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Aging Ment Health. 2008 Jul;12(4):434-43. doi: 10.1080/13607860802224318.

A longitudinal study of coping and burnout among Japanese family caregivers of frail elders.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology and Education, School of Humanities, Meisei University, Tokyo, Japan. okabaya@psy.meisei-u.ac.jp

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The purpose of this study is to clarify causal relations between coping strategies and burnout in family caregivers of frail elders in Japan.

METHODS:

Baseline and 1-year follow-up interviews were conducted with 546 caregivers living in suburban Tokyo. Using newly refined measures, five coping strategies of caregivers (Keeping Their Own Pace, Positive Acceptance of Caregiving Role, Diversion, Informal Support Seeking, and Formal Support Seeking), and caregiver burnout were measured, as well as several confounding factors.

RESULTS:

After controlling for these confounding factors, results of cross-lagged effects modelling showed that adoption of a Diversion coping strategy decreased caregiver burnout, while increases in burnout decreased caregiver Positive Acceptance of Caregiving Role.

CONCLUSIONS:

The beneficial effect of an Adaptive Avoidance Coping strategy, Diversion, on caregiver mental health was confirmed in this two-wave longitudinal study. The mechanism by which Diversion appears to work is by containing caregiving stressors from completely spilling over into caregivers' personal lives. In addition, we also show that preventing a decline in caregiver mental health (i.e. an increase in burnout) allowed caregivers to more easily embrace the caregiving role and, as a result, elder care-recipients were better positioned to receive high quality care.

PMID:
18791890
PMCID:
PMC2953421
DOI:
10.1080/13607860802224318
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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