Association between the Sense of coherence and the subjective overload in family caregivers

In industrialized countries, family care of elderly people is an important public health issue because of increasing ageing and dependency, and because the family takes care of most of the care, which can affect the health of the caregiver.

In the study of factors related to the consequences of family care such as objective burden, satisfaction with care, social support and the personal resources of the caregiver, it is important to emphasize the sense of coherence because of the important effect it could have on the consequences of care. Sense of coherence was defined by Antonovsky in the Salutogenic model of health as a measure of a generalized sense of trust that people have.

So, members of our research group, within the line Caregivers and informal and family care, have recently conducted a study to analyze the relationship between the sense of coherence and subjective overload, anxiety and depression in caregivers of dependent elderly relatives.

To this purpose, a cross-sectional study was carried out in an area of the province of Jaén with 132 caregivers of dependent elderly, measuring sense of coherence, subjective burden, anxiety and depression, objective burden, sex and kinship.

Findings after a bivariate analysis using the Pearson correlation coefficient and multivariate analysis using multiple linear regression, show after controlling for objective burden, sex and kinship, we found that the sense of coherence was inversely related to subjective burden, anxiety and depression.

Therefore, the sense of coherence might be an important protective factor of subjective burden, anxiety and depression in caregivers of dependent elderly relatives.

The full text is available at: López-Martínez C, Frías-Osuna A, del-Pino-Casado R. Sense of coherence and subjective overload, anxiety and depression in caregivers of elderly relatives. Gac Sanit. 2019;33(2):185–190.

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