Coping and Anxiety in Caregivers of Dependent Older Adult Relatives

The aging of the population that has occurred over recent decades has led to a considerable increase in situations of dependence in older persons and demand for long duration care, with family members being the main caregivers. These caregivers can experience  emotional consequences such as anxiety that is related to the sustained stress of care.

The clarification of the role that different coping strategies play in the terms of anxiety could provide significant knowledge that assists in the prevention of this anxiety, improving the quality of life of caregivers of dependent older adult relatives. For this reason, members of our research group, within the line Caregivers and informal and family care, have recently conducted a study to analyze the relationship between coping and anxiety in caregivers of dependent older adult relatives.

To this purpose, a cross-sectional study was carried out in the province of Jaén (Andalusia, Spain) with 198 family caregivers of dependent older adults in which anxiety, coping, subjective burden and objective burden were measured. Findings demonstrate that anxiety was negatively associated with planning, acceptance and humor; and it was positively associated with self-distraction, venting, denial and self-blame.

These results support conducting an initial evaluation of coping strategies used by caregivers, as well as the implementation of interventions based on acceptance, problem-solving to decrease anxiety in the caregivers of dependent older adult relatives and the need for longitudinal studies to expand evidence on the relationship between coping and anxiety.

The full text is available at: Pérez-Cruz M, Parra-Anguita L, López-Martínez C, Moreno-Cámara S, del-Pino-Casado R. Coping and Anxiety in Caregivers of Dependent Older Adult Relatives. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health. 2019;16: 1651

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