Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Effects of home, outside leisure, social, and peer activity on psychological health among Japanese family caregivers

TitleEffects of home, outside leisure, social, and peer activity on psychological health among Japanese family caregivers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsWakui, T, Saito, T, Agree, EM, Kai, I
JournalAging Ment Health
ISBN Number1364-6915 (Electronic) 1360-7863 (Linking)
Accession Number22360698
Keywords*Peer Group, *Social Support, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Caregivers/*psychology, Cross-Sectional Studies, Data Collection, Day Care, depression, Female, Humans, Japan, Leisure Activities, Male, Middle Aged, Quality of Life, Regression Analysis

OBJECTIVE: Previous research has indicated that informal caregivers' personal activities are disrupted by their caregiving role, leading to psychological stress and lower life satisfaction. However, the extent to which engagement in personal activities affects caregivers' psychological health remains unclear. This study examines the relationship between different types and frequencies of activities and both positive and negative parameters of the psychological health of caregivers. METHODS: A mail survey was conducted with 727 family caregivers of older persons using adult day-care services in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Perceived caregiver burden, care satisfaction, life satisfaction, and depression were used as psychological health outcomes. Engagement in home, outside leisure, social, and peer activities, as well as caregiver and care-recipient characteristics and caregiving situations, were assessed using a multivariate regression analysis. RESULTS: Engagement in home activities was related to lower scores on burden and depression and greater care satisfaction after controlling for care needs and caregiver characteristics, and social and peer activities were associated with greater life satisfaction. More frequent engagement was also associated with better psychological health, but a moderate involvement in home activities was most strongly associated with better care satisfaction. The amount of outside leisure activity was not significantly related to any of the outcomes. CONCLUSION: This study shows that activity type and frequency are associated with caregivers' psychological health, extending previous findings and providing practical implications for the support of family caregivers through programs to improve their participation in specific types of activities.