A Stress-Busting Program for Family Caregivers

Authors

  • Sharon L. Lewis PhD RN FAAN,

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    • Sharon L. Lewis, PhD RN FAAN, is a professor at the School of Nursing and Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and a clinical nurse scientist at South Texas Veterans Health Care System in San Antonio, TX.

  • Denise Miner-Williams PhD RN CHPN,

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    • Denise Miner-Williams, PhD RN CHPN, is a geriatrics research fellow at the Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical Center South Texas Veterans Health Care System in San Antonio, and an assistant research professor at the School of Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in San Antonio, TX.

  • Allen Novian PhD LMFT LPC,

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    • Allen Novian, PhD LMFT LPC, is a program coordinator at the School of Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in San Antonio, TX.

  • Monica I. Escamilla MS PsyD(c),

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    • Monica I. Escamilla, MS PsyD(c), is a research assistant at the School of Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in San Antonio, TX.

  • Paula H. Blackwell MT ASCP,

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    • Paula H. Blackwell, MT ASCP, is a senior research assistant at the School of Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in San Antonio, TX.

  • Jennifer Hale Kretzschmar BBS,

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    • Jennifer Hale Kretzschmar, BBS, is senior research data management coordinator at the School of Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in San Antonio, TX.

  • Lyda C. Arévalo-Flechas PhD RN,

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    • Lyda C. Arévalo-Flechas, PhD RN, is a John A. Hartford Foundation Claire M. Fagin fellow and clinical assistant professor at the School of Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in San Antonio, TX.

  • Peter N. Bonner MS

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    • Peter N. Bonner, MS, is a statistician at Data and Statistics, Inc., in Boerne, TX.


lewissl@uthscsa.edu

Abstract

Aging baby boomers, longer life spans, and rising levels of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) will result in a caregiver crisis in the near future. The ways in which caregivers deal with stresses related to caregiving will be critical to both their own well-being and their ability to care for others. The purpose of this article is to describe the Stress-Busting Program (SBP) for family caregivers and its effectiveness. The essential components of the SBP are education, stress management, problem solving, and support delivered in a group setting for 9 weeks. Results of the SBP indicate that throughout the program, caregivers experienced significant improvements in general health, vitality, social function, and mental health scores and decreases in anxiety, anger/hostility, depression, perceived stress, and caregiver burden. The SBP is a cost-effective health-promotion strategy for caregivers who have substantial ongoing stress.

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