Dementia caregiving has been described as a chronically stressful situation with adverse cardiovascular effects. Psychological resources such as mindfulness may reduce the impact of stress on caregivers' cardiovascular health. The objective of this study was to analyze the moderating effect of trait mindfulness on the relationship between frequency of disruptive behaviors of the care recipient and blood pressure (BP) in dementia caregivers.
Participants were 110 dementia family caregivers. Two hierarchical regressions (for systolic and diastolic BP) were conducted to analyze whether mindfulness moderates the relationship between disruptive behaviors and BP after controlling for known predictors of cardiovascular outcomes.
A significant moderator effect of mindfulness was found between the frequency of disruptive behaviors and diastolic BP (β = -.195, p < .05). Among those caregivers reporting low levels of mindfulness, the relationship between frequency of disruptive behaviors and diastolic BP was relatively stronger than among those reporting high mindfulness levels.
The results suggest that a high level of trait mindfulness may have protective effect on BP when caregivers face high levels of stress.
Mindfulness seems to be an important variable with potential for buffering the effects of caregiving stressors on caregivers' blood pressure.