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Caregiver burden is a complex and multidimensional construct. Although previous studies have explored numerous factors associated with caregiver burden, these factors have not been identified with a large population-based sample in a theory-based multidimensional way. This study explores multidimensional determinants associated with family caregiver burden to determine the main contributors of caregiver burden in Alzheimer's disease (AD) using a large community dataset.
A retrospective secondary data analysis was conducted on 1,133 patients with AD and 1,133 primary caregivers who were registered in a metropolitan city dementia center in South Korea. The patient data included socio-demographic and disease profiles. The caregiver data consisted of socio-demographic and caregiving profiles.
The study results identified that dementia-related factors were the most significant factors, representing 25.6% of caregiver burden and were followed by caregiving-related factors explaining caregiver burden significantly. Behavioral problems and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) dependency of the patient, spousal relationship, hours of caregiving, and the number of diseases associated with the caregiver were found to be significant individual variables.
It is vital to develop a service and support program with a greater emphasis on the behavioral problems and IADL deficiency of patients with AD as well as on improving the competence ability of caregivers to deal with such difficulties.
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