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Acta Clin Croat. 2014 Mar;53(1):17-21.

Prevalence of anxiety and depression in caregivers of Alzeheimer's dementia patients.


Alzheimer's dementia (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder, which affects 30 million people worldwide. With aging of the population, it is becoming an increasing problem in Croatia. Alzheimer's dementia represents not only problem for the patient but affects the patients' caregivers as well. Caring for a patient with AD carries a significant physical, socioeconomic and psychological burden. Previous studies have shown an increased risk of physical and psychiatric illness. The aim of our study was to evaluate the prevalence and intensity of anxious and depressive symptoms in caregivers of AD patients treated at Vrapce University Psychiatric Hospital in Zagreb. The study included 30 caregivers of AD patients. Participants were included consecutively, during July and August 2010. The Croatian version of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to assess the level of anxiety and depression in study participants. The mean level of anxiety and depression as measured by HADS was 10.46 +/- 4.26 and 8.03 +/- 4.08, respectively. A pathologic level of anxiety was found in 14 (46.7%) and pathologic level of depression as measured by HADS in 8 (26.7%) caregivers. This study showed that not only appropriate treatment of AD patients is necessary, but AD patient caregivers should also be provided due care and support.

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