Determinants of burden in an Italian sample of Alzheimer's patient caregivers

Orazio Zanetti, Eugenio Magni, Claudio Sandri, Giovanni B. Frisoni, Angelo Bianchetti, Marco Trabucchi

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Abstract

The association between caregiver's stress and depressive symptoms, and sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of Alzheimer's patients and caregivers was evaluated in 63 primary caregivers consecutively recruited at the Alzheimer's Dementia Research and Care Unit of Brescia, northern Italy. Family caregivers' informal support was also evaluated. Patients' behavioral disturbances, and the number of persons who lived in the household were the main correlates of caregivers' stress. The greater the number of persons, the lower the report of caregiver stress. Lower frequency of visits of friends or relatives, caregivers' poor health and higher age, and the presence of patients' behavioral disturbances were the main determinants of caregivers' depressive symptoms. Cognitive impairment of patients was not correlated to caregivers' distress. Our study underlines that the imperatives of dementia and caregiving appear to be so significant that they have similar consequences in the Italian population as well as in other very different cultures. Factors related to primary caregivers, other than patients' behavior, such as informal supports or caregivers' health and age, should be taken into account in the evaluation of caregivers' burden.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-27
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
Volume11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996

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Keywords

  • Alzheimer's patients
  • Caregivers
  • Culture
  • Depressive mood
  • Italy
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Health(social science)

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