THE PHYSIOLOGICAL IMPACT OF STRESS ON CAREGIVERS OF ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE VICTIMS
AuthorBrown, Sharon Danielle
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis thesis focused on the physiological impact of uncertainty on caregivers of Alzheimer's disease victims. A convenience sample of 30 subjects was used. The uncertainty level was assessed using Parent's Perception of Uncertainty in Illness Scale. Physiological arousal was determined by assaying urinary cortisol and catecholamine levels. The results of the study showed that uncertainty and physiological stress were inversely related. This led to the conclusion that uncertainty was beneficial in that it offered a degree of hope. Knowledge of the disease process increased the stress perceived due to the devastation of Alzheimer's disease and its incurable state. Younger individuals had higher physiological stress than older individuals for comparable amounts of uncertainty. Multiple reasons for this finding are postulated. They include the thought that the younger caregivers may fear developing the disease. It also may be that younger individuals need certainty about the future.
Degree ProgramGraduate College