Correlation between burden on caregiver and clinical characteristics of patients with dementia

OBJECTIVE: To verify the correlation between caregiver burden in dementia and characteristics of patients and caregivers. METHODS: Analysis of medical records. Patient data: socio-demographic characteristics, comorbidities, medications (previous and current), onset of diagnosis and symptoms, type of dementia and severity (cognitive impairment and functional abilities), behavioral disorders. Caregiver data: socio-demographic characteristics, kinship, duration of caregiving and co-residency with the patient. Caregiver burden assessed by the Zarit interview. RESULTS: Sixty seven patients (76.8 years (± 6.2), 53.7% women) and 82% female caregivers were surveyed. Correlation between burden and behavior disorders (p<0.001), dependencies (p=0.003), onset of symptoms (p=0.016) and of caregiving (p<0.001), previous diagnosis (p=0.016) and co-residency (p=0.002) was studied. Cognitive test scores (Mini Mental and CAMCOG) were inversely proportional to distress (p=0.005 and p=0.023). Black caregivers demonstrated lower levels of stress (p=0.012). CONCLUSION: Burden was associated with behavioral disorders, dependencies, cognitive impairment, and onset of symptoms, caregiving and co-residency. Black caregivers demonstrated lower levels of stress.

Dementia; Caregiver; Burden

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