Association between burden and depression in caregivers of dementia patients
Aim: The pilot study aimed to determine the association between burden and depression in caregivers caring for dementia patients. Design: Quantitative research; a cross-sectional study. Methods: Data were collected using a set of standardized questionnaires. Patients’ performance in activities of daily living was assessed using the Barthel scale. The subset for caregivers included the Zarit Burden Interview, Caregiver Strain Index and Beck Depression Inventory. Results: The pilot study sample comprised 100 lay caregivers of dementia patients. More than 50% of caregivers of patients with moderate to severe dementia experienced moderate to severe burden as compared with those caring for individuals with mild or minimal depression. The median burden scores were 54 and 38 in caregivers with and without depression, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in burden scores with respect to depression. There were positive correlations between depression measured with the Beck Depression Inventory and both Zarit Burden Interview scores (0.4898) and Caregiver Strain Index scores (0.3379). Conclusion: The pilot study results confirm that caregivers are at risk for the development of depression associated with burden of care for dementia patients. It is essential to pay attention to carers, testing them regularly to assess both caregiver burden and the development of depression.
Keywords: caregiver burden, caregiver depression, dementia patient