TitleDaily stressors and adult day service use by family caregivers: effects on depressive symptoms, positive mood, and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsZarit, SH, Whetzel, CA, Kim, K, Femia, EE, Almeida, DM, Rovine, MJ, Klein, LCousino
JournalAm J Geriatr Psychiatry
Date Published2014 Dec
KeywordsAdult, Affect, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Biomarkers, Caregivers, Day Care, Medical, Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate, Dementia, Depression, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Stress, Psychological

<p><b>OBJECTIVE: </b>This study examines effects of daily use of adult day service (ADS) programs by caregivers of individuals with dementia (IWD) on a salivary biomarker of stress reactivity, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-S), and whether these effects on DHEA-S are associated with daily variability in positive mood and depressive symptoms.</p><p><b>METHODS: </b>We used a daily diary design of 8 consecutive days with alternation of intervention (ADS) and nonintervention days to evaluate within- and between-person effects of the intervention. Family caregivers (N = 151) of IWD who were using ADS were interviewed daily by telephone at home. Saliva samples were collected from caregivers five times a day for 8 consecutive days and were assayed for DHEA-S. Daily telephone interviews assessed daily stressors and mood.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>DHEA-S levels were significantly higher on days after ADS use. Daily DHEA-S levels covaried significantly with daily positive mood but not with depressive symptoms.</p><p><b>CONCLUSION: </b>These results demonstrate an association of ADS use by family caregivers and higher DHEA-S levels on the next day. Prior research has found that higher DHEA-S levels are protective against the physiologic damaging effects of stressor exposure and may reduce risks of illness. Regular use of ADS may help reduce depletion of DHEA-S and allow the body to mount a protective and restorative response to the physiologic demands of caregiving. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine DHEA-S levels across the day in connection with an intervention that affected daily exposure to stressors.</p>

Alternate JournalAm J Geriatr Psychiatry
PubMed ID24566240
PubMed Central IDPMC4119567
Grant ListR01 AG031758 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States