Social skills and well-being among family caregivers to patients with Alzheimer’s disease
Abstract Background: Caring for a demented relative is frequently associated with burden; yet, a subset of family caregivers may experience it as rewarding. Certain characteristics, including personality factors, may render caregivers more resilient to stress and therefore attenuate the perception of burden and its impact on quality of life. Objective: To determine the association between social skills and well being among family caregivers to patients with dementia. Methods: Forty-one family caregivers to patients with dementia due to Alzheimer's disease (AD) were assessed with Social Skills Inventory (SSI-Del-Prette) and the Zarit Burden Interview; quality of life was estimated with WHO-QoL-bref questionnaire. Results: We found positive correlations between total SSI scores and the psychological (r = 0.450; p = 0.003) and environmental (r = 0.408; p = 0.008) domains of WHO-QoL-bref. The SSI factor ‘self-control of aggressiveness’ (SSI-F5) was negatively correlated with the magnitude of caregiver burden (r = -0.483; p = 0.001) and positively associated with the psychological domain of WHO-QoL-bref (r = 0.446; p = 0.003). Caregivers with better ‘self-assertion in the expression of positive affect’ (SSI-F2) also had better ‘social relationships’ according to WHO-QoL-bref (r = 0.402; p = 0.009). Discussion: The availability of more sophisticated repertoires of social skills may render family caregivers more resilient to burden, preserving their quality of life while enduring this task.