Caregiver profiles in dementia related to quality of life, depression and perseverance time in the European Actifcare study: the importance of social health

Aging Ment Health. 2017 Jan;21(1):49-57. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2016.1255716. Epub 2016 Nov 21.


Objectives: To identify caregiver profiles of persons with mild to moderate dementia and to investigate differences between identified caregiver profiles, using baseline data of the international prospective cohort study Actifcare.

Methods: A latent class analysis was used to discover different caregiver profiles based on disease related characteristics of 453 persons with dementia and their 453 informal caregivers. These profiles were compared with regard to quality of life (CarerQoL score), depressive symptoms (HADS-D score) and perseverance time.

Results: A 5-class model was identified, with the best Bayesian Information Criterion value, significant likelihood ratio test (p < 0.001), high entropy score (0.88) and substantive interpretability. The classes could be differentiated on two axes: (i) caregivers' age, relationship with persons with dementia, severity of dementia, and (ii) tendency towards stress and difficulty adapting to stress. Classes showed significant differences with all dependent variables, and were labelled 'older low strain', 'older intermediate strain', 'older high strain', 'younger low strain' and 'younger high strain'.

Conclusion: Differences exist between types of caregivers that explain variability in quality of life, depressive symptoms and perseverance time. Our findings may give direction for tailored interventions for caregivers of persons with dementia, which may improve social health and reduce health care costs.

Keywords: Dementia; caregivers; quality of life; social health; well-being.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Caregivers / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dementia / classification
  • Dementia / therapy*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Time Factors