Author(s): Savundranayagam MY, Hummert ML, Montgomery RJ
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to explore the relationship between communication problems associated with dementia and caregiver burden, within the context of problem behaviors and cognitive and functional abilities of the care recipient. METHODS: A scale on communication problems associated with dementia was developed and administered to 89 family caregivers. Participants also completed measures of care-recipient cognitive and functional status, problem behavior, and caregiver burden (demand, stress, and objective burden). RESULT: Analyses using structural equation modeling showed that care-recipient cognitive and functional status indirectly predicted problem behaviors via communication problems. The status indicators also directly predicted demand burden. In addition, problem behaviors mediated the relationship between communication problems and all forms of burden. DISCUSSION: The study findings not only lend further support to the existing literature that has documented problem behaviors as strong predictors of burden but also emphasize the importance of communication problems in the caregiving process.
This article was published in J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
and referenced in Journal of Speech Pathology & Therapy