Coping Patterns Among Primary Informal Dementia Caregivers in Singapore and Its Impact on Caregivers? Implications of a Latent Class Analysis. By: Yuan, Qi; Wang, Peizhi; Tan, Tee Hng; Devi, Fiona; Poremski, Daniel; Magadi, Harish; Goveas, Richard; Ng, Li Ling; Chong, Siow Ann; Subramaniam, Mythily. Gerontologist. Aug2021, Vol. 61 Issue 5, p680-692. 13p.

Background and Objectives: Existing studies typically explore the factor structure of coping strategies among dementia caregivers. However, this approach overlooks the fact that caregivers often use different coping strategies simultaneously. This study aims to explore the coping patterns of primary informal dementia caregivers in Singapore, examine their significant correlates, and investigate whether different patterns would affect the depressive symptoms of caregivers.

Research Design and Methods: Two hundred eighty-one primary informal caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) were assessed. Coping strategies were measured by the Brief Coping Orientation to Problem Experienced inventory. A latent class analysis was performed to explore caregivers’ coping patterns, followed by logistic regressions to identify the significant correlates and the relationships between coping patterns and caregiver depression.

Results: The latent class analysis suggested a three-class solution that was featured by the frequency and variety of coping strategies used by caregivers?high coping (36.3%), medium coping (37.7%), and low coping (26.0%). Factors influencing the coping patterns of our sample were mainly related to caregivers’ individual resources such as personal characteristics and caregiving stressors like PWD’s problematic behaviors and caregiving burden. Compared to caregivers in the low coping group, those in the medium coping group had significantly higher risks of potential depression.

Discussion and Implications: The current study confirmed that there are distinct coping patterns among primary informal dementia caregivers, and caregivers with the low coping pattern had fewer depressive symptoms. Future research is needed to explore if coping patterns from our sample are generalizable to dementia caregivers elsewhere.