Predictors of caregiver burden in caregivers of individuals with dementia

J Adv Nurs. 2012 Apr;68(4):846-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2011.05787.x. Epub 2011 Jul 28.


Aims: This article is a report on a study of the multidimensional predictors of caregiver burden in caregivers of individuals with dementia using nationally representative data.

Background: Caregiver burden affects the health of both caregivers and their care-recipients. Although previous studies identified various predictors of caregiver burden, these predictors have not been confirmed in nationally representative population.

Methods: Data for this secondary analysis was provided by the National Alliance for Caregiving, American Association of Retired Persons. The data were collected through a telephone survey of randomly selected adults in seven states in 2003 (weight adjusted n = 302). Descriptive statistics, inter-correlation analysis and a hierarchical multiple regression analysis were performed.

Results/findings: Disease-related factors were the most significant predictors, explaining 16% of caregiver burden; these were followed by caregiver socio-demographical factors and caregiving-related factors (F = 21·28, P < 0·01). Significant individual predictors were impairment of activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living, the number of hours of caregiving, use of coping strategies, co-residence, spousal status and caregiver gender (P < 0·05).

Conclusion: Impaired function in care-recipients predicts caregiver burden, and also interacts with demographical- and caregiving-related factors. Thus, it will be beneficial to both care-recipients and caregivers to target nursing interventions and community services to improve the functional abilities of individuals with dementia.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dementia / nursing*
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology