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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2013 Jan-Feb;56(1):91-5. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2012.07.011. Epub 2012 Aug 18.

The influence of neuroticism and extraversion on the perceived burden of dementia caregivers: an exploratory study.

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Gerontology Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of A Coruña, Campus de Oza, E-15006, A Coruña, Spain.


Most studies reflect dementia caregivers usually sustain higher levels of burden compared to other caregivers. However, they do not consider variability within the caregiver, such as personality traits. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of extraversion and neuroticism on dementia caregiver burden. A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted with 33 caregivers looking after demented-patients. All caregivers had intense burden levels, and their personality, depression, anxiety and self-rated health were evaluated. Personality variables had important effects on the caregiver burden and consequences on their mental health. Neuroticism was significantly correlated with burden (r=0.6, p<0.01), depression (r=0.68, p<0.01) and both anxiety measures, state (r=0.46, p<0.01) and trait (r=0.67, p<0.01). Extraversion was significantly correlated with neuroticism (r=-0.42, p<0.01) and burden (r=-0.46, p<0.01). Finally, depression was significantly correlated with state (r=0.63, p<0.01) and trait anxiety (r=0.66, p<0.01). These results indicate the importance of considering the caregiver personality in the theoretical and empirical models of the caring process. It is necessary to adequately assess the caregiver personality, as those presenting high levels of neuroticism and low levels of extraversion are more vulnerable to experience negative caring effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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