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 journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)


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

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Clinical Gerontologist on 03/05/18, available online:

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


  • 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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