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Behavioural Problems and Distress among Caregivers of People with Dementia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 November 2008

Neena L. Chappell
Centre on Aging, Department of Sociology, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 1700, MS 6369, Victoria, B.C., Canada V8W 2Y2.
Margaret Penning
Centre on Aging, Department of Sociology, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 1700, MS 6369, Victoria, B.C., Canada V8W 2Y2.


This paper seeks to identify specific problem behaviours related to the distress experienced by informal caregivers of dementia victims. Analyses are conducted using a random sample of caregivers rather than a restricted clinical sample. Distress is measured in terms of both depression and caregiver burden. The findings reveal that specific behaviours on the part of the care receiver are strong correlates of the distress experienced by caregivers. In particular, aimlessness, aggressive behaviours, forgetfulness, and restlessness are correlated with heightened feelings of burden. Apathy or a lack of interest in daily activities is strongly correlated with both feelings of burden and depression. The identification of specific problem behaviours suggests where efforts should be placed in order to alleviate the distress experienced by informal caregivers.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1996

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