Attachment style and anxiety in carers of people with Alzheimer's disease: results from the LASER-AD study

Cooper, Claudia and Owens, Colm and Katona, Cornelius and Livingston, Gill (2008) Attachment style and anxiety in carers of people with Alzheimer's disease: results from the LASER-AD study. International Psychogeriatrics, 20 (3). pp. 494-507. ISSN 1041-6102. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S104161020700645X

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Preliminary evidence indicates that the quality of the carer-care recipient relationship predicts those carers most at risk from anxiety. Attachment style is related to higher carer burden, psychological morbidity and increased care recipient institutionalization. We tested, for the first time, the hypothesis that carer burden and the coping strategies used mediate a relationship between attachment style and anxiety. METHODS: We interviewed 83 people with Alzheimer's disease and their family carers, originally recruited for a larger community study. Carers filled in a validated measure about their attachment style, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the COPE to measure coping strategies, and the Zarit-Burden interview. RESULTS: More avoidant attachment (beta = 0.28) and less secure attachment (beta = -0.32) predicted anxiety. After adding coping strategies to the equation, the relationship with avoidant attachment (beta = 0.15) was no longer significant, and that with less secure attachment was reduced (beta = -0.23). A well-fitting structural equation model supported our finding that dysfunctional coping mediated the relationship between attachment style and anxiety. CONCLUSION: Carers who were less secure or more avoidantly attached reported higher anxiety. Interventions that aim to modify coping strategies have shown promise in reducing carer anxiety. Our finding that coping strategies also appear partially to explain the excess of anxiety among less securely attached carers suggests they are likely to benefit from such interventions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: dementia; coping strategies; carer burden
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > Kent Institute of Medicine and Health Sciences (KIMHS)
Depositing User: M.P. Stone
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2009 16:39
Last Modified: 27 May 2014 15:56
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/12087 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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