Behavioral Symptoms of Dementia: A Dyadic Effect of Caregivers' Stress Process?

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This study used multilevel modeling to evaluate a newly revised model in which dementia caregivers’ stress process variables—perceived stress and emotional-behavioral responses—were posited as predictors of behavioral symptoms of dementia (BSD) within community-based dyads. Secondary analyses were conducted on data from a primary two-group (experimental and control) trial, in which experimental participants received a home monitoring system for managing nighttime activity in individuals with dementia. Models indicated that caregivers’ trajectories did not differ significantly between groups over time; however, the time-by-group interaction of BSD approached significance. Because BSD were not targeted, this indicated that the system may have indirectly lowered BSD. In addition, caregivers’ perceived stress and emotional-behavioral responses predicted BSD, on average (across all occasions) and from occasion to occasion, with higher levels associated with worse BSD. These limited results provide support for further research to investigate the nature of these relationships.

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Research in Gerontological Nursing, v. 4, issue 3, p. 168-184