality of family caregiver is an important factor influencing the caregiver's burden, depression and distress. We now hypothesized that the personality is associated with specific strategies used by family caregivers to deal with the behavioral and psychological symptoms of demented relatives (BPSD). Participants were 98 consecutive persons with dementia and their family caregivers. Assessments included: Personality (NEO-FFI), Burden (ZBI), Depression (CES-D), Cognitive Function (MMSE), BPSD (NPI), Distress (NPI-D), and an open question to identify the strategies used by caregivers when faced with BPSD. Caregivers used different strategies to cope with their relatives' behavior: avoiding conflict; confronting; reassuring; orienting; responding coercively; distracting; colluding; medicating and restricting the movements. Extraversion was the only dimension of caregiver's personality that determined the use of caregiver strategies to deal with BPSD. Extroverted caregivers used the "confronting" strategy less often. Caregiver's personality should be taken into account when designing adapted intervention programs.

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Who are the support persons of haematological cancer survivors and how is their performance perceived?

Objective: To explore: (1) how haematological cancer survivors and their support persons perceive the overall performance of the support person; (2) disagreement between survivor and support person ratings; and (3) characteristics associated with support persons rating their performance poorly. Methods: This is a substudy of a larger project of Australian haematological cancer survivors and their support persons. For this substudy, haematological cancer survivors were recruited from 4 Australian population‐based cancer registries and asked to pass on a questionnaire package to their support persons. Survivors who passed on a questionnaire package to their support person were asked to answer questions about the support person and how they perceived the support person's performance. Similarly, support persons answered questions on their own performance as a support person. Results: A total of 924 haematological cancer survivors and 821 support persons were eligible for this study. Most survivors rated their support person as performing very well (84%) while less than half (48%) of support persons rated their own performance as very well. There was significant disagreement between survivor and their support person (dyad) ratings of the support person's performance. Support persons with above normal levels of depression (vs those with normal levels) had significantly higher odds of rating their own performance as “not well/somewhat well.” Conclusions: Health care providers should consider providing additional education and skills‐based interventions to support persons who experience increased symptoms of depression.

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The Experience of Parenting a Child With Disability in Old Age

There are growing numbers of older parents providing ongoing care for adults with disabilities. A parent's aging calls for a redefinition of parental care practices and roles in light of his or her own changing needs. The current study aims to highlight the ways in which aging parents perceive and construct their parental role to adult children with disabilities at this point in their lives. An interpretive phenomenological analysis perspective was used. Data collection was performed through in-depth, semistructured interviews with 20 aging parents of children with developmental disabilities, followed by a content analysis. Four patterns of parental identity emerged: "Being happy is his responsibility I did my part," embracing aging needs "I can do part-time worrying," a gradual letting go of parental roles "I'm worn out, but I keep going. What choice do I have?" bearing the brunt "I'm an old woman changing diapers," full-time parents. The findings enable a deeper understanding of the various ways in which parents cope with aging alongside caring for an adult child with disability. Hence, this study can serve as a framework for developing tailored and differential intervention methods for these families. As the world's people experience longer life expectancy, of both individuals with disabilities and their parents, nurses' education and practice should be challenged by the double sensitivities of elder's caregiving and address the unique needs of this unique population.

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A systematic review on the factors associated with positive experiences in carers of someone with cancer

The aim of this review was to identify the factors associated with positive experiences in non‐professional carers of someone with a cancer diagnosis. A systematic search of the following electronic databases was undertaken: Cochrane Library, CINAHL, PsycINFO, SocINDEX and Medline. Literature was searched using terms relating to cancer, caring and positive experiences. Additional records were identified through a manual search of relevant reference lists. The search included studies published in English from 1990 to June 2015. Two raters were involved in data extraction, quality appraisal, coding, synthesis and analysis. Evolutionary concept analysis was used as a guiding framework in order to focus on attributes associated with positive experiences. Fifty‐two articles were included in this review. Analysis identified four overarching attributes: “gender,” “personal resources,” “finding meaning” and “social context.” Despite the challenges associated with caring, this combination of internal and external factors enabled some carers to report positive experiences related to caring. This knowledge may be clinically helpful when designing supportive interventions. Strengths and limitations of these claims are discussed.

Systematic review registration number: CRD42014014129.

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A qualitative exploration of how Canadian informal caregivers in medical tourism use experiential resources to cope with providing transnational care

Canadians travelling abroad for privately arranged surgeries paid for out‐of‐pocket are engaging in what has come to be known as medical tourism. They are often accompanied by friends or family members, who we call caregiver‐companions. Caregiver‐companions provide care in and across a variety of formal and informal settings, such as in hotels, airplanes and at home. This qualitative study examines the experiences of informal caregivers in medical tourism to learn more about the lived experiences or ‘experiential resources’ they draw upon to cope with providing care and avoiding caregiver burden. The care‐giving literature has demonstrated that such burden can negatively impact caregivers’ well‐being. The unique, transnational context of care‐giving in medical tourism and recent growth in popularity of this practice means that there are few supports or resources currently in place to assist informal caregivers. In this article, we report on an analysis that sought to detail how caregiver‐companions draw upon their previous lived experiences to cope with providing transnational care and to minimise or avoid the onset of caregiver burden. We conducted semi‐structured telephone interviews with 20 Canadians who had accompanied their friends or family members abroad for surgery between September 2013 and January 2014. Thematic analysis revealed the ways that participants had developed practical strategies to deal with the challenges they faced in medical tourism. The interviews revealed three important experiential resources drawn upon by participants: (i) previous experiences of international travel (ii) previous experiences of informal care‐giving and (iii) dimensions of the existing relationship with the care recipient. Differences in access to and use of these experiential resources related to participants’ perspectives on medical tourism and the outcomes of the trip. By identifying the experiential resources drawn upon by informal caregivers in medical tourism, we can more effectively identify supportive interventions.

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Adaptation of a scale to measure coping strategies in informal primary caregivers of psychiatric patients

Background: The recovery process of a psychiatric patient is related to his primary informal caregiver's style of coping with stress. There is insufficient literature on validations of instruments that measure coping styles in this population. Objective: To adapt and validate a scale to measure coping strategies in primary informal caregivers. Method: The adapted scale was based on the Extreme Coping Scale of López‐Vázquez and Marván. Items from that scale were adapted for application to informal caregivers. The scale was administered to 122 primary informal caregivers of patients from two psychiatric institutions in Mexico. Psychometric analyses were performed to determine the scale's properties. Results: The scale was composed of 20 items (six less than in the original scale) and two factors: (i) active coping (Cronbach's alpha = .837) and (ii) passive coping (Cronbach's alpha = .718). Discussion: The findings are discussed in the light of the importance of studying the relationship between coping styles and the well‐being of both informal caregivers and psychiatric patients. Implications for practice: The scale could be used by health practitioners and researchers to generate strategies to support the family caregiver, as well as to measure the results of interventions.

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The caregiver burden in male romantic partners of women with non-metastatic breast cancer: The protective role of couple satisfaction

We examined the evolution of the subjective burden of romantic partners caring for women with non-metastatic breast cancer and investigated the moderating role of couple satisfaction on caring stress. Forty-seven partners filled out questionnaires 3 and 12 months after surgery. Using a stress process model, we examined caring stressors and moderating factors (couple satisfaction, coping and social support) as predictors of subjective burden. Results showed that subjective burden decreases over time and that the couple satisfaction largely explains it above and beyond other influential variables. Partners dissatisfied with their couple relationship are especially vulnerable to the stress of caregiving.

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Caregiver Burden Among Caregivers of Individuals With Severe Mental Illness: Testing the Moderation and Mediation Models of Resilience

The association between the socio-demographic characteristics of caregivers, such as gender and caregiver burden, is well documented; however, the process underlying this relationship is poorly understood. Based on the stress process model, we designed a cross-sectional study to examine the mediating and moderating effect of resilience on the relationship between gender and caregiver burden. Caregivers of individuals with severe mental illness (n = 201) were recruited in two psychiatric outpatient clinics in Malaysia. The relationship between the gender of the caregiver and caregiver burden was mediated by resilience, thus supporting the stress process model. The findings from the present research contribute to the growing evidence of the interaction between socio-demographic variables of caregivers and resilience, and caregiver burden.

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“Self-Employed” in Caregivinghood: The Contribution of Swedish Informal Caregivers’ Environmental and Contextual Resistance Resources and Deficits

Informal caregivers provide the majority of care for older adults residing in their own homes. Caregivinghood, a new evidence-based concept, describes a time of life when relatives provide care at home. These caregivers need knowledge regarding resources to help them resolve the challenges they encounter. The theoretical framework underpinning this study is Antonovsky’s salutogenic theory of health. This study had two aims: (1) to examine the salutogenic core concepts Generalized and Specific Resistance Resources and Deficits (GRRs/SRRs and GRDs/SRDs) described by Swedish informal caregivers as originating from the environmental and contextual domain of caregivinghood and (2) to discuss how this new knowledge might contribute to the development of health promotion initiatives. This qualitative and theory driven study used inductive and deductive data analysis. Data were gathered through salutogenically guided face-to-face interviews of 32 Swedish informal caregivers. In addition, the study relied on the salutogenic core concepts Specific and Generalized Resistance Resources and Deficits originating from their environment and context. Being in empowering surroundings reflects the presence of usable SRRs/GRRs, whereas Struggling in impeding surroundings reflects the presence of SRDs/GRDs. The results indicate that health-enhancing support has to be individualized (SRRs/SRDs) and generalized (GRRs/GRDs). This study’s salutogenic approach and the methodology enhance the understanding of the mechanisms behind the development of Sense of Coherence. The results contribute both empirically and theoretically to strengthen health promotion research and practice when developing activities and support for caregivers in stressful situations, such as informal caregiving.

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The ‘wayfinding’ experience of family carers who learn to manage technical health procedures at home: a grounded theory study

Background: With more care taking place in the home, family carers play an important role in supporting patients. Some family carers undertake technical health procedures generally managed by health professionals in hospital settings (e.g. managing a tracheostomy or enteral feeding). Aim: To explore how family carers learn to manage technical health procedures in order to help health professionals better understand and support this process. Design and methods: A grounded theory study using data from interviews with 26 New Zealand family carers who managed technical health procedures including nasogastric or gastrostomy feeding, stoma care, urinary catheterisation, tracheostomy management, intravenous therapy, diabetes management and complex wound dressings. Most (20 participants) were caring for their child and the remaining six for their spouse, parent or grandparent. Following grounded theory methods, each interview was coded soon after completion. Additional data were compared with existing material, and as analysis proceeded, initial codes were grouped into higher order concepts until a core concept was developed. Interviewing continued until no new ideas emerged and concepts were well defined. Findings: The core concept of ‘wayfinding’ indicates that the learning process for family carers is active, individualised and multi‐influenced, developing over time as a response to lived experience. Health professional support was concentrated on the initial phase of carers’ training, reducing and becoming more reactive as carers took responsibility for day‐to‐day management. Conclusion: Wayfinding involves self‐navigation by carers, in contrast to patient navigator models which provide continuing professional assistance to patients receiving cancer or chronic care services. Wayfinding by carers raises questions about how carers should be best supported in their initial and ongoing learning as the management of these procedures changes over time.

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A Kaleidoscope of Hope: Exploring Experiences of Hope Among Service Users and Informal Carers in Health Care Contexts

Background: There is a large and diverse literature on the concept of hope in health care. This literature covers a broad spectrum of perspectives, from philosophical, conceptual, and theoretical analysis through to attempts at measuring the concept of hope with differing health care users. Aims: To explore the concept of hope through the secondary analysis of existing data sets, with the intention of understanding hope in the context of person-centeredness. Research Question: What is the experience of hope among service users and informal carers in different health care contexts? Method: Secondary analysis of data derived from three research studies. Findings: We identified four key themes that together illustrate what we describe as a kaleidoscope of hope, reinforcing the view that there is no one presentation of hope and that practitioners must engage authentically with service users to determine the most effective and appropriate intervention strategies. Conclusions: Hope is not a singular phenomenon, and in the context of person-centered practice there is a need for practitioners to engage authentically with service users and listen carefully to what may bring hope for them.

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Connecting Those That Care: Designing for Transitioning, Talking, Belonging and Escaping

Care provision in many nations increasingly relies on the work of informal, or non-professional, carers. Often these carers experience substantial disruptions and reductions to their own sociality, weakened social support networks and, ultimately, a heightened risk of social isolation. We describe a qualitative study, comprised of interviews, design workshops and probes, that investigated the social and community support practices of carers. Our findings highlight issues related to becoming and recognising being a carer, and feelings of being ignored by, and isolated from, others. We also note the benefits that sharing between carers can bring, and routes to coping and relaxing from the burdens of care. We conclude with design considerations for facilitating new forms of digitally mediated support that connect those that care, emphasising design qualities related to transitioning, talking, belonging and escaping.

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The Family in Care for the Elderly: Managing the Overload and Coping with Difficulties

Introduction: Family is considered the main support of the elderly in a situation of dependency. Caregiving often results in overloading, leading to diverse problems. Aim: To evaluate the self-perception of the family caregiver’s overload and the strategies used to provide informal care to the dependent elderly considering their level of dependence. Method: The sample consisted of 21 children, 16 spouses, and nine other relatives of elderly dependents who responded to the Caregiver’s Overload Scale (Sequeira, 2007), the Portuguese version of Caregivers’ Assessment Management Index (CAMI, Nolan, Keady, & Grant, 1995) and the Barthel Index (Mahoney & Barthel, 1965). Results: The Barthel Index showed 34.8% of the elderly as severely dependent and 37.0% as totally dependent. The care most provided respected to medication, hygiene, food, and monitoring. Above 56.5% of the caregivers had an intense overload, both at the objective (impact of care and interpersonal relationship) and subjective (F3-Expectations regarding care and F4-Perceived self-efficacy) levels. The main reason for maintaining caregivers was family/personal obligation (95.7%). Caregivers reasonably assessed the effectiveness of their strategies in dealing with their dependent elderly (CAMI M = 101.0, SD = 15.0). There was a negative relationship between the perception of the caregiver’s overload and the age and health status of the elderly, as well as between the number of strategies used by the caregiver to overcome difficulties and the self-perception of the overload. Conclusion: The multiplicity of daily tasks performed in support of a family member in a situation of severe dependence translates into situations of intense overload, negatively impacting on care, interpersonal relationship, expectations regarding caring, and perception of self-efficacy of care.

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The Effects of the MORE Wisdom Resources on Spousal Caregivers' Life Satisfaction: An Application of the Resilience Model

OBJECTIVES: Models of resilience suggest that psychosocial resources and their interactions facilitate resilience while experiencing life challenges of caregiving. The MORE wisdom resources (sense of Mastery, Openness to experience, Reflective attitude, and Emotion regulation) have been suggested as possible personal resources of resilience that predict positive health outcomes of caregivers. Applying a model of resilience, this study examined the direct and indirect effects of the three of the MORE wisdom resources (sense of Mastery, Openness to experience, and Emotion regulation) on caregiving spouses' life satisfaction and perceived physical health. METHODS: Using data from the survey of Midlife in the United States, caregiving spouses (n = 114) and matched non-caregivers (n = 114) were included. We compared the direct and indirect effects of the wisdom resources on life satisfaction and physical health between the two groups. RESULTS: The simple mediation model proposed in 2008 by Preacher and Hayes revealed that openness to experience was directly associated with better life satisfaction among caregiving spouses. Sense of mastery and emotion regulation had indirect effects on life satisfaction through spousal support. The effects the wisdom resources on caregiving spouses' perceived physical health were not found. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that the three of the MORE wisdom resources are possible personal resilience factors influencing life satisfaction among caregiving spouses. Moreover, the study showed how spousal support mediates the relationship between the wisdom resources and life satisfaction.CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Interventions aiming to increase life satisfaction among caregiving spouses should focus on in reasing both personal and environmental resources and strengthening the relationship of the caregiver and care recipien

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Development of older men's caregiving roles for wives with dementia

This secondary analysis of qualitative interviews describes how older Swedish men approach the caregiver role for a wife with dementia, over time. An increasing number of male caregivers will become primary caregivers for partners living with dementia at home, and they will likely be caregivers for an extended period of time. It has been stated that caregiving experiences influence how older men think of themselves. The theoretical starting point is a constructivist position, offering an understanding of older caregiving men's constructions and reconstructions of themselves and their caregiver roles. Seven men, who were cohabiting with their wives, were interviewed on up to five occasions at home during a 5‐ to 6‐year period. The findings comprise three themes, me and it, me despite it, it is me, depict how these men gradually take on and normalise the caregiving tasks, and how they develop and internalise a language based on their caring activities. The results provide understanding about the relationship between men as caregivers and how this influences them as individuals. By careful attention to each caregiving man's individual needs rather than making gendered assumptions about men and caring, the aim of the caregiver support for men might best target men's own meaning to the caring in their the everyday practices.

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The role of flexible goal adjustment in the effect of informal caregiving on depressive symptoms: Evidence of a large population-based longitudinal study in Germany from 2002 to 2011

Objectives: To determine the role of flexible goal adjustment in the impact of informal caregiving on depressive symptoms, using a longitudinal approach. Method: Data were gathered from the German Ageing Survey. This is a population-based longitudinal study among community-dwelling individuals aged 40 and above in Germany. Data were derived from the second (2002), third (2008) and fourth (2011) wave, drawing on 10,994 observations. Flexible goal adjustment was assessed using a scale by Brandstädter and Renner. Informal caregiving was measured by asking the individuals whether they provide informal care. Depressive symptoms were quantified by using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale. Results: Adjusting for several potential confounders, fixed effects regressions showed that the onset of informal caregiving markedly increased depressive symptoms. Furthermore, regressions revealed that this effect was significantly moderated by flexible goal adjustment. Discussion: Our results highlight the importance of informal caregiving for depressive symptoms. Furthermore, the importance of flexible goal adjustment in the relation between informal caregiving and depressive symptoms should be emphasized. Efforts to increase flexible goal adjustment might be beneficial in reducing depressive symptoms among informal caregivers.

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A metasynthesis study of family caregivers' transition experiences caring for community-dwelling persons with advanced cancer at the end of life

Background: Family caregivers (broadly defined as family and friends) experience multiple concurrent transitions when caring for a person with advanced cancer. Aims: To (a) explore the transition experience of family caregivers caring for persons with advanced cancer living in the community, (b) describe potential triggers for transitions, (c) identify what influences this experience, and (d) develop a conceptual framework of their transition experience. Design: Sandelowski and Barroso’s methodology for synthesizing qualitative research included (a) a comprehensive search of empirical literature, (b) quality appraisal of qualitative studies, (c) classification of studies, and (d) synthesis of the findings. Data sources: Literature was sourced from six electronic data bases. Inclusion criteria were as follows: (a) published qualitative studies (and mixed-method designs) of the caregiving experience of family caregivers of community-living persons with advanced cancer at the end of life, (b) participants (caregivers and care recipients) of 18 years of age and above, (c) studies published in English in any country, and (d) studies published between 2004 and 2014. Results: A total of 72 studies were included in the metasynthesis. Family caregivers experience a “life transition” whereby their lives are permanently altered. The participants described the process of redefining normal which consisted of coming to terms with their situation and connecting with others. Outcomes of these processes were as follows: (a) maintaining a sense of personhood, (b) reframing hope, (c) maintaining self-efficacy, (d) finding meaning, and (e) preparing for the death of their care recipient. Conclusion: The findings provide a framework to guide the development of supportive programs and future research.

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The role of informal caregivers at the end of life: providing support through Advance Care Planning

In the palliative phase of a person's illness, the needs of the patient and informal caregivers are paramount. Caregivers often look to palliative care practitioners for support, guidance and emotional comfort. This article reviews the role of the informal caregiver at the end of life, summarising their concerns and needs. The paper also highlights caregiver difficulties in making the coping transition when the patient's medical condition becomes advanced and they require end-of-life care. The focus of the review is placed on discussions about Advanced Care Planning (ACP). ACP is a complex legal, ethical and practical issue that can enable caregivers to consider future strategies and enable them to provide high quality care at the end of life. The paper looks at some of the ethical and legal issues associated with this sensitive end-of-life issue.

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Informal caregivers experience of supplemental oxygen in pulmonary fibrosis

Background Patients prescribed supplemental oxygen (O2) therapy face challenges as they adjust to being constantly “tethered” to an oxygen delivery device. Informal caregivers (ICs) of patients with pulmonary fibrosis (PF) face their own, often overlooked hardships when O2 is brought into their home and added to their lives. Our aim was to understand the multiple effects of supplemental oxygen therapy on ICs of patients with PF. Methods We conducted single, semi-structured telephone interviews with twenty ICs of patients with PF who were using O2 for at least 8 months. We performed a qualitative, content analysis based in grounded theory to examine data across subjects. Results ICs initially reacted to O2 with trepidation and sadness as they came to recognize the changes it would cause in the lives of their patient-loved one (PLO). ICs recognized both beneficial and negative effects of O2 on their PLOs. ICs also realized that O2 created significant changes in their own lives, including introducing new roles and responsibilities for them, altering their home environments and significantly impacting their relationships with their PLOs. Although O2 was a tangible and constant reminder of disease progression, over time ICs were able to adapt and accept their new lives with O2. Conclusion ICs of patients with PF experience many life changes when their PLO is prescribed O2. Having O2 prescribers anticipate and recognize these challenges provides an opportunity to give support and guidance to ICs of PF patients who require O2 in the hopes of limiting the negative impact of O2 on their lives. Trial registration Clinicaltrials.gov , registration number NCT01961362 . Registered 9 October 2013.

