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Alzheimer Caregivers: A Study of Associations between Neuropsychiatric Symptoms, Caregiver Coping Strategies, and Quality Of Life

6 December 2010


People with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) exhibit neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) that may negatively impact specific areas of caregiving for care recipients. Additionally, Problem-Focused (PF) and Emotion-Focused (EF) coping strategies have been shown to be differently related to depression in AD caregivers. The present study explored relationships between care recipient NPS, caregiver quality of life (QOL) and caregiver coping strategies. Alzheimer’s caregivers were recruited from support groups and aging and disabilities services offices in the Portland, OR, area. Twenty caregivers completed the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire (NPI-Q), Caregiver Quality of Life questionnaire (CGQOL), and Ways of Coping-Revised (WOC-R). Pearson product moment correlations indicated a negative trend between Planful Problem Solving coping strategies and Assistance in Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLS) r(18) = -.519. A positive trend was found between NPI-Q scores with Assistance in IADLS r(18) = .457 and Assistance in ADLS r(18) = .415. Exploratory analyses indicated a negative trend between Escape-Avoidance coping strategies and Role Limitations Due to Caregiving, r(18) = -.498, p =.025 as well as caregiver Personal Time, r(18) = -.520, p = .019, Assistance in IADLS, r(18) = -.440, p = .052 and Assistance in ADLS, r(18) = -.466, p = .038. Part correlations controlled for several care recipient and caregiver variables. Pearson product moment correlations revealed that relationship to the care recipient, caregiver age, and caregiver ethnicity, and caregiver attendance at support groups affected correlation strengths. Further studies should investigate how caregiver coping strategies mediate the relationship between NPS in people with AD and caregiver QOL.


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