Objectives. This study reports the findings of an evaluation of the psychological benefits of use of adult day care by family caregivers assisting a relative with dementia.Methods. The study used a quasi-experimental design in which caregivers in the treatment group used substantial amounts of services, whereas caregivers in a control group did not use day care at any point during the evaluation and only small amounts of other respite services. The evaluation was guided by the stress process model of caregiving which distinguishes between appraisals of primary stressors and well-being.Results. Results after 3 months of day care use showed that the treatment group had significantly lower scores than the control group on two of the three measures of primary appraisals (overload and strain) and two of the three measures of well-being (depression and anger). Findings at one year showed that the treatment group had significantly lower scores on overload and depression than the control group.Discussion. These results demonstrate that use of adult day care by caregivers of dementia patients results in lower levels of caregiving-related stress and better psychological well-being when compared to that of controls.
The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences – Oxford University Press
Published: Sep 1, 1998
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