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Title: Dementia and caregiver burden: A three-year longitudinal study.
Austin Authors: Connors, Michael H;Seeher, Katrin;Teixeira-Pinto, Armando;Woodward, Michael M ;Ames, David;Brodaty, Henry
Affiliation: National Ageing Research Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration, School of Psychiatry, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, School of Psychiatry, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Issue Date: Feb-2020
Date: 2019-12-10
Publication information: International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 2020; 35(2): 250-258
Abstract: Dementia, with its progressive cognitive and functional decline and associated neuropsychiatric symptoms, places a large burden on caregivers. While frequently studied, longitudinal findings about the overall trajectory of burden are mixed. The study sought to characterize caregiver burden over a 3-year period and identify predictors of this burden. Seven-hundred-and-eighty-one patients with dementia were recruited from nine memory clinics around Australia. Measures of caregiver burden, cognition, function, and neuropsychiatric symptoms were completed with patients and their caregivers at regular intervals over a 3-year period. Patients' level of services and medication use were also recorded. Of the 720 patients with measures of caregiver burden at baseline, 47.4% of caregivers had clinically significant levels of burden. This proportion increased over time, with 56.8% affected at 3 years. Overall levels of burden increased for caregivers of patients without services, though did not change for caregivers of patients receiving services or residential care after controlling for other variables. Patient characteristics-including greater neuropsychiatric symptoms, lower functional ability, fewer medications, lack of driving ability-and female sex of caregivers were associated with greater burden. High levels of caregiver burden are present in a large proportion of caregivers of people with dementia and this increases over time for those without services. Clinical characteristics of patients (including neuropsychiatric symptoms, function, overall health, driving status), level of services, and caregiver sex appear to be the best predictors of this burden. These characteristics may help identify caregivers at greater risk of burden to target for intervention.
DOI: 10.1002/gps.5244
ORCID: 0000-0001-9487-6617
Journal: International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
PubMed URL: 31821606
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Alzheimer's disease
caregiver burden
carer burden
neuropsychiatric symptoms
vascular dementia
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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