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Arch Hellen Med, 32(5), September-October 2015, 614-621


Measuring the burden on family caregivers of elderly relatives with dementia
residing in the community

G. Zacharopoulou,1 V. Zacharopoulou,2 A. Konstantinopoulou,3 N. Tsaloukidis,3 A. Lazakidou2
1Department of Economics, School of Economy, Management and Informatics, University of the Peloponnese, Tripoli,
2Department of Nursing, Faculty of Human Movement and Quality of Life Sciences, University of the Peloponnese, Sparta,
3Laboratory of Health Informatics, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Human Movement and Quality of Life Sciences, University of the Peloponnese, Sparta, Greece

OBJECTIVE To investigate the degree of burden on family caregivers of patients with dementia in the community.

METHOD A cross-sectional study was conducted on family caregivers of people with dementia in the city of Kalamata in the southern Peloponnese. Of the 110 caregivers in the study sample, 102 agreed to participate (response rate 92.7%). Data were collected via personal interviews during the period June‚ÄďAugust 2013, using the burden measurement scale "The Zarit Burden Interview", supplemented with elicitation of demographic information.

RESULTS Most of the caregivers were female (77.5%) with a mean age of 60.6 years. Most were married (68.6%), with a secondary education (34.3%), and resided in the same house as the patient (71.6%), for whom they had provided care for an average of 5.4 years. The financial situation was fair for 34.3% of carers, but 39.2% reported financial difficulties. Concerning health problems, 85.2% of the carers reported suffering from some disease themselves, which in some cases interfered with the task of caring. Of the 102 caregivers, only 8 (7.8%) had attended a training program and had received specialized information on care of persons with dementia. The data showed that 57.8% of caregivers were highly burdened, with women being affected to a greater degree (84.7%).

CONCLUSIONS This study identified a large number of caregivers who experience a high burden in caring for a relative with dementia. The gender was the most significant factor predicting the degree of burden, followed by personal health problems and level of education.

Key words: Alzheimer's disease, Burden/caregiver, Dementia.

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