Stress and Stress-Coping Behaviour in Caregivers of Older Adults Having Parkinson’s Disease
Objective: To study stress levels and stress-coping behaviour of caregivers of older adults having Parkinson’s disease (PD), and to examine the relationship between disease stages, stress and coping behaviour.
Design: Cross-sectional descriptive correlational research.
Methodology: This study was conducted on a sample of 100 caregivers of older Parkinson’s disease patients treated at the Neurological Clinic of Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital between October 2017 and March 2018. All of the recruited caregivers met the inclusion criteria. Data were collected through 3 questionnaires, namely, 1) the Perceived Stress Scale; 2) the Jalowiec Stress-Coping Scale; and 3) the personal
information form for PD patients and their caregivers. Analysis of stress levels and stress-coping behaviour was performed using descriptive statistics, Spearman’s correlation and Pearson’s correlation.
Results: Caregivers of older PD patients displayed moderate levels of stress and stress-coping behaviour. Regarding means of coping with stress, the subjects made moderate use of problem confrontation and problem alleviation methods, and displayed a low level of emotion management. Stress was found to be in negative relationships with overall stress-coping behaviour (r = -.251, p < .05), problem confrontation (r =
-.352, p < .01) and problem alleviation (r = -.270, p < .05), but not in any signifcant relationship with emotion management. Disease stages, on the other hand, were not found to be in any signifcant relationship with the caregivers’ stress and stress-coping behaviour.
Recommendations: It is recommended that healthcare personnel working with older PD patients assess their caregivers’ stress and stress-coping behaviour and plan a proper intervention to enable them to manage their stress and develop appropriate stress-coping methods.
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