Personality and coping: Predictors of depression and sleep problems among caregivers of individuals who have cancer

Patricia A. Carter, Gayle J. Acton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


This cross-sectional study described personality and coping and examined their relationships with depression and sleep in 51 adult caregivers of individuals who have cancer. Findings are compared with dementia caregiver literature. Fifty-two percent of caregivers reported Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D) scores greater than 16, and 95% reported Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) scores greater than 5, indicating risk for clinical depression and severe sleep problems. Less functional coping, optimism, mastery, neuroticism, and sleep predicted 66.4% of the variance in depression. Less functional coping, mastery, neuroticism, and depression predicted 41% of the variance in sleep. Neuroticism and mastery predicted 45.3% of the variance in less functional coping strategies. Caregiver optimism and mastery levels were consistent with levels found in dementia studies. Neuroticism scores were higher than in studies of caregivers of individuals with dementia. Mastery and neuroticism were related to depression, as in other caregiver studies. Findings suggest there are far more similarities than differences between caregivers of individuals who have cancer and caregivers of those who have dementia. Caregiver personality and coping strategies appear to be related to caregiver outcomes similarly in the cancer and dementia populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-53
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Gerontological Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Gerontology


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