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Keywords:

  • dementia;
  • depressive symptoms;
  • family caregiver;
  • nursing;
  • role strain

wang y.-n., shyu y.-i.l., chen m.-c. & yang p.-s. (2011) Reconciling work and family caregiving among adult-child family caregivers of older people with dementia: effects on role strain and depressive symptoms. Journal of Advanced Nursing67(4), 829–840.

Abstract

Aims.  This paper is a report of a study that examined the effects of work demands, including employment status, work inflexibility and difficulty reconciling work and family caregiving, on role strain and depressive symptoms of adult-child family caregivers of older people with dementia.

Background.  Family caregivers also employed for pay are known to be affected by work demands, i.e. excessive workload and time pressures. However, few studies have shown how these work demands and reconciliation between work and family caregiving influence caregivers’ role strain and depressive symptoms.

Method.  For this cross-sectional study, secondary data were analysed for 119 adult-child family caregivers of older people with dementia in Taiwan using hierarchical multiple regression.

Results.  After adjusting for demographic characteristics, resources and role demands overload, family caregivers with full-time jobs (β = 0·25, P < 0·01) and more difficulty reconciling work and caregiving roles (β = 0·36, P < 0·01) reported significantly more role strain than family caregivers working part-time or unemployed. Family caregivers with more work inflexibility reported more depressive symptoms (β = 0·29, < 0·05).

Conclusion.  Work demands affected family caregivers’ role strain and depressive symptoms. Working full-time and having more difficulty reconciling work and caregiving roles predicted role strain; work inflexibility predicted depressive symptoms. These results can help clinicians identify high-risk groups for role strain and depression. Nurses need to assess family caregivers for work flexibility when screening for high-risk groups and encourage them to reconcile working with family-care responsibilities to reduce role strain.