Artículos de revistas
Stress and coping in older people with Alzheimer`s disease
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NURSING, v.18, n.3, p.457-465, 2009
SOUZA-TALARICO, Juliana Nery de
CHAVES, Eliane Correa
To investigate stress intensity and coping style in older people with mild Alzheimer`s disease. The potential risk assessment of a stress event and the devising of coping strategies are dependent on cognitive function. Although older individuals with Alzheimer`s disease present significant cognitive impairment, little is known about how these individuals experience stress events and select coping strategies in stress situations. Survey. A convenient sample of 30 cognitively healthy older people and 30 individuals with mild Alzheimer`s disease were given an assessment battery of stress indicators (Symptom Stress List, Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory), coping style (Jalowiec Coping Scale) and cognitive performance (mini-mental state exam) were applied in both groups. Statistical analysis of the data employed the Mann-Whitney test to compare medians of stress indicators and coping style, Fischer`s exact test to compare proportions when expected frequencies were lower than five, and Spearman`s correlation coefficient to verify correlation between coping style and cognitive performance. Both groups suffered from the same stress intensity (p = 0.254). Regarding coping styles, although differences were not statistically significant (p = 0.124), emotion-oriented coping was predominant in the patients with Alzheimer`s disease. However, those individuals displaying better cognitive performance in the Alzheimer`s disease group had selected coping strategies focused on problem solving (p = 0.0074). Despite a tendency for older people with Alzheimer`s disease to select escape strategies and emotional control, rather than attempting to resolve or lesser the consequences arising from a problem, coping ultimately depends on cognitive performance of the individual. The findings of this study provide information and data to assist planning of appropriate support care for individuals with Alzheimer`s disease who experience stress situations, based on their cognitive performance.