Date of Award

Spring 5-1985

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Community & Environmental Health


Community Health Professions

Committee Director

Andrew J. Brown

Committee Member

Kathleen C. Kirasic

Committee Member

Lynn D. Johnston

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.C48M36


In assessing professional caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease victims, this study tested whether, 1) knowledge would influence perceptions of burden in providing care to such patients, and if 2) individual locus of control would influence perceptions of burden in caring for; Alzheimer's I patients. Professional nurses (BSN's, RN's, and LPN's) from nursing banes, hospitals and psychiatric facilities were asked to complete a three part survey. Three instruments were utilized in this study: the Burden Self-Interview by Zarit, Reeves and Bach-Peterson and adapted for professional caregivers, a 15 item knowledge quiz and the North Carolina Internal External scale (short form) by Schopler, Lanqmeyer, Stokols and Reisman (1983). A total of 134 participants completed the study. Findings included, 1) Knowledge of the disease process was not significantly related to nurses perceptions of burden in caring for Alzheimer's patients and 2) Locus of control was significantly related to nurses perceptions of burden in caring for Alzheimer's patients. The study has implications for more in depth research. The findings failed to provide support for educational training on clinical aspects of Alzheimer's disease as a tool for impacting on a sense of burden. The findings related to Locus of Control however, indicate that instruction of nurses on the management of Alzheimer's patients, as well as techniques for altering nurses personal responses to difficult behavior may be an effective training strategy.


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