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Health-Promoting Self-Care in Family Caregivers

Caregiving for family members with cognitive impairment is stressful and time consuming. Because of the attention needed to manage the memory and behavior problems of the care receiver, family caregivers have little time to attend to their own health needs. Most research related to the health of family caregivers has been conducted within a stress-illness framework. Fewer researchers have studied caregiver health from a health-promotion paradigm. The purpose of this study was to compare health-promoting self-care behavior in family caregivers with demographically matched noncaregivers and to investigate the mediational effect of health-promoting self-care behavior on the relationship between stress and well-being. Findings revealed that family caregivers scored significantly lower on all measures of health promotion, with the exception of Nutrition and Number of Medications, and significantly higher on Barriers to Health-Promoting Actions. Health-promoting self-care behavior acted as a mediator to reduce the effect of caregiver stress on general well-being.

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Western Journal of Nursing Research

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