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Examining carer stress in dementia: the role of subtype diagnosis and neuropsychiatric symptoms

Lookup NU author(s): Dr David Lee, Professor Ian McKeith, Dr Urs Mosimann, Professor Alan Thomas

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Abstract

Introduction Caring for people with dementia incurs significant stress for carers. Stress has been related to the duration of caring role, the number of weekly hours provided and severity of cognitive impairment. What remains less clear is the impact of neuropsychiatric symptoms and subtype of dementia on carer stress and this study aimed to examine these. Methods Dementia carers were recruited for people with a range of dementia subtypes. Carers were interviewed using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory with the Carer Distress Scale. Cognitive fluctuations were assessed using the Dementia Cognitive Fluctuations Scale. All patients were also examined with The Cambridge Assessment for mental disorders in the elderly. Results Dementia diagnostic subtype, the presence of cognitive fluctuations and some neuropsychiatric symptoms (psychosis and mood disturbance) did predict carer stress (all at p??0.33). Carers of people with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) experienced more stress than those caring for patients with Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. Carer stress was associated with higher levels of psychosis, mood disturbances, daytime sleep and cognitive fluctuations in the person with dementia. Conclusions This study identified the significant impact on carers of providing care for people with DLB and PDD dementia subtypes and also highlighted the significant impact of providing care for patients with high levels of psychosis, mood disturbances and cognitive fluctuations. Copyright (c) 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Lee DR, McKeith I, Mosimann U, Ghosh-Nodyal A, Thomas AJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Year: 2013

Volume: 28

Issue: 2

Pages: 135-141

Print publication date: 15/03/2012

ISSN (print): 0885-6230

ISSN (electronic): 1099-1166

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gps.3799

DOI: 10.1002/gps.3799


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