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Dement Geriatr Cogn Dis Extra. 2014 Feb 19;4(1):51-64. doi: 10.1159/000358234. eCollection 2014 Jan.

Caregiver Burden in Alzheimer's Disease: Differential Associations in Adult-Child and Spousal Caregivers in the GERAS Observational Study.

Author information

1
Eli Lilly and Company Limited, Windlesham, UK.
2
Lilly Italy, Florence, University of Rome 'Sapienza', Rome, Italy.
3
Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
4
Agencia Qualitat i Avaluació Sanitaries, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
5
University of Rome 'Sapienza', Rome, Italy.
6
Philipps University, Marburg, Germany.
7
Parc Santari Sant Joan de Déu, CIBERSAM, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
8
RICE (The Research Institute for the Care of Older People), Bath, UK.
9
Toulouse University Hospital, INSERM 1027, Toulouse, France.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS:

To examine factors influencing the caregiver burden in adult-child and spousal caregivers of community-dwelling patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

METHODS:

Baseline data from the 18-month, prospective, observational GERAS study of 1,497 patients with AD in France, Germany, and the UK were used. Analyses were performed on two groups of caregivers: spouses (n = 985) and adult children (n = 405). General linear models estimated patient and caregiver factors associated with subjective caregiver burden assessed using the Zarit Burden Interview.

RESULTS:

The caregiver burden increased with AD severity. Adult-child caregivers experienced a higher burden than spousal caregivers despite spending less time caring. Worse patient functional ability and more caregiver distress were independently associated with a greater burden in both adult-child and spousal caregivers. Additional factors were differentially associated with a greater caregiver burden in both groups. In adult-child caregivers these were: living with the patient, patient living in an urban location, and patient with a fall in the past 3 months; in spouses the factors were: caregiver gender (female) and age (younger), and more years of patient education.

CONCLUSION:

The perceived burden differed between adult-child and spousal caregivers, and specific patient and caregiver factors were differentially associated with this burden.

KEYWORDS:

Adult-child caregiver; Alzheimer's disease; Europe; Observational study; Spousal caregiver

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