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Caregiver burden assessed in dementia care networks in Germany: findings from the DemNet-D study baseline

Objectives: This paper aimed to describe the burden experienced by informal caregivers supporting a person with dementia (PwD) who lives at home and utilizes a dementia care network (DCN), to investigate the factors that are associated with caregiver burden, and to identify possible differences in caregiver burden among different types of DCNs.; Method: This study was part of a multi-center, interdisciplinary evaluation of DCNs in Germany (DemNet-D). Cross-sectional data were collected in face-to-face interviews with people with dementia (PwDs) and their caregivers, and 13 DCNs were represented. Standardized questionnaires were used to assess caregiver burden, challenging PwD behaviors, functional competence and caregiver health status. Based on qualitative data, four DCN governance types were used in a multivariate analysis of burden categories.; Results: There were 560 PwD-caregiver dyads enrolled in the study. Informal caregivers (n = 536) reported a low-to-moderate burden associated with PwD characteristics (instrumental activities of daily living, challenging behaviors) and caregiver characteristics (gender) as well as the relationship between the caregivers and PwDs. Women felt more burdened but also showed higher levels of personal development. No differences were observed among the different DCN governance types.; Conclusions: DCNs might contribute toward moderate to low caregiver burden. Indicators of positive caregiving aspects can be used by DCNs to advance support structures for informal caregivers drawing upon interventions already established for other community settings. Particular interest should be paid to female and spousal caregivers who might be in in need of greater and/or different kinds of support.

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Journal article
Informa Healthcare
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Aging & Mental Health
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