Self-compassion, coping strategies and caregiver burden in caregivers of people with dementia.

Joanna Lloyd, Jane Muers, Tom Patterson, Magda Marczak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Caring for someone with dementia can have negative consequences for caregivers, a phenomenon known as caregiver burden. Coping strategies influence the impact of caregiving-related stress. Specifically, using emotion-focused strategies has been associated with lower levels of burden, whereas dysfunctional strategies have been related to increased burden. The concept of self-compassion has been linked to both positive outcomes and the
coping strategies that are most advantageous to caregivers. However, as yet, no research has studied self-compassion in caregivers. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the relationship between self-compassion, coping strategies and caregiver burden in dementia caregivers.
Method: Cross-sectional survey data was collected from 73 informal caregivers of people with dementia recruited from post-diagnostic support services and caregiver support groups.
Results: Self-compassion was found to be negatively related to caregiver burden and dysfunctional coping strategies and positively related to emotion-focused coping strategies. Dysfunctional strategies mediated the relationship between self-compassion and caregiver burden, whereas emotion-focused strategies did not.
Conclusion: Caregivers with higher levels of self-compassion report lower levels of burden and this is at least partly due to the use of less dysfunctional coping strategies.
Clinical Implications: Interventions that develop self-compassion could represent a useful intervention for struggling caregivers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-59
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Gerontologist
Issue number1
Early online date3 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Caregivers
  • caregiver burden
  • coping strategies
  • dementia
  • self-compassion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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  • Research Output

    • 12 Citations
    • 2 Article

    Meditation-based interventions for family caregivers of people with dementia: a review of the empirical literature

    Hurley, R. V. C., Patterson, T. & Cooley, S. J., 2014, In : Aging & Mental Health. 18, 3, p. 281-288

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 21 Citations (Scopus)
    63 Downloads (Pure)

    The positive aspects of caregiving in dementia: A critical review of the qualitative literature

    Lloyd, J., Patterson, T. & Muers, J., 29 Dec 2014, In : Dementia. 15, 6, p. 1534-1561 28 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 77 Citations (Scopus)
    552 Downloads (Pure)

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