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Self‐efficacy of family caregivers of older adults with cognitive impairment: A concept analysis

Background: Research demonstrates that increased self‐efficacy can help family caregivers of older adults with Alzheimer's and other types of cognitive impairment experience lower burden and depressive symptom severity. Aims: The purpose of this concept analysis is to address fundamental gaps in the understanding of self‐efficacy in family caregivers of older adults with cognitive impairment, including updating the 26‐year‐old concept analysis with a contemporary definition. Methods: This study utilizes Walker and Avant's (2019) concept analysis method, an eight‐step iterative process that helps to clarify ambiguous concepts. A literature review was conducted from July 1993 through March 2019 using PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, CINAHL, and Embase. Inclusion criteria encompassed peer‐reviewed research articles and review articles that included family caregivers of older adults with cognitive impairment. Results: Eight defining attributes of this concept are identified. The revised definition of self‐efficacy in this population is a family caregiver's confidence in their ability to: manage behaviors and other caregiving stresses, control upsetting thoughts, acquire medical information, manage medical issues, obtain self‐care, access community supports, assist with activities of daily living and other care, and maintain a good relationship with a relative, friend, or neighbor of an older adult with cognitive impairment. Conclusion: This paper utilizes over a quarter‐century of research to build on the original analysis by Mowat and Spence Laschinger (1994) and update the concept's definition. This analysis should provide researchers with a clearer understanding of this concept and a renewed emphasis on the importance of targeting interventions to improve self‐efficacy in this vulnerable caregiving population.

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Nursing Forum
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