Recurrent syndromal depression in caregivers

Psychol Aging. 1995 Sep;10(3):358-68. doi: 10.1037//0882-7974.10.3.358.


The authors investigated recurrent syndromal depression in 103 caregivers using a structured clinical interview. Participants who cared for a family member with a progressive dementia were assessed annually for 3 years and divided into 3 groups: never depressed (47%), episodically depressed (33%), and chronically depressed (20%). Compared with the other 2 groups, the chronically depressed caregivers reported greater levels of stress, upsetting social support, depressive symptomatology, along with higher frequencies of negative life events and more negative reactions to disruptive patient behavior. Precaregiving depression predicted depression during caregiving but did not sufficiently explain recurrent depression in caregivers. Lower levels of positive social support and higher number of life events were related to chronically elevated depressive symptoms and stress.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychological Tests
  • Recurrence