Caring for disabled older adults with musculoskeletal conditions: A transactional model of caregiver burden, coping strategies, and depressive symptoms
Archives of Gerontology & Geriatrics
March–April, 2017 | Volume 69, Pages 1–7
Nan Lu, Jinyu Liu, Fei Wang, Vivian W.Q. Lou
This study investigated the mediating role of coping strategies in the relationship between caregiver burden and depressive symptoms among family caregivers caring for disabled older adults with musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions.
The cross-sectional data were from a quota sampling of 494 pairs of disabled older adults and their primary family caregivers in Shanghai, China. The disabled older adults had MSK conditions and limitations in activities of daily living. The mean ages of the older adults and their caregivers were 83.9 and 62.6 years. Path analysis was conducted to test the proposed hypotheses.
Caregivers of adults with MSK conditions were more likely to use active coping to handle time dependence (β [SD] = 0.182 [0.055]) and physical burden (β [SD] = 0.226 [0.071]) and to use avoidant coping to handle developmental burden (β [SD] = 0.414 [0.061]). Both coping strategies were used to handle social burden(active: β [SD] = 0.179 [0.078]; avoidant: β [SD] = 0.241 [0.073]). Experiencing emotional burden reduced the likelihood of using both coping strategies (active: β [SD] = −0.266 [0.066]; avoidant: β [SD] = −0.373 [0.062]). Active coping had a protective impact on depressive symptoms (β [SD] = −0.228 [0.050]), whereas avoidant coping had an adverse impact on depressive symptoms (β [SD] = 0.232 [0.053]).
The findings confirm the mediating effects of coping strategies in the relationship between caregiver burden and depressive symptoms.