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Effects of Gender on Burden Among Caregivers of Alzheimer's Patients

Authors


Burcu Akpınar, Department of Internal Medicine Nursing, Dokuz Eylül University School of Nursing, 35340 Inciralti, Izmir, Turkey. E-mail: burcu.akpinar@deu.edu.tr

Abstract

Purpose: This study was conducted to determine the effects of gender on caregiver burden among caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease.

Design: Comparative descriptive study.

Methods: Factors affecting the burden of female and male caregivers (age, total duration of caregiving, mean duration of daily caregiving, education, income, employment status, age of the patients cared for, and Mini-Mental State Examination [MMSE] and Neuropsychiatric Inventory [NPI] scores) were similar (p > .05). The sample consisted of 120 female and 72 male caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Data were collected from patients by means of the MMSE and demographic variables, and data from the Caregiver Burden Inventory [CBI] and NPI were obtained from caregivers, as well as from face-to-face interviews using a questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and t-tests were used to describe and analyze data.

Findings: Female caregivers had significantly higher scores for caregiver burden than their male counterparts (p= .002). Subscale analysis on the CSI revealed that female caregivers had significantly higher scores for caregiver burden than male caregivers on time dependence (p= .040), developmental (p= .002), physical (p= .001), and social burdens (p= .045). No difference was found with respect to emotional burden (p= .718).

Conclusions: Results of this study suggest that female caregivers are subjected to a higher level of caregiver burden than male caregivers in Turkey. In subscales, female caregivers experienced more burden than male caregivers in the time dependence, developmental, physical, and social burdens. Emotional burden was similar in both genders.

Clinical Relevance: Although caregiver burden has been a much debated issue for many years, it is a relatively new topic in Turkey. In order to provide appropriate care for the patient's and family's cultural values and needs, more studies are needed to be conducted on family members giving care to Alzheimer's patients. It is thought that the findings of the present study will facilitate cross-cultural comparisons and culture-oriented care planning.

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