Predictors of depression among Chinese family caregivers of Alzheimer patients.

From April 1996 to January 1997, 74 Alzheimer disease (AD) patients and their caregivers were recruited for participation in a comprehensive assessment at the Veterans General Hospital-Taipei, a 2,198-bed tertiary care teaching hospital in Taipei, Taiwan. Diagnosis of AD was made according to criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-III-R (DSM-III-R).

All AD patients were tested with the Chinese version of Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument (CASI). Their primary caregivers rated the patients using the Revised Memory and Behavior Problems Checklist (RMBPC), the short version of Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-S), and obtained information about coping strategies using the Carer’s Stress scale. The three subscale scores for memory-related problems, depression, and disruptive behavior were obtained from the RMBPC. Scores for three subscales for management of situations, meaning, and distress were obtained from the coping strategies’ assessment. Depression was defined as a GDS-S score > or = 5. Among the 74 AD patients, 38 were men and 36 women. Their ages ranged from 47 to 90 years, with a mean age of 72.2 years (SD, 9.0). The CASI scores ranged from 1 to 88 (mean, 45.2; SD, 22.9). Thirty-three caregivers were men and 41 were women. Their age ranged from 20 to 85 years, with a mean age of 53.5 years (SD, 16.9). Twenty-six of the 74 caregivers (35.1%) were classified as depressed.

The GDS-S scores of caregivers were correlated positively with the frequency of the use of a management of distress coping strategy and the frequency of the patients’ disruptive behavior and were correlated negatively with the educational years of the caregivers.

Source: Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord 1999 Jul-Sep;13(3):171-5

PMID: 10485577, UI: 99413587

(Neurological Institute, Veterans General Hospital-Taipei, Taiwan. )

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