Family caregivers' subjective experiences of satisfaction in dementia care: aspects of burden, subjective health and sense of coherence

Signe Andrén, Sölve Elmståhl
Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences 2005, 19 (2): 157-68
Family caregivers experience both positive and negative reactions in caregiving situations. There has been considerably less published about the positive aspects, however. The general aim of this study was to explore a previously developed instrument to study rewards gained by caregivers and to determine the factors associated with satisfaction in family members caring for patients with dementia living at home. The study group consisted of 153 such family members. Standardized interview schedules exploring different background characteristics, and instruments for assessment of the degree of dementia in the patients and the caregivers' total burden and degree of satisfaction were used. Factorial analysis of the Caregiver's Assessment of Satisfactions Index was performed and it became more specific for conditions of dementia when it was reduced. Stressors as measured by the Caregiver Burden scale and satisfaction can coexist and assess different aspects of the caregiver's situation. The caregiver can perceive both moderate burden and great satisfaction at the same time, and further studies may help to broaden our understanding of how we can reduce the degree of burden whilst increasing the sense of satisfaction.

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