Modeling the effects of past relationship and obligation on changes in the health and health promotion of women caregivers of family members with dementia1

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Wuest's (1998, 2001) caregiving theory was tested with 282 women self-identified as caregivers of family members with dementia to examine how quality of past relationship within caregiving dyads and sense of obligation to care affected their health outcomes and health promotion over 9 months, using latent growth curve analysis. The model explained 62% of the variance in women's health (Time 4). Health was affected positively by past relationship and negatively by obligation. Health promotion was positively affected by health (Time 1) and by obligation. Change observed in health promotion was nonlinear and positively affected health (Time 4). Findings suggest past relationship and obligation to care predict health outcomes for caregivers and that interventions to increase caregivers' health promotion may improve health outcomes. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 34:440–456, 2011

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