Practical knowledge and life overload of caregivers of elderly with dementia

Lisiane Alves dos Santos Messias, Fátima Adriana D'Almeida Gazetta, Pedro Marco Karan Barbosa, Zamir Calamita

Abstract


AIMS: To analyze the level of knowledge and the life overload of caregivers of elderly people with dementia, correlating these variables with sociodemographic aspects and type of relationship between caregiver and elderly.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted between 2016 and 2017, with caregivers of elderly people with dementia seen at the Geriatrics outpatient clinic of the Hospital das Clínicas, Medical School of Marília, in Marília / SP, Brazil. The study included caregivers who accompanied the elderly to the consultations and participated in an important way in their care, comprising family caregivers and contractors without kinship ties. The data were collected through two instruments: the first was the Caregiven Burden Scale questionnaire, which evaluates the subjective impact of overload on the caregiver, and whose overall score can vary from 01 (lower overload) to 04 (higher overload). The second was a questionnaire prepared by the authors, which evaluated the caregiver's usual knowledge about the practice of care, whose scores ranged from zero (no correct answers) to 08 (all correct answers). The distribution curve of the variables was analyzed by the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, the correlations were analyzed by the Spearman test and the comparison of the means used the Analysis of Variance. The results were considered statistically significant when p<0.05.

RESULTS: Fifty-two caregivers were included in the study, with a mean age of 55.9±14.4 years, of which 85% were female. Forty-four (84.6%) caregivers had some degree of kinship with the elderly. Regarding knowledge about the practice of care, the mean number of correct answers was 5.5±1.8. There was a positive correlation with statistical significance between the caregiver's level of education and the practical knowledge about care. In the assessment of the caregivers overload, the overall mean was 1.83±0.16. The dimension with the highest mean (2.06±0.37) was the general tension, which refers to the difficulties of solving problems when caring for the elderly. Regarding the type of relationship between caregiver and elderly, the highest overload (2.48±0.53) was identified in the wives.

CONCLUSIONS: The higher level of education of the caregiver was associated with better quality of care. The greatest caregiver life overload was identified in wives.


Keywords


dementia; Alzheimer disease; spouse caregivers; aged; health of the elderly.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15448/1980-6108.2018.3.30569

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