Faith-Based Support for Alzheimer's Family Caregivers in Madison County, Alabama
Alzheimer's disease, the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, is incurable. Because of the extensive long-term care required for patients with Alzheimer's, the typical caregiver is often a middle-aged family member with his or her own health problems. The purpose of this quantitative cross-sectional study was to determine the extent to which there was a difference in the perception of quality of life between Alzheimer's family caregivers who receive tangible faith-based support compared to the Alzheimer's family caregivers who receive no social support. The theoretical basis was social support theory, which suggests that support buffers stress. The sample population consisted of Alzheimer's family caregivers (n= 42) recruited through local organizations in a southern state, over a 3-month period. Faith-based support or no social support was the dependent variable of dichotomous value, and perceived quality of life was the independent variable measured by an ordinal scale. Perception of quality of life was determine using the World Health Quality of Life BREF-Survey Questionnaire. Five independent t-tests were used for statistical analysis. The study results showed the perception of physical health improved perception of quality of life when using faith-based support while the quality of life and general health, social relationships, psychological health, and environmental health null hypotheses were retained. This research contributed to positive social change by helping public policy administrators identify the impact of faith-based support on Alzheimer's family caregivers.