Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic illness that significantly affects cognitive function, and cannot be cured. Caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease face significant amounts of stress related to caregiving. While some research exists to explore the relationship between cognitive function of the care-recipient and stress of the caregiver, there is a gap concerning the relationships between care-recipient moods, care-recipient behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), and caregiver stress. The purpose of this secondary analysis was to explore these relationships, guided by the Roy Adaptation Model of Nursing. In this study, 47 caregivers completed two assessments: the Alzheimer’s Disease Mood Scale (AMS) and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire (NPI-Q). AMS addresses care-recipient moods, while NPI-Q addresses care-recipient behaviors and the resultant caregiver stress. Univariate correlations and multivariate regressions were used for analyses. The results of this study indicate that care-recipient hostility (ρ=.35, p≤0.05), sadness (ρ=.54, p≤0.05), contentment (ρ=-.43, p≤0.05), BPSD prevalence (r=.78, p≤0.05) and BPSD severity (r=.84, p≤0.05) are related to caregiver stress. Additionally, certain care-recipient moods have significant relationships with BPSD prevalence (hostility: r= 0.54, p<0.0001) and BPSD severity (sadness: r=0.48, p= 0.008; contentment: r= -0.58, p< 0.001). Further research is needed to better analyze the individual effects of care-recipient moods and BPSD on caregiver stress, as the variables are closely related and require more thorough assessment.
The effect of care-recipient behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia and mood on caregiver stress.
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