Purpose: The purpose of the study was to develop a short and a screening version of the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) that would be suitable across diagnostic groups of cognitively impaired older adults, and that could be used for cross-sectional, longitudinal, and intervention studies.
Design and methods: We used data from 413 caregivers of cognitively impaired older adults referred to a memory clinic. We collected information on caregiver burden with the 22-item ZBI, and information about dependence in activities of daily living (ADLs) and the frequency of problem behaviors among care recipients. We used factor analysis and item-total correlations to reduce the number of items while taking into consideration diagnosis and change scores.
Results: We produced a 12-item version (short) and a 4-item version (screening) of the ZBI. Correlations between the short and the full version ranged from 0.92 to 0.97, and from 0.83 to 0.93 for the screening version. Correlations between the three versions and ADL and problem behaviors were similar. We further investigated the behavior of the short version with a two-way analysis of variance and found that it produced identical results to the full version.
Implications: The short and screening versions of the ZBI produced results comparable to those of the full version. Reducing the number of items did not affect the properties of the ZBI, and it may lead to easier administration of the instrument.