• dementia;
  • caregiver burden;
  • mobility;
  • behavior disturbance



To identify the impact of behavior disturbances on subjective burden of caregivers in demented patients attending day care services.


Subjects were 379 primary caregivers of randomly sampled demented patients living at home, who attended geriatric day care programs. The caregiver burden of the mobile and non-mobile demented patients were measured using the Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview (ZBI). The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Personal Self-Maintenance Scale (PSMS) were used to assess the patients' condition. The Troublesome Behavior Scale (TBS), originally developed in Japan, was used to assess the frequency of behavior disturbances exhibited by patients.


The caregivers of the mobile demented patients reported greater caregiver burden compared to those of the non-mobile demented patients. The frequency of behavior disturbance was significantly higher in the mobile patients than the non-mobile patients. For the mobile patient caregivers, wandering, interfering, aggression and repetition were the predictors of caregiver burden. For the non-mobile patient caregivers, ‘repeating same questions and/or clinging’ was the only predictor of caregiver burden.


The caregivers of the mobile demented patients reported higher burden due to the patients' behavior disturbance compared to those of the non-mobile patients. These findings indicate a need for further development of interventions to prevent behavior disturbances that are especially burdensome for caregivers. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.