Objectives: To investigate caregiver burden in dementia and explore factors associated with different types of burden in a country without formal caregiver support using a province in China as a case.
Method: Cross-sectional questionnaire survey was used to collect data. One hundred and fifty-two family caregivers of people with dementia in community settings were recruited from 2012 to 2013 using convenience sampling. Objective burden was measured by caregiving hours and dementia-related financial burden. Subjective burden was measured and analysed using the Caregiver Burden Inventory and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Questionnaire. Multivariate regression models were employed to analyse factors associated with each type of subjective burden.
Results: Five types of subjective burden were measured by the Caregiver Burden Inventory, namely, physical burden, emotional burden, time-dependence burden, developmental burden, and social burden. Caregiver distress, as a subjective burden, was measured by the Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Questionnaire and reported by relating to the severity of care recipients behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. This caregiver cohort showed a high level of physical, time-dependence, and developmental burdens, but a low level of emotional and social burdens. Factors contributing to each type of subjective burden measured by the Caregiver Burden Inventory differed from each other.
Conclusion: The high level of objective and subjective burdens identified in this study suggests that government-funded formal caregiver support should be established and services should be designed to target different types of burdens and factors contributing to these burdens.