College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease and Stroke Patients: Immunological and Psychological Considerations

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-1994

Keywords

Aged, Alzheimer Disease, Analysis of Variance, Caregivers, Cerebrovascular Disorders, Immunoassay, Middle Aged, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Stress, Psychological

Publication Title

Gerontologist

ISSN

0016-9013

Volume

34

Issue/No.

4

Abstract

Demands of caregiving for Alzheimer's Disease (AD) patients have been reported to affect the psychological and immunological health of the caregivers. The question of whether the observed psychological and immunological changes were unique to AD caregivers was addressed in this study. The subjects were 25 caregivers of AD patients, 25 caregivers of stroke patients, and 25 noncaregiving individuals. Comparisons of all subjects made on several psychologic and immunologic indices indicated that the AD caregiving group was more psychologically distressed than the stroke group, and both of these groups were more psychologically distressed than a control group. With respect to immunologic function, there were no differences among the three groups. Implications of the findings are discussed.

DOI

10.1093/geront/34.4.534