Structural equation model linking dementia cognitive functioning, caregiver mental health, burden, and quality of informal care in Argentina

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The purpose of this study was to create a path model linking cognitive functioning in individuals with dementia, caregiver burden and mental health, and quality of care provided for the individual with dementia in Argentina. One hundred and two dementia caregivers from San Lucas, Argentina completed questionnaires assessing these constructs. Regressions found that caregiver burden, depression, anxiety, and satisfaction with life explained 18.8% of the variance in quality of care—respect and 14.7% of the variance in quality of care—provide. A structural equation model with generally adequate fit indices uncovered that cognitive functioning in individuals with dementia was inversely associated with caregiver burden, caregiver burden was inversely associated with mental health, and mental health was positively associated with quality of care. Further, patient cognitive functioning yielded a significant indirect effect on caregiver mental health through caregiver burden, as did burden on quality of care through mental health. Despite this negative cascade, these relationships may also be reversed with the development and use of dementia caregiver interventions that improve caregiver burden and mental health and as a result, the quality of care for individuals with dementia in Latin America.

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