Vol. 15 nº 4 - Oct/Nov/Dec de 2021
Original Article Páginas: 448 a 457

COVID-19 pandemic and mental health of a sample of Brazilian caregivers of people with dementia

Authors Andréia Schmidt1; Maryam Furlan Ayoub1; Yara Luana Pereira de Souza1; Ana Tereza Bittencourt Guimarães2; Maria Paula Foss1

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keywords: caregivers, dementia, stress, quarantine, COVID-19.

ABSTRACT:
Social distancing policies adopted in the COVID-19 pandemic generated a negative psychological impact on the general population and can affect caregivers of people with dementia more severely.
OBJECTIVE: This study screened for indications of mental health problems among informal caregivers of people with dementia. Main changes in the people's routine and behavior resulting from the social isolation measures adopted due to the pandemic were also investigated.
METHOD: Thirty-five informal caregivers of people with dementia from a medium-sized Brazilian city responded to a telephone interview.
RESULTS: Risks for mental health problems were found in 31.4% of the sample. These participants stated that they found it very difficult to deal with routine care changes during the pandemic. The variables related to the caregiver's characteristics and those related to changes in routine significantly affected the caregiver's mental health scores.
DISCUSSION: Indices of mental disorders in the studied sample did not differ from the prevalence of mental health problems in the general population during COVID-19 pandemic; however, participants reported worsening symptoms such as nervousness, sadness, and sleep during quarantine.
CONCLUSIONS: Results show the complexity of this topic and the need for individual care for this group, especially in situations like the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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