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Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2013 Jul;48(7):1145-52. doi: 10.1007/s00127-013-0652-8. Epub 2013 Jan 23.

Prevalence and factors related to depressive symptoms among family caregivers of nursing home residents in Taiwan.

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School of Nursing, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan.



The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to understand the prevalence and risk factors for depressive symptoms among nursing home residents' family caregivers in Taiwan.


Family caregivers (n = 191) of nursing home residents were recruited by stratified random sampling from 16 nursing homes throughout Taiwan. Data were collected from caregivers in face-to-face interviews on depressive status (using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale; CES-D), on meaning ascribed to visiting nursing home residents (using the Family Meaning of Nursing-Home Visits scale), and on demographic data. Factors related to depressive symptoms were analyzed by multiple logistic regression.


The prevalence of depressive status among family caregivers was 29.8 % as determined by the CES-D cutoff score of ≥10. The non-depressed group (CES-D <10) tended to visit residents for emotional maintenance (odds = 0.54), while the depressed group (CES-D ≥10) tended to visit due to sense of responsibility for monitoring care quality (odds = 3.25). These results demonstrate that risk factors for depressive symptoms in family caregivers were their age, self-perceived health status, education level, and being the resident's main caregiver before admission.


These results fill a gap in knowledge by providing detailed, evidence-based data on family caregivers' priorities for visiting nursing home residents and it is related to depression. These results also provide useful information for designing intervention protocols to reduce depressive symptoms in family caregivers of nursing home residents, not only in Asian countries, but also in western countries with many Chinese/Asian immigrants.

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