The economic and psychosocial impacts of Alzheimer's disease (AD) on caregivers are so well documented that they have stimulated socioeconomic regulations that are international in scope. In Italy caregivers have the right to receive economic and psychosocial aid. However, to distribute such aid the needs of caregivers, must be properly assessed. Here we have attempted to integrate two measures, the Family Strain Questionnaire (FSQ) and the Screen for Caregiver Burden (SCB), in order to evaluate caregiver needs that are both general and specific to AD.
Material and Methods
The SCB and FSQ were administered to 91 primary caregivers of home-based patients with AD. Caregivers also were asked to rate the activities of daily living of their care recipients, the latter of which were administered the Mini-Mental State Examination.
The SCB and FSQ provide different, but complementary assessments of the needs of AD caregivers. The SCB identifies situations that are potentially stressful to AD caregivers and the FSQ identifies the needs of specific caregivers (e.g. men vs women, spouses vs children, unemployed vs employed).
Together these measures may help government agencies to assess caregiver needs beyond those assessed by each individual measure. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.