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Integration of the Pleasant Events and Activity Restriction Models: Development and Validation of a "PEAR" Model of Negative Outcomes in Alzheimer's Caregivers.


This study examined an activity restriction/pleasurable activities mismatch model for psychosocial and health-related outcomes. A total of 108 spousal caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) were assessed for their experience of social and recreational activities over the past month as well as their perception of how restricted they were for engaging in social and recreational activities. Participants were divided into three groups based on their reported activities and activity restriction: HPLR=High Pleasant Events+Low Activity Restriction (i.e., reference group; N=28); HPHR/LPLR=Either High Pleasant Events+High Activity Restriction or Low Pleasant Events+Low Activity Restriction (N=43); LPHR=Low Pleasant Events+High Activity Restriction (N=37). We hypothesized that participants reporting low pleasant events combined with high activity restriction (LPHR) would demonstrate greater disturbance relative to other two groups in multiple outcome domains, including: (a) greater mood disturbance, (b) greater use of negative coping factors, (c) reduced use of positive coping strategies, (d) reduced report of psychological resource factors (e.g., personal mastery, self-efficacy), and (e) increased report of subjective health difficulties (e.g., sleep disturbance). Results generally supported our hypotheses, suggesting that assessment of both constructs is important for best predicting quality of well-being in AD caregivers, and potentially for establishing maximal effect in behavior therapy for caregivers.

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