More than one-third of family carers reported significant abuse from dementia patients they cared for, but negative effects could be alleviated by interventions, according to a United Kingdom study.
The authors interviewed 220 consecutively referred family dementia carers from five U.K. community mental health teams, using the revised Modified Conflict Tactics Scale to measure abuse and the Relationship Rewards Scale.
Results showed 37.3% of carers suffered abuse from the care recipient at least sometimes over the previous three months; 36.4% of abuse was psychological and 5.9% was physical.
On average, carer relationship rewards had decreased from premorbid levels. Carers who reported more abuse also reported a greater deterioration in their relationship with the person with dementia, the study said. The extent to which carers used dysfunctional coping strategies partially explained this, suggesting that interventions to change the carers coping styles might alleviate the impact of abusive behavior, according to the authors.