Objective: To investigate the quality of life (QoL) and depression and its correlates in carers living with early onset dementia (EOD) patients.
Method: The subjects were 49 carers, either married to or cohabiting with EOD patients, 38 with Alzheimer's disease and 11 with other types of dementia. The Quality of Life – Alzheimer Disease scale (QoL-AD) and Geriatric Depression Scale – 15 items (GDS-15) were used.
Results: The mean QoL score for the carers was 37.9 (SD 5.5) and the mean GDS-15 score 5.1 (SD 2.9). Linear regression analyses with QoL and GDS-15 score as dependent variables were performed. Increased age of the carer (B = 0.32) and greater insight of the patients (B = −0.186) were significantly associated with a better QoL for the carer. Being married (B = 2.10), having children together with the patient (B = 1.61) and being the carer of a patient with cardiovascular disease (B = 2.28) were associated significantly with a higher GDS-15 score, whereas being the carer of a patient who received domiciliary nursing care (B = −2.29) was significantly associated with a lower GDS-15 score.
Conclusion: The QoL for carers of EOD patients corresponds positively with the increased age of carers and with patients’ insight into their condition. Increased depressive symptomatology in carers was associated with being married, having offspring and caring for a patient with dementia and a co-morbid cardiovascular disease. A reduction in depression was seen in carers when the patients received domiciliary nursing care.