Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore how the relationship between care recipients' problem behaviors and caregivers' depressive symptoms varies as a function of caregiver mastery, controlling for the effects of caregiver age, gender, and relationship to the care recipient in caregivers of people with primary malignant brain tumor (PMBT). Design: A cross-sectional design was used to gather data via telephone interviews from 95 caregivers of people with primary malignant brain tumor, recruited from 2003 to 2004 from a brain tumor treatment center, two national support groups, and a statewide cancer registry. Methods: Measures for the study included the Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Questionnaire, Caregiver Mastery, and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression. A stepwise regression procedure was used to evaluate potential moderating and mediating relationships. Findings: Data did not indicate that caregiver mastery was a moderating variable. The analysis showed caregiver mastery as a partial mediator, with both a direct effect of care recipients' problem behaviors on caregivers' depressive symptoms and an indirect effect through caregiver mastery. Concerning the indirect effect, care recipients' problem behaviors were related to lower levels of caregiver mastery, which in turn were related to more depressive symptoms in caregivers. Conclusions: Findings showed a link between care recipients' problem behaviors and caregivers' depressive symptoms, a relationship that has not been well established in oncology. This association indicates one mechanism through which problem behaviors in the care recipient might lead to caregiver depressive symptoms.
- Brain tumor
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