Skip Navigation LinksHome > July/September 2007 - Volume 8 - Issue 3 > Health Effects of Caregiving: Studies of Helping Behavior Ne...
Alzheimer's Care Today:
doi: 10.1097/01.ALCAT.0000281871.81270.eb
Well-Being and Being Safe: Finding A Balance

Health Effects of Caregiving: Studies of Helping Behavior Needed!

BROWN, STEPHANIE L. PHD

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Abstract

Previous research suggests that spousal caregiving causes health problems in the caregiver, including increased mortality risk. Yet, this conclusion is based on studies that do not measure helping behavior, but assume that caregiving must occur if someone in a marriage has a health problem. In this article, I highlight the need for research that disentangles the competing, and perhaps contradictory, psychosocial factors inherent in the caregiving experience. I review studies that suggest there are health benefits associated with helping others and describe the implications of a new theory of close relationships for understanding the caregiving experience.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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