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Caregiver Reactions to Dementia Symptoms: Effects on Coping Repertoire and Mental Health

Currently, 15 million informal caregivers, most of whom are women, provide care for older adults with dementia (Alzheimer's Disease Association, 2016). Caregiving for these individuals often creates distress and may adversely affect female caregivers' psychosocial and spiritual well-being. Approximately 35% of dementia caregivers complain of health deterioration after initiating caregiving responsibilities as compared to 19% of caregivers of older adults who do not have dementia (Alzheimer's Disease Association, 2016). Persons with dementia exhibit symptoms and behaviors that often are challenging for their caregivers. The way that caregivers react to these symptoms and behaviors may affect their coping repertoire and their mental health. Adequate evaluation of caregiver reactions to symptoms of dementia will provide information useful for developing targeted interventions to promote optimal health of female dementia caregivers and to potentially postpone the need for nursing home or long-term placement of the care recipient.

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Resiliency is independently associated with greater quality of life among informal caregivers to neuroscience intensive care unit patients

Objective: Every year, millions of Americans become informal caregivers to loved ones admitted to Neuroscience Intensive Care Units (Neuro-ICU), and face challenges to Quality of Life (QoL). This study sought to identify associations between resiliency, distress, and caregiver QoL at time of Neuro-ICU admission.; Methods: Informal caregivers (N = 79, Mage = 53, 64% female) of Neuro-ICU patients were recruited and completed self-report questionnaires during the hospitalization. We used hierarchical regression to test relative contributions of caregiver mindfulness, perceived coping abilities, and preparedness for caregiving to caregiver QoL, above-and-beyond non-modifiable patient and caregiver factors (e.g., gender) and caregiver psychological distress (i.e., anxiety, depression, history of mental health conditions).; Results: Preparedness for caregiving was uniquely and positively associated with Physical Health QoL (sr2 = 0.07, p = 0.001), Social QoL (sr2 = 0.05, p = 0.021), and Environmental QoL (sr2 = 0.14, p < 0.001), even after accounting for psychological distress. Mindfulness was uniquely and positively associated with Physical Health QoL (sr2 = 0.12, p < 0.001) and Psychological QoL (sr2 = 0.07, p = 0.004), above-and-beyond variance accounted for by psychological distress.; Conclusions: Mindfulness and preparedness for caregiving emerged as consistent, unique resiliency factors associated with greater caregiver QoL across QoL dimensions. Results highlight the importance of resiliency factors in QoL among Neuro-ICU caregivers and the need for early interventions to support resiliency.

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Me and You in Caregivinghood - Dyadic resistance resources and deficits out of the informal caregiver's perspective

Objective: To present Specific and Generalized Resistance Resources (SRRs/GRRs) and Deficits (SRDs/GRDs) described by 32 informal caregivers as originating from themselves and their older adult carerecipients as dyads.; Method: Salutogenic interviewing was used to assemble data from caregivers. A theory-driven, memo-guided and comparative analysis using within- and across- case analysis was applied to unravel resources and deficits influencing the outcomes when they managed tension associated with caregiving.; Findings: Living in fellowship in a well-functioning dyad unites the essence of having access to dyadic SRRs/GRRs. Such access enables dyads to use their specific dyadic tension management to resolve challenges through cooperation, derives 'positive' life-experiences and preserves dyad functioning. Struggling alone in a malfunctioning dyad indicates the presence of dyadic SRDs/GRDs counteracting such a development. If these SRDs/GRDs accumulate, the dyad become less able to resolve challenges, 'negative' life-experiences accumulates, the carerecipient's capability to cooperate decreases, caregiver's workload increases, the dyad becomes increasingly malfunctioning and moves towards the point where caregiving ends due to lack of usable SRRs/GRRs.; Conclusions: Findings reveals the complex duality of caregiving and the necessity to assess all available SRRs/GRRs and SRDs/GRDs for caregiving dyads, including out of the carerecipient's perspective. Appropriate 'salutogenic' support reduces SRDs/GRDs, makes available SRRs/GRRs usable or provides alternative SRRs/GRRs, thereby dyadic tension management and dyadic functionality is preserved during this phase of life labelled Caregivinghood. The study adds new knowledge to the salutogenic framework regarding central, theoretical concepts and suggests how data for health promoting initiatives conducted the 'salutogenic way' may be acquired.

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Unravelling Swedish informal caregivers' Generalised Resistance Deficits

In salutogenic theory, individual/contextual, immaterial/material characteristics enabling movements towards health are labelled Specific and Generalised Resistance Resources, SRRs/GRRs, and characteristics counteracting such movements Specific and Generalised Resistance Deficits, SRDs/GRDs. The aim of this paper was to present SRDs and GRDs described by caregivers as stemming from themselves and their care recipient. Guided by salutogenic theory, an explorative design was used to collect data through interviews with 32 Swedish informal caregivers. During the theory-driven analysis, SRDs were unravelled using within-case approaches. To be able to unite them as GRDs across cases, a serviceable GRD definition was developed from the existing theoretical GRR definition. In findings, SRDs are visualised in citations and GRDs described in detail. Caregivers' experiences of SRDs/GRDs are presented as themes: 'Experiencing personal deficiencies', when stemming from themselves; and 'Struggling with an uncooperative co-worker', when stemming from their care recipients. Findings indicate that if these themes dominate a caregiver's view of life, she/he seems to have reached the 'breaking point' when caregiving ends due to lack of usable SRRs/GRRs. To prolong the time until this occurs, support, making otherwise unusable SRRs/GRRs usable, is needed. When designing this type of 'salutogenic' support, it seems essential to involve the target group (e.g. caregivers, care recipients), to ascertain what their SRRs/GRRs and SRDs/GRDs may consist of. Such knowledge regarding SRRs/SRDs could be used to design individualised support, and regarding GRRs/GRDs to design generalised support at group level. This study suggests how such new knowledge regarding resistance resources and deficits could be acquired.

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Predicting psychological distress of informal carers of individuals with major depression or bipolar disorder

Caring for someone with a mental illness is associated with high levels of burden and psychological distress. Understanding these factors could be important to prevent the development of physical and mental health problems in carers. The purpose of the present study was to determine the contribution of coping styles and social support in predicting the psychological distress reported by informal carers (IC) of individuals with major depression or bipolar disorder. IC (n = 72) of adults with a diagnosed depressive illness were recruited from mental health organizations within the community setting. Carers completed the General Health Questionnaire, Brief COPE, and Social Support Questionnaire. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that 63% of the variance in psychological distress could be accounted for by adaptive and maladaptive coping styles and perceived quantity and satisfaction with social support. Satisfaction with social support (β = -0.508, P < 0.001) and maladaptive coping (β = 0.369; P < 0.001) were significant predictors of psychological distress. These findings suggest that interventions should consider coping styles, specifically the interaction between maladaptive behaviours and enhancement of quality of support, to assist carers to manage psychological distress, especially earlier in the caring role.

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Contextual Challenges and the Mosaic of Support: Understanding the Vulnerabilities of Low-Income Informal Caregivers of Dependent Elders in Singapore

Informal caregivers play an increasingly important and demanding role in providing and ensuring long-term care for elders. To date, few studies have qualitatively explored the challenges and coping strategies adopted by informal caregivers of dependent elders from lower-income households in Singapore. Based on data from in-depth interviews with 19 respondents, this study provides detailed and nuanced accounts of the lived experiences of low-income informal caregivers. The strains associated with the scarcity of resources among low-income caregivers are compounded by contextual challenges such as fractured familial relationships, role conflicts, and perceived barriers in their institutional environment. To overcome these challenges, low-income caregivers resort to a mix of informal and formal sources of support. Suggested improvements for policies and service provision to address the vulnerabilities of low-income caregivers will also be discussed in light of current gaps.

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Stroke survivors' and informal caregivers' experiences of primary care and community healthcare services - A systematic review and meta-ethnography

Objective: To describe and explain stroke survivors and informal caregivers' experiences of primary care and community healthcare services. To offer potential solutions for how negative experiences could be addressed by healthcare services.; Design: Systematic review and meta-ethnography.; Data Sources: Medline, CINAHL, Embase and PsycINFO databases (literature searched until May 2015, published studies ranged from 1996 to 2015).; Eligibility Criteria: Primary qualitative studies focused on adult community-dwelling stroke survivors' and/or informal caregivers' experiences of primary care and/or community healthcare services.; Data Synthesis: A set of common second order constructs (original authors' interpretations of participants' experiences) were identified across the studies and used to develop a novel integrative account of the data (third order constructs). Study quality was assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklist. Relevance was assessed using Dixon-Woods' criteria.; Results: 51 studies (including 168 stroke survivors and 328 caregivers) were synthesised. We developed three inter-dependent third order constructs: (1) marginalisation of stroke survivors and caregivers by healthcare services, (2) passivity versus proactivity in the relationship between health services and the patient/caregiver dyad, and (3) fluidity of stroke related needs for both patient and caregiver. Issues of continuity of care, limitations in access to services and inadequate information provision drove perceptions of marginalisation and passivity of services for both patients and caregivers. Fluidity was apparent through changing information needs and psychological adaptation to living with long-term consequences of stroke.; Limitations: Potential limitations of qualitative research such as limited generalisability and inability to provide firm answers are offset by the consistency of the findings across a range of countries and healthcare systems.; Conclusions: Stroke survivors and caregivers feel abandoned because they have become marginalised by services and they do not have the knowledge or skills to re-engage. This can be addressed by: (1) increasing stroke specific health literacy by targeted and timely information provision, and (2) improving continuity of care between specialist and generalist services.; Systematic Review Registration Number: PROSPERO 2015:CRD42015026602.

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The influence of psychological factors on the burden of caregivers of patients with advanced cancer: Resiliency and caregiver burden

Objective: The aim of our study was to identify the influence of such psychological factors as emotional intelligence and perceived competence on caregiver burden in those who care for patients with advanced cancer.; Method: A total of 50 informal caregivers completed self-report assessments of resilience, perceived competence, emotional regulation, positive aspects of care, emotional distress, and burden. We conducted a quantitative study with a cross-sectional design. Descriptive statistics were obtained. Associations between the different variables were assessed using nonparametric and multiple regression analyses.; Results: Participants were mainly female (88%) and had an average of 20 months of caregiving. Their mean age was 47 years (range = 20-79). More than half of scored high on resilience, positive aspects of caring, and emotional distress, moderately on perceived competence, and low on burden. Most caregivers used cognitive restructuring and social support as coping strategies. Inverse negative correlations were observed among emotional distress, emotional state, and burden with perceived competence and positive aspects of caring (p < 0.05). Significant differences were obtained for emotional distress, cognitive restructuring, and resiliency. Multiple regression analyses demonstrated that perceived competence, resiliency, and positive aspects of caring were the main predictors of burden.; Significance Of Results: Resilience, perceived competence, emotional regulation, and positive aspects of care constitute protective factors against caregiver burden. Taken together, these aspects should be promoted by the healthcare staff in order to facilitate caregiver adaptation and well-being.

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The last taboo: The experience of violence in first-episode psychosis caregiving relationships

Objectives: Informal caregiving relationships play an important role in facilitating recovery outcomes in psychosis. The relationship can serve as a source of positive experiences that co-exist alongside common challenges typically associated with mental health problems. People with psychosis, when compared to the general population, are more likely to perpetrate acts of violence, a relationship that is particularly evident during the first psychosis episode. Although victims of service user violence are typically people already known to them, such as informal carers, there remains a lack of understanding about their caring experiences and needs. This study sought to address gaps in the literature by exploring the subjective accounts of informal carers supporting a relative experiencing their first episode of psychosis who has also behaved violently towards them.; Design: A cross-sectional design was employed.; Methods: Individual semi-structured interviews, which were audio recorded and later transcribed for analyses, were undertaken with a convenience sample of eight carers drawn from a specialist early psychosis service. Interview questions focused on their experiences of patient violence, the subjective impact, and coping strategies. An interpretative phenomenological approach was used to analyse the data.; Results: Participants were mostly living with their relative with psychosis and were typically female, parents, and from a black and minority ethnic background. Data analyses identified seven key themes from participant interviews including the lack of predictability over when the violence occurred, being scared and fearful, keeping quiet about what happens at home and in the caregiving relationship, and staying safe.; Conclusions: Reports by informal carers about experiencing violence and victimization from their relatives with psychosis are an important issue in some caregiving relationships during the first episode. Developing a more informed understanding of the specific needs of these carers and the caregiving relationship is indicated. The implications for service providers are discussed.; Practitioner Points: Carers were exposed to a broad range of patient violence, which included being kicked and having weapons used against them. The violence typically occurred within carers' homes, when no other people were around. Patient violence impacted negatively on carer emotional and physical functioning, which included leaving carers living in fear of their own safety and what might become of their relative. The results highlight the importance of routinely asking first-episode carers about their experience of patient violence. The development of interventions (e.g., identification of early triggers, de-escalation) that are able to take account of the ongoing nature and complexity of the caregiving relationship but are purposefully aimed at supporting carers to remain safe in their relationship should be explored for their impact.

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Self-Compassion, Coping Strategies, and Caregiver Burden in Caregivers of People with Dementia

Objective: Caring for someone with dementia can have negative consequences for caregivers, a phenomenon known as caregiver burden. Coping strategies influence the impact of caregiving-related stress. Specifically, using emotion-focused strategies has been associated with lower levels of burden, whereas dysfunctional strategies have been related to increased burden. The concept of self-compassion has been linked to both positive outcomes and the coping strategies that are most advantageous to caregivers. However, as yet, no research has studied self-compassion in caregivers. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the relationship between self-compassion, coping strategies and caregiver burden in dementia caregivers.; Method: Cross-sectional survey data was collected from 73 informal caregivers of people with dementia recruited from post-diagnostic support services and caregiver support groups.; Results: Self-compassion was found to be negatively related to caregiver burden and dysfunctional coping strategies and positively related to emotion-focused coping strategies. Dysfunctional strategies mediated the relationship between self-compassion and caregiver burden, whereas emotion-focused strategies did not.; Conclusion: Caregivers with higher levels of self-compassion report lower levels of burden and this is at least partly due to the use of less dysfunctional coping strategies.; Clinical Implications: Interventions that develop self-compassion could represent a useful intervention for struggling caregivers.

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Interrelationships Between Health Behaviors and Coping Strategies Among Informal Caregivers of Cancer Survivors

Background: Recent research among cancer survivors suggests that health behaviors and coping are intertwined, with important implications for positive behavior change and health. Informal caregivers may have poor health behaviors, and caregivers' health behaviors have been linked to those of survivors.; Aims: This hypothesis generating study assessed the correlations among health behaviors and coping strategies in a population of lung and colorectal cancer caregivers.; Method: This cross-sectional study used data from the Cancer Care Outcomes Research & Surveillance Consortium. Caregivers ( n = 1,482) reported their health behaviors, coping, and sociodemographic and caregiving characteristics. Descriptive statistics assessed the distribution of caregivers' health and coping behaviors, and multivariable linear regressions assessed the associations between health behaviors and coping styles.; Results: Many informal caregivers reported regular exercise (47%) and adequate sleep (37%); few reported smoking (19%) or binge drinking (7%). Problem-focused coping was associated with greater physical activity and less adequate sleep (effect sizes [ESs] up to 0.21, p < .05). Those with some physical activity scored higher on emotion-focused coping, while binge drinkers scored lower (ES = 0.16 and 0.27, p < .05). Caregivers who reported moderate daily activity, current smoking, binge drinking, and feeling less well rested scored higher on dysfunctional coping (ES up to 0.49, p < .05).; Discussion: Health behaviors and coping strategies were interrelated among informal cancer caregivers. The relationships suggest avenues for future research, including whether targeting both factors concurrently may be particularly efficacious at improving informal caregiver self-care.; Conclusion: Understanding the link between health behaviors and coping strategies may inform health behavior research and practice.

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The challenges of shared decision making in dementia care networks

Background: Decision making is an important part of managing one's life with dementia. Shared decision making is the preferred way of involving people in decisions. Our study aimed to describe the challenges of shared decision making in dementia care networks.; Methods: A multi-perspective qualitative study using face-to-face interviews with 113 respondents in 23 care networks in the Netherlands consisting of 23 people with dementia, 44 of their informal caregivers, and 46 of their professional caregivers. The interview guide addressed the decision topics, who were involved in the decision making and their contributions to the decision making. We used content analysis to delineate categories and themes.; Results: The themes and categories that emerged are: (1) adapting to a situation of diminishing independence, which includes the continuous changes in the care network, resulting in shifting decision-making roles and the need for anticipating future decisions; and (2) tensions in network interactions which result from different perspectives and interests and which require reaching agreement about what constitutes a problem by exchanging information in the care network.; Conclusion: The challenges in dementia care networks relate to all dimensions of social health. They have implications for a model of shared decision making in dementia care networks. Such a model requires flexibility regarding changing capabilities to preserve the autonomy of the person with dementia. It needs working towards a shared view about what constitutes a problem in the situation. It asks for professionals to advocate for the involvement of people with dementia by helping them participate in ways that strengthen their remaining capacities.

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Correlate of burden and coping ability of caregivers of older adults with chronic illness in Nigeria

Aim: Caring for older adults with chronic illness is associated with enormous physical and psychological stress on the informal caregivers. This study assessed burden experienced by caregivers of older adults with chronic illness, explored coping strategies of caregivers in relation to identified chronic conditions and determined the influence of caregiver's burden, caregiver's characteristics and older adult's characteristics on their coping ability.; Method: This is a cross-sectional, correlational study, and data were collected among 325 caregivers of older adults living with chronic illness in Osun State, Nigeria, using a checklist, Katz IADL, Zarit Burden Interview and Brief Cope Scale. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics.; Findings: Results revealed that the age of the caregivers ranged between 19 and 70 years with a mean of 47.79 (±11.94). They were caring for older adults with heart diseases (47.7%), kidney diseases (8.0%), cancer (10.2%), gastrointestinal disorders (5.5%), stroke (18.5%), diabetes mellitus (10.2%) who had partial (60.9%) to total level of dependency (39.1%). Over 59% of caregivers experienced severe burden, which is associated with religion (p < 0.001). Coping strategies used include religion (7.37 ± 0.85), planning (6.70 ± 0.89), positive reframing (6.42 ± 1.01) and emotion-focused coping (29.97 ± 3.30), which was the most used coping domain. Caregiver's burden was a predictor of emotion-focused (β = -0.16), problem-focused (β = -0.15), dysfunctional (β = -0.14) and the total coping score (β = -0.48). In addition, religion predicted emotion-focused coping (β = 0.69).; Conclusion: This study concluded that caregiving activities impose a severe burden on the caregivers. Religion was the most used, and coping ability is predicted by burden and religion. Therefore, healthcare providers should consider interventions to promote the use of effective coping skills.

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Pattern Versus Change: Community-Based Dyadic Heart Failure Self-Care

It is imperative that dyadic heart failure (HF) self-care be carefully examined so we can develop interventions which improve patient outcomes. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively examine how patient/informal caregiver dyads mutually engage in managing the patient's HF at home. Twenty-seven dyads were interviewed using a theoretically derived interview guide. All interviews were digitally recorded and professionally transcribed, and iterative thematic analysis was conducted. Three descriptive themes emerged-Mutual engagement in self-care involves maintaining established patterns of engagement across the life course of the relationship, changing patterns according to whether it is day-to-day care or symptom management, and mobilizing the help of a third party as consultant. These themes reveal the dyadic conundrum-whether to change or remain the same in the face of a dynamic and progressive condition like HF. The themes suggest potential targets for intervention-interventions focused on the relationship or caregiver activation.

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Coping strategies and quality of life: a longitudinal study of high-grade glioma patient-caregiver dyads

Background: Among a sample of patient-informal caregiver dyads in the specific context of new diagnoses of high-grade glioma in the time-frame between diagnosis and the third month following diagnosis, we examine whether the coping strategies implemented by the patients and their caregivers influenced their own quality of life (QoL) and the QoL of their relatives.; Methods: Thirty-eight dyads with patients having recent diagnoses of high-grade glioma were involved in this longitudinal study. The self-reported data include QoL (Patient-Generated Index, EORTC QLQ-C30, and CareGiver Oncology Quality of Life), and coping strategies (BriefCope). Data were collected at T1 corresponding to the time-frame between diagnosis and postsurgical treatment initiation and T2 corresponding to the 3-month post-inclusion follow-up.; Results: Coping strategies based on social support and avoidance were the least used at baseline and the 3-month follow-up, both for patients and caregivers. At the 3-month follow-up, the use of social support at baseline was significantly related to lower scores of QoL for the patients and with higher QoL for the caregivers. For the patient, the use of problem-solving or positive thinking at baseline was not related to his/her QoL, while it was related to more satisfactory QoL scores for the caregiver. The use of avoidance at baseline was linked to a higher 3-month QoL for the patients and a lower 3-month QoL for the caregivers. Using the specific dyadic analyses (actor-partner interdependence model), the 3-month patient's QoL was lower (β = - 0.322; p = 0.03) when the patient mobilized the social support strategy at baseline, but was higher(β = 0.631; p < 10- 3) when his/her informal caregiver used this strategy. After adjustment for sex, age, and baseline PGI score, the link between high use of the social support strategy at baseline by the caregiver and the patient's 3-month QoL, remained present (positive partner effect; β =0.675; p < 10- 3).; Conclusion: The QoL for patients and their informal caregivers since the time of diagnosis is directly related to the use of coping strategies based on social support at time of diagnosis.

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Coping and adjustment in informal male carers: A systematic review of qualitative studies

Informal caregivers represent a significant proportion of the population. This can be a challenging role associated with adverse psychological outcomes. Gender can have important influences on choice of coping strategies; however, male caregivers have been a relatively understudied group in this regard. A systematic review of qualitative studies was conducted to synthesize research on male carer self-initiated coping strategies. A total of 16 studies met inclusion criteria for the current review. Caregiving in the context of neurological conditions was a key focus of studies, as was a focus on older male carers. Data on coping strategies were extracted and summarized under 4 metathematic categories: Finding meaning and purpose; creating new behaviors, roles, and identities; maintain status quo and utilize existing resources; promoting masculinities and taking charge. The findings of the current review suggest that men employ various coping strategies, many of which can be conceptualized as adopting either a traditional or flexible approach to gender role socialization. The implications for the review are discussed, along with directions for future research.

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Coping strategies and psychological distress in caregivers of patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) causes distress in caregivers. The present study aims to examine the association between coping strategies and psychological distress in caregivers of ALS patients.; Methods: Coping strategies were assessed in 96 ALS informal caregivers by means of the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations. Data about caregivers' demographic characteristics, levels of burden, depression and anxiety (psychological distress) were also gathered by standardised questionnaires. Patients' clinical, cognitive and behavioural disturbances were evaluated by ALS specific assessment tools.; Results: Sequential logistic regression analysis showed that emotion-oriented coping strategy was significantly associated with high levels of depressive (p < 0.01) and anxiety (p < 0.05) symptoms and high levels of burden (p < 0.05), after controlling for all other variables. Moreover, a significant relationship of patients' functional dependence levels with burden experienced by caregivers was observed. No relationships were detected between task-oriented and avoidance-oriented coping strategies and caregivers' levels of psychological distress.; Conclusions: The present study supported the mediating effects of coping strategies on intensity of burden, depression and anxiety experienced by ALS caregivers. These findings suggest that interventions aimed at reducing utilisation of maladaptive coping strategies may improve well-being in ALS caregivers, and, possibly, management of symptoms in ALS patients.

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Perseverance time of informal caregivers for people with dementia: construct validity, responsiveness and predictive validity

Background: Informal care is essential for many people with dementia (PwD), but it often results in a considerable burden for the caregiver. The perseverance time instrument integrates the aspect of perceived burden with the caregiver's capacity to cope with the burden, in contrast to most available instruments, which measure solely the burden of caregiving. The aim of this study was to extend insight into psychometric properties of the perseverance time instrument, specifically the construct validity, responsiveness, and predictive validity, within the population of informal caregivers for PwD.; Methods: Data from two studies among informal caregivers of community-dwelling PwD in the Netherlands were used. The first study included 198 caregivers from a single region in the Netherlands and lasted 1 year. The second was a cross-sectional nationwide study with 166 caregivers for PwD. Questionnaires of both studies included questions regarding demographics and informal care, perseverance time, and other informal caregiver outcomes (Caregiver Strain Index, Self-rated Burden scale, Care-related Quality of Life instrument, and visual analogue scale health scores). Construct validity and responsiveness were assessed using a hypothesis-testing approach. The predictive validity of demographic characteristics and perseverance time for living situation after 1 year (living at home, institutionalized, or deceased) was assessed with multivariable multinomial regression.; Results: All but one of the hypotheses regarding construct validity were met. Three of five hypotheses regarding responsiveness were met. Perseverance time scores at baseline were associated with living situation after 1 year (p < 0.01), unlike age, sex, and relationship with PwD. Perseverance time strongly increased predictive power for living situation after 1 year (c-index between 0.671 and 0.775) in addition to demographic characteristics.; Conclusions: This study supports previous findings regarding the construct validity of the perseverance time instrument and adds new evidence of good construct validity, responsiveness, and predictive validity. The predictive power of perseverance time scores for living situation exceeds the predictive power of other burden measures and indicates informal care as an important factor for maintaining the patient at home.

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Dementia informal caregiver obtaining and engaging in food-related information and support services

As dementia progresses, caregivers increasingly have to manage the decline of food-related abilities with little outside information or input from support services The provision of food coping skills and knowledge can lessen the burden on caregivers. However, there is little research on caregivers' perspectives on food-related services. This paper reports on a qualitative study to investigate informal caregivers' experiences of, and views on, food-related information and support services in dementia. Twenty informal caregivers were interviewed and the transcripts from these interviews were analysed using both deductive and inductive thematic analysis. Four categories emerged. 'Direct food-related Information', covers written material, training, 'Direct food-related informal support': lunch clubs, 'Indirect non-food related formal support services' covers respite services and domestic help at home. Finally 'no services required' covers those who did not feel they needed any form of intervention due to confidence in managing food-related processes or having no change in dementia progression and food responsibility. Most caregivers will need different levels of information and support at different stages of dementia. It is necessary therefore to undertake ongoing individual assessment of food information and support needs.

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Internal resources among informal caregivers: trajectories and associations with well-being

Purpose: The experiences, skills, and internal resources that informal caregivers bring into their role may play a critical part in their mental health and well-being. This study examined how caregiver internal resources changed over a 10 year period, and how this was related to caregivers' well-being.; Methods: Data are from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study, a national sample of adults, at two time points: 1995-1996 (T1) and 2004-2006 (T2). We identified subjects who reported being a caregiver at T2 and starting care after T1 (mean age = 56; 65% female). We examined internal resources: sense of control (personal mastery); primary and secondary control strategies (persistence in goal striving, positive reappraisal, and lowering expectations); and social support seeking, and psychological and subjective well-being. We evaluated how internal resources changed over time, and how these trajectories were associated with well-being at T2 using multivariable linear regressions.; Results: Most caregivers had stable levels of internal resources (between 4 and 13% showed an increase or decrease). Caregivers with increasing or high-stable levels of personal mastery had significantly better well-being scores on 6 out of 8 subscales compared with low-stable levels [effect sizes (ES) between 0.39 and 0.79]. Increasing persistence was associated with better personal growth and environmental mastery (ES = 0.96 and 0.91), and increasing and high-stable positive reappraisals were associated with better affect (ES = 0.63 and 0.48) compared with low-stable levels. Lowering aspirations and support seeking were not associated with well-being outcomes.; Conclusions: Practices or interventions that support or improve internal resources could potentially improve caregiver well-being.

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Balancing satisfaction and stress: carer burden among White and British Asian Indian carers of stroke survivors

Objectives: This paper presents the findings of a qualitative study exploring White and British Indian informal stroke carers' experiences of caring, factors contributing to their stress, and strategies used to overcome stress.; Design: A qualitative approach involving in-depth interviews was used to explore informal carers' experiences of caring for stroke survivors and the stress of caring at one and three to six months from the onset of stroke. Interviewers bilingual in English and Gujarati or Punjabi conducted interviews with carers. Socio-demographic data of carers and stroke survivors were collected at one, and three to six months by dedicated stroke research nurses.; Results: A total of 37 interviews with carers caring for stroke survivors with a wide range of physical and mental impairments were completed. A majority of carers had assumed the task of caring within a few weeks of the stroke. Irrespective of ethnicity, carers' emotional and physical well-being was undermined by the uncertainty and unpredictability of caring for stroke survivors, and meeting their expectations and needs. The strain of managing social obligations to care was common to all carers irrespective of gender and ethnicity, but the higher levels of anxiety and depression reported by Indian British female carers appeared to stem from the carers' pre-existing physical ailments, their cultural and religious beliefs, and household arrangements. Carers' strain in extended households was exacerbated by the additional responsibility of caring for other dependent relatives.; Conclusion: Since the role of carers is clearly indispensable in the successful rehabilitation of survivors, it is vital to ensure that their well-being is not undermined by a lack of information and training, and that their need for professional support is prioritised.

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Caregiver burden is increased in Parkinson's disease with mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI)

Background: There is limited evidence on caregiver outcomes associated with mild cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD-MCI) and the coping strategies used by these caregivers. Methods: To investigate this relationship, we examined levels of burden, depression, anxiety, coping strategies and positive aspects of caregiving in the informal caregivers of 96 PD patients. The PD patients were classified using MDS-Task Force Level II criteria as showing either normal cognition (PD-N; n = 51), PD-MCI (n = 30) or with dementia (PDD; n = 15). Results: Mean Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) score increased significantly between carers of PD-N (M = 13.39, SD = 12.22) compared to those of PD-MCI patients (M = 22.00, SD = 10.8), and between carers of PD-MCI and PDD patients (M = 29.33, SD = 9.59). Moreover, the proportion of carers showing clinically significant levels of burden (ZBI score ≥ 21) also increased as the patients' cognitive status declined (18% for PD-N; 60% for PD-MCI; and 80% for PDD) and was mirrored by an increasing amount of time spent providing care by the caregivers. Caregiver ZBI score was independent of patient neuropsychiatric symptoms, motor function, disease duration and time that caregivers spent caregiving. Caregiver use of different coping strategies increased with worsening cognition. However, we found only equivocal evidence that the use of problem-focused, emotion-focused and dysfunctional coping mediated the association between patient cognitive status and caregiver burden, because the inverse models that used caregiver burden as the mediator were also significant. Conclusions: The study highlights the impact of Parkinson's disease on those providing care when the patient's cognition is poor, including those with MCI. Caregiver well-being has important implications for caregiver support, nursing home placement and disease course. 

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What are the essential features of resilience for informal caregivers of people living with dementia? A Delphi consensus examination

Objectives: Few studies have examined what might enable or prevent resilience in carers of people with dementia. Consequently, there are limited insights as to how it should be understood, defined and measured. This creates challenges for research, and also practice in terms of how it might best be promoted. This study aimed to address these limitations and add new insights, identifying the essential features of resilience in dementia caregiving. Methods: A Delphi consensus study was conducted, consulting a multi-disciplinary panel of informal caregivers and experts with relevant professional expertise. Panellists rated the relevance of various statements addressing essential components of resilience; ‘adversity’ and ‘successful caregiving’ on a 5-point Likert scale. Based on the median and Inter Quartile Range, the most relevant statements with moderate consensus were proposed in Round 2 in which panellists selected up to five statements in order of importance. Results: Moderate consensus was reached for all statements after two rounds. Patients’ behavioural problems and feeling competent as a caregiver were selected by both caregivers and professionals as essential resilience features. Caregivers also emphasized the importance of social support, the quality of the relationship with their relative and enjoying spending time together. Professionals considered coping skills, experiencing positive aspects of caregiving, and a good quality of life of caregivers most relevant. Conclusion: The essential elements of resilience selected from multiple stakeholder perspectives can be used to select appropriate outcomes for intervention studies and give guidance to policy to support caregivers more effectively and better tailored to their needs. 

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Informal care, employment and quality of life: Barriers and facilitators to combining informal care and work participation for healthcare professionals

Background: In The Netherlands, one out of six Dutch employees has informal care tasks; in the hospital and healthcare sector, this ratio is one out of four workers. Informal carers experience problems with the combination of work and informal care. In particular, they have problems with the burden of responsibility, a lack of independence and their health. These problems can reveal themselves in a variety of mental and physical symptoms that can result in absenteeism, reduction or loss of (work) participation, reduction of income, and even social isolation.; Objective: The aim of the study was to describe the factors that informal carers who are employed in healthcare organizations identify as affecting their quality of life, labour participation and health.; Methods: We conducted an exploratory study in 2013-2014 that included desk research and a qualitative study. Sixteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with healthcare employees who combine work and informal care. Data were analyzed with Atlas-TI.; Results: We identified five themes: 1. Fear and responsibility; 2. Sense that one's own needs are not being met; 3. Work as an escape from home; 4. Health: a lack of balance; and 5. The role of colleagues and managers: giving support and understanding.; Conclusions: Respondents combine work and informal care because they have no other solution. The top three reasons for working are: income, escape from home and satisfaction. The biggest problems informal carers experience are a lack of time and energy. They are all tired and are often or always exhausted at the end of the day. They give up activities for themselves, their social networks become smaller and they have less interest in social activities. Their managers are usually aware of the situation, but informal care is not a topic of informal conversation or in performance appraisals. Respondents solve their problems with colleagues and expect little from the organization.

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Unravelling positive aspects of caregiving in dementia: An integrative review of research literature

Background: Family caregiving is the crucial informal care resource to lessen the burdens associated with dementia. Research in this field has focused on reducing the caregiver's burden, but little attention has been given to promoting the positive aspects of caregiving. Objectives: To conduct a systematic critical review of research on the nature of positive aspects of caregiving, and the factors predicting this phenomenon among family caregivers of dementia patients, with the ultimate purpose of gaining insights to explain how and why it emerges. Review methods: A systematic search of the literature was undertaken in the databases OvidMedline, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web of Science and Scopus, using the keywords ‘care* AND Alzheimer OR dementia AND ‘positive aspect' OR ‘positive experience' OR ‘positive perceptions' OR reward OR gain OR ‘satisfaction with care*' OR ‘care* satisfaction' OR benefit OR uplift OR meaning OR enjoyment OR pleasure OR growth OR hope OR gratification. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklists for qualitative and cohort studies were used to evaluate data quality. Narrative data synthesis was undertaken using the five-stage Whittermore and Knafl method. Results: A total of 3862 articles were identified, of which 41 were included in this review. The key findings are that positive aspects of caregiving among family caregivers of dementia patients form a multi-dimensional construct which covers four key domains: a sense of personal accomplishment and gratification, feelings of mutuality in a dyadic relationship, an increase of family cohesion and functionality, and a sense of personal growth and purpose in life. By integrating the findings about the nature and conditions predicting positive aspects of caregiving, the presence of three conditions was identified as promoting the emergence of such qualities i) personal and social affirmation of role fulfilment, ii) effective cognitive emotional regulation and iii) contexts which favour finding meaning in the caregiving process. Conclusion: The findings of this review provide insight into catalysing the paradigm shift from ‘reducing stress' to ‘optimising positive experience' in developing caregiving support services for dementia, and may guide future empirical study to explain this unique dimension of caregiving experience. 

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The Tele.TAnDem Intervention: Telephone-based CBT for Family Caregivers of People With Dementia

Background and Objectives: This study evaluated the effectiveness of a telephone-based cognitive-behavioral therapy for family caregivers of people with dementia in existing health care provision structures. Research Design and Methods: Two hundred seventy-three family caregivers of people with dementia were randomly assigned to receive the intervention or usual care. Usual care included unrestricted access to community resources. Intervention group participants received twelve 50-min sessions of individual cognitive-behavioral therapy by trained psychotherapists within 6 months. Symptoms of depression, emotional well-being, physical health symptoms, burden of care, coping with the care situation and challenging behavior were assessed after the intervention ended and at a 6-month follow-up. Intention-to-treat analyses using latent change models were applied. Results: Intention-to-treat analyses showed improved emotional well-being (γ = 9.59, p = .001), fewer symptoms of depression (γ = -0.23, p = .043), fewer physical health symptoms (γ = -0.25, p = .019), improved coping with the care situation (γ = 0.25, p = .005) and the behavior of the care recipient (γ = 0.23, p = .034) compared with usual care. Effects for coping (γ = 0.28, p = .006 and γ = 0.39, p < .001, respectively) and emotional well-being (γ = 7.61, p = .007) were also found at follow-up. Discussion and Implications: The CBT-based telephone intervention increased mental and physical health as well as coping abilities of family caregivers of people with dementia. The intervention can be delivered by qualified CBT therapists after an 8-h training session in existing health care provision structures.

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Coping Well with Advanced Cancer: A Serial Qualitative Interview Study with Patients and Family Carers

Objectives: To understand successful strategies used by people to cope well when living with advanced cancer; to explore how professionals can support effective coping strategies; to understand how to support development of effective coping strategies for patients and family carers.; Design: Qualitative serial (4-12 week intervals) interview study with people with advanced cancer and their informal carers followed by focus groups. The iterative design had a novel focus on positive coping strategies. Interview analysis focused on patients and carers as individuals and pairs, exploring multiple dimensions of their coping experiences. Focus group analysis explored strategies for intervention development.; Participants: 26 people with advanced (stage 3-4) breast, prostate, lung or colorectal cancer, or in receipt of palliative care, and 24 paired nominated informal/family carers.; Setting: Participants recruited through outpatient clinics at two tertiary cancer centres in Merseyside and Manchester, UK, between June 2012 and July 2013.; Results: 45 patient and 41 carer interviews were conducted plus 4 focus groups (16 participants). People with advanced cancer and their informal/family carers develop coping strategies which enable effective management of psychological wellbeing. People draw from pre-diagnosis coping strategies, but these develop through responding to the experience of living with advanced cancer. Strategies include being realistic, indulgence, support, and learning from others, which enabled participants to regain a sense of wellbeing after emotional challenge. Learning from peers emerged as particularly important in promoting psychological wellbeing through the development of effective 'everyday', non-clinical coping strategies.; Conclusions: Our findings challenge current models of providing psychological support for those with advanced cancer which focus on professional intervention. It is important to recognise, enable and support peoples' own resources and coping strategies. Peer support may have potential, and could be a patient-centred, cost effective way of managing the needs of a growing population of those living with advanced cancer.;

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Hope as determinant for psychiatric morbidity in family caregivers of advanced cancer patients

Objective: Home care of advanced cancer patients often has adverse effects on physical and mental health of family caregivers. Little is known about the long-term effects of continuous caregiving on mental health as compared with the effects of bereavement. The objectives of this study were to describe the course of psychiatric morbidity in family caregivers over time, to identify the impact of the patients' death on caregivers, and to explore possible predictor variables for psychiatric morbidity. Methods: This multi-institutional, prospective study included 80 family caregivers of 80 advanced cancer patients for baseline and 9 months follow-up assessment. Possible psychiatric disorders (ie, depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and alcohol abuse/dependence) as well as potentially predictive factors (ie, sociodemographic factors, burden, hope, and coping mechanisms) were assessed. Results: Follow-up assessment was conducted on average 9.2 months (±2.9) after baseline assessment. Prevalence rates of anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder decreased significantly over time, whereas depression and alcoholism remained stable. Bereavement was experienced by 53% of caregivers in the follow-up period. The patients' death had no influence on psychiatric morbidity at follow-up. Predictors for the development of a psychiatric disorder varied according to condition, with hope and emotion-oriented coping identified as important influences, especially for anxiety and depression. Conclusion: Family caregivers with certain psychiatric disorders might need targeted psychosocial support to ensure their mental well-being and prevent long-term disability. Supporting hope and functional coping strategies early after the patient's diagnosis might limit development and extent of psychiatric morbidity. 

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The Relationship between Anxiety and Coping Strategies in Family Caregivers of Patients with Trauma

Introduction: Traumatic events are of high incidence and affect not only the patient but also their family members, causing psychological problems such as stress and anxiety for caregivers of these patients. Therefore, the application of appropriate coping strategies by them seems necessary in order to promote mental health. Aim: To study the relationship of anxiety with coping strategies in family caregivers of trauma patients. Materials and Methods: The present research was a descriptive-correlational study which was carried out on 127 family caregivers of patients with trauma in intensive care unit, surgery ward and emergency unit of Amir al-Mu'minin Hospital of Zabol, Sistan and Baluchestan Province. The respondents were selected based on the convenience sampling method. Demographics questionnaire, DASS-21, and Coping StrategiesQuestionnaire were used for data collection. The obtained data were statistically analysed using descriptive statistics, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), t-test, and Pearson correlation coefficient in statistical package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21.0. Results: Based on the results, 89.9% of family caregivers suffer from mild to severe anxiety. The most common type of coping strategy used by the respondents was emotion-focused. The results showed no relationship between anxiety and emotioncentrism, but an inverse relationship was found between problem-centrism and anxiety. Conclusion: The majority of family caregivers had anxiety. Given, the inverse relationship between the level of anxiety and the use of problem-based coping strategy, in addition to identifying and reducing the causes of anxiety in caregivers. It is recommended that appropriate coping strategies should be trained to them. 

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Family Caregivers of Liver Transplant Recipients: Coping Strategies Associated With Different Levels of Post-traumatic Growth

Objective Analyze the influence of 2 variables (post-traumatic growth and time since liver transplantation) on coping strategies used by the transplant recipient's family members. Methods In all, 218 family members who were their main caregivers of liver transplant recipients were selected. They were evaluated using the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory and the Brief COPE. A 3 × 3 factorial analysis of variance was used to analyze the influence that post-traumatic growth level (low, medium, and high) and time since transplantation (≤3.5 years, >3.5 to ≤9 years, and >9 years) exerted on caregiver coping strategies. Results No interactive effects between the two factors in the study were found. The only significant main effect was the influence of the post-traumatic growth factor on the following variables: instrumental support ( P = .007), emotional support ( P = .005), self-distraction ( P = .006), positive reframing ( P = .000), acceptance ( P = .013), and religion ( P = <.001). According to the most relevant effect sizes, low post-traumatic growth compared with medium growth was associated with less use of self-distraction ( P = .006, d = −0.52, medium effect size), positive reframing ( P = .001, d = −0.62, medium effect size), and religion ( P = .000, d = −0.66, medium effect size), and in comparison with high growth, it was associated with less use of positive reframing ( P = .002, d = −0.56, medium effect size) and religion ( P = .000, d = 0.87, large effect size). Conclusion Regardless of the time elapsed since the stressful life event (liver transplantation), family members with low post-traumatic growth usually use fewer coping strategies involving a positive, transcendent vision to deal with transplantation. 

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Being we and being me: Exploring the needs of Austrian families with caring children

Children and adolescents with caring responsibilities are an uncontested reality in our society. Most are hidden from public view, and they perform a broad range of caring activities for chronically ill or disabled family members. The research literature has accumulated a comprehensive body of knowledge about young carers’ personal needs. However, knowledge and understanding are limited regarding the needs of young carers’ families. This knowledge can contribute to preventing children and adolescents from assuming inappropriate caring roles. A qualitative research approach was used to investigate the needs of young carers’ families in terms of managing daily caring demands. Nine family interviews were conducted with 34 individuals including 15 young carers during spring/summer 2015 in eastern Austria. Open and axial coding procedures and constant comparison method were used to analyse the data. The findings revealed that young carers’ families need to live in accordance with their inherent family logic. Family logic is generated and maintained via (i) family reciprocity that involves the natural help within the family, (ii) individual developmental space that allows family members to be perceived and act as individuals and (iii) network cooperation that offers formal and informal support and recognition from society in general. The findings contribute to understanding how families with caring children manage the caring demands of their everyday lives. The findings also indicate that formal support for families with young carers should consider the individuality of caring arrangements with respect to the holistic and personal needs and avoid stigmatising families that integrate children into caring.

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Examining the effect of peer helping in a coping skills intervention: a randomized controlled trial for advanced gastrointestinal cancer patients and their family caregivers

Purpose: At the end of life, spiritual well-being is a central aspect of quality of life for many patients and their family caregivers. A prevalent spiritual value in advanced cancer patients is the need to actively give. To address this need, the current randomized trial examined whether adding a peer helping component to a coping skills intervention leads to improved meaning in life and peace for advanced gastrointestinal cancer patients and their caregivers. Feasibility and acceptability outcomes were also assessed. Methods: Advanced gastrointestinal cancer patients and caregivers (n = 50 dyads) were randomly assigned to a 5-session, telephone-based coping skills intervention or a peer helping + coping skills intervention. One or both dyad members had moderate-severe distress. Peer helping involved contributing to handouts on coping skills for other families coping with cancer. Patients and caregivers completed measures of meaning in life/peace, fatigue, psychological symptoms, coping self-efficacy, and emotional support. Patient pain and caregiver burden were also assessed. Results: Small effects in favor of the coping skills group were found regarding meaning in life/peace at 1 and 5 weeks post-intervention. Other outcomes did not vary as a function of group assignment, with both groups showing small decreases in patient and caregiver fatigue and caregiver distress and burden. High recruitment and retention rates supported feasibility, and high participant satisfaction ratings supported acceptability. Conclusions: Although a telephone-based intervention is feasible and acceptable for this population, peer helping in the context of a coping skills intervention does not enhance spiritual well-being relative to coping skills alone. 

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Benefit finding for Chinese family caregivers of community‐dwelling stroke survivors: A cross‐sectional study

Aims and objectives: To identify whether benefit finding is a mediator or moderator in the relationship between caregiver burden and psychological well‐being (anxiety and depression) in Chinese family caregivers of community‐dwelling stroke survivors. Background: Family caregivers not only bear a heavy burden, a high level of anxiety and depression, but also experience benefit finding (positive effects result from stressful events). However, the relationships among benefit finding, caregiver burden and psychological well‐being in Chinese family caregivers are not well known. Design: This study was a cross‐sectional correlational design. Methods: Caregivers (<italic>n</italic> = 145) of stroke survivors were recruited from two communities in Zhengzhou, China. Data were collected by face‐to‐face interviews with structured questionnaires, examining caregiver burden, benefit finding and psychological well‐being of caregivers. A hierarchical regression analysis explored whether caregiver burden and benefit finding were associated with anxiety and depression of caregivers. The moderator role of benefit finding was examined by testing the significance of the interaction between caregiver burden and benefit finding. A mediational model was used to test benefit finding as a mediator between caregiver burden and psychological well‐being of caregivers using process in spss 21.0. Results: Caregiver burden and benefit finding were significantly associated with both anxiety and depression of caregivers. Benefit finding did not portray a moderating role, but portrayed the mediator role in the relationship between caregiver burden, anxiety and depression in caregivers. Conclusion: This study provides the preliminary evidence to nurses that intervention focus on benefit finding may help improve the psychological well‐being of caregivers. Relevance to clinical practice: This study offers nurses rational for assessing caregiver's negative emotions and benefit finding. By targeting benefit finding, the nurse may guide caregivers in benefit identification and implement interventions to reduce anxiety, depression and caregiver burden. 

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Scaffolding and working together: a qualitative exploration of strategies for everyday life with dementia

Background: living with dementia has been described as a process of continual change and adjustment, with people with dementia and their families adopting informal strategies to help manage everyday life. As dementia progresses, families increasingly rely on help from the wider community and formal support. Methods: this article reports on a secondary analysis of qualitative data from focus groups and individual interviews with people with dementia and their carers in the North of England. In total, 65 people with dementia and 82 carers took part in the research: 26 in interviews and 121 in focus groups. Focus group and interview audio recordings were transcribed verbatim. A qualitative, inductive, thematic approach was taken for data analysis. Findings: the article applies the metaphor of scaffolding to deepen understanding of the strategies used by families. Processes of scaffolding were evident across the data where families, communities, professionals and services worked together to support everyday life for people with dementia. Within this broad theme of scaffolding were three sub-themes characterising the experiences of families living with dementia: doing things together; evolving strategies; and fragility and fear of the future. Conclusions: families with dementia are resourceful but do need increasing support (scaffolding) to continue to live as well as possible as dementia progresses. More integrated, proactive work is required from services that recognises existing scaffolds and provides appropriate support before informal strategies become unsustainable; thus enabling people with dementia to live well for longer. 

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On being a caregiver: The experiences of South African family caregivers caring for cancer patients

The purpose of our study was to describe the experiences of family caregivers of cancer patients using the public healthcare system in South Africa. We used a qualitative descriptive design and conducted in‐depth interviews with 20 purposively selected family caregivers. Data saturation determined the sample size, and qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the data. Three themes arose from the data: emotional responses and feelings towards the cancer diagnosis, fulfilling the role of the caregiver and living and coping with a changed life and a changed person. Caring for a person with cancer was not easy. Participants were overwhelmed with the care responsibilities, which were aggravated by poverty. Some felt emotionally broken and alone in this journey and experienced the rest of their family as uncaring. The lives the participants knew changed and they had to put their own lives on hold and make sacrifices involving their children, work, possible relationships and their normal activities to care for the sick person. For some, the sick person they cared for changed and became a person they did not know. Most participants used religious practices to cope with their situation; however, some used other coping mechanisms, such as recreation and even smoking. 

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Exemplar models and support for older carers and carers of people with dementia: informing commissioning

This is the report of a project commissioned by NHS England in support of its Commitment to Carers programme. The focus of the work was to scope exemplar models of support for older carers, and carers of people with dementia (of any age). The project reviewed existing literature and knowledge and used this as the foundation for examining developments with invited third sector organisations using an on-line questionnaire and additional semi-structured interviews. The work took place between May 2017 and March 2018 and included a consultation workshop in February 2018 with NHS England and other key stakeholders to refine messages and conclusions. The report describes the work undertaken and presents an analysis of findings, together with conclusions and recommendations for NHS England. 

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Caring for disabled older adults with musculoskeletal conditions: A transactional model of caregiver burden, coping strategies, and depressive symptoms

Objectives: This study investigated the mediating role of coping strategies in the relationship between caregiver burden and depressive symptoms among family caregivers caring for disabled older adults with musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions.; Methods: The cross-sectional data were from a quota sampling of 494 pairs of disabled older adults and their primary family caregivers in Shanghai, China. The disabled older adults had MSK conditions and limitations in activities of daily living. The mean ages of the older adults and their caregivers were 83.9 and 62.6 years. Path analysis was conducted to test the proposed hypotheses.; Results: Caregivers of adults with MSK conditions were more likely to use active coping to handle time dependence (β [SD]=0.182 [0.055]) and physical burden (β [SD]=0.226 [0.071]) and to use avoidant coping to handle developmental burden (β [SD]=0.414 [0.061]). Both coping strategies were used to handle social burden(active: β [SD]=0.179 [0.078]; avoidant: β [SD]=0.241 [0.073]). Experiencing emotional burden reduced the likelihood of using both coping strategies (active: β [SD]=-0.266 [0.066]; avoidant: β [SD]=-0.373 [0.062]). Active coping had a protective impact on depressive symptoms (β [SD]=-0.228 [0.050]), whereas avoidant coping had an adverse impact on depressive symptoms (β [SD]=0.232 [0.053]).; Conclusions: The findings confirm the mediating effects of coping strategies in the relationship between caregiver burden and depressive symptoms.; Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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Spirituality among family caregivers in palliative care: an integrative literature review

Background: Family caregivers experience spiritual and existential concerns while caring for their terminally ill family members. Aim: To evaluate and synthesise studies on spirituality among family caregivers in palliative care. Design: An integrative literature review of peer-reviewed articles published between 2000 and 2016. Sample: Participants were family caregivers (parents, spouses, relatives or friends) caring for an adult (age>18 years) family member with a terminal illness in a palliative care setting. Results: Data from 26 published research papers were systematically analysed. Five themes were identified regarding spirituality and family caregiving: a close and meaningful connection, spirituality as a way of coping, spiritual needs and expressions among family caregivers, spirituality to transcend fears, and spirituality in family caregivers' decision-making. Implications for Practice: Nurses are encouraged to explore the spirituality and spiritual experiences of family caregivers to support their spiritual wellbeing while caring for their terminally ill family members. 

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Barriers to Family Caregivers' Coping With Patients With Severe Mental Illness in Iran

The broad spectrum of problems caused by caring for a patient with mental illness imposes a high burden on family caregivers. This can affect how they cope with their mentally ill family members. Identifying caregivers' experiences of barriers to coping is necessary to develop a program to help them overcome these challenges. This qualitative content analysis study explored barriers impeding family caregivers' ability to cope with their relatives diagnosed with severe mental illness (defined here as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorders, and bipolar affective disorders). Sixteen family caregivers were recruited using purposive sampling and interviewed using a semi-structured in-depth interview method. Data were analyzed by a conventional content analytic approach. Findings consisted of four major categories: the patient's isolation from everyday life, incomplete recovery, lack of support by the mental health care system, and stigmatization. Findings highlight the necessity of providing support for caregivers by the mental health care delivery service system. 

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What Factors Predict Family Caregivers' Attendance at Dementia Cafés?

Background: Dementia Cafés are community support groups which provide post-diagnostic support for families affected by dementia. However, little is known about the characteristics of caregivers who attend Cafés. Objectives: To describe the demographic and psychosocial characteristics of caregivers who attend Dementia Cafés, and to identify which of those factors may influence the likelihood of family caregivers attending Dementia Cafés. Methods: A cross-sectional study on caregivers (n = 80; July 2016- July 2017). Resilience (Brief Resilient Coping Scale), Subjective Wellbeing (Personal Wellbeing Index), and Social Support (MOS-Social Support Survey) were measured. Café attendees and non-attendees were compared in regards to demographic characteristics (Chi-Square tests), resilience, subjective wellbeing and social support (independent t-tests). Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were run to detect associations between predictor variables and café attendance. Results: Caregivers who attended Cafés reported higher resilience (OR: 1.26; 95% CI 1.10-1.45; p = 0.001) and subjective wellbeing (OR: 1.63; 95% CI 1.24-2.142; p = 0.001); no significant difference in social support was detected. Female caregivers were more likely to attend a Café (OR: 3.23; 95% CI 1.14-9.10; p = 0.03). However, only higher subjective wellbeing (OR: 1.63; 95% CI 1.10-24.2; p = 0.02) and fewer years formal education (OR: 4.99; 95% CI 1.12-21.36; p = 0.03) predicted attendance at a café. Conclusion: Dementia Cafés may bring about benefits in resilience and subjective wellbeing, or may be best suited to those with higher resilience and wellbeing. Cafes are not being accessed by all caregiver groups. Alternative models of post-diagnostic support should be considered to increase equity of care. 

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Relationships between family resilience and posttraumatic growth in breast cancer survivors and caregiver burden

Objective: To examine the relationships between family resilience and posttraumatic growth (PTG) of breast cancer survivors and caregiver burden among principal caregivers in China.<bold>Methods: </bold>Participants in this cross-sectional study comprised 108 women aged 26 to 74 years (M = 49, SD = 9) with early-stage breast cancer and 108 principal caregivers. Participants were recruited from a comprehensive cancer center of a public hospital in Shandong Province, China. The principal caregivers completed the Shortened Chinese Version of the Family Resilience Assessment Scale and the Chinese Version of the Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview; patients completed the Short Form of the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory and questions designed to obtain sociodemographic information. Hierarchical regression analysis was conducted to assess the adjusted association between family resilience and PTG and caregiver burden, while controlling for sociodemographics.<bold>Results: </bold>Families showed a slightly elevated level of family resilience since the cancer experience, and patients showed a moderate degree of PTG. Principal caregivers reported moderate burden. The Shortened Chinese Version of the Family Resilience Assessment Scale total score was positively related to the Short Form of the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory total score (β = .28, P < .01) and was negatively related to Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview total score (β = -.28, P < .01).<bold>Conclusions: </bold>Family resilience impacts PTG of breast cancer survivors and caregiver burden. Our findings indicated the necessity of interventions to facilitate family resilience, promote PTG among breast cancer survivors, and decrease family members' caregiver burden. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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Resilience in Caregivers of Partners With Young Onset Dementia: A Concept Analysis

Introduction: Over 200,000 Americans diagnosed with young onset dementia (YOD), dementia diagnosed prior to age 65, are cared for by family members. This can be costly to caregivers' physical and psychological health. Some adapt well to the caregiver role and are said to be resilient. Aim/Question: This paper builds on current understanding of the concept of resilience and applies this to caregivers of partners diagnosed with YOD. Method: Concept analysis. Results: Resilient caregivers exhibit attributes including determination, flexibility, positive thinking, self-efficacy, resourcefulness, social support and spirituality. Discussion: YOD affects caregiver's health. Much research has been done on interventions for dementia caregivers. These interventions do not necessarily meet the needs of YOD caregivers as they do not account for dynamics in the family. By recognizing what is resiliency in YOD caregivers, interventions can be developed that focus on characteristics that build these attributes. Implications for Practice: Understanding the concept of resilience related to caregiving for a partner diagnosed with YOD allows for future development, measurement, and evaluation of nursing interventions. Nursing staff are in a strategic position to provide effective interventions to enhance resilience among caregivers of YOD. 

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Caregiver outcomes and interventions: a systematic scoping review of the traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury literature

Aim: To identify factors reported with negative and positive outcomes for caregivers of the traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury cohorts, to investigate what interventions have been studied to support carers and to report what effectiveness has been found. Methods: Scoping systematic review. Electronic databases and websites were searched from 1990 to December 2015. Studies were agreed for inclusion using pre-defined criteria. Relevant information from included studies was extracted and quality assessment was completed. Data were synthesised using qualitative methods. Results: A total of 62 studies reported caregiver outcomes for the traumatic brain injury cohort; 51 reported negative outcomes and 11 reported positive outcomes. For the spinal cord injury cohort, 18 studies reported caregiver outcomes; 15 reported negative outcomes and three reported positive outcomes. Burden of care was over-represented in the literature for both cohorts, with few studies looking at factors associated with positive outcomes. Good family functioning, coping skills and social support were reported to mediate caregiver burden and promote positive outcomes. A total of 21 studies further described interventions to support traumatic brain injury caregivers and four described interventions to support spinal cord injury caregivers, with emerging evidence for the effectiveness of problem-solving training. Further research is required to explore the effects of injury severity of the care recipient, as well as caregiver age, on the outcome of the interventions. Conclusion: Most studies reported negative outcomes, suggesting that barriers to caregiving have been established, but not facilitators. The interventions described to support carers are limited and require further testing to confirm their effectiveness.

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The experiences of Turkish families caring for individuals with Schizophrenia: A qualitative inquiry

Background: In Turkey, individuals with schizophrenia usually live with their families. Therefore, families are main caregivers and face psychological, financial and social problems. Aim: The aim of this study is to understand the personal burdens and coping strategies, and social support affecting the families that provide care to the individuals with schizophrenia. Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with 31 members of 12 families. Results: Four themes were formed: learning and accepting the disorder, caregiving, social dimensions and service dimensions. Families have a problem with accepting this order and caregiving affects their quality of life both financially and socially. As schizophrenia is one of the reasons for being isolated from community, families prefer hiding it. Although families are satisfied with community-based systems, they need long-term solution, training and financial aid. Conclusions: To reduce the burden, family therapies, education and psychological support should be provided for families, and job opportunities, long-term caregiving services and psychological support should be provided for individuals with schizophrenia. 

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The relationship between the spiritual attitude of the family caregivers of older patients with stroke and their burden

Introduction: Stroke is a chronic condition that necessitates multidimensional and overwhelming care. The caregivers of stroke patients are faced with various stressors that can threaten different aspects of their health, especially their mental health. Spiritual attitude and being spiritually oriented contribute significantly to mental health and can be used as a strategy for adapting to the stressful events that are part of the role of caregiving. This study was therefore conducted to investigate the relationship between the spiritual attitude of the family caregivers of older patients with stroke and their burden.; Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in 2016. The study population consisted of all the family caregivers of older patients with stroke presenting to health care centers and nursing service companies of Gilan Province in Iran. The participants were selected through convenience sampling and consisted of 407 participants. Data were collected using the Spiritual Attitude Scale and the Caregiver Burden Inventory and were then analyzed in SPSS-18 using Pearson's correlation coefficient at a significance level of 0.05.; Results: The results showed that 88.9% of the caregivers were females. The mean age of the participants was 38.3±8.8 years. The duration of caregiving was <5 years in 84.4% of the participants, while its mean was 4.2±2.5 years. The mean score of spiritual attitude was 108.77±6.20. The majority of the participants (49.3%) had moderate and relatively favorable spiritual attitude (a score of 72-120), 27.8% had high or favorable spiritual attitude; 8.7% had mild burden, 54.4% had moderate burden and 37% had favorable burden. The mean score of burden was 28±12.75. A statistically significant positive relationship was observed in this study between the mean score of spiritual attitude and the total score of burden in all its dimensions, namely, time dependence, as well as the developmental, physical, social and emotional dimensions.; Conclusion: Providing strategies for improving spirituality, such as teaching spiritual self-care, can improve their burden. Given that such strategies are psychologically approved and pose no side effects, they can be used as an effective, low-cost and risk-free approach for all caregivers, so that they can acquire the necessary spiritual support for overcoming the stress caused by caring for family members through the reinforcement of their spiritual beliefs in the ultimate effort to provide effective care to older patients while maintaining their own health and quality of life.

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Health related quality of life during cancer treatment: Perspectives of young adult (23-39 years) cancer survivors and primary informal caregivers

Purpose: There is a paucity of information regarding health related quality of life (HRQoL) of young adults (YAs) with cancer and caregivers. Therefore, we characterize YA and caregiver perspectives on the impact of cancer and its treatment on HRQoL.; Methods: We conducted descriptive qualitative in-depth, semi-structured interviews with YAs receiving cancer care at an academic health center in Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA) and primary informal caregivers. The interviews, conducted from September through December 2015, focused on perspectives on the impact of the disease and its treatment in terms of physical and emotional effects, coping, and strategies to enhance HRQoL. We used an iterative thematic analysis approach to identify emergent themes and create a coding structure.; Results: We reached thematic saturation after interviewing 8 YAs and 8 caregivers. YAs and caregivers discussed cancer triggered challenges such as anxiety, depression, isolation, fear, and financial hardships. YAs and caregivers coped by maintaining positive perspectives, relying on friends and family, and prayer. Caregivers discussed how expectations for and experiences of a "good day" changed depending on their loved ones' stage of cancer treatment. YAs navigated challenges by focusing on activities and thoughts that provided meaning to their lives. YAs and caregivers suggested strategies to enhance HRQoL through patient/provider communication, support services, and decision making tools as potential mechanisms for grounding patient-centered interventions to improve cancer care.; Conclusions: Implications include the development and evaluation of informational and behavioral interventions tailored and targeted to address the pragmatic needs of YAs undergoing cancer treatment and informal caregivers.; Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Spirituality as a coping mechanism for family caregivers of persons with aphasia

This study sought to describe spirituality resourcing of family caregivers for people with aphasia (PWA). A purposive sample of 14 female family caregivers of PWA from a historically disadvantaged South African community were participants (married = 42%; age range 21 to 65 years). They completed interviews regarding the spiritual support that they received when caring for their family member with aphasia. Thematic analysis of the data yielded findings to suggest spiritual interpretation of their experiences, importance of prayer as a source of hope and healing, and significance of social support from church fellowship. Spirituality is a resource for coping with the carer-role among community women with responsibility over family members with aphasia.

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Experiences of caregivers of patients with metastatic cancer: What can we learn from them to better support them?

Purpose: Family caregivers of cancer patients often face strains within their role and report various unmet needs. The aim of this qualitative study was to examine metastatic cancer caregivers' experiences within their role.; Methods: A cross-sectional study using focus group interviews with caregivers of metastatic cancer patients (n = 17) recruited from an oncology hospital in Cyprus was conducted. Data were analysed following the content analysis approach with inductive coding for the development of themes.; Results: Content analysis identified four categories of themes, which were further divided into sub-categories: difficulties in their role as caregivers, impact of cancer diagnosis on interpersonal relationships, support and strength resources and unmet needs. Findings replicated existing evidence regarding caregiving difficulties and unmet needs in caregivers with a different cultural background and provided further evidence for similarities and variations within caregiving experiences relating mostly to caregiver-patient relationships. Caregivers also highlighted coping and support resources that they effectively use for better adjustment to their role.; Conclusion: The identified variations in experiences in relation to participants' characteristics, in addition to the information about preferred by caregivers coping and support resources provide a direction for future efforts to develop interventions for this population.; Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Caregiver coping with the mentally ill: a qualitative study

Background: Mental illness is a disease that affects millions of people every year. It not only causes stress to the mentally ill patients, but also for the family members who provide them the care. The family caregivers, therefore need some form of coping strategies in dealing with their mentally ill family members.; Aims: This qualitative study aims at identifying and analysing the coping strategies adopted by the family caregivers in dealing with their mentally ill family members.; Method: A total of 15 family caregivers from the state of Kedah, Malaysia participated in the face-to-face semi structured interview.; Results: The study findings identified an array of coping strategies used by the family caregivers, including religious coping, emotional coping, acceptance, becoming engaged in leisure activities, and the use of traditional healing to help them cope with their mentally ill members. Suggestions and conclusions: Study suggests that the family caregivers should engage themselves in social support groups to learn about and obtain the positive coping strategies used by other caregivers who have similar experiences in caring for the mentally ill. Study also suggests that they should get appropriate training from the mental health professionals in order to enhance the caregivers' coping skills.

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Building Carer Friendly Communities: Research report for Carers Week 2016

The Carers Week 2016 research report presents key findings on Carer Friendly Communities across five themes: community, health, employment, education and older carers. 

The research for this report was carried out as part of Carers UK annual State of Caring Survey. A total of 6,149 carers and former carers responded to Carers UK’s annual State of Caring Survey between March and April 2016.

Carers Week 2016 seeks to consolidate some of the positive work making communities more carer friendly that has already been achieved across the country. For some carers, who have very significant or stressful caring responsibilities, to have to battle with a community that does not understand can push them to breaking point. It is vital that we build communities that make carers’ live easier, not harder; and as more and more of us will become carers, this is relevant to everyone in today’s society.

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The influence of Chinese culture on family caregivers of stroke survivors: A qualitative study

Aims and Objectives: To explore and describe the caregiving experiences of Chinese stroke caregivers.; Background: Previous research has indicated that culture can have a significant impact on the stroke caregiving experience. Moreover, scant research exists on stroke caregivers' experience within the Chinese culture.;Design: A qualitative descriptive design was used.; Methods: In-depth, semistructured interviews were conducted with 25 family caregivers of stroke survivors. The interviews were audiotaped, transcribed and analysed. Content analysis was also performed.; Findings: Twenty-five family caregivers of stroke survivors were recruited for the study. On average, respondents were 66 years old (range 45-82 years). Of 25 interviewees, 76% were female, 64% were spouse-caregivers and 36% were children-caregivers. Three themes reflecting the influence of Chinese culture on stroke caregiving emerged from the interviews. (i) Caregiving role perception. Informants accepted caregiving for the sick family member as an expected part of life, a culturally prescribed obligation and an expression of reciprocal love. (ii) Coping strategies. Connecting with family resources and connecting with inner strength were frequently reported coping strategies. (iii) Self-sacrifice. Informants identified self-reliance and feeling of restraint in their utilisation or access of formal caregiving service. Chinese caregivers sacrifice themselves for the care recipients regardless of the hardships and the neglect of their own health.; Conclusion: Our findings provide a comprehensive and culturally sensitive perspective in understanding the experience of stroke caregivers in Chinese communities. Cultural and religious backgrounds were found to influence Chinese stroke caregivers' experience, coping strategies and self-sacrifice behaviour in idiosyncratic ways.; Relevance To Clinical Practice: Research on the practice of culture can serve as a basis for the formulation of specific policies and effective interventions for supporting stroke caregivers of different cultural backgrounds.; © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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Caring for Caregivers: Establishing Resilience through Social Capital

Introduction: Even with international consensus that carers play a crucial role in supporting highneeds populations and contribute to formal health system sustainability, the academic and policy literature offers inconclusive evidence to guide how to support carers to ensure their resilience. Theory and Methods: This research used a convergent mixed model parallel design consisting of three main research phases. The theory of social capital was used to explore the extent to which combinations of interventions (self-directed community care, psychosocial supports, financial supports, skill development), may strengthen bonds between individuals (care recipients, carers, and front-line providers) and their communities (organizations, community agencies) thereby improving access to resources resulting in benefits for carers, families, and formal health systems. The use of social capital presents a novel conceptual advance in research on carer resilience, the relationship between networks and system sustainability, and the benefits that can derive from the multidimensional aspects of social capital. Results: The results suggest cultivating broader frameworks of support to identify, assess, and address the 'caregiver problem'. The findings substantiate both the social capital and resilience literature by identifying the role that network ties can play in improving access to resources. The results indicate that heterogeneous, mainly bridging and linking ties, might be more effective than bonding ties in improving a carer's resilience. Additionally, improved access to personal resources (a common focus for current policy interventions), is necessary, but on its own insufficient. Discussion: There has been increased recognition for supporting people and their carers. Yet, this focus remains largely at the individual level, and carer burden and burnout continues to be assessed and measured solely as a by-product of the complex (mainly medical) needs of the care recipient. Conclusions: This research identified the important role that healthcare systems plays in supporting an informal networks access to resources (personal, social, and societal) and resilience. Lessons Learned: The findings stress that the 'caregiver problem' is a complex phenomenon that requires a larger policy framework extending beyond one-off initiatives that are arbitrarily implemented. There is evidence to suggest the importance of conceptually understanding care networks from a broader perspective, acknowledging that carer resilience may be an individual-level phenomenon but can be supported or hindered by broader social- and societal-level impacts. Limitations: The sample of carers were identified through a 'gatekeeper' approach. Those who responded are likely to be a politically active population who have a potentially unique (yet context sensitive) perspective. As such, this research may have neglected to identify more isolated, marginalized carers who may have perceived different or additional factors as crucial to support their resilience. Suggestions for future research: For the first time in 2015, persons aged 65+ exceeded the number of persons 0-14 in Ontario, Canada. There is value in engaging in comparative work with regions who have already experienced a precipitous decline in social networks to identify lessons learned as it relates to engaging beyond traditional avenues of carers - to explore the role of networks of care.

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Cancer Communication on Social Media: Examining How Cancer Caregivers Use Facebook for Cancer-Related Communication

Background: Americans are increasingly using social media (such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter) for health-related communication. Much of the previous research on social media and health communication has focused on Facebook groups related to a specific disease or Facebook pages related to an advocacy organization. Less is known about how people communicate about cancer on personal Facebook pages.; Objective: In this study, we expand upon previous research by examining how cancer caregivers use personal Facebook pages for cancer-related communication.; Methods: We examined themes in cancer-related exchanges through a content analysis of 12 months of data from 18 publically available Facebook pages hosted by parents of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (15 852 total posts).; Results: Six themes emerged: (1) documenting the cancer journey, (2) sharing emotional strain associated with caregiving, (3) promoting awareness and advocacy about pediatric cancer, (4) fundraising, (5) mobilizing support, and (6) expressing gratitude for support.; Conclusions: Building upon previous research documenting the increasing use of social media for health-related communication and support, our findings show that personal Facebook pages offer a platform for cancer caregivers to share their cancer-related experiences, promote advocacy and awareness, and mobilize social support.; Implications For Practice: Providers must recognize the importance of social media as a vehicle for support and communication for families of children with cancer. Nurses should educate parents on how to appraise information obtained through Facebook using evidence-based guidelines. Providers can encourage caregivers to use Facebook as a tool for communication, information, and support

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"Like a drawing of breath": leisure-based art-making as a source of respite and identity among older women caring for loved ones with dementia

Background: Caring for a family member with dementia is stressful. This study explores carers' experiences of leisure-based art-making, and its contribution to psychological well-being. Method: This study interviewed six women (>60 years old) with lengthy experience of caring for a relative with dementia. All engaged regularly in art-making. Findings were inferred through Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Results: Participation in art-making promoted positive identity, and resilience for care-giving. It offered temporary respite from caregiving demands, helping participants maintain contact with the richness of the external world, and freedom from confinement. Artmaking facilitated meaningful connections with others, including the person with dementia, and enabled positive feedback. Participants whose loved ones had recently died or moved to residential care, processed, in oblique, possibly symbolic ways, the end of their intense involvement in care-giving. Conclusions: The findings suggest that meaningful creative leisure occupations may help to protect the psychological well-being of caregivers, promoting resilience.

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Physical and psychological health of family carers co‐residing with an adult relative with an intellectual disability

Background: Providing long‐term care to an adult relative with intellectual disability can impact negatively on caregivers’ health and well‐being. Methods: Data were collected via online and postal questionnaires on 110 family carers’ physical and psychological health, family stress and perceived positive gains from caring. Psychological adaptation and carers’ satisfaction with available support were also examined. Results: Study participants reported more health problems than general populations. Higher support needs of care recipients were associated with increased family stress. Carers being female were associated with lower family stress. Older age and better socio‐economic position were associated with better psychological outcomes. Other associations were consistent with psychological adaption and perceived helpfulness of support buffering negative outcomes and facilitating positive gains from caring. Conclusions: Family carers of adults with intellectual disability appear to experience poorer health outcome than population norms. Adaption to the caregiving role may buffer negative outcomes. Further large scale, population‐based, longitudinal research is needed.

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'Just be there': hospice caregivers' anticipatory mourning experience

Anticipatory mourning is a phenomenon that has received limited attention. This study is a retrospective, qualitative study of caregivers' perception of this process. Twenty-two participants who had received services from Hospice were interviewed, and themes were identified that elucidate the essence of this phenomenon. Participants reveal what was helpful for them, thus providing insight into potential interventions to support care at the end of life.

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Perceptions of psychosis, coping, appraisals, and psychological distress in the relatives of patients with schizophrenia: an exploration using self-regulation theory

OBJECTIVE: Following Leventhal's self-regulation model, the purpose of the present study was to provide an examination of the relationship between psychosis perceptions, coping strategies, appraisals, and distress in the relatives of patients with schizophrenia.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. METHOD: Participants were 42 relatives of patients with schizophrenia who completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), a brief coping strategies measure (COPE), the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQR), and a measure of primary and secondary appraisals (Family Questionnaire).

RESULTS: In general, carers who viewed their relative's psychosis as chronic, who had a stronger illness identity (experience of symptoms), who held a stronger belief in the severity of its consequences, and who reported weaker beliefs in treatment control but stronger beliefs that their relative could exert control over their condition had higher distress scores. Coping through seeking emotional support, the use of religion/spirituality, active coping, acceptance, and positive reframing were associated with less distress, while coping through self-blame was associated with higher distress scores. Hierarchical regression demonstrated that illness perceptions and coping (acceptance, positive reframing, and self-blame), respectively, made significant additional contributions to the variance in distress when entered after demographics, and primary and secondary appraisals. Furthermore, a mediational analysis suggested that coping strategies characterized by greater positive reframing, less self-blame, and greater acceptance mediated the relationship between distress, and both illness identity and carer's beliefs about how much personal control the patient could exercise over their condition. There was no mediational effect of coping on the relationship between distress and carers' perceptions about symptom control through medical treatment.

CONCLUSION: Results provide partial but not unequivocal support for the self-regulation model in the current sample. Findings may invite us to consider the further use of the self-regulation/common sense model as a framework for understanding distress in the carers of people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

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Suicidal ideation in family carers of people with dementia: a pilot study

Objective: Two small studies have suggested that family carers of people with dementia may be a high-risk group for suicide. The objective of this study was to further explore the rate of suicidal ideation in a large sample of carers and identify psychosocial risk and protective factors.

Method: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 566 family carers. The survey included measures of suicidality, self-efficacy, physical health, depression, anxiety, hopelessness, optimism, burden, coping strategies, and social support.

Results: Sixteen percent of carers had contemplated suicide more than once in the previous year. There were univariate differences between suicidal and non-suicidal carers on self-efficacy, social support, coping, burden, depression, anxiety, hopelessness, optimism, reasons for living, and symptoms of dementia, as well as age and income management. In a multivariate model, age, depression, and reasons for living predicted suicidal ideation. In tests for mediation, satisfaction with social support and dysfunctional coping had indirect effects on suicidal ideation via depression.

Conclusion: Family carers of people with dementia have high rates of suicidal ideation, with depression a risk factor and increasing age and reasons for living as protective factors. Depression and reasons for living should be targeted in interventions to reduce suicide risk in dementia carers.

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Development of an instrument to measure self-efficacy in caregivers of people with advanced cancer

OBJECTIVE: Informal caregivers of people with advanced cancer experience many negative impacts as a result of their role. There is a lack of suitable measures specifically designed to assess their experience. This study aimed to develop a new measure to assess self-efficacy in caregivers of people with advanced cancer.

METHODS: The development and testing of the new measure consisted of four separate, sequential phases: generation of issues, development of issues into items, pilot testing and field testing. In the generation of issues, 17 caregivers were interviewed to generate data. These data were analysed to generate codes, which were then systematically developed into items to construct the instrument. The instrument was pilot tested with 14 health professionals and five caregivers. It was then administered to a large sample for field testing to establish the psychometric properties, with established measures including the Brief Cope and the Family Appraisals for Caregiving Questionnaire for Palliative Care.

RESULTS: Ninety-four caregivers completed the questionnaire booklet to establish the factor structure, reliability and validity. The factor analysis resulted in a 21-item, four-factor instrument, with the subscales being termed Resilience, Self-Maintenance, Emotional Connectivity and Instrumental Caregiving. The test-retest reliability and internal consistency were both excellent, ranging from 0.73 to 0.85 and 0.81 to 0.94, respectively. Six convergent and divergent hypotheses were made, and five were supported.

CONCLUSIONS: This study has developed a new instrument to assess self-efficacy in caregivers of people with advanced cancer. The result is a four-factor, 21-item instrument with demonstrated reliability and validity. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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A terminal diagnosis: the carers' perspective

This qualitative study explored the views of spouse carers in relation to the emotional impact of caring for a partner with a chronic or terminal illness. The study population consisted of nine full-time spouse carers, recruited using a snowball sampling strategy.

Semi-structured interviews took place in the carers’ homes. These were recorded and transcribed verbatim. The data were then analysed using constant comparative analysis. Themes identified included the emotional and physical health of the carer, personality changes in the spouse, relationship issues, denial, anticipating death, accessing support and coping strategies. Findings indicate that these carers experienced a whole range of feelings and emotions, which impacted on their health and well-being. They included fatigue, stress, distress, anxiety, depression, feelings of isolation and suicidal thoughts. These were particularly profound around the time of diagnosis, end of treatment, during a relapse and most particularly around the time of death. An increasing number of terminally ill people are now expressing a preference to be cared for at home. The potential risks to the health of caregivers therefore need to be taken into account. This study highlights the importance of assessing the needs of carers in order to identify those at risk of compromised health, which would then allow those requiring support to be offered prompt referral to specialist services.

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Managing carer stress: an evaluation of a stress management programme for carers of people with dementia

Examines the effect of carer stress management using the Carers' Checklist (Hodgson et al 1998) as a measure of outcome. Pre-course and post-course questionnaires were used with carers, who agreed to attend a structured stress management course. The carers who attended demonstrated a better awareness and understanding of stress and its management following the course. Positive measures of outcome were also determined by a decrease in the carers' rating in frequency of dementia-related problems, carer burden of dementia-related problems and overall carer burden. The findings confirm that structured stress management can reduce carer burden and offer better coping strategies through raising carers' awareness and understanding.

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Resilience among patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and their caregivers

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, is the most common form of motor neuron disease in adults. People with ALS become severely disabled when the disease is progressing. The confrontation with constant losses, with dying and death poses enormous challenges both for them and for informal carers, who are most often spouses or close family members. However, there is evidence that the quality of life of ALS patients is often quite high and not correlated with the physical status. What does this mean for the quality of life of the caregivers? What are the sources of distress and what factors are helpful for the resilience of ALS patients and their families? Resilience is defined as the human ability to overcome crises using individual and social resources, and to use crises as inducement for personal growth. Worldwide longitudinal studies have shown that resilience is dependent on the interaction of various factors - to be found in the person, the family and the social environment. Surprisingly, for many ALS patients both the quality of life and their mental health are quite stable over time. However, for their caregivers it is a different picture: their quality of life and mental health deteriorate with increasing dependency of and help needed by the patient. The following factors have been identified as protective for ALS patients so far: active problem solving, autonomy, finding meaning in/despite the illness, spiritual/religious attitudes, altruism, the feeling of not being a burden for others, close and supportive family relationships and a functioning and stable social environment. For carers similar factors have been identified. Moreover, it appears to be extremely important for caregivers to receive sufficient information on the illness, its course - including the terminal phase - and on practical help options. Additionally, participation in support groups has been shown to be beneficial. How can the resilience of patients and their caregivers be boosted? First of all, the patient wants to be respected as a person. Therefore, breaking the news and providing information about the illness should be done honestly, stepwise and in an empathic way. In addition, patients and their families need information and advice with respect to legal issues, access to support and practical aid. Furthermore, support in coping and finding meaning may be helpful for their resilience. It is known that the caregivers play a central role for the patients' well-being; therefore, they should be part of the unit of care and should be involved in all decisions from the beginning. Although most needs seem to be overlapping for patients and carers, one has to be aware of the possibility of diverging needs, especially as the disease progresses and the burden of care increases. A single person will hardly be able to provide the complex care needed by ALS patients and their families. Ideally, and in line with the palliative care concept, a multi-professional team should adopt this task.

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Exploring the other side of cancer care: the informal caregiver

Objectives: To identify the caregiver outcomes among relatives caring for patients with cancer and to examine the patient and family caregiver variables that predicted for caregiver burden and depression.

Methods: One hundred and thirty caregivers completed the Greek versions of the Burden Interview (BI), the Center of Epidemiology – Depression Scale (CES-D) and the Ways of Coping Questionnaire. Principal component analysis was performed to examine the underlying dimensions of caregiver outcome measures. One-way ANOVA and independent sample t-tests were used to test for differences in burden and depression in relation to demographic variables of interest. One-way ANOVA was used for examining differences in coping strategies.

Findings: One-way ANOVA showed that there are significant differences among the various educational levels (p<0.001) and the income (p<0.005) of the caregiver in terms of overall burden. 66.4% of caregivers had a depression above the usual cutoff point for depression. An independent samples t-test for possible gender differences, showed that there is a significant difference between males and females (p=0.29). In regression analysis it was found that only caregiver's income and patient's age are statistically significant in predicting burden and depression. When considering high-burdened caregivers results showed that there are significant differences in the use of coping strategies (p<0.001).

Conclusions:Caregivers reported high levels of burden and depression. These outcomes of caregiving are related to several variables, but the caregiver's income and patient's age are predictive. Intervention strategies are needed to the vulnerable caregivers to help reduce burden and depression associated with caregiving.

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The caregiving journey for family members of relatives with cancer: how do they cope?

Family caregivers need adequate support from healthcare professionals to complete the demands associated with caregiving with minimal impact on their own health and well-being. An optimal balance of provision of care between family and support services has not been achieved; therefore, this literature review investigates how family caregivers endure and cope with the challenges of caring for an adult relative with cancer. This review considered the characteristics of caregivers and their functioning, the external and internal supports that help them cope, the ongoing challenges as they journey along the caregiving trajectory, the personal costs of caregiving, and how caregivers cope with supporting their family members through to the end of their journeys. The literature provides an abundance of research on the numerous challenges encountered by families living with cancer; however, little research has been conducted on the coping strategies used by family caregivers at specific stages along the illness trajectory that either optimize or hinder personal recovery. Even less information is available on interventions nurses can introduce to ease the caregiving burden. Improving nurses' understanding of the stressors and unmet needs associated with caregiving is fundamental to the development of effective family-focused clinical interventions.

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What are the factors that facilitate or hinder resilience in older spousal dementia carers? a qualitative study

Objectives: Much is known about the factors making caring for a spouse with dementia burdensome. However, relatively little is known about factors that help some spouses become resilient. We define resilience as ‘the process of negotiating, managing and adapting to significant sources of stress or trauma’. We aimed to assess whether spousal dementia carers can achieve resilience and to highlight which assets and resources they draw on to facilitate or hinder resilience, using an ecological framework .

Method:Twenty in-depth qualitative interviews with spousal carers from two carer support groups and a care home in North West England.

Results: Eight participants were resilient and 12 were not. A resilient carer was characterised as someone who stays positive and actively maintained their relationship and loved one's former self. Resilient carers were knowledgeable and well supported by family but especially friends, with whom they shared this knowledge. They were more actively engaged with services such as respite care.

Conclusion: There is a need to move towards more ecological models of resilience. We propose that access to assets and resources is not always sufficient to facilitate resilience. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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A Qualitative Investigation of Health Care Professionals', Patients' and Partners' Views on Psychosocial Issues and Related Interventions for Couples Coping with Cancer

Introduction: There is growing evidence that cancer affects couples as an interdependent system and that couple-based psychosocial interventions are efficacious in reducing distress and improving coping skills. However, adoption of a couples-focused approach into cancer care is limited. Previous research has shown that patients and partners hold differing views from health care professionals (HCPs) regarding their psychosocial needs, and HCPs from different disciplines also hold divergent views regarding couples’ psychosocial needs. This study aimed to explore the perspectives of HCPs and couples on the provision of couple-focused psychosocial care in routine cancer services.

Methods: A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews was undertaken with 20 HCPs (medical oncologists, nurses, psycho-oncology professionals) and 20 couples where one member had been diagnosed with cancer (breast, prostate, head/neck, bowel, multiple myeloma). Interviews were analysed using the framework approach.

Results: Three core themes were identified: “How Do Couples Cope with Cancer?” emphasised the positive and negative coping strategies used by couples, and highlighted that partners perceived a lack of engagement by HCPs. “What Is Couple-focused Psychosocial Care for People with Cancer?” described varying perspectives regarding the value of couple-focused psychosocial care and variation in the types of support couples need among HCPs and couples. Whereas most couples did not perceive a need for specialist couple-focused support and interventions, most HCPs felt couple-focused psychosocial care was necessary. “How Can Couple-Focused Psychosocial Care be Improved?” described couples’ view of a need for better provision of information, and the importance of their relationship with oncology clinicians. HCPs identified a lack of confidence in responding to the emotional needs of couples, and barriers to providing psychosocial care, including challenges identifying distress (through screening) and referring distressed individuals/couples for specialist assessment.

Conclusions: The three core themes revealed discrepancies about couple-focused psychosocial care between HCPs and couples, and HCPs from different professional backgrounds, and several barriers to the provision of psychosocial care for couples. Despite HCPs and couples acknowledging that a couple-focused approach to psycho-social support was potentially beneficial, the majority of couples did not feel they needed specific couple-focused interventions. These issues and recommendations for future research are discussed.

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Coping with and factors impacting upon the experience of lung cancer in patients and primary carers

There is a paucity of research exploring patients' and their informal carers' experience of coping with and factors impacting on the lung cancer experience. This study aims to explore how patients and their informal carers cope with a diagnosis of lung cancer and describe the key factors that mediate distress in this population in order that they may be better supported in the future. This was a qualitative study employing semi-structured interviews and framework analysis to elicit the experience of 37 patients with lung cancer and 23 primary carers regarding their coping with and factors influencing patient/carer distress. The findings illustrate that participants used both emotional- and problem-focused coping strategies, including accepting the reality of lung cancer, adopting a positive attitude/fighting spirit, denial, avoidance and distraction and information seeking. Maintaining normality was also important. Key factors that mediate the lung cancer experience were also identified including hope, social network, prior experience of cancer and other chronic illnesses, the competing coping strategies of patients and their primary carers, the unpredictable nature of patients' behaviour, changing symptomatology, the perceived attitudes of health professionals and the impact of perceived delays in diagnosis. This study provides important insights into how patients with lung cancer and their primary carers might be better supported.

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Coping strategies of families in HIV/AIDS care: some exploratory data from two developmental contexts

Caring for a family member with HIV/AIDS presents multiple challenges that strain a family's physical, economic and emotional resources. Family carers provide physical care and financial support and deal with changes in family relationships and roles, often with little support from outside of the family. Carers in developing countries face even greater challenges, due to lack of medical and support services, poverty and widespread discrimination against those with HIV/AIDS. Little is known about how family carers cope with these challenges or about the ways that development impacts on the process of coping. The current study explored coping strategies used by family carers in two contexts, Kerala, India and Scotland, UK. As part of a larger study, 28 family carers of persons living with HIV/AIDS were interviewed −23 in Kerala and 5 in Scotland. A modified version of the Ways of Coping scale was used to assess coping strategies. Responses were compared on the total number of coping responses used as well as on selected subscales of the WOC. Differences were assessed using the Mann-Whitney U-test. The two cohorts differed significantly in terms of the coping strategies used. The carers from Scotland used a larger number of different coping strategies and scored higher on measures of problem focused coping, positive reappraisal, seeking social support, self-controlling and distancing/detachment. Respondents from Kerala scored higher on a measure of self-blame. Results are discussed in terms of the impact of community resources on coping strategies.

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Long-term effects of bereavement and caregiver intervention on dementia caregiver depressive symptoms

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the joint effects of bereavement and caregiver intervention on caregiver depressive symptoms. 

Design and Methods: Alzheimer's caregivers from a randomized trial of an enhanced caregiver support intervention versus usual care who had experienced the death of their spouse (n = 254) were repeatedly assessed with the Geriatric Depression Scale prior to and following bereavement. Random effects regression growth curve analyses examined the effects of treatment group and bereavement while controlling for other variables.  

Results: The death of the care recipient led to reductions in depressive symptoms for both caregiving groups. Enhanced support intervention led to lower depressive symptoms compared with controls both before and after bereavement. Post-bereavement group differences were stronger for caregivers of spouses who did not previously experience a nursing home placement. These caregivers maintained these differences for more than 1 year after bereavement. Caregivers who received the enhanced support intervention were more likely to show long-term patterns of fewer depressive symptoms before and after bereavement, suggesting resilience, whereas control caregivers were more likely to show chronic depressive symptoms before and after the death of their spouse. 

Implications:  Caregiver intervention has the potential to alter the long-term course of the caregiving career. Such clinical strategies may also protect caregivers against chronic depressive symptoms that would otherwise persist long after caregiving ends.

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Gender differentials on the health consequences of care-giving to people with AIDS-related illness among older informal carers in two slums in Nairobi, Kenya

Informal caregivers, most often older people, provide valuable care and support for people ill due to AIDS, especially in poor-resource settings with inadequate health care systems and limited access to antiretroviral therapy. The negative health consequences associated with care-giving may vary depending on various factors that act to mediate the extent of the effects on the caregiver. This paper investigates the association between care-giving and poor health among older carers to people living with AIDS, and examines potential within-gender differences in reporting poor health. Data from 1429 men and women aged 50 years or older living in two slum areas of Nairobi are used to compare AIDS-caregivers with other caregivers and non-caregivers based on self-reported health using the World Health Organization disability assessment (WHODAS) score and the presence of a severe health problem. Women AIDS-caregivers reported higher disability scores for mobility and the lowest scores in self-care and life activities domains while men AIDS-caregivers reported higher scores in all domains (except interpersonal interaction) compared with other caregivers and non-caregivers. Multiple regression analysis is used to examine the association of providing care with health outcomes while controlling for other confounders. Consistently across all the health measures, no significant differences were observed between female AIDS-caregivers and female non-caregivers. Male AIDS-caregivers were however significantly more likely to report disability and having a severe health problem compared with male non-caregivers. This finding highlights a gendered variation in outcome and is possibly an indication of the differences in care-giving gender-role expectations and coping strategies. This study highlights the relatively neglected role of older men as caregivers and recommends comprehensive interventions to mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS on caregivers that embrace men as well as women.

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Spousal experiences of coping with and adapting to caregiving for a partner who has a stroke: a meta-synthesis of qualitative research

Purpose: This meta-synthesis was conducted to explore qualitative spousal accounts of coping and adaptation to caregiving when their partner experienced a stroke. Method: Electronic databases were searched systematically and inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied. The meta-synthesis was conducted using guidance from Sandelowski and Barroso to extract salient data relating to coping and adaptation. Results: Twelve papers were identified for inclusion and seven themes resultant themes were extracted: Seeking information; Searching for own space and well-being; Suffering in silence; Putting one’s own needs aside; Adapting to a changed role; Social support and Hope and Optimism: instilling a positive focus. Conclusions: The findings suggested spouses adopt a range of adaptive coping strategies although several barriers to these were also identified and discussed in relation to a number of clinical implications. The limitations of this meta-synthesis were discussed, together with recommendations for future research.

Implications for Rehabilitation: 

  • Respite care for partner-carers is important for their well-being and there is a need to improve the availability and quality of such provision.
  • It is important to provide stroke-related information and training in practical care tasks, preferably before their partner is discharged home from hospital, in order to avoid leaving spouses feeling vulnerable and unprepared.

  • The positive adapting mechanisms identified within this review can be drawn on by clinicians to inform their interactions with stroke spousal carers and to advise them in strategies which have helped their counterparts.

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The experience of caring for a partner with young onset dementia: how younger carers cope

The coping strategies adopted by six carers to adapt to changes in their relationship with their partner with young onset dementia are explored. All were recruited from the north west of England and interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to analyse the data. Four major themes were evident: (1) ‘this is not happening’: the use of denial as a coping strategy; (2) ‘let’s not have anymore of this demeaning [treatment]’: stigma in young onset dementia; (3) ‘I’ve had to fight every inch’: struggling to maintain control of events and emotions; (4) ‘what will become of me?’: carers’ adaptation to loss. Comparisons with existing literature are made and implications for clinical practice are considered.

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Perceptions and management of change by people with dementia and their carers living at home

This article presents findings from a research study that examined, by observation and interview, the nature of care as a form of social organization in the homes of people with dementia whose care was at least partly provided by relatives or friends. Twenty situations were included in which the carers and people with dementia were interviewed. Each participating pair was observed for an average of nine hours. Change was perceived, on the whole, in negative terms for both caregiver and the person with dementia. The main categories of change to emerge were those to do with normal routines or practices, perceived deterioration in the condition of the person with dementia, and changes concerning living arrangements. Coping strategies used reflect those in the general coping literature. They included denial, attempts to restore the situation or regain control, making positive comparisons, attempting to understand dementia and acceptance.

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‘It made me realise that I am lucky for what I got’: British young carers encountering the realities of their African peers

Despite a growing number of studies comparing the experiences of young carers in the global North and South, little has been done to explore young carers' representations of their global peers. In this paper we examine the reflections of British young carers after having visited an exhibition displaying photos and stories articulating the caregiving experiences of young carers in Zimbabwe and Kenya. We do this to explore the role of safe and transformative social spaces in facilitating positive identity constructions. We draw on the essays and workshop material of 19 British young carers as well as 8 follow-up interviews. A thematic network analysis of the data reveals that British young carers, upon being confronted with the experiences of African young carers, saw their African peers as more marginalised, with heavier duties and with less state support. Their responses echoed victimising representations of Africa as poor and ‘underdeveloped’. However, the exhibition material was balanced and also highlighted the strengths and agency of African young carers, which provided some of the British young carers with opportunities to reassess their own circumstances in a more positive way. We conclude that creating social spaces for young carers to reflect on self and others can contribute towards the development of positive young carer identities and resilience.

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Listening to the voices of young carers using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis and a strengths-based perspective

The 2011 census suggested that 244,000 young people in England and Wales under 19 provide unpaid care for someone with an illness or disability (Office for National Statistics, 2013). Young carers are not a homogeneous population; they represent children and young people from a variety of backgrounds with diverse experiences. Young carers are described as a 'hidden population' (H.M Government, 2010) hence the prevalence of young carers may be larger than data sources reveal. Previous research has identified negative aspects of caregiving and the impact on education, social, emotional, physical health and wellbeing. Young carers seem to be a vulnerable group and marginalised population, yet there is little reference to young carers in educational psychology literature. This research sought to listen to the voices of this hidden population from a strengths-based perspective to consider if this adds to our understanding of their resilience. The research adopted an inductive constructionist approach using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Six participants aged between 11 and 13 years were recruited from a large rural Young Carers Project to attend three separate interviews. Participants were caring for a parent with a mental illness. Findings illustrated these young carers had very individual and complex lives, full of tensions, yet they found ways of managing and adapting to their situations. Implications for raising the profile of individuals with complex lives are discussed and consideration given to a sensitive, individualised and flexible response.

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Risk factors for burn-out in caregivers of stroke patients, and possibilities for intervention

OBJECTIVE: To identify which caregivers of stroke patients living at home experience the highest levels of strain and are at risk of burn-out, and to investigate how support for caregivers of stroke patients could best be organized, and when this support should be offered.

DESIGN AND SETTING: Caregivers of stroke patients were recruited in four regions of the Netherlands. A total of 212 caregivers were interviewed. Multiple stepwise regression analysis was performed to determine the effects of patient and caregiver characteristics, resources, coping strategies and duration of the caregiver role on caregiver strain, mental well-being and vitality.

SUBJECTS: The majority of the caregivers were female spouses. Their mean age was 64 years, and their socioeconomic status middle class. Stroke had occurred about 3.5 years ago on average.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The following main outcome measures were used: the Caregiver Strain Index, and two scales of the Short Form-36 to measure caregivers' mental well-being and vitality.

RESULTS: Severe cognitive, behavioural and emotional changes in the patient constitute the main risk factors for caregiver burn-out. Women, younger caregivers and caregivers in poor physical health were also identified as risk groups. Caregivers with high perceived self-efficacy, satisfied with social support, and frequently using the coping strategy confronting, experience less strain, higher mental well-being and greater vitality. Duration of the caregiver role does not influence caregivers' strain, mental well-being or vitality.

CONCLUSIONS: Women, younger caregivers, caregivers in poor physical health, and caregivers of patients with severe changes are at risk of burn-out. Support programmes should focus on self-efficacy, social support, and the coping strategy confronting. No specific moment could be identified at which support programmes should be offered.

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Exploring coping strategies of carers looking after people with intellectual disabilities and dementia

Purpose – Carers play a vital role in looking after people with intellectual disabilities (ID). Caring role can be stressful and challenging in nature. Carers use various coping strategies to deal with stressors. The purpose of this paper is to explore coping strategies of carers looking after people with ID and dementia.

Design/methodology/approach – Qualitative methodology was used to explore coping strategies. Focus groups and face-to-face interviews were carried out. These interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings – Nine interviews with carers (six paid carers and three family carers) and two focus groups with nursing staff looking after people with ID were carried out. Three key themes of “Narrative”, “Strategy toolbox” and “Compartmentalisation” emerged from analysis. Narrative and strategy took box were further subthemed. Carers had narratives about them and the person they look after. These “narratives” helped them to deal with day to day stressors. They also carried a “strategy toolbox”, which they used when they were in stressful situations. Compartmentalisation helped them to separate their personal life from work life as a carer.

Originality/value – Understanding carers’ coping strategies is important when planning services to help carers who play an important role in our society. Professionals can support carers to understand and improve their existing coping skills and help them to thrive in their role as carers.

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A stress process model of family caregiver service utilization: factors associated with respite and counseling service use

This study examines whether caregivers' differential utilization of respite and counseling support services is associated with different situational stress processes. A multinomial regression analysis was conducted to compare respite users, counseling users, and those who used neither service, using data collected on a statewide random sample of 1,643 California caregivers providing assistance to individuals aged 50 or older. Compared with caregivers who used neither service, respite service users were more likely to have demanding care situations giving rise to physical symptoms of stress, and were more likely to use community services for the care recipient to augment their care. In contrast, counseling service users were more likely to be managing the meaning of their care situation by seeking out information about services and talking with a confidant about their situation, while coping with both emotional and physical symptoms of stress. Tailoring caregiver interventions to meet the support needs and coping strategies stemming from diverse caregiving situations and caregiver characteristics may increase the likelihood that those interventions will be effective in alleviating or preventing deleterious secondary stress frequently experienced by family caregivers.

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Difficulties, coping strategies, satisfaction and burden in informal Portuguese caregivers

Aims and objectives: To characterise the main difficulties, coping strategies, sources of satisfaction and levels of burden disclosed by informal caregivers of older people who are dependent due to physical and mental causes, in the Portuguese context and to compare the impact between caregivers for older people with physical dependence and caregivers for older people with mental dependence.

Background: Caring for a dependent older person is a complex process that puts two people in interaction, each with their own traits and their own histories of private life. When performing this role, the care provider needs to know how to deal with difficulties through a range of coping strategies. The outcome of this relationship may result in burden as a result of the volume of care, the complexity of care or the caregiver's inability to provide needed care. Caring for a family member can also be a source of satisfaction thanks to the pleasure of giving back and/or providing well-being.

Design: This is a quantitative, analytical and correlational study.

Methods: This study was conducted among two distinct groups–caregivers of older people without dementia (physical impairment) and caregivers of patients with dementia (impairment of a predominantly cognitive nature). Data were collected by administering a previously defined questionnaire that sought to gather various sorts of information (sociodemographic, clinical and environmental) and that included certain specific instruments, such as dependency ratio, cognitive assessment tests, an index of difficulties, a satisfaction index, an index of coping strategies and a burden scale.

Results: The sample consisted in 184 caregivers over 40 years of age, of which, 101 cared for dependent people without cognitive impairment and 83 cared for people with dementia. Most caregivers were women (87%), most were married (78·8%), with a low level of education (33·7% did not complete primary school and only 7·1% had any postsecondary education). Most were spouses or daughters (75·5%). The caregivers of older patients with dementia had lower levels of satisfaction, with a mean difference of 12·95 percentage points, p < 0·001. It appears that caring for older people with dementia implies a greater burden, with a mean difference of 15·4 percentage points, p < 0·001. There is a strong correlation between difficulties and burden (r = 0·89, p < 0·001) and between the effectiveness of coping strategies and satisfaction (r = 0·92, p < 0·001).

Conclusions: This study suggests that caregivers of older people with dementia are more vulnerable due to their higher levels of burden, which are associated with higher levels of difficulties and reduced sources of satisfaction.

Relevance to clinical practice: These data are essential for the management and implementation of health programmes that can reduce the vulnerability of caregivers. Programmes should address caregivers' difficulties and burden as a way to promote satisfaction with providing care.

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Caring for children with learning disabilities: an exploratory study of parental strain and coping

Despite recurring concerns about the role and appropriate support of informal carers, little is known about the parental experience of caring for children with learning disabilities in Ireland. This study describes and analyses the nature and consequences of care and coping among parents of children (<16) with learning disabilities living in the Greater Dublin area. Participants ( n = 32) completed the Caregiver Strain Questionnaire and an adapted version of the Carers Questionnaire which assessed: care tasks/behavioural difficulties; caregiver attitudes; service provision; and coping strategies. Qualitative analysis examined factors affecting carers' ability to cope. Participants showed high levels of objective and subjective caregiver strain and most were receiving inadequate support. However, parents employed a range of strategies to help them cope more effectively. The qualitative data highlighted the difficulties and rewards of caregiving and the inadequacies of current service provision.

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Caring for a relative with delusional beliefs: a qualitative exploration

Background: In recent years, there has been a gradual shift towards the study of individual symptom presentations in psychosis, this is particularly found in studies of delusional beliefs. However, the literature remains sparse on informal caregiver experiences of individual symptoms.

Aim: The study sought to investigate carer experiences of supporting a relative with delusional beliefs, which involve family members.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with five caregivers and subject to interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Results: Interviews yielded six superordinate themes highlighting issues concerning a carer's exposure to symptoms of illness; lack of understanding about their relatives' delusional beliefs; concerns over coming to harm from their relative: efforts made by the carer to conceal their relative's delusional beliefs and their consequences; fractured relationships, and a long process of learning how to best cope.

Conclusion: Caring for a relative with psychosis who experiences delusional beliefs about the carer and family members can be challenging. The results underscore the importance of providing a programme of support to meet the varied needs of informal carers with an explicit aim of assisting carers in their day-to-day problem solving. It should also help to address issues carers may have about causality, including beliefs about self-blame, and identifying effective coping strategies.

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In sickness and in health: experience of caring for a spouse with MS

Background People are not expected to die from multiple sclerosis although, as the condition progresses over a period of time, some people become increasingly disabled and will require assistance with all activities of daily living. Their partners invariably carry out these tasks. Objective To gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of the partner living with and caring for a spouse disabled by multiple sclerosis. Methodology In a qualitative study, eight partners who live and care for a person with multiple sclerosis were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire to explore their experience of their role. Results The interview transcripts were analyzed using a thematic framework approach. Codes, themes and five categories were identified, which were worry, planning, frustrations, commitment to marriage and coping strategies. These categories were examined using quotes from the transcripts as evidence. Conclusion This qualitative study identified that these couples had been married for at least 20 years before disability of the spouse significantly affected their lifestyle. Partners felt obliged to continue in their caring role due to a sense of duty and commitment of marriage. Partners felt a sense of loss as they prioritized the health and needs of their spouse above their own and, finally, partners lost their identity as husband/wife as they were called ‘the carer’. Partners felt out of control due to the unpredictable and progressive nature of MS and because it consumed their life 24 hours every day. Partners often felt guilty at not being satisfied with their life and wanting some independence

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Together for Mental Health delivery plan: 2016-19: consultation document

A consultation on the delivery plan of the Welsh Government’s strategy to improve mental health and well-being, for the period 2016-19. The strategy consists of five chapters and is underpinned by 18 outcomes which are set out in this document. Strategy outcomes and delivery plan priority areas have been mapped against the goals of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act (2015). The priority areas identified in the delivery plan are: all children have the best possible start in life, enabled by giving parents / care-givers the support they need; all children and young people are more resilient and better able to tackle poor mental well-being when it occurs; children and young people experiencing mental health problems get better sooner; people at working age are more resilient and better able to tackle poor mental well-being when it occurs; people with mental health problems, their families and carers are treated with dignity and respect; services meet the needs of the diverse population of Wales; People with a mental health problem have access to appropriate, evidence based and timely services; People of all ages experience sustained improvement to their mental health and well-being through access to positive life chances; Wales is a ‘Dementia Friendly Nation’;The quality of life for older people is improved, particularly through addressing loneliness and isolation. 

Original document on the Welsh Government website.

A grounded theory longitudinal study of carers’ experiences of caring for people with dementia

Introduction: Increasingly the provision of care for older people with dementia has shifted from institutions to the community. This has resulted in an increase in burden and a reduction in autonomy for those who care for these individuals.

Aims: This study sought to identify, describe and explore the changes in the carers’ experiences of looking after a relative living with dementia, and the effects of caring on the carers’ autonomy and health over time.

Research Methods: A longitudinal, grounded theory approach in three phases was used. In-depth interviews were conducted with six spouses at the beginning, at six months and at eighteen months. A constant comparative analysis of taped and transcribed interviews was used.

Findings: Four categories emerged: My Life Changed, Commitment, Responsibility and Duty, and Support. The core category My Life Changed was identified as representing the beginning of the caregiving journey; and the learning from experience that occurred as a consequence of that journey, offering a new perspective on the experience of carers. Commitment refers to a deepened and sustained element; Responsibility and Duty increases over time and finally Support refers to the fluctuating nature of help provided by formal and informal sources. All participants experienced changes in the caregiving journey; the degree and nature of necessary adaptations varied.

Conclusions: A Theory of Caring emerged, but what changes were experienced did not appear to conform to any fixed pattern. All carers learned by experience to manage their situations. For all carers their autonomy and health was challenged.

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Informal primary carers of stroke survivors living at home-challenges, satisfactions and coping: a systematic review of qualitative studies

Purpose. To summarize qualitative studies from the last decade that focus on experiences of caring for stroke survivors and to describe challenges, satisfactions and coping strategies.

Methods. A systematic review of qualitative studies identified from English language medicine, nursing and psychology databases from 1996–2006 was undertaken.

Results. Seventeen qualitative studies fitting the inclusion and exclusion criteria, mostly from the USA, were identified. All used carer interviews. These studies corroborate the quantitative research, commonly describing difficulties including emotional responses, uncertainty and associated information and training needs. However, compared with quantitative research, qualitative studies provide a more detailed, complete picture of carers' experiences and identify additional areas including role and relationship changes, positive outcomes and coping strategies.

Conclusions. Qualitative studies add significantly to our understanding of carers' experiences. Caring for stroke survivors is often challenging but focusing on the difficulties and not drawing attention to successful management strategies and satisfaction reported by carers, limits understanding and reduces the chances of providing appropriate support. Future qualitative research should consider the implications of the timing of collection more carefully and should move away from simple content or thematic analysis which tends to emphasize similarities amongst carers and should now focus on understanding carer diversity. Acknowledging this diversity should maximize the chances of providing appropriate support.

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Evaluation of a resilience-based intervention for children of parents with mental illness

Objective: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a group psychosocial intervention for children (aged 12–18) of a parent with mental illness (copmi).

Method: A treatment and waitlist-control design study with pre- and post-treatment, and 8 week follow up, was carried out. The treatment (n = 27) and control (n=17) groups were compared on three groups of dependent variables: intervention targets (mental health literacy, connectedness, coping strategies), adjustment (depression, life satisfaction, prosocial behaviour, emotional/behavioural difficulties), and caregiving experiences.

Results: Group comparisons failed to show statistically significant intervention effects, but reliable clinical change analyses suggested that compared to the control group, more intervention participants had clinically significant improvements in mental health literacy, depression, and life satisfaction. These treatment gains were maintained 8 weeks after treatment. Participant satisfaction data supported these treatment gains.

Conclusions: Given study limitations and the modest support for intervention effectiveness it is important that this and other similar interventions should continue to be revised and undergo rigorous evaluation.

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"Sometimes we get it wrong but we keep on trying": A cross-sectional study of coping with communication problems by informal carers of stroke survivors with aphasia

Background: The need to support carers of stroke survivors is widely recognised. However, research on which to base recommendations is scarce. Little research has focused on carers of stroke survivors with aphasia, and that which exists suffers from problems with sample size and methodology. More information is needed about methods used by carers to manage communication difficulties and about coping strategies that promote emotional wellbeing.

Aims: To assess the coping strategies used by informal carers of stroke survivors with aphasia to manage communication problems, and their association with depressive symptoms. To assess whether a problem-specific coping inventory offers an advantage over a generic coping questionnaire for this purpose.

Methods & Procedures: Questionnaires were completed by 150 informal caregivers of stroke survivors with aphasia. The Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale measured depressive symptoms. Coping was assessed with the Brief COPE and a problem-specific questionnaire on coping with communication difficulties. Level of social support was also assessed. Multiple regression analysis explored associations between coping and depressive symptoms. Mediation analysis assessed the significance of the indirect effect of coping between the level of communication impairment in the stroke survivor and the degree of depressive symptoms in the carer.

Outcomes & Results: Participants reported a wide range of coping strategies. Avoidant styles of coping were associated with increased depressive symptomatology. Coping by use of positive reframing was linked with fewer symptoms of depression. Anticipated level of social support was also associated with less depressive symptomology. The level of communication impairment of the stroke survivor was not predictive of depressive symptoms in carers after controlling for coping and social support. Limited support was found for a mediating model of coping. Inclusion of one subscale from the problem-specific questionnaire improved the amount of variance accounted for in depressive symptoms, above that explained by the Brief COPE.

Conclusions: The results verify that the impairment of the stroke survivor has less effect on carers' psychosocial functioning compared to coping. Assessment of coping can help to identify carers presenting with increased risk of depression. A traditional coping inventory provides an adequate assessment of the coping strategies used to manage communication problems, and can be supplemented by specific questions about avoidance. Interventions that develop some emotion-focused coping strategies in carers may support adaptation. Interventions should also aim to decrease the use of unhelpful coping strategies rather than solely focusing on increasing problem-focused forms of coping.

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The association between caregiving satisfaction, difficulties and coping among older family caregivers

Aims and objectives.  The aim was to study the association between gender, extent and content of care, satisfaction, coping and difficulties in the caregiving situation among older (75+) caregivers and to identify clusters of caregivers. The aim was also to explore psychometrically two instruments assessing satisfaction and difficulties in family caregivers.

Background.  Caregiving is a complicated phenomenon. Much of the research has focused on negative aspects, such as the burden, stress and emotional strain. Caregiving is known to affect health negatively for the caregivers. Little is known about satisfaction and motivation in voluntary work, such as informal caregiving, especially among older persons.

Design and methods.  Cross-sectional. The sample for this study consisted of 171 informal caregivers aged 75 and over, identified from an age-stratified sample in a postal survey among older people in the southern part of Sweden.

Results.  Male caregivers proved to be more satisfied than female caregivers; caregiving had seemingly widened their horizon and had helped them to grow as persons. Based on satisfaction scores, those satisfied had a higher proportion of male caregivers and a significantly higher amount of caregiving hours per week. They used other coping strategies than the respondents in the other cluster, i.e. less satisfied in using more problem-solving strategies.

Conclusions.  The instruments tested were appropriate for work in clinical and research settings, although the internal dropout indicates that a shorter version would be more useful. Those who found satisfaction in care used more problem-focused coping strategies and were more often men than women. From a salutogenic point of view, this may give important knowledge about factors that can promote health. The findings indicate that women deserve extra attention as informal caregivers as they did not find caregiving as rewarding as the men did. This may in turn make them less protected against the negative consequences of caregiving.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Reinforcing the health-promoting qualities in caregivers who are not feeling well, with women as a particularly vulnerable group, may restrict unnecessary suffering for both the caregiver and the person cared for.

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Young Carers: Children Caring for Family Members Living with an Illness or Disability

Young people often demonstrate considerable commitment, resilience and skill within their roles as young carers. Their contributions, however are regularly devalued or unrecognized by the systems that seek to support them. In this article we examine existing knowledge on why and how young people become young carers and the influences such a role can have on them. We also look at policy and practice issues related to young carers. 

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Carer knowledge and experiences with menopause in women with intellectual disabilities

Overall life expectancy for women with intellectual disabilities (ID) is now significantly extended, and many will live long enough to experience menopause. Little is known about how carers support women with ID through this important stage in their lives. This study investigated carer knowledge of how menopause affects women with ID under their care and how they may help them to cope with it. One-to-one interviews were undertaken with 69 carers (7 male/62 female) from a range of backgrounds, all with current responsibility for the care of one or more pre-, peri-, and/or postmenopausal women with ID. Carers reported difficulty in disentangling the psychological and physical consequences of the menopause from behaviors and symptoms arising from other causes. There was general recognition of the transitional importance of menopause and a widespread acknowledgment of the resilience that many women with ID show in coping with it. However, carers emphasized the need for health resources to be better tailored to the women's needs and for more relevant health education training for staff. The authors conclude that additional and new demands are placed on service provision as women with ID live longer. An increased awareness of health issues relating to menopause is needed, as are more appropriate and readily available relevant health education materials for women with ID in middle age.

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Young carers as social actors: coping strategies of children caring for ailing or ageing guardians in Western Kenya

There is a vast body of research on the impact of HIV/AIDS on children, but little which acknowledges the role of children in providing care and support for ailing parents or ageing guardians. There has been a tendency to downplay the active role and agency of young carers, with young carers often represented as victims of damaging circumstances that compromise their psychosocial well-being. To counter-balance this tendency, and to develop the critical trend that views children as social actors, we explore how young carers cope with challenging circumstances, often with skill and ingenuity, drawing on data collected in Western Kenya in 2007. Forty-eight young carers (aged 11–17) used photography and drawing to provide accounts of their coping strategies. They described 240 of the resulting photographs and drawings in writing. In addition, 34 individual interviews and 2 group discussions were conducted with children to explore the findings further and 10 individual interviews with local adults were conducted to elucidate the dynamics between adults and children. Our data revealed that young carers cope by mobilising social support, engaging in income generating activities and constructing positive social identities around their caring roles. We conclude that children's ability to cope is determined by the extent to which they are able to participate in their community and negotiate support from it.

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Family systems and mental health issues: a resilience approach

In many cases the consumers of mental health information and support are the families of mental health sufferers. The aim of the project was to understand resilience in people who live with or support a family member with a diagnosed or undiagnosed mental illness. Participants were 15 carers (one male, 14 female). Semi-structured interviews were transcribed and analysed using content analysis. Eight recurring themes emerged which indicated the challenges the carers faced and provided indications of the positive and negative personal, family and social factors that impacted on their lives. These themes were ‘Getting to CLAN WA’, ‘Accessing help including CLAN WA’, ‘Impact of living with a person who has a mental illness or problematic behaviour’, ‘Family and cultural issues’, ‘Communication within the family’,‘Coping strategies and evidence of resilience’, ‘Social support’ and ‘Notion of sacrifice’. There is still considerable work to do in supporting people who live with or support a family member in these circumstances. The findings demonstrate that individuals living with adversity can do more than just survive the process.

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A support group for caregivers of patients with frontotemporal dementia

Several recent articles have pointed out that caregivers of patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) need counselling and support. To date, however, no support groups have been provided other than those available to caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). At our outpatient unit for cognitive disorders we initiated a specific support group for caregivers of patients with FTD. This pilot project had four objectives: 1) to provide information, advice and support to caregivers, 2) to learn more about the specific problems and needs of family carers of patients with FTD and to explore the differences to caregiver burden in AD, 3) to encourage mutual support and development of coping strategies, 4) to evaluate the intervention using a questionnaire completed by the caregiver. Eight spouse caregivers of patients diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) participated in special support groups. Seven weekly sessions of 90 minutes' duration were held. To evaluate the program participants were asked to complete a questionnaire about their satisfaction with the support group immediately after the final session. Six months after the intervention they received a questionnaire by mail gathering information on coping efficacy. It became obvious that many problems faced by caregivers of patients with FTD are different from those encountered in AD. During group meetings participants were encouraged to express their own needs and to deal with painful emotions, including aggression, anger, mourning and guilt. Caregivers felt relieved by sharing their problems with others. They were able to learn from each other and to share coping strategies. The group also helped to establish new social relations contacts and even friendships. The participants rated the program as useful and said that benefits were sustained even six months after termination. We conclude from these initial observations that caregiver support groups are a useful component in the management of patients with FTD. Such groups should be tailored to the specific problems and needs of these caregivers. To maintain benefits, self-help groups are recommended even in the absence of professional input.

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Caring for carers of people with stroke: developing a complex intervention following the Medical Research Council framework

Objective: To develop an intervention, using the first three phases of the Medical Research Council (MRC) framework for complex interventions, to facilitate coping skills in new carers of stroke patients.

Methods: In the preclinical (theoretical) phase, a theoretically based framework for a small group course for carers of people with stroke was developed. The intervention was grounded in a cognitive behavioural model and included carers' needs identified from a literature review. Phase I (modelling phase) comprised a qualitative study involving one-to-one semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of informal carers of people with stroke. Following this, the intervention was modified. In phase II (exploratory phase), the modified intervention was delivered by a clinical psychologist and stroke nurse practitioner to five carers. Following postcourse interviews the course was further refined and delivered to seven new carers who subsequently completed a satisfaction questionnaire.

Results: Carers' needs identified from the literature included information provision; managing emotions; social support; health maintenance; and practical problem solving. Consultation with existing carers confirmed these as important issues with a strong emphasis on finding niches of control in life, becoming an expert carer, and dealing with emotional upheaval. Participants reported feeling more optimistic and empowered subsequent to the course.

Conclusions: The MRC framework provided a useful methodology for the development of a complex intervention. The course aimed to assist carers to regain control over aspects of their lives and manage their emotions. It was feasible to run and acceptable to carers; however a randomized controlled trial (RCT) is required to evaluate its effectiveness.

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Supporting mental health carers' role in recovery

The project was set up to improve the support offered to carers of people with serious mental health problems through supportive and educational group workshops. It aimed to empower carers by improving their understanding of mental health services and care; and to develop a model of carer and mentoring support. From the 15 carers recruited, five left due to personal circumstances leaving a core group of 10. The group also contained a high proportion of black and minority ethnic carers. Although outcomes showed no significant shifts in thinking or change for carers, the workshops did help carers to develop resilience, working with health professionals, and empowering their advocacy role. Carers also valued the opportunity to listen and learn from each other and peer support developed throughout the programme.

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Family members' of persons living with a serious mental illness: Experiences and efforts to cope with stigma

Background: Studies have indicated that family members of persons with mental illness often experience stigma in relation to their relatives' illness. Less is known about the type of experiences they face and how they cope with these experiences.

Aims: To explore family members' experiences and efforts to cope with mental illness stigma in social encounters.

Method: A qualitative immersion/crystallization analysis of focus group data was used to examine family members' experiences and responses to perceived stigma.

Results: Family members reported experiencing rejection, blame and avoidance by others, engendering hurt, disappointment and shame. They employed flexible coping strategies depending on their personal resources, motivation and their relatives' willingness to disclose.

Conclusion: Findings suggest that families learn from their own experience the “art of selective disclosure”: what, when, how much and who to share information with. Coping strategies are developed based on the situation and family members' needs and personal resources which differ between families and over time.

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Windows of opportunity: prevention and early intervention in dementia: a tool for commissioners and providers

Early intervention is often seen as anticipatory information and support delivered at the earliest stage of dementia, following diagnosis. Prevention encompasses the range of interventions that prevent an increase in need that may tip an individual into a higher or more intensive level of service. This online resource looks a persons journey through dementia and the opportunities for early intervention and prevention along the way. Main sections of the resource cover: a the journey through dementia and the opportunities available for intervention; transition points along the journey; boosting resilience and personal resources; interventions for people with dementia and their carers; and an asset based approach to community development. The resource offers a greater understanding of the journey through dementia.

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Resilience in children of parents with mental illness: Relations between mental health literacy, social connectedness and coping, and both adjustment and caregiving

This study investigated the relationships between resilience factors (mental health literacy, social connectedness, coping strategies) frequently targeted in interventions, and both adjustment (depressive symptomatology, life satisfaction, prosocial behaviour, emotional/behavioural difficulties) and caregiving outcomes in children (12 - 17 years) of a parent with mental illness. Forty-four participants completed questionnaires. Correlations showed weak support for the predicted beneficial associations of mental health literacy with caregiving and adjustment, stronger support for the beneficial relationships between social connectedness and adjustment, and strong support for the adverse links of disengagement and involuntary coping strategies with adjustment and caregiving. Findings suggest that some resilience factors have a differential impact on adjustment and caregiving, and support the focus of interventions on modifying resilience factors.

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Older caregivers' coping strategies and sense of coherence in relation to quality of life

AIM: This paper reports a study to investigate coping strategies and sense of coherence in relation to gender, the extent of care, caregiving activities and health-related quality of life in a population-based sample of caregivers aged 75 and over.

BACKGROUND: Caring for another person can be stressful both emotionally, and caregiver burden may affect quality of life in a negative way for the carer. Caregivers' experience of burden may depend on for example, the behaviour of the person cared for, their own health and their sense of coherence. Older people take a great part of caregiving responsibility and thus understanding of their strain and coping is required.

METHODS: A postal survey was carried out in 2001 with 171 informal caregivers, aged 75 or older. The response rate was 47%. The questionnaire included the Short-Form 12, Carer's Assessment of Managing Index, and Sense of Coherence instrument.

RESULTS: Almost 70% of caregivers provided help every day. Higher health-related quality of life was predicted by using self-sustaining coping strategies and by high sense of coherence. Poor economic situation and demanding social and practical support predicted low scores.

CONCLUSION: These findings could help identify those at risk of low quality of life due to caregiving, dysfunctional coping or lack of information about care. Early intervention, including education about alternative coping strategies and practical information, might allow caregivers better possibilities to continue caring with less negative effects on their lives.

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A migrant family's experience of palliative care: a qualitative case study

The aim of this study was to explore the lived experience of palliative nursing care for different generations of a migrant family in the New Zealand context. Methodology used was an intrinsic case study. The twin threads of the family's region and their immigration experience influenced their experiences and their ways of coping in the four domains of family relationships, the support they received from their community, their ability to communicate, and their relationship with palliative care services. Palliative care was by a family approach with strong community support and empowered by culturally safe and appropriate nursing practice. This study explored the underpinnings of culturally safe palliative nursing care.

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Children's perceptions and experiences of care giving: a focus group study

The stress of care giving for spouses and adult children has been extensively documented in the empirical literature. More recently attention has been paid to children's involvement in family care giving. Qualitative studies in the social welfare field have highlighted the social restrictions caring places upon children. There remains a need, however, to understand what children are thinking and feeling in an effort to cope with their care-giving demands. This study used a focus group methodology and individual interviews to explore the experiences of 17 young carers aged between 10 and 16. Thematic analysis was employed to identify themes relating to the nature of stressors, their appraisal of them, and the coping strategies they use to manage the task of caring.

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Managing uncertainty in life after stroke: a qualitative study of the experiences of established and new informal carers in the first 3 months after discharge

Background: Caring for stroke survivors at home can have an enormous impact on informal carers and past research has tended to focus on the negative emotional consequences of caring, with few identifying any positive outcomes. Despite an awareness that the experiences of these carers change over time, there is a dearth of qualitative studies investigating carers’ experiences over time.

Objectives: To investigate the experiences of informal carers of stroke survivors over time.

Design: Qualitative study.

Setting: Carers of stroke survivors from one acute and two rehabilitation units in South-West London.

Participants: A purposive sample of 31 informal carers of stroke survivors discharged from inpatient treatment and rehabilitation returning home were interviewed. The majority of participants’ were spouses but they also included adult sons and daughters. Most participants were post-retirement age.

Methods: Audio-taped in-depth interviews of 30–90 min duration were undertaken at three time points—close to discharge, 1 month and 3 months post-discharge. Interviews were transcribed immediately after each interview. Analysis was an ongoing process starting during data collection and ending with themes. As themes emerged they were identified and discussed with other members of the team so that any patterns across the interviews were noted. Themes were followed up at subsequent interviews. This process enabled progressive focusing of ideas and also validated respondents’ accounts.

Results: There were a total of 81 interviews and these carers were similar demographically to other carers in stroke research. A central theme of uncertainty with a number of other interconnected themes were identified. Other themes including adopting routines and strategies, absolute and relative positives and questioning the future could be seen to both influence and be influenced by uncertainty. These themes can all be related to the changes in carers’ lives or the management of uncertainty around stroke. Differences in experiences and coping strategies were identified between new carers and those with prior caring experience.

Conclusions: Carers experience considerable uncertainty when caring for stroke survivors. Living with uncertainty is central to these carers’ experiences and this should be acknowledged by clinicians when supporting stroke survivors and carers. Encouraging the identification of the positive aspects of caring may help carers manage the challenges and uncertainties created by stroke.

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Caring for a relative with dementia: family caregiver burden

This paper is a report of part of a study to investigate the burden experienced by families giving care to a relative with dementia, the consequences of care for the mental health of the primary caregiver and the strategies families use to cope with the care giving stressors. The cost of caring for people with dementia is enormous, both monetary and psychological. Partners, relatives and friends who take care of patients experience emotional, physical and financial stress, and care giving demands are central to decisions on patient institutionalisation. A volunteer sample of 172 caregiver/care recipient dyads participated in the study in Cyprus in 2004-2005. All patients were suffering from probable Alzheimer's type dementia and were recruited from neurology clinics. Data were collected using the Memory and Behaviour Problem Checklist, Burden Interview, Centre for Epidemiological Studies-Depression scale and Ways of Coping Questionnaire. The results showed that 68·02% of caregivers were highly burdened and 65% exhibited depressive symptoms. Burden was related to patient psychopathology and caregiver sex, income and level of education. There was no statistically significant difference in level of burden or depression when patients lived in the community or in institutions. High scores in the burden scale were associated with use of emotional-focused coping strategies, while less burdened relatives used more problem-solving approaches to care-giving demands. Conclusion. Caregivers, especially women, need individualized, specific training in how to understand and manage the behaviour of relatives with dementia and how to cope with their own feelings.

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“How can I take a break?” coping strategies and support needs of mental health carers

Caring for a family member or friend can have major impacts on the personal life and wellbeing of carers. Identifying those who experience poor subjective wellbeing, factors that contribute to this, and ways in which services can be more effectively provided is essential in supporting carers in their role. This study surveyed carers from across New South Wales and found that carers of people with mental health issues reported poorer health and mental health themselves than any other group of carers, despite being more likely to access supportive services. The effectiveness of personal coping strategies employed by mental health carers is also discussed. Survey results raise implications regarding the support of mental health carers and their subjective wellbeing.

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The impact of caring on caregivers' mental health: a review of the literature

This paper provides a brief overview of the literature on the impact of caring on the mental health of informal caregivers in the areas of aged care, disability and mental health. Factors discussed that may impact on caregivers' mental health include the relationship between the caregiver and care recipient, the nature of the care recipient's disability and the stage of the caregiving process. Several moderators of the impact of caring on mental health are described, including socio-economic factors, social support and coping strategies. This information provides a context within which to examine the type of interventions appropriate to assist caregivers in various situations. 

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Dying, death and bereavement: a qualitative study of the views of carers of people with heart failure in the UK

Background: This paper explores carers' views of dying, death and bereavement for family members who had recently died with heart failure adding to a growing literature on end of life experiences for people with conditions other than cancer.

Methods: Twenty interviews were conducted with bereaved carers of older people with heart failure (HF) who had been participating in a longitudinal study. Carers were approached in writing 3 months after the death. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically with the assistance of NUD*IST.

Results: Findings were grouped into three time periods: prior to death; the death itself and bereavement. Most carers found discussions about end of life with their family member prior to death difficult. Dissatisfaction with the manner of the death was focused around hospital care, particularly what they believed to be futile treatments. In contrast deaths in the home were considered 'good'. Carers adopted a range of coping strategies to deal with grief including 'using their faith' and 'busying themselves' with practicalities. There was some satisfaction with services accessed during the bereavement period although only a small number had taken up counselling.

Discussion: Our findings suggest that an absence of discussion about end of life care wishes with family members or health professionals is a barrier to advance care planning. Carers' perceptions about prioritising making the dying person comfortable can be in conflict with doctors' decisions to treat. Whilst carers report a range of strategies adopted in response to bereavement there is a need for continued support for vulnerable carers after the death of the person with HF.

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Employment and coping strategies in carers of people with young onset dementia

Background and objectives Research into carers of people with young onset dementia (YOD) has highlighted that carers may experience more distress than late onset dementia (LOD) carers (e.g. Freyne, Kidd, Coen & Lawlor, 1999), and have specific needs which differ from those of LOO carers (e.g. Svanberg, Spectar & Slott, 2011). Difficulties with employment has been raised as a particular issue for this population (e.g. van Vliet, de Vugt, Bakker, Koopmans & Verhey, 2010), yet no qualitative study has examined the factors influencing carers' experience of employment. This study aimed to explore such factors and how these impact on carers' ability to cope with their caring roles. Method A qualitative grounded theory approach was used to study the experiences of employment using in-depth semi-structured interviews. Ten YOD carers with experience of employment, who were living with, and caring for, someone who had been diagnosed with dementia before the age of 65, were recruited through carer support groups using purposive sampling. Results Nine theoretical categories were identified, including: dealing with the challenges of the caring role, appraisal, attributing responsibility, support, benefitting from working, transferring work skills, mutual interference of work and home, needing flexibility to continue working and being motivated to seek work. by a need for space and identity. Conclusions These findings expand current theoretical knowledge of how YOD carers may manage employment alongside their caring role. Findings suggest carers may experience employment as personally beneficial, and that it may directly and indirectly influence their ability to cope with their caring role. YOD carers' vocational needs, and their coping resources may need to be explicitly addressed in clinical assessments, and explored and incorporated into psychological interventions. Further research is warranted to validate the findings empirically with a larger sample of YOD carers.

