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Family interaction and caregivers of Alzheimer's disease patients: correlates of depression.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Family process
Publication Date
Volume
31
Issue
1
Pages
19–33
Identifiers
PMID: 1559593
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Depression is ubiquitous in primary family caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) patients, but its relationship to the overall behavior patterns of these families has received little attention thus far. The focus of the exploratory study reported here was on one aspect of this issue--affective responses between caregiver and other family members as they relate to level of depressive symptoms in the primary caregivers. Family affective responses, especially negative responses, have proven of particular salience in studies of major psychiatric disorders. Would they be equally salient in a study of depressive symptoms in primary caregivers of Alzheimer's patients? Apparently so. Thirty caregivers and extended family members participated in problem-solving family interaction tasks that were videotaped, transcribed, and coded on affect. Two variables representing angry and sad responses of extended family members to the caregiver accounted for over 44% of the variance in caregiver depressive symptoms. The relevance of these findings for treatment approaches and future research efforts are discussed.

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