The underlying aim of any caregiving intervention is to bring about a meaningful change. The most tried and true method of doing so is fostering caregiving self-efficacy, one’s personal self-confidence regarding their ability to perform a specific caregiving behavior1-3. Researchers have established that interventions which provide caregivers with important skills and tools can help increase their caregiving self-efficacy4,5.
However, improving skills and fostering self-efficacy goes beyond simply increasing confidence in one’s caregiving abilities. A person’s beliefs about their self-efficacy can actually have effects on their psychosocial functioning, like their level of vulnerability to emotional distress7,8. One’s beliefs about self-efficacy can also impact whether a person will initiate coping behaviors, how much effort they will put into coping behaviors, and for how long they will sustain their efforts in the face of adversity7. Therefore, researchers believe that self-efficacy can actually help explain why some caregivers cope better with caregiving burden and stress than others6.
For example, caregivers with low self-efficacy tend to focus on their weaknesses or areas of difficulty and have decreased motivation, putting them at greater risk for experiencing depression, anxiety, and even anger4. On the contrary, caregivers with increased self-efficacy are more likely to be able to continue providing care as their loved one’s condition progresses and tasks become more difficult without this having as big of an impact on their own emotional distress6,9.
Caregivers with increased self-efficacy are more likely to be able to continue providing care as their loved one’s condition progresses and tasks become more difficult without this having as big of an impact on their own emotional distress.
It is evident that self-efficacy is a powerful force that not only promotes skilled and effective caregiving, but may also enhance the sustainability of caregiving by increasing one’s resilience and decreasing one’s vulnerability to the emotional distress and burden of caregiving10. After all, sustainable family caregiving plays a large role in the effort to have the aging population age-in-place. For this reason, interventions must ensure that their programs are designed with the intent to target and increase self-efficacy.
To learn more about how our tools can help foster confidence in caregivers, please contact Amber at firstname.lastname@example.org or 917-975-9769.