Family Dynamics and Personal Strengths among Dementia Caregivers in Argentina

Int J Alzheimers Dis. 2016;2016:2386728. doi: 10.1155/2016/2386728. Epub 2016 Jun 20.

Abstract

This study examined whether healthier family dynamics were associated with higher personal strengths of resilience, sense of coherence, and optimism among dementia caregivers in Argentina. Caregivers are usually required to assist individuals with dementia, and family members have typically fulfilled that role. Personal strengths such as resilience, sense of coherence, and optimism have been shown to protect caregivers from some of the negative experiences of providing care, though the family-related variables associated with these personal strengths are largely unknown. Hierarchical multiple regressions investigated the extent to which family dynamics variables are associated with each of the caregiver personal strengths after controlling for demographic and caregiver characteristics. A sample of 105 caregivers from Argentina completed a set of questionnaires during a neurologist visit. Family dynamics explained 32% of the variance in resilience and 39% of the variance in sense of coherence. Greater family empathy and decreased family problems were uniquely associated with higher resilience. Greater communication and decreased family problems were uniquely associated with higher sense of coherence. Optimism was not found to be significantly associated with family dynamics. These results suggest that caregiver intervention research focused on the family may help improve caregiver personal strengths in Argentina and other Latin American countries.