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South Med J. 1992 Nov;85(11):1096-100.

Reduction of caregiver stress by respite care: a pilot study.

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Department of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610-0277.


The purpose of this study was to determine whether providing respite care to persons with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias decreased stress and mood disturbances in caregivers. Caregivers of persons receiving respite care (n = 7), and not receiving respite care (n = 8) were tested at entry into the study and at 5 weeks and 10 weeks, using the Profile of Mood States and the Relative's Stress Scale. Using repeated measures analysis of variance, a downward trend for study subjects and an upward trend for controls was found for Relative's Stress Scores. Similar trends were found on the Personal Distress Subscale of the Relative's Stress Scale. No difference occurred in rates of institutionalization between those receiving and not receiving day care. Our study suggests that respite care for demented persons living at home significantly reduces the stress among caregivers.

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