Progressive dementia: Personal and relational impact on caregiving wives

M. J. Bauer, M. K. Maddox, L. N. Kirk, T. Burns, M. A. Kuskowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the perceptions of 115 female spouse caregivers of early to moderate stage dementia patients. Based on patients' cognitive status, cross-sectional comparisons of two groups of caregiving wives were conducted. No group differences were found in measures of caregiver burden, depression, or personal gain. However, wives of patients with greater cognitive impairment experienced lower levels of mastery and more relational deprivation when compared to wives of patients with higher mental status. Supportive approaches might be directed toward helping early dementia caregivers restructure their understanding of, and participation in, their marital relationships in anticipation of changes ahead. Interventions aimed at enhancing a caregiver's sense of personal mastery may help reduce the negative effects of dementia on caregivers' well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-334
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Caregiver burden
  • Dementia
  • Female caregivers
  • Mastery
  • Relationships
  • Spousal caregivers


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