Burden and Coping in Informal Caregivers of Persons with Dementia: A Cross Sectional Study
Jathanna, Roopalekha PN; KS, Latha and Bhandary, PV (2011) Burden and Coping in Informal Caregivers of Persons with Dementia: A Cross Sectional Study. Online Journal of Health and Allied Sciences, 9 (4). ISSN 0972-5997
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Caring for persons affected with dementia is associated with substantial psychological strain as evidenced by high rates of psychiatric morbidity and high levels of caregiver strain. Dementia care in developing countries will continue to be provided by immediate family members at home and is unlikely to be taken over by institutions due to socio-cultural reasons. This study aims to examine the relationship of selected factors of patients affected with dementia and their caregivers that were associated with the burden and coping of family caregivers. This is a cross sectional study of a long term project by the author (RJ), involves face-to-face interview with questionnaires with family caregivers of patients with dementia. Burden was related to patient’s behavioral problems, gender, family type and the years of care giving. Principal component analysis of Brief Cope revealed 6 major dimensions: acceptance, humor, religion, substance use, behavioral disengagement and self blame as significant coping skills. Care giving was associated with more psychological complaints and a poor quality of life both physical and psychological. Self blame, behavioral disengagement, venting & emotional support emerged as an important variable as the care giver relation differ in the kind of care giving and care giving burden. Results highlight the importance of improving the mixed coping skills in burdened caregivers. Interventions need to designed and tailored to the specific needs of caregivers.
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