PSYCHOSOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF INDIVIDUAL AND BURNOUT DIFFERENCES IN CARE OF PERSONS WITH DEMENTIA: A LONGITUDINAL STUDY

Integrated researchers: Rute Brites (IR): Odete Nunes, João Hipólito, Tânia Brandão | Invited Researcher: Francisco Moniz Pereira (Psychiatric Hospital Center of Lisbon)

Caring is a challenging task. Research shows that caring for a relative with dementia is associated with an increased risk of suffering mental and physical disorders. It implies being under a process of chronic stress, capable of altering the psychosocial functioning of informal caregivers (IC). However, the data show great individual variability in how the ICs deal with this experience. Thus, it is of great importance to identify factors (of the patient, the caregiver and in the patient-caregiver relationship) that may increase vulnerability or protection against the negative effects of care. The aim of this project is to examine and better understand the individual variability in IC responses to the task of caring, in a sample of patients with dementia and their caregivers. We will characterize the psychosocial functioning of ICs and explore the role played by several variables (attachment, emotional regulation, coping, family functioning) in explaining individual differences. Through this project, it will be possible to identify ICs at greatest risk, as well as gather knowledge to support the development of psychosocial interventions aimed at the needs of ICs.

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