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Predicting Gains in Dementia Caregiving

Liew T.M.a · Luo N.d, e · Ng W.Y.e · Chionh H.L.b · Goh J.c · Yap P.a, b
aDepartment of Geriatric Medicine, bGeriatric Centre, cDepartment of Medical Social Service, Alexandra Hospital, dDepartment of Epidemiology and Public Health, eCentre for Health Services Research, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2010;29:115–122 (DOI:10.1159/000275569)

Abstract

Background: Caregiver gain is an important yet less-explored phenomenon. Being conceptually distinct from burden, factors associated with burden and gain can differ. This study aims to explore factors associated with the experience of gains in dementia caregiving. Method: Cross-sectional study involving caregivers recruited from a tertiary hospital dementia clinic and the local Alzheimer’s Association. Caregivers completed a questionnaire containing the following scales: gain in Alzheimer’s care Instrument (GAIN), General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28), Dementia Management Strategies Scale (DMSS), Revised Memory and Behavioral Problems Checklist (RMBPC) and Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI). Demographic information for the person with dementia (PWD) and the caregiver was also recorded. Initial screening with univariate analyses (t tests, ANOVAs, Pearson’s correlations) was performed to identify significant (p < 0.05) variables, which were then entered into a multiple regression model to identify variables associated with gain. Result: The final sample comprised 334 caregivers with a mean age of 51.5 years (SD = 10.9, range = 22–85), the majority of whom where Chinese (94.6%) females (71%). Mean GAIN score was 30 (SD = 6.6, range = 7–40). Regression analysis identified 3 factors significantly associated with gains (adjusted R2 32.3%): mental well-being of the caregiver, use of active management as a caregiving strategy, and participation in caregiver educational and support group programmes. Conclusion: The results have important implications for caregiver interventions. Interventions should target maintaining mental well-being, encouraging participation in educational and support programmes, and teaching appropriate coping and dementia specific management strategies to derive good outcomes.

 

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