Burden, anxiety and depression in caregivers of Alzheimer patients in the Dominican Republic
Alzheimer's disease (AD) has a major impact by limiting the ability to live independently. This condition of dependency involves all members of the family, particularly those who take direct care of patients. The changes that take place in caregivers' lives may alter their health and have an effect on the care of the sick. OBJECTIVE: To determine the presence of burden, anxiety and depression in caregivers of Alzheimer's patients. METHOD: A descriptive cross-sectional study was performed in 67 family caregivers from the Alzheimer's Clinic Research Unit, Memory and Alzheimer, in the city of Santiago, Dominican Republic. Caregivers were evaluated for burden intensity with the Zarit scale and for both depression and anxiety using the respective Hamilton scales. Descriptive statistical analysis and Pearson correlation were used. RESULTS: 84% of caregivers were female, and 52% were older than 50 years. A total of 36% exhibited caregiver burden; 19% anxiety symptoms; and 43% depressive symptoms. No statistical significance was found between age, sex and number of hours of care. A significant association was found in the Pearson correlation coefficient between caregiver burden, anxiety and depression. CONCLUSION: Caregiver burden was associated with anxiety and depression. It is important for health professionals to include caregiver assessments in the treatment protocols of dementia. Policy should include support programs for carers.