Compassion fatigue in adult daughter caregivers of a parent with dementia.
Adult daughters face distinct challenges caring for parents with dementia and may experience compassion fatigue: the combination of helplessness, hopelessness, an inability to be empathic, and a sense of isolation resulting from prolonged exposure to perceived suffering. Prior research on compassion fatigue has focused on professional healthcare providers and has overlooked filial caregivers. This study attempts to identify and explore risk factors for compassion fatigue in adult daughter caregivers and to substantiate further study of compassion fatigue in family caregivers. We used content analysis of baseline interviews with 12 adult daughter caregivers of a parent with dementia who participated in a randomized trial of homecare training. Four themes were identified in adult daughter caregiver interviews: (a) uncertainty; (b) doubt; (c) attachment; and (d) strain. Findings indicated adult daughter caregivers are at risk for compassion fatigue, supporting the need for a larger study exploring compassion fatigue in this population.
Day, JR; Anderson, RA; Davis, LL
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