Communication and family caregiving for Alzheimer's dementia: linking attributions and problematic integration

Health Commun. 2005;18(3):257-73. doi: 10.1207/s15327027hc1803_4.


This qualitative interpretive study explores emergent themes related to family caregiving issues surrounding Alzheimer's dementia and highlights how caregivers deal with uncertainty. Problematic integration (PI) theory and attribution theory offer useful frameworks for better understanding family caregiving issues. Analysis of the transcribed interviews revealed several emergent themes related to uncertainty and making attributions regarding caregivers' loved ones. These themes included (a) caregiver attributions about pleasure and displeasure, (b) caregiver reactions to attributions, and (c) tools for managing uncertainty. These themes are linked with both PI theory and attribution theory. Limitations and future directions are addressed.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Communication*
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology