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Caregivers of people with dementia are likely to have psychological distress that sometimes results in mental health problems, such as depression. The objective of this study was to examine some predictive factors that are thought to be associated with psychological distress of caregivers of people with dementia in Japan.
Design: A cross-sectional study. Sample: As part of a study to estimate the cost of dementia in Japan, 1,437 people with dementia-caregiver dyads were enrolled in the current informal care time study. The measurements in the study included were the basic characteristics of the caregivers and the people with dementia, and the informal care time during a week.
Factors that predict caregivers’ psychological distress, which was measured by Kessler's Psychological Distress scale (K6) score, were evaluated using univariate and multivariate regression analyses.
Approximately 69% of the caregivers recorded a K6 score higher than 4, while 18% scored higher than 12. According to the results of the logistic regression analysis (cut-off 4/5), the K6 score was associated with mental and comorbid diseases of people with dementia, informal care time, its lower number of caregivers, and the level of nursing care. According to the results of logistic regression analysis (cut-off 12/13), the K6 score was associated with mental symptoms and comorbid disease of people with dementia, sex of caregivers, informal care time, and its lower number of caregivers.
Our findings indicated that the psychological distress of the caregivers is quite high and that informal care time and behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia are associated with it. These results corroborate with previous findings.
The Keio Twin Research Center has conducted two longitudinal twin cohort projects and has collected three independent and anonymous twin data sets for studies of phenotypes related to psychological, socio-economic, and mental health factors. The Keio Twin Study has examined adolescent and adult cohorts, with a total of over 2,400 pairs of twins and their parents. DNA samples are available for approximately 600 of these twin pairs. The Tokyo Twin Cohort Project has followed a total of 1,600 twin pairs from infancy to early childhood. The large-scale cross-sectional twin study (CROSS) has collected data from over 4,000 twin pairs, from 3 to 26 years of age, and from two high school twin cohorts containing a total of 1,000 pairs of twins. These data sets of anonymous twin studies have mainly targeted academic performance, attitude, and social environment. The present article introduces the research designs and major findings of our center, such as genetic structures of cognitive abilities, personality traits, and academic performances, developmental effects of genes and environment on attitude, socio-cognitive ability and parenting, genes x environment interaction on attitude and conduct problem, and statistical methodological challenges and so on. We discuss the challenges in conducting twin research in Japan.
Since established in 1998, the Keio Twin Project (KTP) has been dedicated to investigating genetic and environmental sources contributing to human psychological traits in adolescence and young adulthood. A population-based twin registry was constructed by the KTP through the use of official residential records in the Tokyo area, and to date requests to participate in our research have generated 1040 pairs of twins and triplets of age 14 to 30, forming one of the largest twin registries in Asia. Our comprehensive datasets, obtained through questionnaires, performance tests, and physical measurements, cover a wide range of human traits: personality, psychiatry, mental health, sociality, cognition, and physical index. Demographic variables and environment of upbringing are also sought by twins and by some parents. This extensive information allows us to clarify the genetic and environmental overlap across multiple traits as well as specificities unique to single traits. Adding an evolutionary psychology perspective to the behavior genetics framework is currently being attempted in order to develop a grand theory of human genetics.
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