N.WEE1, C.Y. CHEONG2, P. YAP2, C. MALHOTRA3
MOH Holdings Pte Ltd (MOHH)1, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital2, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School3
Positive outcomes experienced in dementia caregiving are important but rarely explored. We explored assessed factors related to the caregiver, person with severe dementia (PWSD), or the caregiving situation that are associated with the experience of gains in family caregivers of PWSDs.
Family caregivers of community-dwelling PWSDs recruited from seven major public restructured hospitals in Singapore, six home care foundations and two hospices were administered a questionnaire that assessed gains in dementia caregiving, factors related to the PWSD (agitation, suffering, functional status, use of medical interventions), factors related to the caregiver (perceived burden, psychological distress, anticipatory grief, resilience, and emotional closeness to PWSD), and situational factors (financial resources and time spent on caregiving responsibilities). Univariate analyses were performed to investigate the relationship of the above factors with gains in dementia caregiving, and significant variables were entered into a multivariable linear regression model.
215 caregivers completed the survey. Increased gains in experience of dementia caregiving were associated with caregivers having fewer depressive symptoms (p < .01), greater emotional closeness to PWSD (p < .01) and lower perceived burden (p = .04), as well as use of fewer medical interventions by the PWSD (p = 0.04). In the multivariable regression model, only caregiver emotional closeness to PWSD was significantly associated with gains (adjusted R2 14.23%, F = 9.88, p < .01).
These results have important implications for caregiver interventions in severe dementia, which should target treatment of depressive symptoms, alleviating caregiver burden and enhancing emotional closeness with PWSDs.