Coping strategies, anxiety and depression in caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease

Cooper, Claudia and Katona, Cornelius and Orrell, Martin and Livingston, Gill (2008) Coping strategies, anxiety and depression in caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 23 (9). pp. 929-936. ISSN 0885-6230. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Objectives There have been few longitudinal Studies investigating the impact of coping on psychological morbidity in caregivers of people with dementia. Findings have been inconsistent and little attention has been paid to anxiety in caregivers. We explored the hypothesis that the relationship between caregiver burden and anxiety and depression is mediated by coping style. Methods As part of the LASER-AD study, 93 (73.8%) people with Alzheimer's disease and their family caregivers; recruited at baseline were re-interviewed I year later. Sampling aimed to ensure that the participants were representative of people living in the UK with Alzheimer's disease in terms of dementia severity, gender and care setting. We used the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Zarit Burden scale and the Brief COPE to measure coping strategies. Results Using fewer emotion-focused strategies and more problem-focused strategies (but not dysfunctional strategies) mediated the relationship between caregiver burden and anxiety a year later, after controlling for potential confounders, in a 2 well-fitting structural equation model (chi(2) = 0.93, df = 3, P = 0.82; NFI = 1.0, RFI = 0.97, IFI = 1.0, TLI = 1.1, RMSEA = 0.0). Using fewer emotion focused strategies also predicted higher psychological morbidity in general. The hypothesised relationship was not proved for depression. Conclusions Using emotion-focussed coping strategies in response to caregiver burden seemed to protect caregivers from developing higher anxiety levels a year later; however using problem-focussed strategies did not. Our results suggest that a psychological intervention package to emphasise emotion-focused coping may be a rational approach to reduce anxiety in dementia caregivers. Studies are needed to test such interventions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: caregiver; dementia; coping strategies; anxiety
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > Kent Institute of Medicine and Health Sciences (KIMHS)
Depositing User: Suzanne Duffy
Date Deposited: 12 May 2010 11:18
Last Modified: 27 May 2014 15:56
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