Dementia and caregiving: Spouses' perceived demands and rewards
Alvarez, Manuel F.
MetadataShow full item record
The Caregiver Questionnaire (CQ), a measure of the perceived rewards and demands of caring for a demented spouse was developed. This study was performed in four stages, utilizing 15, 5, 30, and 35 caregivers of dementia patients at each stage respectively. In the first three stages, items were developed and arranged into an 81-item self-report instrument, which was evaluated for face and content validity and readability. This questionnaire (CQ-1) was then administered to 30 caregivers. In the fourth stage, a revised 54-item version (CQ-2), a screening form, and the BSI were administered to 35 caregivers, who also rated their patient's function on accepted instruments. The study hypotheses were: (1) There is a negative relationship between the caregiver's perception of his/her spouse's functioning and his/her scores on the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and a positive relationship between the caregiver's perception of his/her spouse's functioning and his/her scores on the CQ. (2) There is a negative relationship between CQ scores and the General Severity Index (GSI) of the BSI. (3) There are no gender differences in the CQ scores of caregivers and in their GSI scores on the BSI. No significant relationship was found between the caregiver's perception of his/her spouse's functioning and scores on the BSI and CQ-2, nor was a significant relationship found between scores on the CQ and GSI scores on the BSI, nor were there gender differences in caregivers' CQ and GSI scores on the BSI. However, CQ-2 scores did correlate significantly with the Positive Symptom Distress Index (PSDI) of the BSI. This study characterized the nature of the caregiving tasks and whether they were perceived as demands or rewards. The CQ has been shown to be a reliable measure for assessing the demands as well as the rewards perceived by spousal caregivers of demented individuals.