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The impact of motivations and meanings on the wellbeing of caregivers of people with dementia: a systematic review

  • Catherine Quinn (a1), Linda Clare (a1) and Robert T Woods (a1)


Background: The majority of people in the early and middle stages of dementia are cared for at home by non-paid caregivers, the majority of whom will be family members. Two factors which could have an impact on the quality of care provided to the care-recipient are the caregiver's motivations for providing care and the meaning s/he finds in caregiving. The aim of this review is to explore the potential impact of both meaning and motivation on the wellbeing of caregivers of people with dementia. The review also explores individual differences in motivations to provide care.

Methods: This was a systematic review of peer-reviewed empirical studies exploring motivations and meanings in informal caregivers of people with dementia. Four studies were identified which examined the caregiver's motivations to provide care. Six studies were identified which examined the meaning that caregivers found in dementia caregiving.

Results: Caregivers' wellbeing could be influenced by the nature of their motivations to care. In addition, cultural norms and caregivers’ kin-relationship to the care-recipient impacted on motivations to provide care. Finding meaning had a positive impact on caregiver wellbeing.

Conclusions: The limited evidence currently available indicates that both the caregiver's motivations to provide care and the meaning s/he finds in caregiving can have implications for the caregiver's wellbeing. More research is needed to explore the role of motivations and meaning in dementia caregiving.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Professor Linda Clare, School of Psychology, Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2AS, U.K. Phone: +44 (0)1248 388178. Email:


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Note: References marked with an asterisk indicate studies included in the systematic review.

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The impact of motivations and meanings on the wellbeing of caregivers of people with dementia: a systematic review

  • Catherine Quinn (a1), Linda Clare (a1) and Robert T Woods (a1)


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