Exploring conflict between caregiving and work for caregivers of elders with dementia: a cross-sectional, correlational study

Authors


Correspondence to Y.-I.L. Shyu:

e-mail: yeaing@mail.cgu.edu.tw

Abstract

Aim

To report the moderating effects of work-related conditions and interactive family-care-giving variables, including mutuality and preparedness, on caregiver role strain and mental health for family caregivers of patients with dementia.

Background

Few studies have examined the interrelationships among caregivers' working conditions, care-giving dynamics and caregiver well-being.

Design

Cross-sectional, correlational study.

Methods

Data were collected by self-completed questionnaires from 176 primary family caregivers of patients with dementia in Taiwan from May 2005–January 2006. Caregiver role strain and mental health were analysed by multiple regressions using a hierarchical method to enter independent variables and two- and three-way interaction terms after controlling for caregiver age and gender, employment status, and work flexibility and the simple effect of each independent variable.

Results

More preparedness was associated with less role strain for family caregivers with less work/care-giving conflict. More care-giving demand was associated with poorer mental health only for caregivers with low work/care-giving conflict and with average and low preparedness, but not high preparedness. For family caregivers with less work/care-giving conflict, more preparedness decreased role strain and maintained mental health even when care-giving demand was high.

Conclusion

These results provide a knowledge base for understanding complex family caregiver phenomena and serve as a guide for developing interventions. Future studies with longitudinal follow-ups are suggested to explore actual causal relationships.

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