Pleasant Events, Activity Restriction, and Blood Pressure in Dementia Caregivers

Chattillion, Elizabeth A; Ceglowski, Jenni; Roepke, Susan K; von Känel, Roland; Losada, Andres; Mills, Paul J; Romero-Moreno, Rosa; Grant, Igor; Patterson, Thomas L; Mausbach, Brent T (2012). Pleasant Events, Activity Restriction, and Blood Pressure in Dementia Caregivers. Health psychology, 32(7), pp. 793-801. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association 10.1037/a0029412

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Objective: A combination of high engagement in pleasurable activities and low perceived activity restriction is potentially protective for a number of health and quality of life outcomes. This study tests the newly proposed Pleasant Events and Activity Restriction (PEAR) model to explain level of blood pressure (BP) in a sample of elderly dementia caregivers. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 66 caregivers, ≥55 years of age, providing in-home care to a relative with dementia. Planned comparisons were made to assess group differences in BP between caregivers reporting high engagement in pleasant events plus low perceived activity restriction (HPLR; n = 22) to those with low pleasure plus high restriction (LPHR; n = 23) or those with either high pleasure plus high restriction or low pleasure plus low restriction (HPHR/LPLR; n = 21). Results: After adjustments for age, sex, body mass index, use of antihypertensive medication, physical activity, and number of health problems, HPLR participants (86.78 mm|Hg) had significantly lower mean arterial pressure compared with LPHR participants (94.70 mm|Hg) (p = .01, Cohen's d = 0.89) and HPHR/LPLR participants (94.84 mm|Hg) (p = .023, d = 0.91). Similar results were found in post hoc comparisons of both systolic and diastolic BP. Conclusions: This study extends support for the PEAR model to physical health outcomes. Differences in BP between the HPLR group and other groups were of large magnitude and thus clinically meaningful. The findings may inform intervention studies aimed at investigating whether increasing pleasant events and lowering perceived activity restriction may lower BP. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology > Centre of Competence for Psychosomatic Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

von Känel, Roland




American Psychological Association




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:36

Last Modified:

08 Jun 2016 10:32

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Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 221796)

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