The nature and scope of stressful spousal caregiving relationships.

Journal Article

The caregiving literature provides compelling evidence that caregiving burden and depressive symptoms are linked with stressful care relationships, however, relational difficulties around caregiving are seldom described in the literature. This article presents findings from content analysis of baseline interviews with 40 Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) spousal caregivers enrolled in a home care skill-training trial who identified their care relationship as a source of care burden. Disappointment and sadness about the loss of the relationship; tension within the relationship; and care decision conflicts within the relationship were recurrent themes of relational stress in caregiving. These spousal caregivers had relationship quality scores below the mean and burden and depressive symptom scores above the means of other caregivers in the study. These findings provide support for developing dyadic interventions that help spouses manage relational losses, care-related tensions, and care decision-making conflicts.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Davis, LL; Gilliss, CL; Deshefy-Longhi, T; Chestnutt, DH; Molloy, M

Published Date

  • May 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 17 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 224 - 240

PubMed ID

  • 21531858

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-549X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1074-8407

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1074840711405666

Language

  • eng