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Cognitive functioning among cognitively intact dementia caregivers compared to matched self-selected and population controls.
O'Sullivan, Michael; Brennan, Sabina; Lawlor, Brian A; Hannigan, Caoimhe; Robertson, Ian H; Pertl, Maria M
<p>The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Aging & Mental Health. 2018, available online at: <a href="http://tandfonline.com/">http://www.tandfonline.com/</a> <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2018.1428937">https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2018.1428937</a></p> <p><strong>PURPOSE OF THE STUDY</strong>: Caregiving for a person with dementia is frequently used to model the impact of chronic stress on health, including cognitive functioning. However, the prevalence of typically healthier, self-selecting non-caregiving control groups could contribute to a picture of poorer caregiver performance and overstate the negative effects of stress. We investigated differences in cognitive performance between dementia caregivers and two groups of non-caregivers recruited using different sampling methods.</p> <p><strong>DESIGN AND METHODS:</strong> We compared cognitive function and psychological wellbeing among 252 spousal dementia caregivers with demographically matched non-caregiving control groups drawn from (1) a population study and (2) a self-selecting sample. Comparable cognitive measures included immediate and delayed recall, processing speed reaction time and verbal fluency.</p> <p><strong>RESULTS:</strong> Caregiver and non-caregiver performance was comparable on most cognitive domains. However, caregivers outperformed both control groups on processing speed (p ≤ .05) and reaction time (p ≤ .05), despite having higher levels of stress and depression (ps < .001). Furthermore, caregivers had significantly better free recall than self-selecting controls (p < .001).</p> <p><strong>IMPLICATIONS:</strong> Our results, overall, do not support the idea that caregiving is associated with stress-induced cognitive deficits. Rather, the trend toward better caregiver performance is consistent with the healthy caregiver hypothesis.</p>
Keyword(s): Alzheimer's; dementia; cognition; ageing; caregiving; matching; sampling; stress; Cognitive Psychology; Health Psychology; Psychology
Publication Date:
2018
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Institution: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Citation(s): O'Sullivan M, Brennan S, Lawlor BA, Hannigan C, Robertson IH, Pertl MM. Cognitive functioning among cognitively intact dementia caregivers compared to matched self-selected and population controls. Aging & Mental Health. 2018;1-8.
Publisher(s): Taylor & Francis Group
File Format(s): application/pdf
Related Link(s): https://epubs.rcsi.ie/psycholart/126
First Indexed: 2018-11-10 07:16:41 Last Updated: 2018-11-13 07:16:55