Effects of daily stressors on the psychological and biological well-being of spouses of persons with mild cognitive impairment

Jyoti Savla, Karen A. Roberto, Rosemary Blieszner, Matthew Cox, Frank Gwazdauskas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives:This research documents spousal accounts of daily symptoms and behaviors of their husbands or wives with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and assesses how MCI-related symptoms and care needs are associated with spouse care partners' psychological well-being and biomarkers of physiological wear and tear. Method:Thirty spouse care partners participated in a 7-day diary study and reported on behavior problems associated with MCI as well as daily stressors and strains they experienced. They also provided saliva samples on 4 of the study days. Results:Multilevel models revealed daily variability and change in psychological affect and the diurnal cortisol rhythm. Daily primary stressors, everyday secondary strains, and marital interactions predicted these changes. Discussion:The findings document the negative physiological effects of having a spouse with MCI and provide new details on probable causes of psychological and biological distress. They shed light on MCI-specific interventions to address couples' needs before severe disease progression occurs that could interfere with spouses' ability to provide home-based care and support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-664
Number of pages12
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume66 B
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011

Keywords

  • Cortisol
  • Daily diaries
  • Distress
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Stress process model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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