Studies suggest the protective effect of mastery and caregiving competence against psychological stressors of caregiving in the context of dementia, although the interplay between the two with caregiver outcomes is not well understood. This study examines the independent and moderating impact of mastery and caregiving competence on burden, anxiety and depression among caregivers of older adults with frailty-related care needs.
This is a cross-sectional study of 274 older adults-family caregiver dyads from a hospital in Singapore. Mean ages of the older adults and their caregivers were 85 and 59 years respectively.
We performed hierarchical linear regression models to examine the independent influence of mastery and caregiving competence on caregiver burden, anxiety and depression. We also examined the interaction effect between mastery and caregiving competence for each outcome.
Mastery and caregiving competence were independently negatively associated with caregiver burden, anxiety and depression. Mastery explained more variance than caregiving competence and had a stronger correlation with all outcomes. There was a statistically significant interaction between mastery and caregiving competence for depression (interaction term beta=.14, p<0.01), but not burden and anxiety. High levels of mastery are associated with less depression. particularly among caregivers with below-average levels of caregiving competence. Likewise, high levels of caregiving competence are associated with less depression. particularly among caregivers with below-average levels of mastery.
Our findings suggest potential benefits adressing targeted interventions for mastery and caregiving competence of caregivers to older adults as they independently influence caregiver outcomes and moderate each other’s effect on depression. Mastery-based interventions should be incorporated into current caregiver training which traditionally has focused on caregiver competence alone.
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- Relationship between Mastery and Caregiving Competence in Protecting against Burden, Anxiety and Depression among Caregivers of Frail Older Adults
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