Resilience of caregivers of people with dementia: a systematic review of biological and psychosocial determinants

Resiliência de cuidadores de pessoas com demência: revisão sistemática de determinantes biológicos e psicossociais


Although caregivers of people with dementia may face difficulties, some positive feelings of caregiving may be associated with resilience.


This study systematically reviewed the definitions, methodological approaches and determinant models associated with resilience among caregivers of people with dementia.


Search for articles published between 2003 and 2014 in ISI, PubMed/MEDLINE, SciELO and Lilacs using the search terms resilience, caregivers and dementia.

Results and conclusions:

Resilience has been defined as positive adaptation to face adversity, flexibility, psychological well-being, strength, healthy life, burden, social network and satisfaction with social support. No consensus was found about the definition of resilience associated with dementia. We classified the determinant variables into biological, psychological and social models. Higher levels of resilience were associated with lower depression rates and greater physical health. Other biological factors associated with higher levels of resilience were older age, African-American ethnicity and female sex. Lower burden, stress, neuroticism and perceived control were the main psychological factors associated with resilience. Social support was a moderating factor of resilience, and different types of support seemed to relieve the physical and mental overload caused by stress.

Psychological resilience; caregiver; dementia; depression

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