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Acta Med Okayama. 2007 Apr;61(2):71-80.

The effects of caregiving resources on the incidence of depression over one year in family caregivers of disabled elderly.

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  • 1Department of Public Helath, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama 700-8558, Japan.


The purpose of the study was to investigate the over-time effects of physical, psychological and social resources on the incidence of depression in family caregivers of the disabled elderly. Data were collected twice at a one-year interval from 1,141 primary caregivers of a disabled older person in an urban area of Japan using a self-reported questionnaire survey. The questionnaire included physical health as an indicator of physical resources, caregiving satisfaction and intention to care as indicators of psychological resources, and instrumental and emotional support network and formal home care service utilization as indicators of social resources. The mental health outcome measure was the General Health Questionnaire 12-item version (GHQ-12). Complete data on 235 non-depressed female caregivers were separated into 3 groups according to the relationship type (wife, daughter and daughter-in-law) and analyzed separately. Multivariate logistic regression models controlling for duration of caregiving, care-recipient's gender, ADL dependency and behavioral problems demonstrated that significant predictors of depression were caregiving satisfaction and intention to care in wives, caregiving satisfaction in daughters, and physical health and emotional support network in daughters-in-law. Noteworthy, intention to care increased the risk of depression in wives, while decreasing the risk of depression in daughters-in-law. The findings indicate that the effects of caregivers' resources on mental health may differ by relationship type.

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