Depression and associated factors of informal caregivers versus professional caregivers of demented patients

Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2005 Aug;59(4):473-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2005.01401.x.


To examine the differences in depressive state and associated factors between informal and professional caregivers, a cross-sectional study was carried out in 23 informal home-based caregivers of demented patients, 24 professional caregivers working in the dementia ward of a psychiatric hospital, and 31 controls. Measurements included severity of dementia (Clinical Dementia Rating Scale, Mini Mental State Examination, MMSE) and levels of caregivers depression (Beck Depression Inventory; BDI), care burden (Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview; ZBI) and quality of life (World Health Organization-Quality of Life-26, WHO-QOL26). Informal caregivers had the highest BDI score and ZBI and the lowest QOL among the three studied groups. Regarding informal caregivers, there was a strong positive correlation between BDI and ZBI scores. The BDI and ZBI scores were significantly high when patients exhibited behavioral problems. The four WHO-QOL categories (physical domain, psychological domain, social relationships and environment) had a strong negative correlation with BDI. Regression analysis demonstrated that the psychological domain points of WHO-QOL, role strain factor of ZBI and MMSE score were significantly associated with BDI. Regarding professional caregivers, their BDI score had a strong negative correlation with the physical and psychological domains and environment categories of WHO-QOL. Regression analysis demonstrated that their BDI score was significantly associated with the psychological domain and environment. It is thus very important to provide sufficient social care services and/or personal support to informal caregivers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Caregivers / statistics & numerical data
  • Cost of Illness
  • Dementia* / psychology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurses
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology