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Interpersonal relationships

What constitutes health-related quality of life in dementia? Development of a conceptual framework for people with dementia and their carers

Background: The evaluation of multi-dimensional outcomes such as health-related quality of life (HRQL) is particularly relevant in dementia where the disease can compromise all areas of functioning. The nature of dementia can make self-report difficult, yet the subjective nature of HRQL makes the value of proxy reports limited. Previous work suggests that there are domains of HRQL that are unique to dementia.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:16

Listening for the communicative signals of humor, narratives, and self-disclosure in the family caregiver interview

During interviews and conversations in health care environments, respondents often convey information in a humorous fashion, self-disclosure something very personal, or  tell detailed stories containing emotional content that is difficult to decipher and interpret. This article offers suggestions for achieving more productive and satisfying interviews with family caregivers who rely on humour to help them tell their stories.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:12

Social factors and depression in carers of people with dementia

Research has highlighted the influence of psychosocial factors on the wellbeing of carers of people with dementia. This study aimed to investigate the interrelationships between life events, depression and social support in carers of people with dementia. Participants were 72 carers of people with dementia. They were interviewed using the Bedford College Life Events and Difficulties Schedule and the Geriatric Depression Scale. The results showed that 31 (43%) of carers were depressed.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:12

Communication and interaction within dementia care triads: developing a theory for relationship-centred care

This article develops an approach towards dementia care that highlights the nature of dementia care triads comprising the person with dementia, their informal carer, and the health and social professional. In particular, the article highlights various social practices that are shown, from our practice, to contribute towards the inclusion or exclusion of particular triad members. The article reviews existing work on triadic interaction, particularly in relationship to dementia care. Various communication processes are identified and illustrated using examples taken from casework.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:12

Working with families in mental health: some pointers from research

This article looks at one model of how mental health professionals relate to carers and families.  It then goes on to consider some research on aspects of the family environment, and the impact that mental illness has on how clients and families relate to one another.  Finally it offers suggestions as to how this material might be relevant to our approach to social work in mental health.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:11

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.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:10

Continuity and loss: the carer's journey through dementia

This paper looks at the ambiguous journey travelled by family, mainly spouse, carers in Scotland is based on 37 interviews which formed part of a larger study exploring the subjective experience of 20 individuals with dementia. The majority of the interviews were conducted with the carer alone, others with the relative with dementia (RWD) present and some as joint interviews.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:10

Nearest and dearest? The neglect of lesbians in caring relationships

The article argues that caring within lesbian relationships has been ignored in social and health care studies and practice. It critiques the dominance of caring debates by relationships between parents and children and partnerships, but with the unspoken presumption that those involved are heterosexual. The paper concludes that social workers should engage with lesbian carers in supporting individuals and networks. It draws out a range of implications for policy, practice and research agendas.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:10

Activities enjoyed by patients with dementia together with their spouses and psychological morbidity in carers

Caring for a spouse with dementia is stressful and respite care is sometimes used to reduce this burden. Spouses may find some aspects of caring rewarding but the literature on positive aspects of caring is limited. To describe activities enjoyed by patients with dementia together with their spouses, and examine their relationship with psychological morbidity in carers. A convenience sample of 46 patients with mild to moderate dementia (91% with Alzheimer's disease, AD) and their spouses were interviewed at home.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:09

Attachment representations in people with dementia and their carers: implications for well-being within the dyad

Objectives: The process of developing and living with dementia may activate attachment feelings and behaviours in people with dementia (PwD) and their carers. By obtaining information from both PwD and carer, we aimed to provide information on the nature and concordance of attachment patterns within the dyad and to examine the relative contribution of attachment representations in PwD and carers to the well-being of both parties.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:08