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Title: An Investigation into the Relationship between Psychological Well-being, Burden and Distress in the Spouse Carers of People with Dementia.
Author: Turner, Ruth
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2007
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Research shows that there are a range of negative consequences associated with caring for a person with dementia. These consequences can take the form of burden, stress or distress. The stress process model is one model which has been proposed to explain these negative consequences. This model would predict that carers of people with dementia would experience a decline in well-being as their experience of stress and burden increases. However, some research suggests that carers may be able to experience positive consequences from their caring role alongside the experience of stress. Research within the field of adversarial growth suggests that for some people, increases in wellbeing can occur as a consequence of the experience of stress and this may be one explanation for this finding. Aims This study looked at the relationship between burden, distress and well-being in spouse carers of people with dementia in order to consider whether the experience of burden causes a reduction in well-being. Method This study utilised a cross-sectional correlational design. A total of 56 spouse carers of people with dementia completed questionnaire packs containing measures of burden, distress and psychological well-being. Results In this study distress and burden showed moderate positive correlations and psychological well-being and distress showed moderate to strong negative correlations. However, most aspects of psychological well-being showed no significant relationship with burden. The exception to this is environmental mastery and self-acceptance which showed small negative correlations with subjective burden. Conclusion The results of this study suggest that adaptations would need to be made to the stress process model in order to fully explain the range of experiences of spouse carers of people with dementia. Further research is needed in order to explain the processes through which well-being is maintained despite the experience of burden.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available