Avoidant coping partially mediates the relationship between patient problem behaviors and depressive symptoms in spousal Alzheimer caregivers

Mausbach, Brent T; Aschbacher, Kirstin; Patterson, Thomas L; Ancoli-Israel, Sonia; von Känel, Roland; Mills, Paul J; Dimsdale, Joel E; Grant, Igor (2006). Avoidant coping partially mediates the relationship between patient problem behaviors and depressive symptoms in spousal Alzheimer caregivers. American journal of geriatric psychiatry, 14(4), pp. 299-306. New York, N.Y.: Elsevier 10.1097/01.JGP.0000192492.88920.08

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OBJECTIVE: Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer disease is a highly stressful experience that is associated with significant depressive symptoms. Previous studies indicate a positive association between problem behaviors in patients with Alzheimer disease (e.g., repeating questions, restlessness, and agitation) and depressive symptoms in their caregivers. Moreover, the extant literature indicates a robust negative relationship between escape-avoidance coping (i.e., avoiding people, wishing the situation would go away) and psychiatric well-being. The purpose of this study was to test a mediational model of the associations between patient problem behaviors, escape-avoidance coping, and depressive symptoms in Alzheimer caregivers. METHODS: Ninety-five spousal caregivers (mean age: 72 years) completed measures assessing their loved ones' frequency of problem behaviors, escape-avoidance coping, and depressive symptoms. A mediational model was tested to determine if escape-avoidant coping partially mediated the relationship between patient problem behaviors and caregiver depressive symptoms. RESULTS: Patient problem behaviors were positively associated with escape-avoidance coping (beta = 0.38, p < 0.01) and depressive symptoms (beta = 0.26, p < 0.05). Escape-avoidance coping was positively associated with depressive symptoms (beta = 0.33, p < 0.01). In a final regression analysis, the impact of problem behaviors on depressive symptoms was less after controlling for escape-avoidance coping. Sobel's test confirmed that escape-avoidance coping significantly mediated the relationship between problem behaviors and depressive symptoms (z = 2.07, p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Escape-avoidance coping partially mediates the association between patient problem behaviors and depressive symptoms among elderly caregivers of spouses with dementia. This finding provides a specific target for psychosocial interventions for caregivers.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

ISSN:

1064-7481

ISBN:

16582038

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:50

Last Modified:

17 Mar 2015 21:52

Publisher DOI:

10.1097/01.JGP.0000192492.88920.08

PubMed ID:

16582038

Web of Science ID:

000236540800002

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/21030 (FactScience: 4901)

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