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Given the rate of the undiagnosed cases of dementia and the consequences of inappropriate care, understanding the factors that explain the use of medical and health care in dementia is a critical concern. Our objective was to identify the psychosocial and medical determinants of use of care in dementia.
The study sample consisted of 308 participants: the persons with dementia (n = 99) selected from three French population-based cohorts (i.e. PAQUID, 3C, AMI), their family caregivers (primary, n = 96, and secondary, n = 51), and their general practitioners (n = 62). Use of care in dementia was considered according to two indicators: (1) recourse to secondary care, (2) number of community and health services used.
Multiple logistic models including sociodemographics and psychosocial variables revealed that the determinants of nonuse of care are similar both for the recourse to secondary care and for the number of community and health services used: lack of education and the contribution of the people with dementia to the decisions regarding their own care and dementia care services in the community area. In addition, satisfaction of the primary caregiver with the services used by his/her relative is associated with non-recourse to secondary care.
Taken together, these results highlight the predominant role of psychosocial factors in the use of care in dementia and the importance of addressing this issue through an integrative approach including psychological, social, medical, and family dimensions.
This exploratory study investigated the associations of individual characteristics of both persons with dementia and family caregivers with the nutritional status of caregivers.
This cross-sectional study was conducted at home by psychogerontologist within the frame of a community gerontological center in rural areas of south west France. The study participants comprised 56 community-dwelling persons with dementia (mean 80.7 years, SD 6.5) and 56 family caregivers (mean 70.9 years, SD 11.0). Persons with dementia were assessed with Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Basic Activities Of Daily Living (ADL), Instrumental ADL (IADL), and NeuroPsychiatric Inventory (NPI), and family caregivers with the Burden Interview (Zarit scale), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI Y-B), the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), the emotional impact measure of NPI and the Autonomy, Gerontology and Group Resources scale (AGGIR scale). For both, nutritional status was evaluated using the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA®).
Among family caregivers, 32.1% were at risk of malnutrition and 5.4% were malnourished, and among people with dementia, 58.9% and 23.2%, respectively. NPI severity score of apathy of persons with dementia (Beta = −0.342, p = 0.001), dependency on AGGIR scale (Beta = −0.336, p = 0.002), and CES-D score of caregivers (Beta = −0.365, p = 0.001) were associated with caregivers’ MNA score (Adjusted R2 = 0.480, p < 0.001).
These preliminary findings emphasize the need for routine assessment of depressive symptoms, functional and nutritional status in dementia family caregivers, and confirm the value of investigating caregivers’ nutritional risk through an integrative view including psychosocial approach.
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