Exploring the Effect of Caregiver Burden among Alzheimer's Caregivers: A Test of The Stress Process Model

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Virginia Tech


The diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is stressful for both patients and their family caregivers (FCG). As the disease progresses, the patient's memory, functioning status, and behavioral problems get worse, and the needs of the patient that must be addressed by family caregivers increase dramatically. This research examines the impact of the subjective burden with the objective stressors on FCG's depression and to determines which psychosocial resources can be used to either mediate or moderate this relationship.

I examine the baseline data that was collected from 670 family caregivers of Alzheimer's patients in the Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health (REACH) II clinical trial (REACH II), 2001-2004. The measurements used in the current study are caregivers' background and context factors, objective stressors, subjective burden, psychosocial resources, and symptoms of depression.

Three research questions will be investigated in this study: (1) How do the caregivers' background and context factors affect FCGs experiences of objective stressors and subjective burden during the caregiving process? (2) What is the relationship between the objective stressors and subjective burdens, and what impact, if any, do they have on FCGs'depressive symptoms? (3) How do psychosocial resources mediate and or moderate the relationship between the primary stressors and FCGs'depression experiences?



Caregiving, Alzheimer's disease, Burden, Depression, Psychosocial Resources, Moderation and Mediation Tests