This study examined the characteristics of caregivers and persons with dementia (PWD) to determine their association with caregiver depression. Participants included 508 PWD (veterans) and 486 caregivers from Boston, Houston, Providence, Beaumont (Texas), and Oklahoma City, identified from diagnoses from medical records and recruited from February 2007 to July 2009, for a larger study evaluating Partners in Dementia Care, a care-coordination intervention. Characteristics evaluated for PWD included activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, cognitive impairment, and disruptive behavior. Caregiver characteristics evaluated included caregiver unmet needs, support-service use, and number of informal helpers. Caregiver depression was measured using the Iowa form 11-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Depressed caregivers reported significantly more unmet needs than the nondepressed caregivers. Depressed caregivers also reported a high frequency of disruptive behavior in their PWD. Caregiver perceptions of unmet needs may be an important target for intervention.
Keywords: caregiver; dementia; depression; elders; veterans.
© The Author(s) 2012.