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Physical disability contributes to caregiver stress in dementia caregivers

Bruce, D.G., Paley, G.A., Nichols, P., Roberts, D., Underwood, P.J. and Schaper, F. (2005) Physical disability contributes to caregiver stress in dementia caregivers. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 60 (3). pp. 345-349.

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Backgound: There have been few studies on the impact of physical illness on caregiver health. We wished to determine whether physical disability, as determined by the SF-12 survey contributes to caregiver stress. Methods: We interviewed 91 primary caregivers of dementia sufferers, aged 38-85 years old. Caregivers completed the SF-12 version of the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form Health Survey and reported on caregiver stress and concurrent medical conditions. Results: Most caregivers reported stress (76.9%), having medical conditions (72.4%) or taking medications (67.0%). The SF-12 data demonstrated that mental health problems were common and that 40.7% of the sample had some degree of physical disability. Using multiple logistic regression analysis, both SF-12 mental and physical component scores were independently associated with caregiver stress. Conclusion: Chronic disability and mental health problems were independently associated with caregiver stress. These data suggest that reducing the impact of physical disability could help ameliorate caregiver stress.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Serdi Publishing Company
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