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Psychological predictors of ‘living well’ with dementia: findings from the IDEAL study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

on behalf of the IDEAL study team

Original languageEnglish
JournalAging and Mental Health
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2019

King's Authors


Objectives: Increasingly, research has explored how psychological resources enable adaptation to illness. However, it is unclear whether psychological resources protect against the potential negative effects on living well with a progressive and life-limiting condition such as dementia. This paper examines the association between psychological resources and the ability to ‘live well’ with dementia. Method: Data from 1547 people with mild-to-moderate dementia in the Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life (IDEAL) cohort were used. Multivariate linear regression was employed to examine the association between self-reported measures of psychological resources (self-efficacy, optimism and self-esteem) and indices of capability to ‘live well’ (quality of life, well-being and life satisfaction). Results: All three measures of psychological resources had positive and independent associations with indices of living well and the effect sizes were similar. Effect sizes reduced when accounting for shared variance between psychological resources, showing some overlap in these constructs. Conclusion: Self-efficacy, optimism and self-esteem were each associated with capability to ‘live well’. Overlap between these three resources is evident and when combined they may provide greater resilience when dealing with the challenges of living with dementia. Interventions for people with dementia could seek to improve levels of these potentially-modifiable psychological resources.

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