Vol. 3 nº 2 - Apr/May/Jun de 2009
Original Article Páginas: 132 a 135

Dementia caregiver burgen in a brasilian sample: association to neuropsychiatric symptoms

Authors Patrícia Paes Araujo Fialho1, Anne Marise Koenig1, Etelvina Lucas dos Santos2, Henrique Cerqueira Guimarães3, Rogério Gomes Beato3, Viviane Amaral Carvalho2, Thais Helena Machado1, Paulo Caramelli4


keywords: dementia, neuropsychiatric symptoms, caregiver burden.

Taking care of elderly demented individuals, especially when they present behavioral changes, can be very exhaustive for both family and caregivers. Generally, this leads to changes in the family lifestyle, and the caregiver must deal with a range of problems. Information on this topic in Latin America, including Brazil, remains scarce. Objective: To investigate the relationship between the presence of neuropsychiatric symptoms and the level of caregiver burden in a group of Brazilian elderly with dementia. Methods: The Brazilian versions of the Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview (ZBI) and of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) were administered to a total of 83 family-caregivers of patients with dementia followed at a university-affiliated outpatient clinic. Pearson's correlations were calculated to measure the level of association between the scores on both instruments. Results: Among the caregivers, 83.1% were women, and had a mean age of 55.6±12.8 years. The ZBI scores ranged from 3 to 79 (mean=31.4). Patients' NPI scores ranged from 0 to 102 (mean=26.9), consistent with a significant degree of behavioral manifestations in most patients. A significant positive correlation was found between ZBI and NPI scores (r=0.402; p=0.000). Conclusion: The presence and severity of behavioral manifestations assessed by the NPI were associated with a high level of caregiver burden in this sample of Brazilian elderly with dementia.


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