Risk and protective factors affecting the quality of life of family carers of people with dementia: the role of psychological flexibility

Contreras, Milena (2021) Risk and protective factors affecting the quality of life of family carers of people with dementia: the role of psychological flexibility. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Caring for someone with dementia can be physically and emotionally demanding, which leads to family carers of people with dementia having a low quality of life (QoL). Currently, the effects of existing interventions on the QoL of family carers of people with dementia is limited. Thus, this thesis focused on identifying key factors that affect the QoL in this population to inform future interventions. First, a meta-analysis was conducted to update the current knowledge about factors associated with carer QoL. The findings demonstrated that previous studies exclusively relied on the use of generic QoL measures not designed for dementia carers and focused on exploring the impact of contextual factors such as the care recipient’s neuropsychiatric symptoms on QoL. To overcome the gap in the literature, it was decided to use a QoL measure suitable for the carer population, which defines QoL in terms of an individual’s capability to do certain things that are important in life (e.g. doing things that make an individual feel valued) for this thesis. The impact of various risk and protective factors, which were not fully investigated in the previous literature, on carer QoL were explored in the subsequent three cross-sectional studies. The findings suggested that carer anxiety and sleep quality seem to have a significant impact on carer QoL. However, individuals with high levels of psychological flexibility, the ability to choose to do what matters most even in the presence of painful internal struggles, seem to be able to maintain a better QoL, despite the impact of such risk factors. The final study focused on exploring the educational and support needs of family carers of people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease using qualitative methods. The factors that may need to be targeted in future interventions aimed at improving carers QoL are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2021 12:38
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2021 12:38
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/82151
DOI:

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