Needs of caregivers of the patients with dementia

E. Rosa, G. Lussignoli, F. Sabbatini, A. Chiappa, S. Di Cesare, L. Lamanna, O. Zanetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was conducted to isolate the needs families express both for medical and psychological care, and for educational and social support in 112 caregivers of patients affected by moderate to severe dementia (mini mental state examination=MMSE score: 9 ± 7) consecutively recruited at our Memory Clinic, to develop approaches as individualized as possible. The medical needs caregivers express are mainly relative to a better knowledge of the disease (78%) and the exact diagnosis (65%); the education-related needs are mainly relative to the acquisition of communicational skills (83%) and the optimal handling of cognitive (77%) and behavioral disorders (81%); the psychological ones mainly concern the area of assistance induced emotional stress management (37%) and the elaboration of feelings such as anxiety, rage and guilt (49%). Variance analysis shows a correlation between emotional caregivers' needs and the subjective and objective burdens they carry. Despite the attention to the role families play in caring for patients with a diagnoses of moderate to severe dementia, caregivers still express low levels of illness-consciousness and high levels of psychological discomfort. A lot more ought to be done in order to provide better information about the disease, about appropriate cognitive and behavioral disorder management skills, and about viable psychological support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-58
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


  • Caregivers' burden
  • Dementia in elderly
  • Depressive mood
  • Needs of caregivers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Health(social science)
  • Gerontology


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