Effects of home, outside leisure, social, and peer activity on psychological health among Japanese family caregivers

Tomoko Wakui, Tami Saito, Emily M. Agree, Ichiro Kai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective: Previous research has indicated that informal caregivers personal activities are disrupted by their caregiving role, leading to psychological stress and lower life satisfaction. However, the extent to which engagement in personal activities affects caregivers psychological health remains unclear. This study examines the relationship between different types and frequencies of activities and both positive and negative parameters of the psychological health of caregivers. Methods: A mail survey was conducted with 727 family caregivers of older persons using adult day-care services in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Perceived caregiver burden, care satisfaction, life satisfaction, and depression were used as psychological health outcomes. Engagement in home, outside leisure, social, and peer activities, as well as caregiver and care-recipient characteristics and caregiving situations, were assessed using a multivariate regression analysis. Results: Engagement in home activities was related to lower scores on burden and depression and greater care satisfaction after controlling for care needs and caregiver characteristics, and social and peer activities were associated with greater life satisfaction. More frequent engagement was also associated with better psychological health, but a moderate involvement in home activities was most strongly associated with better care satisfaction. The amount of outside leisure activity was not significantly related to any of the outcomes. Conclusion: This study shows that activity type and frequency are associated with caregivers psychological health, extending previous findings and providing practical implications for the support of family caregivers through programs to improve their participation in specific types of activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-506
Number of pages7
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • burden
  • depression
  • informal caregiving
  • leisure activity
  • social activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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