Predictors of high level of burden and distress in caregivers of demented patients: results of an Italian multicenter study.


BACKGROUND Considerable suffering is experienced by carers of patients with dementia. Most existing studies do not consider the coexistence of subjective and objective aspects that cause, interacting to each other, this suffering. OBJECTIVES In this study we: (1) define the high-risk group of caregivers on the bases of the scores obtained on the four scales evaluating burden, distress, depression and anxiety (BDDA) taken into account simultaneously and (2) evaluate risk factors related to the high level of BDDA. SUBJECTS AND METHODS 419 elderly outpatients with dementia and their caregivers were enrolled. Patients were evaluated for their cognitive, neuropsychological and functional impairment and for comorbidity. Caregivers were evaluated with four scales for the assessment of burden, distress related to neuropsychological disturbances, depression and anxiety. Cluster analysis was used to identify the group with the High level of BDDA (HBDDA). RESULTS By multiple logistic analysis, disability, specific behavioural disturbances of the patients as well as caregiver's age, type of relationship and living in the south of Italy were observed to be a major risk factor for HBDDA. CONCLUSION The targeted use of scales specifically assessing BDDA of the caregiver and the identification of particular patient and caregiver characteristics are able to allow a precise and early definition of caregivers at high risk of burden and distress. This might be helpful in planning the correct social/clinical/rehabilitative approach.

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@article{Rinaldi2005PredictorsOH, title={Predictors of high level of burden and distress in caregivers of demented patients: results of an Italian multicenter study.}, author={Patrizia Rinaldi and Liana Spazzafumo and Roberta Mastriforti and Paola Mattioli and Martina Marvardi and Maria Cristina Polidori and Antonio Cherubini and Giuseppe Abate and Luisa Bartorelli and Salvatore Bonaiuto and Antonio Capurso and Domenico Cucinotta and Maurizio Gallucci and Mauro Giordano and M. Martorelli and Giorgio Masaraki and Antonio M Nieddu and Carla Pettenati and Paola Putzu and Vincenzo Tammaro and Pia Francesca Tomassini and Carlo Vergani and Umberto Senin and Patrizia Mecocci}, journal={International journal of geriatric psychiatry}, year={2005}, volume={20 2}, pages={168-74} }