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Aging Ment Health. 2014 Mar;18(2):248-54. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2013.827625. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Caregiver burden mediates between caregiver's mental health condition and elder's behavioral problems among Japanese family caregivers.

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  • 1a Department of Public Health , Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences , Nagasaki , Japan.



In Japan, the prevalence of depression has been reported to occur among 1 in 4 family caregivers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the self-rated burden associated with mental health conditions among caregivers.


We studied 95 caregivers aged 38-87 years in a cross-sectional study. The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) score of 4 or more was defined as poor mental health.


The proportion of caregivers with poor mental health was 24%. Caregivers with a high GHQ-12 score had the number of caregiver burdens increased by 2.5-fold compared to those with a low GHQ-12 score (p = 0.001). The proportion of caregivers with a high GHQ-12 score was significantly higher with an increasing number of behavioral problems among care recipients (p = 0.003). A mediational model was used to identify the underlying mechanism of the relationship between the number of behavioral problems and poor mental health in caregivers. Consequently, we found that mental health conditions in caregivers were associated with both the number of caregiver burdens and behavioral problems among care recipients.


It is vital to provide support not only to the caregivers but also to their elderly relatives, paying particular attention to early identification of poor mental health in caregivers so as to administer effective interventions, and to offer useful advice concerning how to deal with behavioral problems.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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