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The relationship between patient characteristics and carer psychological status in home palliative cancer care

Goals: Despite being both providers and intended recipients of care, informal carers in cancer palliative care report high levels of distress and unmet needs. In order to develop supportive care strategies, this analysis aimed to identify which patient characteristics contribute to carer psychological distress and which coping strategies carers employ.; Patients and Methods: Informal carers attending two home palliative care services gave cross-sectional data regarding patient characteristics and their own psychological status using standardised measures. Multivariate analyses were performed for each dependent carer psychological measure, with patient characteristics as independent variables (adjusted for carer age and gender).; Main Results: Forty-three carers participated. Greater patient distress was associated with carer anxiety (b value: magnitude of the effect) (b=0.31, p=0.07), and both patient psychological status (b=0.37, p=0.02) and pain (b=0.29, p=0.09) were associated with carer psychological morbidity. Carer burden was associated with patient psychological distress (b=0.35, p=0.03) and pain (b=0.29, p=0.08). Carer avoidance/emotion-focused cognitive coping strategies were associated with patient physical function (b=0.34, p=0.04), and cognitive problem-focused coping was associated with patient symptoms (b=0.28, p=0.06) and physical function (b=0.29, p=0.05). Conclusions: Adequate provision of patient psychological interventions and effective pain education and control are needed in order to improve carers' psychological health. Patient characteristics are associated with apparently opposing forms of carers' coping (i.e. both avoidance and engagement), demonstrating the importance of interventions addressing a range of coping responses. Further research is needed to understand why carers employ problem-focused coping in response to symptoms but not to pain. Evidence-based interventions for informal carers are urgently needed but must be delivered in the context of optimal patient pain and symptom control.

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A dementia first aid course for family carers

Many people with dementia are cared for by family members, who will receive little advice or support. This article describes a course developed to help carers deal with frustrating and challenging behaviour. The course provides an overview of dementia, provides coping strategies for carers and introduces cares to mindfulness meditation to help them deal with stress.

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Burden of informal carers in northwest Ireland: A pilot study of factors that influence burden

Introduction Research has shown that approximately 67% of carers experience extreme mental tiredness, a decrease in their quality of life and a deterioration in their physical health since taking on a care-giving role. Aims and objectives This study aims to identify factors that influence carer burden and in doing so, identify the sub-populations of carers who are most susceptible to burden. Methods In northwest Ireland, 53 informal carers referred to the Carers Association, Sligo were contacted and met for a face-to-face interview. Measurements used included demographic data, the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, Zarit Burden Interview, Social Network Index and Brown's Locus of Control Scale. Results Of the 53 carers, 43 were females and 10 males (age range: 32–81 years, mean age of 64.5 years). Of the corresponding 53 patients, 21 were females and 32 males (age range: 17–92 years, mean age of 72.1 years). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that sex of carer, marital status and the patient's behavioural problems were statistically significant independent factors, which influenced carer burden (p < 0.01). Female sex and greater patient behavioural problems increased susceptibility to burden and being married increased resilience towards burden. Conclusions: The ability to predict which carers are more susceptible to burden allows physicians to more quickly identify “higher risk” carers, facilitating routine check-ups by physicians and carer support services. Further research should explore why female and unmarried carers are more susceptible to burden and whether it is possible to tailor support services to their individual needs.

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Aggression and trauma experiences among carer-relatives of people with psychosis

Background: Exposure to aggression and associated psychological outcomes are poorly characterised among carer-relatives of people with psychosis.

Method: Carer-relatives (N = 106) completed questionnaires assessing socio-demographics and perceived prevalence of aggression in their caring role in the last 12 months. Carers exposed to moderate–severe levels of aggression were re-approached to assess PTSD and coping strategies.

Results: Most respondents (77.4%) reported experiencing moderate–severe levels of aggression. Increased contact with (M = 15.12 vs. M = 6.71 days per month), and significantly higher ratings of affective, antisocial, negative and psychotic symptomology in affected relatives were associated with experiences of moderate–severe aggression. Approximately half of the moderate–severe respondents reported potentially significant levels of PTSD (52%, N = 34), which was associated with greater exposure to verbal aggression and increased usage of coping strategies.

Conclusions: Comparable ratios of physical to non-physical aggression to those reported by professional carers working in acute psychiatric treatment settings were reported. Carer-relatives require greater levels of information and support to assist them in their community caring roles.

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African-American caregivers' breast health behavior

This study utilizes a stress and coping framework which includes cognitive appraisal, personal and environmental resources, coping and stress to examine factors related to African-American caregivers’ breast cancer screenings, including mammograms, clinical examinations and self-examinations. Using data from the Black Rural and Urban Caregivers Mental Health and Functioning Study, we performed separate logistic regressions for each type of breast cancer screening. Results reveal that having a regular doctor checkup (coping), care recipients having a cancer diagnosis (cognitive appraisal, and living in urban areas (environment resources) are associated with receiving a mammogram. Having greater income, having at least a high school degree (both personal resources) and having a regular doctor checkup (coping) are associated with receiving a clinical examination. Increased caregiver strain (stress), being 40 years old or older, social support (coping) and living in rural areas are associated with performing a self-examination. Targeting African-American caregivers, particularly in rural areas, for increased education on the importance of receiving breast cancer screenings is crucial to addressing health disparities. Making resources available, encouraging caregivers to get a clinical examination and a mammogram and directing public education toward caregivers are important points of intervention.

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Coping and subjective burden in caregivers of older relatives: a quantitative systematic review

Aim.  This article is a report on a review of the effect of coping strategies on subjective burden in informal caregivers of older adults.

Background.  Informal care has negative effects on caregivers’ health, and subjective burden is one of these. It has been linked with other effects (e.g. anxiety and depression). Thus, greater prevention of subjective burden will mean increased prevention of these effects. To achieve this, identification of factors related to subjective burden is essential.

Data sources.  Electronic databases and manual searches of scientific journals.

Review methods.  A quantitative systematic review was conducted including: (a) original studies (b) that related caregiver subjective burden to coping strategies compatible with the classifications of Lazarus & Folkman or Moos et al. (c) in informal caregivers of older relatives. The searches ranged from the first year included in each database until January 2010. After quality appraisal, ten studies were included; these, care-recipients living at home and having cognitive impairment.

Results.  Four coping categories have been related to subjective burden: problem-focused, emotion-focused, approach and avoidance. Interesting results were only found for avoidance coping (positive association). In other categories, results were heterogeneous (problem-focused and approach) or we found few valid studies (emotion-focused).

Conclusion.  We found some evidence for a positive association between avoidance coping and subjective burden in home caregivers of older relatives with cognitive impairment. It is probable that avoidance coping either mediates or moderates the relationship between subjective burden and its outcomes, or that avoidance coping precedes subjective burden, which in turn leads to the coping outcomes. In both situations, avoidance coping is an ineffective coping.

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'Just Helping': children living with a parent with young onset dementia

Objectives: While the consequences of caring for younger people with dementia have been a growing area of research, little is known about the children of these individuals. This study aimed to discover whether children of younger people with dementia can be compared to other young carers, the impact of their caring on mood, burden and resilience and what could promote coping. Method: In-depth interviews were carried out with 12 participants aged 11-18. A grounded theory methodology was used, supplemented with three quantitative measures. Results: Four higher order categories were identified focusing on: discovering dementia; developing a new relationship; learning to live with it and going through it together. Few participants showed depressive symptomatology, but more than half showed high levels of burden and most showed moderate levels of resilience. A three-stage process model of adapting to dementia is proposed, with children moving through grief to emotional detachment and increased maturity. Conclusion: This study has implications for service development in light of the National Dementia Strategy and proposals for whole family approaches for young carers. Whole family working by both dementia and children's services could reduce the burden on children of people with young onset dementia.

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Effect of the Meeting Centres Support Program on informal carers of people with dementia: results from a multi-centre study

Because of the complex nature of the problems that carers of persons with dementia encounter, several comprehensive support programs for carers were developed in the past decade. One such program is the Meeting Centres Support Program (MCSP) that integrates different types of support for persons with dementia and their carers, which have proved to be effective in practice and/or research. Within the framework of a study into the national implementation of the MCSP, it was investigated whether the positive effects found in carers that participated in the first Amsterdam Meeting Centres, were also achieved in other regions of The Netherlands. A pre-test–post-test control group design with matched groups was applied. In total, 94 carers in the MCSP in eight meeting centres and 34 carers of dementia patients who frequented regular psychogeriatric day care (PDC) in three nursing homes were included in the study. During the study period 23 carers of the MCSP group and 21 carers of the PDC group dropped out. At baseline and after seven months indicators of burden (psychological and psychosomatic symptoms, feelings of burden and time between start of support and institutionalization of the persons with dementia) were measured, as well as potential determinants of burden (sense of competence, coping strategies, experienced support, loneliness and the emotional impact of behaviour problems). Though on a group level no effect was found, either in psychological and psychosomatic symptoms or in the determinants of burden, a subgroup of carers who felt lonely (n = 22) at baseline benefited significantly more from the MCSP than from PDC in terms of psychological and psychosomatic symptoms. A majority of MCSP carers (82.1%) experienced less burden and more professional support. After seven months significantly fewer persons with dementia in the MCSP (4%) were institutionalized as compared to the patients in PDC (29%). Patients in the MCSP participated for a longer period of time before institutionalization. Although the effect on sense of competence of carers that was found in the Amsterdam study was not found in this multi-centre study, the effect on burden and delayed institutionalization of the person with dementia were confirmed. The integrated MCSP also proved more effective than PDC in decreasing psychological and psychosomatic symptoms in lonely carers. Further dissemination of the MCSP is therefore recommended.

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Caregiver-coping in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia: a re-examination

Background: The caregiving experience has been extensively investigated in some chronic/severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. These studies have suggested that illness variables and situational/personal characteristics of caregivers have a significant influence on how caregivers cope with mental illness. However, other similar conditions, e. g. bipolar affective disorder (BPAD), have been relatively neglected in this regard. This study attempted to compare caregiver-coping in BPAD and schizophrenia and to explore the determinants of such coping.

Method: Illness variables and coping, burden, appraisal, perceived support, and neuroticism among caregivers were examined in 50 patients each of BPAD and schizophrenia and their caregivers.

Results: High levels of patient-dysfunction and caregiver-burden, low awareness of illness and low perceived control over patient’s behaviour were characteristic of both BPAD and schizophrenia, with no significant differences between the two groups on these parameters. Coping patterns were also quite alike, though caregivers of patients with schizophrenia were using some emotion-focused strategies significantly more often. Caregiver’s gender, patient-dysfunction and caregiver-neuroticism had a significant influence on coping patterns, but explained only a small proportion of the variance in use of different coping strategies.

Conclusions: Coping and other elements of the caregiving experience in BPAD are no different from schizophrenia. The relationship between caregiver-coping and its determinants appears to be a complex one. More methodologically sound and culturally relevant investigations are required to understand this intricate area, with the hope that a better understanding will help the cause of both patients and their caregivers.

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Influence of carer expressed emotion and affect on relapse in non-affective psychosis

This study aimed to investigate the relationships between carer expressed emotion, patients’ symptoms and carer characteristics during a recent relapse of psychosis. A total of 86 patients and carers were investigated in a cross-sectional design. Patients whose carers showed high expressed emotion had significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression, but not more psychotic symptoms or lower self-esteem. Linear regression showed that carers’ critical comments predicted anxiety in patients. Critical comments were related to low carer self-esteem and avoidant coping strategies. Low carer self-esteem was also related to carer depression, stress and carer ‘burden’, and to low patient self-esteem. The authors concluded that carer criticism was associated with patient anxiety, low carer self-esteem and poor carer coping strategies. Family interventions should focus on improving these after a relapse of symptoms of psychosis.

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Informal carers of older family members: how they manage and what support they receive from respite care

Aims.  To describe informal carers’ coping strategies and their experiences of the support provided by respite care.

Background.  The target set in the Finnish national old age policy strategy is that 90% of the population over 75 should be able to live at home. A major source of support for older people and their families is respite care in an institution.

Design.  Survey.  Methods.  The data were collected among informal carers who regularly use respite care services (n = 143). Two structured questionnaires were used: the Carers’ Assessment of Managing Index (Nolan et al. 1995) and an index developed by the researchers.

Results.  Informal carers who provided care for younger individuals or people who needed less help had a better quality of life. Spouse carers and older informal carers were less satisfied with their quality of life than younger carers. Periods of respite care had a major influence on informal carers’ quality of life: 93% said they felt invigorated. Care periods remained rather isolated episodes in the lives of the older patients in that there was hardly any discussion at the institution about the family’s situation, the objectives of respite care, or about how the informal carer was coping. Altogether, 47% of the nurses remained fairly distant. The most useful coping strategies involved creating alternative perspectives in the caring relationship.

Conclusions.  The results strengthen the knowledge base of informal caregiving by showing how caregivers cope and what kind of support they need in their demanding caring role.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Respite care nurses should invest greater effort in supporting informal carers. The service should be developed as an integral part of home care for older people. Nurses and informal carers should see each other as partners who share a common goal, i.e. the well-being of the entire family.

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Working with ambivalence: informal caregivers of patients at the end of life

Informal caregivers of patients at the end of life perform a crucial role in maintaining and supporting patients at home. They provide a high level of demanding care, and as a consequence have been shown to have high-level information and support needs themselves. However, they are less often identified as recipients of services than as providers, and little research has addressed how services should be developed to meet their needs. This study aimed to address obstacles in the access to and provision of targeted, appropriate interventions. Eighteen informal carers participated in this qualitative study, which used a grounded approach to the analysis and generation of concepts. The data showed that while recognising their stress, anxiety and need for a caregivers' service, caregivers were highly ambivalent with regard to their own needs. The design and delivery of an intervention aimed at caregivers should take account of their high level of ambivalence by addressing their lack of identification with their role, enhancing existing coping strategies, and ensuring that interventions are accessible and acceptable.

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Differentiated coping strategies in families with children or adults with intellectual disabilities: the relevance of gender, family composition and the life span

This article considers the coping strategies of families with children and adults with intellectual disabilities. It is argued that the literature on coping and resilience in families has often been overlooked in favour of deficit models of family functioning. The study was designed to provide a further test of the transactional model of coping, but more especially, to explore which problem-solving, cognitive and stress reduction coping strategies family members found useful. Based on the use of a coping inventory Carers Assessment of Managing Index (CAMI), coping is shown to be differentiated according to gender, life stage and family structure. Implications for continuing research into family care are considered and some questions are raised about family support.

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Primary care and dementia: 2. long-term care at home: psychosocial interventions, information provision, carer support and case management

Objective: To write a narrative review of the role of primary care physicians in the long-term care of people with dementia living at home, with a focus on psychosocial interventions, the provision of information and carer support, behavioural and psychological symptoms and case management.

Methods: The systematic review carried out for the NICE/SCIE Guidelines was updated from January 2006, Cochrane Reviews were identified and other publications found by consultations with experts.

Results: In primary care, the long-term care of people with dementia living at home can be structured around several key themes: reframing dementia with a focus on a social model of disability; active use of information sources; supporting carers (caregivers); the management of behavioural and psychological symptoms and a structured case management approach.

Conclusions: Caring for people with dementia in primary care demands the same systematic approach as the management of other long-term conditions. The systematic follow-up of both people with dementia and their carers should be integrated into primary care. Reframing dementia, with an emphasis on abilities retained may allow people with dementia and their families to develop more effective coping strategies; an increase in skill mix within primary care is required to deliver this and may also improve the management of behavioural problems. The potential benefits of person-centred interventions, like advance care planning, and alternative models of service delivery, such as a structured, collaborative care approach which promotes integrated case management within primary care, require further evaluation. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Disparate routes through support: Negotiating the sites, stages and support of informal dementia care

Worldwide people with dementia are usually cared for at home by informal carers who may themselves have poor health and/or live in social situations which intensify their needs. The scale of these needs continues to be underappreciated and they are exacerbated by the limited social, cultural and emotional resources that carers can draw upon. This paper looks at the disparities in support, and the complex negotiations made by carers, as they reconcile the everyday realities of informal care in the home. Appreciation of these issues is essential in understanding carers' coping strategies in an ageing population.

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How do informal caregivers of patients with cancer cope: A descriptive study of the coping strategies employed

Purpose: A trend exists towards moving from the hospital and caring for the patients with cancer at home, which has directed the burden of caring to the family. As a result the numbers of informal caregivers, who assumed the care of their loved ones, has increased rapidly. The aim of the study is to explore the ways that families use to cope with the stressors and hardships of caregiving and expand the knowledge about coping.

Methods: This is a descriptive research design, with the use of a convenience sample of 130 dyads. Consenting patients identified their primary family caregiver who was asked to participate in the study.

Key results: The majority of the caregivers employed emotionally focused ways of coping with the caregiving burden such as: “I was hoping for a miracle” (mean 2.19), “I was hoping that time would change things and simply waited” (mean 2.14) and “I found consolidation in my faith to God” (mean 2.05). Assertive ways of coping such as “I expressed my anger to the patient” (mean 0.78) and “I dared to do something risky” (mean 0.98) were less likely to be used by the caregivers.

Conclusions: Findings are consistent with those of previous research that informal caregivers experience substantial psychological morbidity in the form of depression in addition to caregiver burden when they assume the role of the informal caregiver. Caregivers employ various strategies in order to cope with the strains associated with the complex physical and emotional demands involved in caring.

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Coping with the caregiving role: differences between primary and secondary caregivers of dependent elderly people

Objectives: The topic of how primary informal caregivers cope with their caregiving demands has generated significant research. However, little is known about secondary informal caregivers, who often share caregiving responsibilities. This cross-sectional study aims to analyse and compare the use and effectiveness of coping strategies of primary and secondary informal caregivers of dependent elderly people, living at home.

Method: A sample of 180 informal caregivers of dependent elderly people – 90 primary and 90 secondary caregivers – was obtained. The study was conducted in the district of Aveiro (Portugal). The Portuguese version of Caregivers’ Assessment Management Index – CAMI (Nolan, Keady, & Grant, 1995) was administrated to both sub-samples.

Results: Findings suggest that emotion-cognitive strategies are less efficient for secondary caregivers (e.g. drawing on personal or religious beliefs). Common problem-solving strategies adopted by both types of caregivers involve relying on own their experience and expertise and addressing and finding a solution to the problem. Neither group were highly efficient at managing care-related stress, but both identified benefits from taking time off or maintaining interests outside of caregiving.

Conclusion: These findings can guide professionals in targeting and monitoring interventions aiming to develop caregivers’ effective coping strategies. Besides, engaging secondary caregivers in current available interventions and services, usually targeted to the primary caregiver, is of paramount need, as they can reduce the burden of primary caregivers and delay institutionalisation.

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Our commitment to you for end of life care: the Government response to the Review of Choice in End of Life Care

Government response to an independent review of choice in end of life care which sets out a national commitment to ensure that all people to have high quality, personalised end of life care built around their needs and preferences. It outlines six commitments to end variation in end of life care across the health system by 2020. These are: honest discussions between care professionals and dying people; dying people making informed choices about their care; personalised care plans for all; the discussion of personalised care plans with care professionals; the involvement of family and carers in dying people’s care; and a main contact so dying people and their families know who to contact at any time. Part Two sets out the detail of the vision to support and deliver the commitment. This will be achieved through greater personalised care, improvements to quality of end of life care in all settings, identifying and spreading innovation and best practice, improved leadership and commissioning, a skilled workforc

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'I realised that I wasn't alone': the views and experiences of young carers from a social capital perspective

The concept of social capital is very much an ‘adult’ concept, created by adults for adults, with children as the passive recipients of, primarily, parental social capital. The concept has been broken down into three particular subcategories – bonding (getting by), bridging (getting on) and linking (getting around). However, these subcategories equally do not relate readily to children and young people nor to different groups of young people. Young carers, for example, are a hidden population and their circumstances are relatively unknown, not least in terms of their social networks and access to social capital within the confines of their caring role. This article draws on a research study of 20 young carers in Scotland to explore the views and experiences of this particular group about their social networks and experiences of relationships with others, such as the family, friends and teachers. It concludes that young carers tend to keep their friends, family, and community networks separate from each other, and coupled with their perceived resilience and desire for self-sufficiency, this separation and protection of their individual social networks may result in reduced access to social capital in terms of getting on rather than getting by.

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‘Not that I want to be thought of as a hero’: Narrative analysis of performative masculinities and the experience of informal cancer caring

Providing care to a partner with cancer can have a significant impact on a carer’s well-being and experience of subjectivity. However, there is little research examining how men experience the role of cancer carer, and in particular, how they negotiate constructions of gender in this role. This paper draws on a single case study of a heterosexual man caring for his partner, and conducts a narrative analysis of the construction and performance of masculine subjectivity. It was found that rather than inhabiting a stable masculinity, this carer engaged in a complex negotiation of masculinities, enacting a caring role associated with victimisation, rejection, distress and powerlessness, as well as strength and heroic resilience. We highlight the importance of the relationship context to the experience of caring, and suggest that research into the gendered experience of cancer care needs to acknowledge the active negotiation of masculinities and caring. We also discuss the utility of case study research in analyses of masculinity and cancer care, and in health psychology more broadly.

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