SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • depression;
  • family caregiver;
  • frail elderly;
  • Japan;
  • long-term care insurance

Aim:  Depression affecting caregivers is a risk factor for discontinuing at-home care. The present cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate factors related to depression among family caregivers.

Methods:  A cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate factors related to depression among family caregivers of the frail elderly. The study included caregivers whose relatives received periodic visits from a nurse from one of seven Sapporo-based home-visiting nursing service stations in October 2008 or from one of nine Kochi-based home-visiting nursing service stations between June 2009 and March 2010. Caregivers were asked to answer a self-administered questionnaire about various factors that might affect their depression and to complete a Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale evaluation. We analyzed 127 pairs of responses in total.

Results:  After we adjusted the results for the caregivers' gender and age, the factors that decreased the risk of depression in the Sapporo group related to relieving the stress that results from being a caregiver (OR = 0.12, 95%CI = [0.03, 0.42]) and the ability to independently pay more than ¥10 000 for part of care service costs (OR = 0.17, 95%CI = [0.05, 0.58]). In contrast, feeling ill was a factor that increased caregivers' risk of depression in the Kochi group (OR = 4.23, 95%CI = [1.29, 13.9]), but not in Sapporo group (OR = 2.53, 95%CI = [0.91, 7.08]). Caregivers in the Sapporo group were more likely to feel ill (P < 0.01) than their counterparts in Kochi.

Conclusion:  The Japanese government should take measures to reduce caregivers' depression. Otherwise family members will increasingly discontinue to provide at-home care. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2012; 12: 230–237.