Burden, depression, and anxiety in caregivers of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Francesco Pagnini, Gabriella Rossi, Christian Lunetta, Paolo Banfi, Gianluca Castelnuovo, Massimo Corbo, Enrico Molinari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease caused by the degeneration of motor neurons. The burden for ALS caregivers is quite high. There are still few studies that have investigated the emotional impact of ALS care. We conducted a cross-sectional study among 40 ALS caregivers, assessing general worries, burden of care, depression, anxiety, perception of social support, and patients' severity of disease. Caregiver burden, depression, and anxiety were positively related with each other, and all these variables had a negative relation with social support. Patient's loss of physical functions was positively related with caregiver burden, anxiety, and somatic expression of depression. Caregivers expressed worries for their own health conditions. Given these results, we consider the hypothesis of an emotional-somatic impact of ALS care. The implications and limitations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-693
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • care burden
  • caregivers
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Medicine(all)


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