Being the Family Caregiver of a Patient With Dementia During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Lockdown

Milena Zucca, Valeria Isella, Raffaele Di Lorenzo, Camillo Marra, Annachiara Cagnin, Chiara Cupidi, Laura Bonanni, Valentina Laganà, Elisa Rubino, Nicola Vanacore, Federica Agosta, Paolo Caffarra, Renato Sambati, Davide Quaranta, Valeria Guglielmi, Ildebrando M. Appollonio, Giancarlo Logroscino, Massimo Filippi, Gioacchino Tedeschi, Carlo FerrareseInnocenzo Rainero, Amalia C. Bruni, Erica Gallo, Alberto Grassini, Andrea Marcinnò, Fausto Roveta, Paola De Martino, Francesca Frangipane, Gianfranco Puccio, Rosanna Colao, Maria Mirabelli, Noemi Martellacci, Federica Lino, Stefano Mozzetta, Cinzia Bussè, Giulia Camporese, Simona Sacco, Maria Carmela Lechiara, Claudia Carrarini, Mirella Russo, Alfonsina Casalena, Patrizia Sucapane, Pietro Tiraboschi, Paola Caroppo, Veronica Redaelli, Giuseppe Di Fede, Daniela Coppa, Lenino Peluso, Pasqualina Insarda, Matteo De Bartolo, Sabrina Esposito, Alessandro Iavarone, Anna Vittoria Marta Orsini, Elena Salvatore, Chiara Criscuolo, Luisa Sambati, Rossella Santoro, Daniela Gragnaniello, Ilaria Pedriali, Livia Ludovico, Annalisa Chiari, Andrea Fabbo, Petra Bevilacqua, Chiara Galli, Silvia Magarelli, Marta Perini, Gianfranco Spalletta, Nerisa Banaj, Desirée Estela Porcari, Giulia Caruso, Desirée Estela Porcari, Virginia Cipollini, Anna Rosa Casini, Francesca Ursini, Giuseppe Bruno, Renzo Rozzini, Michela Brambilla, Giuseppe Magnani, Francesca Caso, Edoardo G. Spinelli, Matteo Cotta Ramusino, Giulia Perini, Simona Luzzi, Gabriella Cacchiò, Alessia Ciccola, Lorena Cionfrini, Cinzia Giuli, Katia Fabi, Marco Guidi, Cristina Paci, Annaelisa Castellano, Rossella Petrucci, Miriam Accogli, Elena Carapelle, Gianluigi Calabrese, Giovanna Nicoletta Trevisi, Brigida Coluccia, Antonella Vasquez Giuliano, Marcella Caggiula, Valentina Impagnatiello, Francesca Beretta, Antonio Milia, Giuseppina Pilia, Maria Giuseppina Mascia, Valeria Putzu, Tommaso Piccoli, Luca Cuffaro, Roberto Monastero, Antonella Battaglia, Valeria Blandino, Federica Lupo, Eduardo Cumbo, Antonina Luca, Giuseppe Caravaglios, Annalisa Vezzosi, Valentina Bessi, Gloria Tognoni, Valeria Calsolaro, Enrico Mossello, Serena Amici, Alberto Trequattrini, Salvatore Pezzuto, Patrizia Mecocci, Giulia Fichera, Samantha Pradelli, Marino Formilan, Alessandra Coin, Laura De Togni, Francesca Sala, Valentina Nicolosi, Maurizio Gallucci, Anna Paola Mazzarolo, Cristina Bergamelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Family caregivers of patients with dementia are at high risk of stress and burden, and quarantine due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may have increased the risk of psychological disturbances in this population. The current study was carried out during the national lockdown declared in March 2020 by the Italian government as a containment measure of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic and is the first nationwide survey on the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on the mental health of dementia informal caregivers. Methods: Eighty-seven dementia centers evenly distributed on the Italian territory enrolled 4,710 caregiver-patient pairs. Caregivers underwent a telephone interview assessing classical symptoms of caregiver stress and concern for the consequences of COVID-19 infection on patient's health. We calculated prevalence of symptoms and regressed them on various potential stress risk factors: caregivers' sociodemographic characteristics and lifestyle, patients' clinical features, and lockdown-related elements, like discontinuity in medical care. Results: Approximately 90% of caregivers reported at least one symptom of stress, and nearly 30% reported four or more symptoms. The most prevalent symptoms were concern for consequences of COVID-19 on patient's health (75%) and anxiety (46%). The main risk factors for stress were identified as a conflicting relationship with the patient and discontinuity in assistance, but caregiver's female sex, younger age, lower education, and cohabitation with the patient also had an impact. Availability of help from institutions or private individuals showed a protective effect against sense of abandonment but a detrimental effect on concern about the risk for the patient to contract COVID-19. The only protective factor was mild dementia severity, which was associated with a lower risk of feeling isolated and abandoned; type of dementia, on the other hand, did not affect stress risk. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate the large prevalence of stress in family caregivers of patients with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic and have identified both caregivers and situations at a higher risk of stress, which should be taken into account in the planning of interventions in support of quarantined families and patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
JournalFrontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • burden
  • caregiver
  • dementia
  • stress

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Being the Family Caregiver of a Patient With Dementia During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Lockdown'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this