Dementia is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the elderly. The number of Chinese dementia patients reached 5 million in 2001 and will grow rapidly by 314-336% in 2040. Caring for patients with dementia is a stressful experience, which can cause the physical and mental problems in caregivers. According to the protocol, we evaluated the burden, depression and anxiety of caregivers by Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) Scale, Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI), Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) and Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS). 90 caregivers of dementia patients and 90 caregivers of nondementia patients with other chronic diseases from 24 military communities in Beijing were enrolled in this investigation. The scores of burden, depression and anxiety increased from nondementia to severe dementia groups. There were associations between patient's CDR score and CBI score, as well as the average daily care time and CBI score. In addition, the scores of SDS and SAS were both positive correlated to CBI score. Comparing to general community, the caregivers of dementia veterans had lower scores in SDS and SAS. Therefore, we should pay more attentions to the caregivers of severe dementia patients. Reduction of daily care time is a possible way to releasing the burden of caregivers. Better general supports are beneficial to reducing depression and anxiety when caregivers confront the heavy burden.
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