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J Korean Acad Nurs. 2000 Aug;30(4):893-904. Korean. Original Article. https://doi.org/10.4040/jkan.2000.30.4.893
Lee HJ , Song RY .
Assistant Professor, Pusan National University, College of Medicine, Nursing Department, Korea.
Assistant Professor, Soonchunhyang University, College of Medicine, Nursing Department, Korea.
Abstract

The sample of this study consisted of 140 informal caregivers who provided care to the older adults(over 60 years of age) in Great Cleveland, USA. Self-rated questionnaires were utilized to collect information. The purpose of the study was to identify coping strategies most frequently utilized by informal caregivers of older adults and to examine predictors of the caregivers' health responses to the caregiving situation applying Lazarus and Folkman stress model(1984). Stepwise multiple regression was used to identify significant predictors among caregivers' demographic-socio-economic factors, older adult's dependency of activities of daily living(ADLs), caregiver's appraisal to the caregiving situation, and coping strategies. Informal caregivers (N=140) included in the study utilized help-seeking and problem-solving coping strategies more than self-blame and minimization of threat coping strategies. Caregivers' responses to the caregiving situation were observed by caregivers' perceived physical health, depression and life satisfaction. For perceived physical health, threat appraisal, older adult's dependency on ADLs, existential growth coping strategy, and monthly income accounted for 25% of the variance. Caregivers who appraised the caregiving situation as more threatening, reported higher dependency on ADLs, used more existential growth coping strategy, and had higher monthly income reported better physical health. For depression, threat appraisal, stress appraisal, existential growth coping strategy, self-blame coping strategy, and monthly income accounted for 48% of the variance. Caregivers who used more existential growth coping and less self-blame coping, appraised the situation as less threatening, less stressful, and had higher monthly income reported less depression. For life satisfaction, self-blame coping, existential growth coping, monthly income, stress appraisal accounted for 49% of the variance. Caregivers who used more existential growth coping, less self-blame coping, less stress appraisal, lower monthly income reported better life satisfaction. In conclusion, informal caregivers in this study utilized positive coping strategies such as problem-focused, existential growth, help-seeking, rather than negative coping strategies including self-blame. When they utilized positive coping strategies more often, caregivers experienced higher perceived physical health, higher life satisfaction and lower depression. Therefore, nursing intervention which utilized positive coping strategies is needed to enhance informal caregivers to have positive health responses to the caregiving demands.

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