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77 Behind the Scenes: the Burden Experienced by Informal Carers of People with Dementia

Background Informal care is undoubtedly a vital to dementia care in Ireland. To date, little research has been carried out exploring the burden experienced by informal carers of people with mild to moderate dementia. The main aim of this quantitative study is to explore the burden experienced by caregivers, relative to dementia severity. The secondary aim is to identify risk factors which may be contributing to this perceived burden. Methods Fifty-two people with dementia(PwD) and their informal caregivers were recruited by convenience sampling, and data was collected as part of the 'CHESS' research trial. Data was collected during baseline assessments between April 2017 and September 2018. Dementia disease severity was measured using the Mini-Mental State Examination(MMSE), the Neuro-Psychiatric Inventory Questionnaire(NPI-Q), and the Disability Assessment for Dementia(DAD) scale. These outcome measures were then compared to levels of caregiver burden, which was measured using the Zarit-Burden Interview(ZBI). These comparisons were completed using Spearman's correlations. Socio-demographic characteristics of both the carer and PwD were then compared to caregiver burden, using Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests. Results The results of the study substantiate that behavioural disturbances(p=0.000) and increasing disability(p=0.022) of the PwD are associated with higher carer burden. The study also identified potential non-modifiable risk factors for increased carer burden. These include spousal relationship to the PwD(p=0.096), older caregiver age(p=0.208), female carer gender(p=0.083) and higher educational attainment of the caregiver(p=0.035). Some of these differ from factors influencing burden in other international populations. Conclusion This preliminary analysis is the first study of its kind to be carried out in Ireland. It sheds light on potential predictors and risk factors for carer burden and shows need for future research to be carried out in this area. Such research would help to clarify interventions which could minimise the prevalence of the burden experienced by informal caregivers.

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Type of Work
Conference paper
Oxford university press
Publication Year
Issue Number
Suppl 3
Journal Titles
Age & Ageing
Volume Number
Start Page
End Page