The Mediating Role of Illness Cognitions in the Relationship Between Caregiving Demands and Caregivers' Psychological Adjustment

Fatemeh Akbari*, Somayyeh Mohammadi, Mohsen Dehghani, Robbert Sanderman, Mariet Hagedoorn

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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Objective: The present study investigated whether illness cognitions mediated the relationship between caregiving demands and positive and negative indicators of adjustment in partners of patients with chronic pain. Methods: The sample of this cross-sectional study consisted of 151 partners (mean age=61.4 y, SD=13.6 y, 57% male) of patients with chronic pain (eg, back pain). The study was conducted in the Pain Centre of the University Medical Centre Groningen, The Netherlands, during November 2014 to June 2015. Participants completed questionnaires that assessed caregiving demands, illness cognitions, perceived burden, distress, positive affect, and life satisfaction. Results: The results showed that among illness cognitions, acceptance of the illness mediated the association between caregiving demands and burden (b=0.16, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.05-0.28) and positive affect (b=-0.21, CI: -0.41 to -0.06). Helplessness mediated the association between caregiving demands and burden (b=0.46, CI: 0.26-0.69) and distress (b=0.35, CI: 0.19-0.53). Perceived benefits did not mediate any of these associations. The findings indicate that partners who experience more demands tend to appraise the consequences of the patients' pain condition more negatively, which in turn is associated with their emotional adjustment. Discussion: The results suggest that illness cognitions play an important role in the psychological adjustment of partners. Enhancing acceptance of the illness and reducing feelings of helplessness could form the basis of interventions aiming at promoting psychological adjustment in partners, especially when it is difficult to reduce the demands.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)257-263
Aantal pagina's7
TijdschriftThe Clinical Journal of Pain
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
StatusPublished - apr.-2022

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