Caring for a person with dementia: exploring relationships between perceived burden, depression, coping and well-being

Nurs Health Sci. 2005 Jun;7(2):81-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-2018.2005.00213.x.


This study was concerned with identifying the impact of variables such as gender, length of time caring, coping style, depression and perception of caregiving burden on the physical and psychological well-being of carers of persons with dementia. Forty-two carers aged between 21 and 88 years from Blue Care's Homecare Dementia Service and Cairns Aged Care Health Service participated in the study. A cross-sectional survey research design was used, with participants providing information on the Satisfaction with Life Scale, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, the COPE, Short Form (SF)-12 and the Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale. Perceived burden accounted for 41.7% of the variance in satisfaction with life as a subjective measure of well-being. There were no significant differences between male and female carers. Satisfaction with life was not found to decrease with length of time caring for the dementia sufferer. There were no significant findings in regard to coping style or physical health of carers. The well-being of carers can be enhanced through strategies which lead to a reduced perception of burden, with respite services providing tangible relief from burden.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Caregivers / statistics & numerical data
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dementia / epidemiology
  • Dementia / nursing*
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys
  • Home Nursing / psychology
  • Home Nursing / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Queensland / epidemiology
  • Respite Care
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires