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Primary stressors and depressive symptoms in caregivers of dementia patients

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Abstract Pearlin et al . (1990) propose a model for examining the wellbeing of caregivers of dementia patients. The present paper focuses on one part of this model, examining the relationship between primary stressors and mental health, particularly depression, in a cross-sectional sample of 91 caregivers of dementia patients. The primary stressors examined are: patient cognitive status, objective burden, subjective burden and generalized perceived stress. Linear and non-linear relationships between patient cognitive status and caregiver depression were considered. Some evidence was found for a non-linear relationship between patient cognitive status and caregiver depression, but only the interaction between subjective caregiving burden and generalized perceived stress was found to significantly predict caregiver depression when all variables were considered. Implications for including global as well as caregiver-specific measures of subjective burden in models of caregiver wellbeing are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 1997

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