Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

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Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (2009), 37:95-114 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2008

Research Article

Positive Experiences in Caregivers: An Exploratory Case Series

Emma Bacona1, Derek L. Milnea2, Alia I. Sheikha2 c1 and Mark H. Freestona2

a1 Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust., UK
a2 Newcastle University, UK
Article author query
bacon e [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
milne dl [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
sheikh ai [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
freeston mh [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


Background: Recent research into positive experiences in caregivers has begun to redress the traditional focus on negative aspects of caregiving experiences. Method: This exploratory study used a cognitive-behavioural approach – namely, the transactional stress model (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984) – to investigate associations between appraisals, coping, and gains over a 6-week period in a small sample (N = 4; case series) design involving stroke caregivers. Analysis involved visual inspection of graphs, supported by descriptive statistics, and co-variation analysis. Results: Participants reported high levels of positive experiences, and these increased over the study period, a previously unreported trend. The study also found individual differences in the interactions between appraisal, coping, and caregiving gain variables, findings explained by the transactional stress model. Conclusions: Implications for clinical practice and future research are addressed.

Keywords:Positive experiences; caregivers; posttraumatic growth; coping; transactional stress model


c1 Reprint requests to Alia Sheikh, Department of Clinical Psychology, Ridley Building, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK. E-mail: