Leisure activities, caregiving demands and catecholamine levels in dementia caregivers

Chattillion, Elizabeth A; Mausbach, Brent T; Roepke, Susan K; von Känel, Roland; Mills, Paul J; Dimsdale, Joel E; Allison, Matthew; Ziegler, Michael G; Patterson, Thomas L; Ancoli-Israel, Sonia; Grant, Igor (2012). Leisure activities, caregiving demands and catecholamine levels in dementia caregivers. Psychology & health, 27(10), pp. 1134-49. Abingdon, UK: Routledge 10.1080/08870446.2011.637559

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This study examined whether satisfaction from leisure activities moderates the relationship between caregiving demands (i.e., hours per day spent caring for a spouse with dementia) and resting levels of the catecholamines norepinephrine (NE) and epinephrine (EPI). Spousal caregivers (n = 107; mean age = 73.95 ± 8.12 years) were assessed in home for plasma levels of NE and EPI, amount of care provided, and leisure satisfaction. Regression was used to determine whether leisure satisfaction moderated the relationship between hours providing care per day and catecholamine levels. A significant interaction was found between hours caregiving and leisure satisfaction for NE, but not for EPI. Post hoc regressions were conducted for both NE and EPI. At low leisure satisfaction, time spent caring for a spouse was positively associated with plasma NE (β = 0.41; p = 0.005) and EPI (β = 0.44; p = 0.003). In contrast, at high levels of satisfaction, time caregiving was not significantly associated with plasma NE (β = -0.08; p = 0.57) or EPI (β = 0.23; p = 0.12). These findings suggest that leisure satisfaction may protect caregivers from increases in catecholamines, which have been implicated in cardiovascular risk. Further support for these findings may impact psychological treatments for distressed caregivers.

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








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:22

Last Modified:

17 Mar 2015 21:00

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Web of Science ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/7669 (FactScience: 212982)

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