April 30, 2010
Caregiver Neuroticism Extends Longevity in Alzheimer's Disease
McKee J. McClendon, Ph.D.
Memory and Cognition Center, Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals / Case Medical Center of Cleveland
Kathleen A. Smyth, Ph.D.
Neurological Outcomes Center, Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals / Case Medical Center of Cleveland
Introduction: Caregiving characterized by wishful-intrapsychic coping (WIC) has been found to be associated with a shorter survival time of persons with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), holding constant care-recipient impairments. We investigated whether this relationship was a spurious product of the caregiver personality trait neuroticism or whether WIC mediated the relationship between neuroticism and survival. Methods: We conducted a mail survey of 180 caregivers of persons with AD in their homes. Caregiver personality was measured by the NEO Five-Factor Personality Inventory. Results: Cox regression analysis showed that WIC mediated the relationship between neuroticism and survival. Thus, the relationship between WIC and survival is not a spurious product of caregiver neuroticism. Independently of WIC, however, caregiver neuroticism was significantly related to longer survival time of the person with AD. Discussion: We hypothesize that when WIC was partialed out of caregiver neuroticism, neuroticism was associated with longer survival due to the hypervigilance of these caregivers.
Key Words: Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, caregiving, nursing home, survival, personality.
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©Copyright McKee J. McClendon 2010. All rights reserved; this article may be downloaded and distributed with proper reference to the authors and source.
Corresponding Author: McKee J. McClendon, Memory and Cognition Center, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44106-7293, firstname.lastname@example.org, 216.368.2967, 216.368.4835 fax
Posted by mjm18 at April 30, 2010 01:30 PM
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