American Journal of Nursing Research
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American Journal of Nursing Research. 2020, 8(5), 552-561
DOI: 10.12691/ajnr-8-5-8
Open AccessArticle

Caring for Dementia Caregivers in Times of the COVID-19 Crisis: A Systematic Review

Muhammad Aledeh1, and Prince Habib Adam2

1Psychiatry (Nursing), Wienergesundheitsverbund, Klinik Donaustadt, Vienna, Austria

2Computer Science, University of Applied Sciences, Vienna, Austria

Pub. Date: August 24, 2020

Cite this paper:
Muhammad Aledeh and Prince Habib Adam. Caring for Dementia Caregivers in Times of the COVID-19 Crisis: A Systematic Review. American Journal of Nursing Research. 2020; 8(5):552-561. doi: 10.12691/ajnr-8-5-8

Abstract

Dementia is progressive and deteriorates during the progression of the disease affecting several millions of older people worldwide. The burden of caring for people with dementia is enormous and caregivers face serious psychological challenges from their caregiving roles. Dementia caregivers are exposed to psychological distresses such as stress, anxiety and depression. While there is robust literature on caregiver burden and their psychological effects, there are gaps in current knowledge about how best caregivers get the support that they need in order to prevent themselves from becoming the hidden victims, especially in unprecedented times such as the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. The aim of this paper was to apply the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines to conduct a systematic review of psychological and psychosocial outcomes. Targeted outcomes included stress, anxiety, depression, mental wellbeing, caregivers’ support, psychosocial and psychological interventions. We searched for relevant articles using PubMed, Google Scholar, Science Direct, and ProQuest. We used search terms from the keywords to identify publications that were most relevant to our questions. Eight papers were finally selected and reviewed. Findings showed that dementia caregivers are mostly informal/family caregivers, mostly female and lack the knowledge about dementia. Further, findings revealed that dementia caregivers can be isolated from mainstream society. Consequently, they suffer from care burden and other psychological problems. Dementia caregivers can benefit from internet-based or web-based interventions. Although there are inconsistencies in methodological approaches of the various interventions, the interventions are effective. Findings further revealed that dementia caregivers are isolated from mainstream society due to the nature of their caregiving roles, and can access effective psychosocial and psychological interventions via the internet-based or web-based especially in unprecedented times such as the COVID-19 crisis.

Keywords:
stress anxiety depression people with dementia coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) dementia caregivers caregiver burden psychosocial and psychological outcome

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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