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Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2008 Oct-Dec;22(4):321-6. doi: 10.1097/WAD.0b013e3181902334.

The metric properties of Zarit caregiver burden scale: validation study of a Chinese version.

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Department of Neurology and Institute of Neurology, Ruijin Hospital, Medical School of Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China.



To evaluate the Chinese version of the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) as an instrument for measuring strain in Chinese caregivers of elderly people with dementia.


The objective of the present study was to carry out a metric analysis of a Chinese version of ZBI using a cross-sectional study. Patients and their caregivers completed a variety of questionnaires, including the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), and the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA). Cronbach alpha coefficient was used to assess inter-item consistency, and a split half correlation coefficient was used to determine the internal consistency of the ZBI. Correlations between the ZBI and GDS, and the ZBI and HAMA were assessed for convergent validity. Correlations of the ZBI and MMSE, the ZBI and NPI were also calculated to evaluate the possible correlation of caregiver burden with the severity of cognitive impairment and neuropsychiatric symptoms.


There were 42 patients with dementia in the study. The intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.89 and the split half correlation coefficient was 0.87. The mean ZBI score was 24.40+/-14.68. Item-total (corrected) correlation showed significant coefficients (rs>0.33, P<0.05) for most items. There was a significant correlation between the ZBI and GDS (rs=0.57, P<0.001), and between the ZBI and HAMA (rs=0.44, P=0.003). Furthermore, there was a significant positive correlation between the ZBI and NPI, the ZBI and the agitation score, the ZBI and the apathy score, and the ZBI and MMSE.


The Chinese version of ZBI meets some of the basic reliability and validity standards required for health status measures. Further studies could lead to a better understanding of the difficulties experienced by caregivers of patients suffering from dementia in China.

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