• AwareCare: development and validation of an observational measure of awareness in people with severe dementia

      Clare, L.; Whitaker, R.; Quinn, Catherine; Jelley, H.; Hoare, Z.; Woods, B.; Downs, Murna G.; Wilson, B.A. (2012)
      Signs of sensory and perceptual awareness can be observed in people with very severe dementia, and may be influenced by the extent to which the environment offers appropriate stimulation. We developed an observational tool, AwareCare, which care staff can use to identify signs of awareness in residents with very severe dementia, based on the concept of the Wessex Head Injury Matrix (WHIM). Using WHIM items as a guide, and following focus groups with care staff and family members, an expert panel identified 28 environmental stimuli and 35 response categories for the initial version of AwareCare. After baseline assessments of cognition, well-being and quality of life were taken, 40 residents were observed individually for 30 minutes on 5 occasions. Based on the observational data, 10 stimulus categories and 14 response categories were identified for further analysis and formed the final version of AwareCare. All participants showed awareness to varying degrees. Social stimuli elicited the most responses. Greater awareness was associated with better cognitive function, self-care, mobility, and responsiveness, but not with proxy-rated quality of life. Understanding the nature of awareness in this group is an important element in ensuring appropriate levels of interaction and stimulation, and hence enhancing quality of care.
    • Influence of positive and negative dimensions of dementia caregiving on caregiver well-being and satisfaction with life: Findings from the IDEAL study

      Quinn, Catherine; Nelis, S.M.; Martyr, A.; Victor, C.; Morris, R.G. (2019-08)
      The aim of this study was to identify the potential impact of positive and negative dimensions of caregiving on caregiver well-being and satisfaction with life (SwL). This study used time-point one data from the Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life (also known as IDEAL)cohort study that involved 1,283 informal caregivers of people in the mild-to-moderate stages of dementia recruited from 29 sites within Great Britain. Multivariate linear regression modeling was used to investigate the associations between positive dimensions of caregiving (measured by caregiving competence and perceptions of positive aspects of caregiving), negative dimensions of caregiving (measured by caregiving stress and role captivity), and caregiver well-being and SwL. Lower well-being was associated with low caregiving competence (–13.77; 95% confidence interval [CI]:–16.67, –10.87), perceiving fewer positive aspects of caregiving (–7.67; 95% CI:–10.26, –5.07), high caregiving stress (–24.45; 95% CI:–26.94, –21.96), and high role captivity (–15.61; 95% CI:–18.33, –12.89). Lower SwL was associated with low caregiving competence (–4.61; 95% CI:–5.57, –3.66), perceiving fewer positive aspects of caregiving (–3.09; 95% CI:–3.94, –2.25), high caregiving stress (–7.88; 95% CI:–8.71, –7.06), and high role captivity (–6.41; 95% CI:–7.27, –5.54). When these four measures were combined within the same model, only positive aspects of caregiving and caregiving stress retained independent associations with well-being and SwL. Both positive and negative dimensions of caregiving were associated with caregiver well-being and SwL. Psychological therapies and interventions need to consider not only the negative aspects of caregiving but also positive caregiving experiences and their implications for caregiver well-being and SwL.
    • Stressors and coping mechanisms of family care-givers of older relatives living with long-term conditions in mainland China: A scoping review of the evidence

      Bífárìn, Oládayò, O.; Quinn, Catherine; Breen, Liz; Wu, C.; Ke, M.; Yu, L.; Oyebode, Jan R. (Cambridge University Press, 2021)
      As the ageing population in China continues to grow, more people will be living with long-term health conditions and require support from family care-givers. This scoping review therefore aims to explore sources of stress and coping mechanisms adopted by care-givers of older relatives living with long-term conditions in mainland China. Literature searches were conducted in English (CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO and SCOPUS) and Chinese (CNKI, WANFANG DATA, CQVIP and CBM) databases between October and November 2019. The searches focused on the stressors and coping mechanisms utilised by family care-givers residing in the community. Narrative synthesis was used to identify themes within the data. Forty-six papers were included: 20 papers from English and 26 from Chinese databases. Six themes captured stressors: care-giving time (N = 22), financial resources (N = 17), role and personal strains (N = 42), preparedness (N = 4), social roles (N = 10) and lack of adequate formal support (N = 22); and one theme captured coping (N = 14). Unmet needs of care-givers of older relatives in mainland China were found to be extensive. Only a few studies had attempted to explore the causal link between stressors, coping and the influence of culture. Findings underscore the significance of adequately capturing intricacies around care-givers’ unmet needs, rather than generalising on the basis of culture. Qualitative studies are critical to providing a better understanding of the relationship between stressors, coping and resources afforded to care-givers by their cultural environment. Having such understanding is crucial to inform the development of competent care, which promotes self-efficacy and self-actualisation in care-givers in mainland China.