Background: Informal dementia caregiving has traditionally been perceived as an extremely stressful process; however, more recent research has started to focus on the positive aspects of providing care. Studies indicate that caregivers who derive something positive out of caregiving have better well-being. However, there has been little exploration of the factors linked to caregivers identifying positive aspects of providing care. The aim of the current study was to explore the predictors of finding meaning in caregiving.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional questionnaire study in which the respondents were 447 caregivers of people with dementia who were in receipt of a specialist nursing service. The questionnaire contained measures of meaning, relationship quality, caregivers' motivations to provide care, role captivity and caregiving competence.
Results: Correlational analyses showed that higher meaning was associated with being a spousal caregiver, providing greater hours of care, higher religiosity, a better pre-caregiving and current relationship quality, higher competence, lower role captivity, higher intrinsic motivations and higher extrinsic motivations. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that variance in finding meaning was significantly predicted by high religiosity, high competence, high intrinsic motivations and low role captivity.
Conclusion: From these findings, it is recommended that interventions should help caregivers focus on positive aspects of providing care and enhance their feelings of competence. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.