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Sense of coherence, burden and mental health in caregiving: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

J Affect Disord; 242: 14-21, 2019 Jan 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30170234

BACKGROUND:

Informal caregiving is associated with a number of negative effects on carers' physical and psychological well-being. The salutogenic theory argues that sense of coherence (SOC) is an important factor in psychological adjustment to stress. The main aim of this study was to systematically review current evidence on the association between SOC, burden and mental health outcomes in informal carers.

METHOD:

A systematic search was carried out up to September 2017 in the following databases: PubMed, CINAHL (EBSCO), PsychInfo (OVID) and Scopus. Studies were included if they evaluated the relationship between sense of coherence and subjective caregiver burden and/or mental health outcomes, specifically symptoms of depression and anxiety. Meta-analyses were performed and subgroup analyses were carried out to explore if methodological factors influenced findings.

RESULTS:

Thirty-five studies were included in the meta-analysis, which provided 40 independent samples with 22 independent comparisons for subjective caregiver burden, 26 for symptoms of depression and 7 for symptoms of anxiety. Higher levels of SOC were associated with lower levels of subjective caregiver burden and better mental health outcomes. Publication bias did not change the estimate of the effect.

LIMITATIONS:

Most of the studies included in this review were cross-sectional.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings suggest that SOC is an important determinant of carer well-being and may protect carers from high levels of psychological distress and caregiver burden.