Psychophysiological mediators of caregiver stress and differential cognitive decline.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The authors examined relationships between chronic stress and cognitive decline and whether such relationships were mediated by psychophysiological factors. Ninety-six caregivers of spouses with Alzheimer's disease (AD) were compared with 95 similar noncaregiver spouses. All were free of diabetes. Although the groups started similarly, over 2 years caregivers declined by a small but significant amount (1 raw score point and 4 percentile points, each p<.05) on Shipley Vocabulary. In contrast, noncaregivers did not change. Higher hostile attribution (beta=-.09; p<.05) and metabolic risk (beta=-.10; p<.05) in caregivers mediated the cognitive decline. This is the first study of cognitive decline and mediators in caregivers. This work has implications for caregiver and care-recipient health and for research on cognition, psychophysiology, diabetes, and AD.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Vitaliano, PP; Echeverria, D; Yi, J; Phillips, PEM; Young, H; Siegler, IC

Published Date

  • September 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 402 - 411

PubMed ID

  • 16248700

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0882-7974

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0882-7974.20.3.402


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States