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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2011 Nov;66(6):653-64. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbr041. Epub 2011 Jul 6.

Effects of daily stressors on the psychological and biological well-being of spouses of persons with mild cognitive impairment.

Author information

  • 1Center for Gerontology, 237 Wallace Hall (0426), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA. jsavla@vt.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This research documents spousal accounts of daily symptoms and behaviors of their husbands or wives with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and assesses how MCI-related symptoms and care needs are associated with spouse care partners' psychological well-being and biomarkers of physiological wear and tear.

METHOD:

Thirty spouse care partners participated in a 7-day diary study and reported on behavior problems associated with MCI as well as daily stressors and strains they experienced. They also provided saliva samples on 4 of the study days.

RESULTS:

Multilevel models revealed daily variability and change in psychological affect and the diurnal cortisol rhythm. Daily primary stressors, everyday secondary strains, and marital interactions predicted these changes.

DISCUSSION:

The findings document the negative physiological effects of having a spouse with MCI and provide new details on probable causes of psychological and biological distress. They shed light on MCI-specific interventions to address couples' needs before severe disease progression occurs that could interfere with spouses' ability to provide home-based care and support.

PMID:
21734229
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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