Positive experiences in caregivers: an exploratory case series

Behav Cogn Psychother. 2009 Jan;37(1):95-114. doi: 10.1017/S1352465808005055.


Background: Recent research into positive experiences in caregivers has begun to redress the traditional focus on negative aspects of caregiving experiences.

Method: This exploratory study used a cognitive-behavioural approach - namely, the transactional stress model (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984) - to investigate associations between appraisals, coping, and gains over a 6-week period in a small sample (N = 4; case series) design involving stroke caregivers. Analysis involved visual inspection of graphs, supported by descriptive statistics, and co-variation analysis.

Results: Participants reported high levels of positive experiences, and these increased over the study period, a previously unreported trend. The study also found individual differences in the interactions between appraisal, coping, and caregiving gain variables, findings explained by the transactional stress model.

Conclusions: Implications for clinical practice and future research are addressed.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Affect*
  • Aged
  • Attitude*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Stroke / nursing