Self-Efficacy Of Family Caregivers Of Older Adults With Cognitive Impairment: A Concept Analysis

Abstract [from journal]

Background: Research demonstrates that increased self-efficacy can help family caregivers of older adults with Alzheimer's and other types of cognitive impairment experience lower burden and depressive symptom severity.

Aims: The purpose of this concept analysis is to address fundamental gaps in the understanding of self-efficacy in family caregivers of older adults with cognitive impairment, including updating the 26-year-old concept analysis with a contemporary definition.

Methods: This study utilizes Walker and Avant's (2019) concept analysis method, an eight-step iterative process that helps to clarify ambiguous concepts. A literature review was conducted from July 1993 through March 2019 using PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, CINAHL, and Embase. Inclusion criteria encompassed peer-reviewed research articles and review articles that included family caregivers of older adults with cognitive impairment.

Results: Eight defining attributes of this concept are identified. The revised definition of self-efficacy in this population is a family caregiver's confidence in their ability to: manage behaviors and other caregiving stresses, control upsetting thoughts, acquire medical information, manage medical issues, obtain self-care, access community supports, assist with activities of daily living and other care, and maintain a good relationship with a relative, friend, or neighbor of an older adult with cognitive impairment.

Conclusion: This paper utilizes over a quarter-century of research to build on the original analysis by Mowat and Spence Laschinger (1994) and update the concept's definition. This analysis should provide researchers with a clearer understanding of this concept and a renewed emphasis on the importance of targeting interventions to improve self-efficacy in this vulnerable caregiving population.