College of Osteopathic Medicine Faculty Articles

Title

Depressive symptomatology in first-degree family caregivers of Alzheimer disease patients: a cross-ethnic comparison.

ISBN or ISSN

0893-0341

Publication Title

Alzheimer disease and associated disorders

Volume

12

Issue

4

Publication Date / Copyright Date

12-1-1998

First Page

340

Last Page

346

Abstract

This study investigated the prevalence of depressive symptoms among White Hispanic (WH) and White non-Hispanic (WNH) first-degree family caregivers. We screened 653 primary caregivers of family members with possible or probable Alzheimer disease who presented at our outpatient memory disorders clinic. Caregiver depression was assessed utilizing the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) Scale. Overall, depression (CES-D scores > or = 16) was more common among WH (45%) than among WNH (36%) caregivers (p < 0.05). Elevated CES-D scores among the entire caregiving sample were also linked with being a female spouse (p=0.002), increased level of patient cognitive impairment (p=0.002), and patient psychosis (p=0.002). Risk factors for caregiver depression were identified and compared when the sample was stratified by ethnicity (WH and WNH) and generation (spouses and children). Patient cognitive impairment was a predictor of caregiver depression only among WH spouses and children, whereas patient psychosis was a predictor only among WNH spouses. Female caregiver gender was the most robust risk factor for caregiver depression, being a predictor in all groups except WH children. Implications of this study include the need for increased clinical sensitivity to depression in ethnic minority caregivers, treatment of psychiatric morbidity in dementia caregivers, and respite care for caregivers with high risk for depression.

Disciplines

Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Osteopathic Medicine and Osteopathy

Keywords

Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alzheimer Disease, Caregivers, Cross-Cultural Comparison, Depression, European Continental Ancestry Group, Family Relations, Female, Gender Identity, Hispanic Americans, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Personality Inventory

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