Prevalence and risk factors of burden among caregivers of older emergency department patients

Sci Rep. 2023 May 4;13(1):7250. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-31750-1.


The number of older individuals that live independently at home is rising. These older individuals often rely on caregivers who have a similar age and health status. Therefore, caregivers may experience a high burden. We determined the prevalence and associating factors of burden among caregivers of older patients in the emergency department (ED). A cross-sectional study of primary caregivers of patients aged ≥ 70 years visiting the ED of a Dutch teaching hospital was performed. Structured interviews were conducted with patients and their caregivers. Caregiver burden was measured using the caregiver strain index (CSI). Additionally, data from questionnaires and medical records were extracted to determine potential associating factors. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were conducted to identify independent determinants for burden. Seventy-eight caregivers (39%) experienced a high burden. Multivariate analysis showed a significant association between high caregiver burden and patients with cognitive impairment or dependency for instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and more self-reported hours of care per day. Almost 40% of older patients in the ED have a caregiver who experiences a high burden. Formal assessment in the ED may help provide adequate care to the patients and their caregivers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Caregivers* / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors