Gayle Acton's research program centers on older adults, in particular, family caregivers of adults with dementia. Acton has investigated resources of affiliated-individuation, hope, self-worth, and perceived support, evaulating their relationship to stress burden and well-being in caregivers. In addition, she has investigated the role of self-transcendence and spirituality in the caregiving process. Currently, she is completing an NIH-funded meta-analysis of family caregiving interventions. Acton has expanded her view of resources to include health-promoting self-care and has conducted a secondary analysis of health-promoting self-care in family caregivers, two pilot studies of health-promoting self-care in community dwelling adults, and a pilot study of health promotion in family caregivers. Currently she has a grant proposal for a larger study of health promotion in family caregivers pending at NIH. In addition, Acton studies communication with persons with dementia as a technique to better understand their needs and plan more effective care. She has published several articles reporting the results of the above studies and has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, Veterans Integrated Service Network, American Nurses Foundation, Sigma Theta Tau Epsilon Theta, and the Center for Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Research.
adult health nursing, gerontological nursing, gerontology, meta-analysis, family caregiving for persons with dementia, theory development