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Do knowledge and acceptance predict anxiety and depression in carers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease?

Instone, Beatrice (2015) Do knowledge and acceptance predict anxiety and depression in carers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease? Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

Instone Beatrice DClinPsy thesis July 2015 .pdf
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Abstract or description

Carers of individuals diagnosed with dementia can often experience high levels of stress, anxiety and depression, which can have a negative impact on psychological wellbeing. Research has begun to explore the factors which influence the level of distress that carers experience. In particular, research has shown that coping strategies play a large role in mediating the relationship between caregiving and its associated stress. Given this finding, the aim of the thesis was to explore additional factors related to coping that may be associated with the wellbeing of carers. A review of the literature was undertaken, specifically focusing on the concept known as ‘Sense of Coherence’ (SOC), which is concerned with the extent to which a person perceives stressful life events as comprehensive, manageable and meaningful. The findings revealed that dementia carers with a high SOC were less likely to feel burdened by their situation or experience anxiety and depression, in comparison to carers with a low SOC. However, several limitations were identified regarding the extent to which SOC has a protective effect on symptoms such as depression.
The second part of this thesis involved carrying out a research study which attempted to explore psychological acceptance and knowledge of dementia (specifically pertaining to knowledge of Alzheimer’s-type dementia) as possible predictors of anxiety and depression in carers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, in order to address inconsistencies in the research and to strengthen the existing evidence base. The findings revealed that psychological acceptance was a significant predictor of anxiety and depression. This has implications for interventions that can enhance acceptance in order to reduce distress, such as Acceptance and Commitment therapy. A reflective account on the process of carrying out the research is offered, which also addresses some of the primary strengths and weaknesses of both the literature review and research study.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Depositing User: Kim MCGAW
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2016 11:23
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2018 15:26

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