Self-efficacy and health-related quality of life in family carers of people with dementia: a systematic review

Aging Ment Health. 2014;18(8):954-69. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2014.915921. Epub 2014 Jun 19.


Objectives: This review aims to explore the role of self-efficacy (SE) in the health-related quality of life (QoL) of family carers of people with dementia.

Methods: A systematic review of literature identified a range of qualitative and quantitative studies. Search terms related to caring, SE, and dementia. Narrative synthesis was adopted to synthesise the findings.

Results: Twenty-two studies met the full inclusion criteria, these included 17 quantitative, four qualitative, and one mixed-method study. A model describing the role of task/domain-specific SE beliefs in family carer health-related QoL was constructed. This model was informed by review findings and discussed in the context of existing conceptual models of carer adaptation and empirical research. Review findings offer support for the application of the SE theory to caring and for the two-factor view of carer appraisals and well-being. Findings do not support the independence of the negative and positive pathways. The review was valuable in highlighting methodological challenges confronting this area of research, particularly the conceptualisation and measurement issues surrounding both SE and health-related QoL.

Conclusions: The model might have theoretical implications in guiding future research and advancing theoretical models of caring. It might also have clinical implications in facilitating the development of carer support services aimed at improving SE. The review highlights the need for future research, particularly longitudinal research, and further exploration of domain/task-specific SE beliefs, the influence of carer characteristics, and other mediating/moderating variables.

Keywords: caregivers; narrative synthesis; quality of life; self-efficacy; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Dementia / nursing*
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Self Efficacy*

Grant support

This article presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Programme Grants for Applied Research Programme [grant number RP-PG 0606-1083]. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.