jfa journal ICFSR-2019

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COPING WITH ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, BURDEN AND QUALITY OF LIFE IN INFORMAL PRIMARY CAREGIVERS OF COMMUNITY-DWELLING INDIVIDUALS WITH DEMENTIA

M. Muscat, C. Scerri

J Aging Res Clin Practice 2018;7:128-135

Objective: This study aimed to investigate how informal primary caregivers of individuals with dementia living in the community cope with caring-related measures of anxiety, depression, burden and quality of life. Participants and Design: Participants included 60 informal caregivers (23 males and 37 females) of community-dwelling individuals with dementia who attended a state-run geriatric day hospital in Malta. Caregiver measures included the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the World Health Organization Quality of Life–BREF and Brief COPE questionnaires, and Zarit Burden Interview. The Mini Mental State Examination and Barthel Index of Activities of Daily Living scores were used to determine the degree of cognitive impairment and performance in activities of daily living of care-recipients. Results: Informal caregivers experienced anxiety and depression with both emotional distress states negatively affecting all quality of life domains. Depression and burden experienced by informal primary caregivers showed a strong association with individuals with dementia-related variables such as age, cognitive impairment and activities of daily living scores. The use of dysfunctional coping strategies was found to be related to caregivers’ emotional distress, low quality of life and burden. Conclusion: The findings indicate that informal primary caregivers experienced anxiety and depression, had a lower quality of life, and feel burdened during their caring role. However, caregivers making use of emotion-focused coping strategies were found to be protected against emotional distress. The results highlight the need of providing support services aimed at promoting the psychological wellbeing of informal carers of community-dwelling individuals with dementia.

CITATION:
M. Muscat ; C. Scerri (2018): Coping with anxiety, depression, burden and quality of life in informal primary caregivers of community-dwelling individuals with dementia. The Journal of Aging Research and Clinical Practice (JARCP). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jarcp.2018.22

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