Predictors of improvement in social support: Five-year effects of a structured intervention for caregivers of spouses with Alzheimer's disease

Patricia Drentea, Olivio J. Clay, David L Roth, Mary S. Mittelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Those who provide care at home for a spouse with Alzheimer's disease (AD) endure considerable challenges, including social isolation and increasing caregiving responsibilities. We examine the extent to which an intervention that helps spouse-caregivers mobilize their social support network, helps them better adapt to the caregiving role. We used detailed social support information collected from 200 spouse-caregivers participating in a randomized, controlled trial of enhanced social support services in the USA. Using random effects regression models, we found that individuals in the intervention group reported higher levels of satisfaction with their social support network over the first 5 years of the intervention than those in the support group. Higher levels of emotional support, more visits, and having more network members to whom they felt close were all individually predictive of longitudinal changes in social support network satisfaction. We conclude with a discussion of the importance of having psychological respite when caregivers spend their days in the home and are isolated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)957-967
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume63
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

dementia
Social Support
spouse
Caregivers
caregiver
social support
Alzheimer Disease
caregiving
social isolation
Social Isolation
Group
Social support
Alzheimer's disease
Predictors
Spouses
Alzheimer's Disease
effect
Self-Help Groups
Home Care Services
regression

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Caregiving
  • Intervention
  • Social support
  • USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Development
  • Health(social science)

Cite this

Predictors of improvement in social support : Five-year effects of a structured intervention for caregivers of spouses with Alzheimer's disease. / Drentea, Patricia; Clay, Olivio J.; Roth, David L; Mittelman, Mary S.

In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 63, No. 4, 08.2006, p. 957-967.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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