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Geriatr Nurs. 2013 Nov-Dec;34(6):509-16. doi: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2013.07.002. Epub 2013 Aug 22.

Short-term changes in sleep, mastery & stress: impacts on depression and health in dementia caregivers.

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University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing, 1700 Red River, D0100, Austin, TX 78701, USA. Electronic address:


Dementia caregiving is stressful and can result in negative health outcomes. Understanding the intermediate dynamic changes in caregiving may help nurses target interventions. The purposes of this study were to measure short-term changes in sleep, mastery, and stress in dementia caregivers and to explore their impacts on caregiver depression and health. Seventy-four caregivers were measured at baseline, 4, and 8 weeks for changes in global mastery, caregiver mastery, sleep quality, perceived stress, depression, and health. Over the 8 weeks, changes were observed in sleep, mastery, stress, and health measures, indicating support for the dynamic and complex nature of dementia caregiving. Sleep and perceived stress made unique contributions to depression, but the contributions to health varied. Clinical implications for nurses are to assess caregivers frequently and reinforce successful interventions periodically as caregiving evolves.


Dementia caregiving; Depression; Mastery; Sleep quality

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