All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Barbara Habermann

Advisory Committee Members

Marti Rice

Christine Ritchie

Virginia Wadley

Anne Williams

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Nursing


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of caregiver burden on the physical and mental health of caregivers of spouses with dementia and to determine if finding meaning through caregiving mediated the relationship between burden and health. This was a cross-sectional, correlational study in a convenience sample of 84 community-residing spouse caregivers of adults with dementia recruited from North- Central Florida. Measures included the Zarit Burden Interview, the Finding Meaning through Caregiving Scale, and the Medical Outcomes Short Form-36, version 2. Data analyses consisted of descriptive, correlational, and standard multiple regression statistical methods. The sample consisted of 50 women and 34 men, between 49 and 96 years of age who were 64% Caucasian, 14% African American, 5% Hispanic/Latino, and 1% other. Results of the correlation analyses indicated associations between income, duration of caregiving, and caregiver physical health; and between burden, finding meaning, and caregiver mental health. Results of the mediation testing indicated that finding meaning partially mediated the effect of burden on mental health. These results suggest that caregivers of spouses with dementia may be at risk for declines in mental health due to caregiving burden. Because of the increased risk for mortality, the effect of burden on caregiver physical health needs further research.

Included in

Nursing Commons



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