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The Relationship between Self-Compassion, Caregiver Guilt and Depressive Symptoms in Family Caregivers of People with Dementia

Wallace, Rebecca (2022) The Relationship between Self-Compassion, Caregiver Guilt and Depressive Symptoms in Family Caregivers of People with Dementia. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

Paper one is a literature review that explores the psychological wellbeing factors and social resources related to loneliness in informal dementia carers. Thirteen relevant studies were identified following a systematic search of the literature. The review highlighted that greater levels of loneliness are associated with greater levels of caregiver burden, depression, stress, suicidal ideation, and lower levels of wellbeing and life satisfaction. Relevant social resources were identified including the importance of the quality of the carer’s relationship with the person they care for and their relationship with their social network. Methodological limitations were highlighted, particularly issues around reflexivity and recruitment. Clinical and research implications are discussed. The second paper describes a cross-sectional quantitative study, which investigates the relationship between caregiver guilt, self-compassion, depressive symptoms and the number of hours per day providing care. Eighty-four family caregivers of an individual with dementia were recruited for the study. Multiple regression analyses and a mediation analysis were conducted. The results suggested that lower levels of self-compassion and greater levels of caregiver guilt predicted higher levels of depressive symptoms in this population. The number of hours per day spent providing care was not a significant predictor of depressive symptoms. The findings also indicated that caregiver guilt mediates the relationship between self-compassion and depressive symptoms. The findings suggest that increasing self-compassion may be a useful approach to help carers to manage experiences of caregiver guilt and depressive symptoms. Clinical implications and recommendations for future research are discussed. The third paper is an executive summary of the research study carried out in this thesis and is written for family dementia caregivers as well as anyone else who may be interested in this research. This paper received valuable consultation from two individuals who care for a relative living with dementia.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology and Counselling
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2023 12:54
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2023 12:54

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