Dementia patient suffering and caregiver depression

Richard Schulz, Kathleen A. McGinnis, Song Zhang, Lynn M. Martire, Randy S. Hebert, Scott R. Beach, Bozena Zdaniuk, Sara J Czaja, Steven H. Belle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses were carried out to assess the relationship between dementia patient suffering, caregiver depression, and antidepressant medication use in 1222 dementia patients and their caregivers. We assessed the prevalence of 2 types of patient suffering, emotional and existential distress, and examined their independent associations with caregiver depression and antidepressant medication use when controlling for sociodemographic characteristics of caregivers and patients, cognitive and physical disability of the patient, the frequency of patient memory problems and disruptive behaviors, and the amount of time spent caring for the patient. Multiple linear regression models showed that both aspects of perceived patient suffering independently contribute to caregiver depression (emotional distress: b =1.24; P<0.001; existential distress: b = 0.66; P<0.01) whereas only existential suffering contributes to antidepressant medication use: odds ratio= 1.25 95% confidence interval, 1.10-1.42; P<0.01. In longitudinal analyses, increases in both types of suffering were associated with increases in caregiver depression (emotional distress: β = 1.02; P<0.01; existential distress: β = 0.64; P<0.01). This is the first study to show in a large sample that perceived patient suffering independently contributes to family caregiver depression and medication use. Medical treatment of patients that maintain or improve memory but do not address suffering may have little impact on the caregiver. Alzheimer disease patient suffering should be systematically assessed and treated by clinicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-176
Number of pages7
JournalAlzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008

Fingerprint

Psychological Stress
Caregivers
Dementia
Depression
Antidepressive Agents
Linear Models
Alzheimer Disease
Cross-Sectional Studies
Odds Ratio
Confidence Intervals

Keywords

  • Anti-depressant use
  • Caregiving
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Suffering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Gerontology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Schulz, R., McGinnis, K. A., Zhang, S., Martire, L. M., Hebert, R. S., Beach, S. R., ... Belle, S. H. (2008). Dementia patient suffering and caregiver depression. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, 22(2), 170-176. https://doi.org/10.1097/WAD.0b013e31816653cc

Dementia patient suffering and caregiver depression. / Schulz, Richard; McGinnis, Kathleen A.; Zhang, Song; Martire, Lynn M.; Hebert, Randy S.; Beach, Scott R.; Zdaniuk, Bozena; Czaja, Sara J; Belle, Steven H.

In: Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, Vol. 22, No. 2, 01.04.2008, p. 170-176.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Schulz, R, McGinnis, KA, Zhang, S, Martire, LM, Hebert, RS, Beach, SR, Zdaniuk, B, Czaja, SJ & Belle, SH 2008, 'Dementia patient suffering and caregiver depression', Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 170-176. https://doi.org/10.1097/WAD.0b013e31816653cc
Schulz R, McGinnis KA, Zhang S, Martire LM, Hebert RS, Beach SR et al. Dementia patient suffering and caregiver depression. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders. 2008 Apr 1;22(2):170-176. https://doi.org/10.1097/WAD.0b013e31816653cc
Schulz, Richard ; McGinnis, Kathleen A. ; Zhang, Song ; Martire, Lynn M. ; Hebert, Randy S. ; Beach, Scott R. ; Zdaniuk, Bozena ; Czaja, Sara J ; Belle, Steven H. / Dementia patient suffering and caregiver depression. In: Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders. 2008 ; Vol. 22, No. 2. pp. 170-176.
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