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Aging Ment Health. 2013;17(8):966-72. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2013.790927. Epub 2013 Apr 29.

Spouse caregivers and behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.

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a Department of Health Science , Asahikawa Medical University , Hokkaido , Japan.



Only a few studies have specifically considered the role of caregiver characteristics in the presence of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). The aim of this study was to determine whether there were differences in the presence of individual BPSD between community-dwelling dementia care recipients with spouse caregivers and those with non-spouse caregivers.


Care recipients (n = 109) and their primary caregivers were recruited from memory clinic outpatients at the public psychiatric hospital in Sapporo City, Japan. Data were collected by questionnaire. Relationship with the care recipient was categorized as either 'spouse' or 'non-spouse.' The frequency of BPSD occurrence observed by the caregiver was assessed using the Troublesome Behavior Scale (TBS). Logistic regression analyses were performed to examine whether there were differences with regard to each of the 14 TBS items between spouse and non-spouse caregivers.


The number of spouse caregivers was 47 (43.1%). TBS items presented by >50% care recipients were 'repetition and/or clinging' and 'ill-natured denial and/or distortion.' After adjustment for the characteristics of caregivers and care recipients, non-spouse caregivers were found to be significantly associated with the presence of 'hiding and/or losing things,' 'rummaging,' 'crying and/or screaming,' and 'interfering with a happy home circle,' compared with spouse caregivers.


Our results suggest that non-spouse caregivers need more support with regard to certain symptoms of individual BPSD compared with spouse caregivers. Identifying caregiver characteristics that are independently associated with each individual BPSD may help customize interventions for caregivers with specific characteristics.

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