Carers' characteristics could be risk factors

Giancarlo Tamanza, Vittorio Cigoli, Orazio Zanetti, Marta Trabucchi, G. B. Frisoni, A. Bianchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives. To investigate the predictors of caregiver's depressive symptoms in a sample of community-dwelling Alzheimer's patients. Design. A cross-sectional study was conducted in an Alzheimer's unit speci®cally devoted to the care of demented patients in Brescia Province (Italy). One hundred and three dyads were consecutively recruited between July 1994 and July 1995. Caregivers were sons/daughters (65%) or husbands/wives; mean age was 54.6+13.2. Alzheimer's patients Mini Mental State Examination score was 11.3+8.3; patients were equally distributed among disease severity levels. The following variables have been collected: (a) background and context variables (caregiver's age, gender, marital status, education, relationship and cohabitation with the patient, employment status, satisfaction with household income); (b) caregiver's personal resources (health, social relationships and social interactions, formal supports use, and self-rated adequacy of performance as caregivers); (c) objective burden indicators (number of daily hours for assistance and vigilance); (d) primary stressors (patient's age and gender, cognitive status, functional status, frequency of behavioural disturbances). Caregiver's depressive symptoms represented the main outcome measure. Results. Being husband or wife, low self-rated health and caregiving competence, high numbers of hours for assistance and patient's behavioural disturbances and younger age were associated with caregiver's depressive symptoms. With multivariate analysis only relationship to the patient, caregiver's health and competence were independent predictors of caregiver's depressive symptoms. Conclusion. Factors related to the caregiverÐrelationship, health and competenceÐrather than to the patient constitute the main risk factors for caregiver's depressive symptomatology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1224-1225
Number of pages2
JournalBMJ. BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL
Volume312
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1996

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Female
  • Home Nursing
  • Caregivers
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Humans

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