The emotional impact of psychiatric symptoms in dementia on partner caregivers: Do caregiver, patient, and situation characteristics make a difference?

Franka J.M. Meiland*, Martin G. Kat, Willem Van Tilburg, Cees Jonker, Rose Marie Dröes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This study aims to investigate the emotional impact of psychiatric symptoms of patients with dementia on their caregiving partners, and to explore if caregiver, patient, and situation factors predict this emotional impact on caregivers. A cross-sectional design was used. Partners of patients with slight to moderately severe dementia who live in the community (n = 85) were interviewed. In a subgroup (n = 58) potential predictors of emotional impact of psychiatric symptoms on caregivers were studied. Agitation, irritability, apathy, and disinhibition produced the highest mean emotional impact scores in caregivers. Besides the neuropsychiatric symptoms themselves, the emotional impact of these symptoms on caregivers was predicted by sense of competence, degree of care needed by the patient, and financial expenditure due to the caregiving situation. The emotional impact of psychiatric symptoms on caregivers is predicted by several patient, caregiver, and situation factors. Interventions aimed at decreasing the experienced burden of caregivers should therefore not only focus on the psychiatric symptoms of the patient, but also on the sense of competence of the caregiver and the financial burden due to the caregiving situation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-201
Number of pages7
JournalAlzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2005

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