Objectives: To determine if family caregivers of hospitalized individuals with dementia exhibit greater depression severity than caregivers of outpatients.
Methods: Caregivers were recruited during care recipient treatment. Measures assessed depression, stress, burden, and grief.
Results: Forty-one caregivers of a hospitalized patient and 44 caregivers of an outpatient (total N = 85) were recruited. The groups did not differ except caregivers of hospitalized patients were younger and less likely to reside with the care recipient. Regarding depression, 63.4% of caregivers of a hospitalized patient and 43.2% of caregivers of an outpatient scored within the clinical depressive symptoms range. Independent sample t-tests showed that caregivers of a hospitalized patient had greater severity of depression, burden, and grief. Caregiving for a hospitalized person remained a significant predictor of greater depression severity in regression models.
Conclusions: Family caregiving for a person hospitalized for psychiatric treatment of dementia is a risk factor for depression.