Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 4
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Kessler, Eva-Marie Tempel, Julia and Wahl, Hans-Werner 2014. Concerns About One’s Aging. GeroPsych, Vol. 27, Issue. 2, p. 81.

    Arai, Yumiko Kumamoto, Keigo Mizuno, Yoko and Arai, Asuna 2012. The general public's concern about developing dementia and related factors in Japan. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Vol. 27, Issue. 11, p. 1203.

    Kim, Jeong Sun Kim, Eun Ha and An, Minjeong 2016. Experience of Dementia-related Anxiety in Middle-aged Female Caregivers for Family Members with Dementia: A Phenomenological Study. Asian Nursing Research, Vol. 10, Issue. 2, p. 128.

    Kessler, Eva-Marie Bowen, Catherine E. Baer, Marion Froelich, Lutz and Wahl, Hans-Werner 2012. Dementia worry: a psychological examination of an unexplored phenomenon. European Journal of Ageing, Vol. 9, Issue. 4, p. 275.


Dementia anxiety among older adult caregivers: an exploratory study of older adult caregivers in Canada

  • Nicole M. Alberts (a1), Heather D. Hadjistavropoulos (a1), Nicole E. Pugh (a1) and Shannon L. Jones (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 22 March 2011

Background: Although caring for individuals with dementia is known to result in increased burden and depression among caregivers, little research has investigated caregiver's anxiety or concern about eventually developing dementia themselves (i.e. dementia anxiety). Existing research reports mixed findings regarding variables (e.g. relationship to care recipient, sex, education) that predict dementia anxiety among caregivers and non-caregivers. Potential relationships among burden, depression and dementia anxiety have not been extensively examined. The present study explored caregiver and care recipient factors as predictors of dementia anxiety in older adult caregivers.

Methods: A sample of 116 older adult caregivers answered demographic/background questions and completed a series of self-report measures assessing dementia anxiety, caregiver burden, depression, and the physical disability of the care recipient.

Results: The majority of caregivers were female, Caucasian, and reported caring for a spouse. Analyses revealed that background variables were generally not related to dementia anxiety, while depression and caregiver burden were significantly associated. Using linear regression analysis, it was found that a diagnosis of dementia in the care recipient and caregiver depression were both significant predictors of caregiver dementia anxiety.

Conclusion: Health care providers should be aware that dementia anxiety is associated with caring for individuals with dementia as well as with depression. Dementia anxiety may place additional strain on caregivers of individuals who have dementia and are suffering from depression and thus should be the focus of future research.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: Heather Hadjistavropoulos, Department of Psychology, University of Regina, 3737 Wascana Parkway, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, S4S 0A2. Phone: + 1-306-585-5133; Fax: +1-306-337-3227. Email:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

R. L. Akkerman and S. K. Ostwald (2004). Reducing anxiety in Alzheimer's disease family caregivers: the effectiveness of a nine-week cognitive-behavioral intervention. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, 19, 117124. doi: 10.1177/153331750401900202

L. M. B. Alecxih , S. Zeruld and B. Olearczyk (2001). Characteristics of Caregivers Based on the Survey of Income and Program Participation. Washington, DC: United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging.

J. Bond and V. Carstairs (1982). Services for the Elderly: A Survey of the Characteristics and Needs of a Population of 5,000 Old People. Edinburgh: Scottish Home and Health Department.

A. F. Boston and P. L. Merrick (2010). Health anxiety among older people: an exploratory study of health anxiety and safety behaviours in a cohort of older adults in New Zealand. International Psychogeriatrics, 22, 549558. doi:10.1017/S1041610209991712.

J. Cairney , L. M. Corna , S. Veldhuizen , N. Herrmann and D. L. Streiner (2008). Comorbid depression and anxiety in later life: patterns of association, subjective well-being, and impairment. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 16, 201208. doi: 10.1097/01.JGP.0000300627.93523.c8.

M. Crespo , J. Lopez , and S. H. Zarit (2005). Depression and anxiety in primary caregivers: a comparative study of caregivers of demented and nondemented older persons. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 20, 591592. doi: 10.1002/gps.1321.

S. J. Cutler and L. G. Hodgson (2001). Correlates of personal concerns about developing Alzheimer's disease among middle-aged persons. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, 16, 335343. doi: 10.1177/153331750101600604.

R. A. Dixon and D. F. Hultsch (1983). Metamemory and memory for text relationships in adulthood: a cross-validation study. Journal of Gerontology, 38, 689694. doi:10.1093/geronj/38.6.689

P. M. Fayers and D. Machin (2007). Quality of Life: The Assessment, Analysis and Interpretation of Patient-Reported Outcomes. 2nd edn. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons.

E. Grunfeld (2004). Family caregiver burden: results of a longitudinal study of breast cancer patients and their principal caregivers. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 170, 17951801. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.1031205.

S. L. Jones , H. D. Hadjistavropoulos , J. A. Janzen and T. Hadjistavropoulos (2011). The relation of pain and caregiver burden in informal older adult caregivers. Pain Medicine, 12, 5158. doi: 10.1111/j.1526–4637.2010.01018.x

Y. Kim and R. Schulz (2008). Family caregivers’ strains: comparative analysis of cancer caregiving with dementia, diabetes, and frail elderly caregiving. Journal of Aging and Health, 20, 483503. doi: 10.1177/0898264308317533.

J. M. Lyness , T. K. Noel , C. Cox , D. A. King , Y. Conwell and E. D. Caine (1997). Screening for depression in elderly primary care patients: a comparison of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies–Depression Scale and the Geriatric Depression Scale. Archives of Internal Medicine, 157, 449454.

R. Mahoney , C. Regan , C. Katona and G. Livingston (2005). Anxiety and depression in family caregivers of people with Alzheimer disease: the LASER-AD study. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 13, 795801.

M. A. McGee , A. L. Johnson , D. W. K. Kay and MRC CFAS Analysis Subcommittee. (1998). The description of activities of daily living in five centres in England and Wales: the Medical Research Council of Cognitive Function and Ageing Study (MRC CFAS). Age and Ageing, 27, 605613. doi:10.1093/ageing/27.5.605.

M. Novak and C. Guest (1989). Application of a multidimensional caregiver burden inventory. Gerontologist, 29, 798803. doi:10.1093/geront/29.6.798.

L. I. Pearlin , J. T. Mullan , S. J. Semple and M. M. Skaff (1990). Caregiving and the stress process: an overview of concepts and their measures. Gerontologist, 30, 583594.

J. S. Roberts and C. M. Connell (2000). Illness representations among first-degree relatives of people with Alzheimer disease. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, 14, 129136.

B. Schoenmakers , F. Buntinx and J. Delepeleire (2010). Factors determining the impact of care-giving on caregivers of elderly patients with dementia: a systematic literature review. Maturitas, 66, 191200. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2010.02.009.

R. Schulz and S. R. Beach (1999). Caregiving as a risk factor for mortality: the Caregiver Health Effects Study. JAMA, 282, 22152219. doi: 10.1001/jama.282.23.2215.

P. G. Serrano-Aguilar , J. Bastida-Lopez and V. Yanes-Lopez (2006). Impact on health-related quality of life and perceived burden of informal caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease. Neuroepidemiology, 27, 136142. doi: 10.1159/000095760.

P. Verhaeghen , N. Geraerts and A. Marcoen (2000). Memory complaints, coping, and well-being in old age: a systemic approach. The Gerontologist, 40, 540548. doi: 10.1093/geront/40.5.540.

P. P. Vitaliano , J. Zhang and J. M. Scanlan (2003). Is caregiving hazardous to one's physical health? A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 946972. doi: 10.1037/0033–2909.129.6.946.

P. Werner (2002). Assessing correlates of concern about developing Alzheimer's dementia among adults with no family history of the disease. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, 17, 331337. doi: 10.1177/153331750201700609.

L. H. J. Yeo , M. A. Horan , M. Jones and N. Pendleton (2007). Perceptions of risk and prevention of dementia in the healthy elderly. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 23, 368371. doi: 10.1159/000101338.

J. A. Yesavage (1982). Development and validation of a geriatric depression screening scale: a preliminary report. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 17, 3749. doi:10.1016/0022–3956(82)90033–4.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Psychogeriatrics
  • ISSN: 1041-6102
  • EISSN: 1741-203X
  • URL: /core/journals/international-psychogeriatrics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *