Vol. 14 nº 4 - Oct/Nov/Dec de 2020
Original Article Páginas: 372 a 378

Social and health-related predictors of family function in older spousal caregivers: a cross-sectional study

Authors Sofia Cristina Iost Pavarini1,2; Allan Gustavo Bregola3; Bruna Moretti Luchesi4; Déborah Oliveira5; Fabiana de Souza Orlandi1,2; Fernanda Gomez de Moura6; Helena Rita Oliveira Silva7; Nathalia Alves de Oliveira2; Marisa Silvana Zazzetta1,2; Ariene Angelini dos Santos-Orlandi1,8; Ana Carolina Ottaviani2


keywords: caregivers; aged; family relations; cognitive dysfunction; depression; emotional stress

Given the benefits of adequate family function for the health and well-being of older adults, it is important to understand what factors predict adequate family function in older people who care for their spouses.
OBJECTIVE: Analyse predictors of family function in older spousal caregivers.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study design was used to investigate a non-probabilistic sample of 298 older spousal caregivers. Home-based face-to-face interviews were used to evaluate sociodemographic variables and care context, family function (Family APGAR), cognitive function, perceived stress, and depressive symptoms. Data were analysed using multiple logistic regression with stepwise forward method for variable section.
RESULTS: Older caregivers having some degree of cognitive impairment (OR=-0.160, 95%CI 0.444-0.579), depressive symptoms (OR=-0.848, 95%CI 0.726-0.992) or high levels of stress (OR=-0.955, 95%CI 0.914-0.999) had overall lower levels of family function. Having more children was linked to approximately 1.3 times higher family function (95%CI 1.080-1.057).
CONCLUSION: Stress, depression, cognitive decline, and number of children are predictors of family function and should be considered in social and health care strategies within the family caregiving context.


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