The patient–caregiver dyad: the impact of cognitive and functional impairment

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Abstract

This study evaluates the cognitive impairment impact on the caregiver’s burden and quality of life. Patient–caregiver dyads admitted to dementia Diagnostic-Therapeutic Care Pathway underwent a psychological and neuropsychological assessment. Overall, 30 caregivers (age 58.97 ± 14.68) of patients with dementia and 28 caregivers (age 58.57 ± 12.22) of patients with MCI were recruited. Caregiver’s burden is positively correlated to the number (r =.37, p =.003) and severity (r =.37, p =.003) of neuropsychiatric patient’s symptoms and with the caregiver’s distress (r =.36, p =.004). It is also negatively related to good quality of life perception (r = −.52, p = <.0001), to lower cognitive impairment (r = −.26, p =.05), to higher patient’s residual functional abilities in daily living (r = −.32, p =.010) and to positive perception of the physician’s communication (r = −.28, p =.026). Moreover, the caregiver’s burden is significantly predicted by the patient’s low level of instrumental activity of daily living (β = −.74; p =.043) and by the number of neuropsychiatric symptoms (β =.74; p =.029). Thus, this study suggests that the autonomy and neuropsychiatric symptoms may determine the caregiver’s burden.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2481-2490
Number of pages10
JournalNeurological Sciences
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Burden
  • Caregiver
  • Dementia
  • MCI
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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