A stress process model of family caregiver service utilization: factors associated with respite and counseling service use

Teresa S Dal Santo, Andrew E Scharlach, Jill Nielsen, Patrick J Fox
Journal of Gerontological Social Work 2007, 49 (4): 29-49
This study examines whether caregivers' differential utilization of respite and counseling support services is associated with different situational stress processes. A multinomial regression analysis was conducted to compare respite users, counseling users, and those who used neither service, using data collected on a statewide random sample of 1,643 California caregivers providing assistance to individuals aged 50 or older. Compared with caregivers who used neither service, respite service users were more likely to have demanding care situations giving rise to physical symptoms of stress, and were more likely to use community services for the care recipient to augment their care. In contrast, counseling service users were more likely to be managing the meaning of their care situation by seeking out information about services and talking with a confidant about their situation, while coping with both emotional and physical symptoms of stress. Tailoring caregiver interventions to meet the support needs and coping strategies stemming from diverse caregiving situations and caregiver characteristics may increase the likelihood that those interventions will be effective in alleviating or preventing deleterious secondary stress frequently experienced by family caregivers.

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