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Well-being in dementia: a cross-sectional dyadic study of the impact of multiple dimensions of strain on persons living with dementia and their family care partners

  • Lyndsey M. Miller (a1) (a2), Jeffrey A. Kaye (a1), Karen S. Lyons (a3), Christopher S. Lee (a3), Carol J. Whitlatch (a4) and Michael S. Caserta (a5)...

Abstract

Background and Purpose:

The impact of dementia-related stressors and strains have been examined for their potential to threaten the well-being of either the person with dementia or the family care partner, but rarely have studies considered the dyadic nature of well-being in dementia. The purpose of this study was to examine the dyadic effects of multiple dimensions of strain on the well-being of dementia care dyads.

Methods:

Using multilevel modeling to account for the inter-relatedness of individual well-being within dementia care dyads, we examined cross-sectional responses collected from 42 dyads comprised of a hospitalized patient diagnosed with a primary progressive dementia (PWD) and their family care partner (CP). Both PWDs and CPs self-reported on their own well-being using measures of quality of life (QOL-Alzheimer’s Disease scale) and depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale).

Results:

In adjusted models, the PWD’s well-being (higher QOL and lower depressive symptoms) was associated with significantly less strain in the dyad’s relationship. The CP’s well-being was associated with significantly less care-related strain and (for QOL scale) less relationship strain.

Conclusions:

Understanding the impact of dementia on the well-being of PWDs or CPs may require an assessment of both members of the dementia care dyad in order to gain a complete picture of how dementia-related stressors and strains impact individual well-being. These results underscore the need to assess and manage dementia-related strain as a multi-dimensional construct that may include strain related to the progression of the disease, strain from providing care, and strain on the dyad’s relationship quality.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Lyndsey M. Miller, Oregon Health & Science University, School of Nursing, 3455 SW US Veterans Hospital Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA. Phone: (503) 494-3837; Fax: (503) 494-7499. Email: millerly@ohsu.edu.

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