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Risk Factors of Caregiver Burden Among Patients with Alzheimer's Disease or Related Disorders: A Cross-Sectional Study



Caregivers play a major role in the care of patients with dementia and are themselves at higher risk of disease.


We investigate which factors are associated with caregivers burden of outpatients visiting a memory clinic and how functional autonomy and behavioral and psychological symptoms can influence caregiver burden.


The study population was chosen from outpatients with progressive cognitive complaint. The caregiver burden was measured with the short version of the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI). The relationship was assessed between the ZBI and the patients characteristics, including Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living scale (IADL), the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), etiology, and stage of the cognitive impairment.


In a population of 548 patients, IADL, NPI, antidepressant drugs, and MMSE were found to be related to ZBI, while diagnosed etiology and disease stage were not significant: ZBI decreased by 0.34 point for every unit of IADL, and by 0.03 point for every unit of MMSE; ZBI increased by 0.03 point for every unit of NPI. From the IADL scale, the ability to handle finances, food preparation, responsibility to take medications, mode of transportation, and ability to use the telephone increased the ZBI. Five areas of the NPI increased the ZBI: apathy, agitation, aberrant motor behavior, appetite disorders (p < 0.001), and irritability (p = 0.03).


Caregivers experience a higher burden due to disease symptoms such as impairment of functional autonomy and behavioral and cognitive impairment, whatever the etiology of the cognitive decline.