Alzheimer’s disease: usefulness of the Family Strain Questionnaire and the Screen for Caregiver Burden in the study of caregiving-related problems

Authors

  • Silvia Rossi Ferrario,

    Corresponding author
    1. Psychology Unit, ‘S. Maugeri’ Foundation, IRCCS, Scientific Institute of Veruno, Veruno, Italy
    • Psychology Unit, ‘S. Maugeri’ Foundation, IRCCS, Scientific Institute of Veruno, Via per Revislate 13, 28010 Veruno (NO), Italy. Fax: +39 322 884816
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  • Peter Vitaliano,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington Seattle, Washington, DC, USA
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  • Anna Maria Zotti,

    1. Psychology Unit, ‘S. Maugeri’ Foundation, IRCCS, Scientific Institute of Veruno, Veruno, Italy
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  • Emanuela Galante,

    1. Post-graduate School of Health Psychology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy
    2. Psychology Unit, ‘S. Maugeri‘ Foundation, IRCCS, Scientific Institute of Castel Goffredo, Mantova, Italy
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  • Roberta Fornara

    1. Psychology Unit, ‘S. Maugeri’ Foundation, IRCCS, Scientific Institute of Veruno, Veruno, Italy
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Abstract

Objectives

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.

Results

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).

Conclusion

Together these measures may help government agencies to assess caregiver needs beyond those assessed by each individual measure. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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