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Predictors of caregiver depression in Alzheimer’s disease

25 July 2014


Depression for caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a widely studied factor; however, few studies to date have examined how caregivers’ perceptions (i.e., internal attributions) and resentment level in conjunction with premorbid and current relationship quality predict depression levels of these family caregivers. Hierarchical multiple regression was used to explore the predictive power of these factors in conjunction with the covariates of caregiver gender and days of care provided each week on caregiver depression. Seventy-nine AD caregivers completed a 30-min online survey consisting of demographic information, modified Steinmetz Control Scale (SCS), shortened CERAD Behavior Rating Scale for Dementia (BRSD), Caregiver Resentment Scale (CRS), retrospective premorbid and current General Functioning Scale (GFS) from the McMaster Family Assessment Device, and Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale-Revised (CESD-R). Contrary to hypotheses, current relationship quality was not the most significant predictor of depression levels nor did premorbid relationship quality or internal attributions significantly predict caregiver depression. Consistent with hypotheses, caregiver resentment level was significantly correlated with depression; in addition, it was most predictive of depression level (p < .05). These results indicate that higher levels of depression are predicted by the following: family caregiver identifying as female, caregiver providing less days of care for loved one each week, and higher resentment levels. Contrary to the literature, study outcome suggested that, although current relationship quality was significantly correlated with depression, it was not a significant predictor of depression.


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