Date Presented 04/02/2022

This study surveyed 214 informal caregivers on their occupational engagement, caregiver burden, depression, resilience, and quality of life. A positive statistically significant correlation was found between occupational engagement and resilience. In addition, level of responsibilities (number of instrumental activities of daily living performed), depression, and supportive services were predictors of quality of life. This research informs OTs regarding the value of providing care to informal caregivers.

Primary Author and Speaker: Yan-hua Huang

Additional Authors and Speakers: Michelle Alfonso, Briana Fajardo, Greg Dolmage, Cristina Garcia

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to investigate if there is a correlation between meaningful occupational engagement and caregiver burden, depression, resilience, and QoL. Additionally, the research sought to identify the predictors of quality of life for caregivers.

DESIGN: This quantitative survey research design utilized convenience sampling methods.

METHOD: This study included 214 participants. The research design used five standardized surveys to collect responses online for informal caregivers of persons with dementia: (1) Engagement in Meaningful Activity Survey (occupational engagement), (2) Zarit Burden Interview (caregiver burden), (3) Personal Health Questionnaire Depression Scale (depression), (4) Brief Resilience Scale (resilience), and (5) Measurement of Quality of Life In Carers of People With Dementia (quality of life).

RESULTS: There were 214 participants in our study. A positive statistically significant correlation was found between occupational engagement and resilience with (BRS) r(212), = .32, p < .01. A multiple linear regression with stepwise analysis was performed to determine predictive factors for QoL. These factors included the number of IADLs performed b = .36, t(211) = 4.74, p < .001, depression b = -.16, t(205) = -2.23, p < .027, and formal support services utilized b = -.21, t(202) = -2.58, p < .011. These three predictors explained a significant proportion of variance for CDEM-QOL scores R2 = .11, F(3, 210) = 9.25, p < .001.

DISCUSSION: Occupational engagement and resilience were positively correlated with one another, indicating that staying occupationally engaged may indirectly improve caregiver general well-being that is associated with resilience (Ong et al., 2018; Pessotti et al., 2018; Koay & Dillon, 2020; Dias et al., 2016). As hypothesized, more IADLs performed predicted lower QoL. Depression and utilizing formal supportive services were also predictors of lower QoL. Accessing services may add stress to the caregiver by creating more things in their schedule to do and using their free time to discuss their caregiver role and responsibilities.

CONCLUSION: At the conclusion of the research process, the researchers uncovered a positive statistically significant correlation between occupational engagement and resilience. In addition, level of responsibilities (number of IADLs performed), depression, and supportive services were seen as predictors for quality of life. Findings from this study will help inform future care provided to informal caregivers in regards to their level of occupational engagement and overall well-being. This research can also be utilized as evidence for greater use of occupational therapists within caregiver resource centers.


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