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The purpose of this study was to examine the style of communication that takes place between couples in their home environment in relationship to the abilities of the spouse with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and the amount of stress and burden experienced by the caregiver. Three styles of communication emerged: parallel, questioning, and direct. Caregivers engaging in parallel communications reported greater stress and time burden than any other caregivers. Nurses need to be observant of the communication patterns that exist between caregivers and their spouses with AD and help caregivers develop successful communicative strategies that enhance interactions with their spouses.
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 1996 meeting of the Society for Education and Research in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, Nashville, TN.
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This study was funded by the Alzheimer's Association/National Association of Retired Federal Employees Pilot Research Grant program.
© 1998 W.B. Saunders Company. Published by Elsevier Inc.