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Caregiver burden and quality of life 2 years after attendance at a memory clinic

Objectives: We aimed to describe (1) the burden and health-related quality of life (HRQL) of informal caregivers of new patients attending a memory assessment service (MAS), (2) changes in these outcomes over 2 years, and (3) satisfaction with services.; Methods: Informal caregivers of patients attending one of 73 MASs throughout England completed questionnaires at the patient's first appointment, and 6 and 12 months later. Participants from 30 of these MASs were also followed up at 24 months. Questionnaires covered caregivers' sociodemographic characteristics, Zarit Burden Interview, EQ-5D-3L, and satisfaction with services. We used multivariable linear regression to assess relationships between burden, HRQL, and caregiver and patient characteristics.; Results: Of 1020 caregivers at baseline, 569 were followed up at 6 months, 452 at 12 months, and 187 at 24 months. There was a small increase in caregiver burden over 2 years (effect size 0.30 SD). These changes were not associated with most caregiver or patient characteristics, except socio-economic deprivation, which was associated with larger increases in burden at 2 years. Caregivers' HRQL was weakly associated with burden and showed a small reduction over time (0.2 SD). Most caregivers were satisfied with services, but caregivers who were not satisfied with the services they received reported greater increases in burden.; Conclusions: Increases in caregiver burden and reductions in HRQL appear to be small over the first 2 years after attending a MAS. However, the longer term impact on caregivers and those they care for needs investigating, as do strategies to reduce their burden.

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John Wiley & Sons Ltd
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International Journal Of Geriatric Psychiatry
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