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.