[title text=”How is the burden of caregivers in long term conditions
influenced by personality: the role of self-efficacy
Guest Post by Sandy Lioupi”]
Hi everyone! My name is Sandy Lioupi and I am a postgraduate student studying for an Msc in Health Psychology at the University of Derby, UK. I am working on my final project about the influence of personality on the perceived burden of caregiving in long term conditions (such as cancer, dementia, stroke, diabetes etc.) and would like to invite you to take part. This study involves completing an online survey which will take up to 20 minutes. Of course, all details and information you provide will remain anonymous and there will be no reference to actual names or identifying details of participants. There is additional information within the survey itself.
But, let’s go ahead to further details. . .
Why this study?
As life expectancy lengthens, informal family caregiving for parents, spouses, and other relatives or friends is becoming increasingly common, yet the individual characteristics that help explain people’s perceptions of caregiving burden have not been adequately understood.
Caregiving requires a lot of time, patience and strength. Caregiving may impact on the health of the caregiver in terms of his/her own physical health, as well as causing caregiver stress and poor psychological health. Despite the fact that families play a significant role in caring of their loved one, attention is often focused more on the patients, rather than the caregivers.
There is a need for studies to be conducted in order to better understand caregivers’ burden and factors that may impact it.
What question does this research seek to answer?
This study’s main aim is to identify the specific psychological and personal characteristics that may influence the caregiver’s perceived ability to care.
Having understood their particular perceptions of burden in the caregiving role, we hope to further our knowledge and understand their needs. More specifically, to address these concerns, we aim to highlight such individual differences including contextual factors (demographics), specific personal characteristics such as openness or extraversion, that may be determinant factors to the perceived burden of caregiving (e.g. emotional distress, fatigue, etc.) and caregiver’s own ability to deal with his/her role (self-efficacy). It is hoped that this study may contribute to enhancing the development of interventions for caregivers that may support them while undertaking their caring role.
Have there been any surprises or roadblocks along the way?
Interestingly enough, there is a majority of caregivers that do not understand the term of “caregiving.” In addition, there are some people who are caregivers and may not consider themselves to be so, such as paid caregivers or people who provide care voluntarily. The constant in the definition of caregiver is giving care.
If you are providing basic care to a person who is diagnosed with a chronic condition, you are a caregiver.
Being a caregiver is based on the carrying out of difficult caregiver responsibilities, such as bathing, feeding, emotional support, etc., that exacerbate the labour of caregiving. However, underlying all those tasks is the role of helping; the role of ensuring that someone is taken care of, the role of giving. The way that one person provides care may be quite different from another. There is no right or wrong way of being a caregiver!