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Assessment of the burden among family caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease

Introduction: The objective of this study was to examine the caregiving burden and identify the predictors of burden among family caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Materials and Method: The sample consisted of 154 family caregivers of community-dwelling Alzheimer patients. Zarit Burden Inventory was used to measure caregiver burden. Depending on the total score, the level of burden is classified as absent to little burden (0 to ≤20), mild to moderate burden (21 to 40), moderate to severe burden (41 to 60), and very severe burden (≥61). The cutoff point for the clinical depression was taken as 24. Results: The caregivers were mainly women (78.6%), the patient’s daughters (56.5%), living with the patient (79.1%), and they were not receiving any support from other family members for patient care (54.5%). The average time spent on caregiving tasks was 4.8 hours a day. The mean Zarit Burden Inventory score was 22.4. The burden scores of 39.6% of the caregivers were significant for clinical depression. The most pronounced predictors of higher burden were the absence of someone supporting the care, social isolation, the length of time spent daily for caregiving, and the patient’s age, comorbidities, and functional impairment in daily activities. Receiving psychological counselling was a protective factor against the development of burden. Conclusion: The results suggest that burden is high among the caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Strategies should be developed to support family members in countries such as Turkey, where the care is undertaken by informal caregivers. 

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Journal article
Turkish Geriatrics Society
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Turkish Journal of Geriatrics
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