Positive aspects of caregiving attenuate the relationship between behavioral bother and anxiety and depressive symptoms in dementia family caregivers

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Abstract

Aim: To examine the protective role of positive aspects of caregiving (PAC) in terms of whether it dampens the relationship between behavioral bother and anxiety/depressive symptoms. 

Methods: The baseline data of the Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health I trial were used. US dementia family caregivers (N = 1222) responded to standard self-report measures of PAC, behavioral bother, depression, anxiety, challenging behaviors, and functional impairment. The buffering effect of PAC was tested using moderational regression. 

Results: Controlling for caregivers' age, sex and behavioral bother, and care-recipients' challenging behaviors and functional impairment, PAC was mildly inversely related to depressive and anxiety symptoms. Moreover, a significant PAC × behavioral bother interaction effect was found such that the relationship between behavioral bother, on the one hand, and depression and anxiety, on the other, became weaker with higher PAC. In particular, when behavioral bother was low, depressive and anxiety symptoms were similar regardless of levels of PAC. But when behavioral bother was high, caregivers who reported higher levels of PAC were less depressed and anxious than those with lower levels, with their standardized mean differences being small to moderate. 

Conclusions: PAC was found to be associated with less mood symptoms partly directly and partly through modifying the effect of behavioral bother on depression and anxiety. Caregivers who were highly troubled by the relative's challenging behaviors, but who found higher levels of PAC at the same time, experienced better emotional well-being. Having PAC may make the burden of caregiving more tolerable, thereby alleviating caregiver distress down the road. Copyright © 2023 Japan Geriatrics Society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-370
JournalGeriatrics & Gerontology International
Volume23
Issue number5
Early online dateApr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

Citation

Cheng, S.-T. (2023). Positive aspects of caregiving attenuate the relationship between behavioral bother and anxiety and depressive symptoms in dementia family caregivers. Geriatrics & Gerontology International, 23(5), 366-370. https://doi.org/10.1111/ggi.14581

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Behavioral bother
  • Caregiving
  • Dementia
  • Depression

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