Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 17
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Bacon, Kathryn L. Heeren, Timothy Keysor, Julie J. Stuver, Sherri O. Cauley, Jane A. and Fredman, Lisa 2016. Longitudinal and Reciprocal Relationships Between Depression and Disability in Older Women Caregivers and Noncaregivers. The Gerontologist, Vol. 56, Issue. 4, p. 723.

    Schryer, Emily Mock, Steven E. Hilbrecht, Margo Lero, Donna and Smale, Bryan 2016. Use of Leisure Facilities and Wellbeing of Adult Caregivers. Leisure Sciences, Vol. 38, Issue. 1, p. 17.

    Tuomola, Jane Soon, Jiaying Fisher, Paul and Yap, Philip 2016. Lived Experience of Caregivers of Persons with Dementia and the Impact on their Sense of Self: A Qualitative Study in Singapore. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, Vol. 31, Issue. 2, p. 157.

    Hilbrecht, Margo Lero, Donna S. Schryer, Emily Mock, Steven E. and Smale, Bryan 2015. Understanding the association between time spent caregiving and well-being among employed adults: testing a model of work–life fit and sense of community. Community, Work & Family, p. 1.

    Høgsnes, Linda Melin-Johansson, Christina Norbergh, Karl Gustaf and Danielson, Ella 2014. The existential life situations of spouses of persons with dementia before and after relocating to a nursing home. Aging & Mental Health, Vol. 18, Issue. 2, p. 152.

    Litwin, Howard Stoeckel, Kimberly J. and Roll, Anat 2014. Relationship status and depressive symptoms among older co-resident caregivers. Aging & Mental Health, Vol. 18, Issue. 2, p. 225.

    von Känel, Roland Mausbach, Brent T. Ancoli-Israel, Sonia Mills, Paul J. Dimsdale, Joel E. Patterson, Thomas L. and Grant, Igor 2014. Positive Affect and Sleep in Spousal Alzheimer Caregivers: A Longitudinal Study. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, Vol. 12, Issue. 5, p. 358.

    Shen, Huei-Wern Pickard, Joseph G. and Johnson, Sharon D. 2013. Self-Esteem Mediates the Relationship Between Volunteering and Depression for African American Caregivers. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, Vol. 56, Issue. 5, p. 438.

    Mitseva, Anelia Peterson, Carrie Beth Karamberi, Christina Oikonomou, Lamprini Ch. Ballis, Athanasios V. Giannakakos, Charalampos and Dafoulas, George E. 2012. Gerontechnology: Providing a Helping Hand When Caring for Cognitively Impaired Older Adults—Intermediate Results from a Controlled Study on the Satisfaction and Acceptance of Informal Caregivers. Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research, Vol. 2012, p. 1.

    Hirano, Akemi Suzuki, Yusuke Kuzuya, Masafumi Onishi, Joji Hasegawa, Jun Ban, Nobutaro and Umegaki, Hiroyuki 2011. Association between the caregiver's burden and physical activity in community-dwelling caregivers of dementia patients. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Vol. 52, Issue. 3, p. 295.

    Mausbach, Brent T. Harmell, Alexandrea L. Moore, Raeanne C. and Chattillion, Elizabeth A. 2011. Influence of caregiver burden on the association between daily fluctuations in pleasant activities and mood: A daily diary analysis. Behaviour Research and Therapy, Vol. 49, Issue. 1, p. 74.


    Williams, Christine 2011. Marriage and Mental Health: When a Spouse Has Alzheimer's Disease. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, Vol. 25, Issue. 3, p. 220.

    Ayalon, L. and Shiovitz-Ezra, S. 2010. The Experience of Loneliness among Live-In Filipino Homecare Workers in Israel: Implications for Social Workers. British Journal of Social Work, Vol. 40, Issue. 8, p. 2538.

    Sriwattanakomen, Roy McPherron, Jesse Chatman, Jamie Morse, Jennifer Q. Martire, Lynn M. Karp, Jordan F. Houck, Patricia R. Bensasi, Salem Houle, Jill Stack, Jacqueline A. Woods, Mattie Block, Bruce Thomas, Stephen B. Quinn, Sandra and Reynolds, Charles F. 2010. A comparison of the frequencies of risk factors for depression in older black and white participants in a study of indicated prevention. International Psychogeriatrics, Vol. 22, Issue. 08, p. 1240.

    Martin, Mike Peter-Wight, Melanie Braun, Melanie Hornung, Rainer and Scholz, Urte 2009. The 3-phase-model of dyadic adaptation to dementia: why it might sometimes be better to be worse. European Journal of Ageing, Vol. 6, Issue. 4, p. 291.

    Voigt-Radloff, Sebastian Graff, Maud Leonhart, Rainer Schornstein, Katrin Vernooij-Dassen, Myrra Olde-Rikkert, Marcel and Huell, Michael 2009. WHEDA study: Effectiveness of occupational therapy at home for older people with dementia and their caregivers - the design of a pragmatic randomised controlled trial evaluating a Dutch programme in seven German centres. BMC Geriatrics, Vol. 9, Issue. 1,


Specific effects of caring for a spouse with dementia: differences in depressive symptoms between caregiver and non-caregiver spouses

  • Kathryn Betts Adams (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 June 2008

Background: Caring for spouses with dementia is a risk factor for increased levels of depression. Less is known about specific symptom differences between groups of caregivers and non-caregivers. This study characterizes differences on the CES-D depression screening scale between caregiving and non-caregiving spouses.

Methods: Data were obtained from 391 spouse caregivers of persons with dementia and 226 control subjects. Significant between-group differences on demographic variables determined covariates used in two multivariate ANCOVA analyses, on the set of four CES-D subscales and on the set of the 20 CES-D individual items. Significant multivariate analyses were followed by univariate tests between the two groups.

Results: Dementia caregiving spouses had significantly more depressive symptoms than non-caregiving married adults, after controlling for group differences. Proportion of variance in the set of CES-D subscales explained by caregiver group status was 13.4%. The greatest between-groups difference in univariate analysis was found in the Positive Affect subscale, and significant differences were found in 11 of the 20 CES-D items. Caregiver spouses experienced less hope for the future and less happiness and enjoyment in life than the non-caregiving spouses. They also reported greater degrees of sadness, being bothered, and loneliness than the non-caregivers.

Conclusions: The differences, particularly caregivers' lack of positive affect, suggest the need for appropriate intervention approaches to assist spouse caregivers.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: Dr. Kathryn Betts Adams, Assistant Professor of Social Work, The Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, 10600 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106, U.S.A. Phone: +1 216 368 6155. 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.

K. B. Adams (2006). The transition to caregiving: Experiences of family members embarking on the dementia caregiving career. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 47 (3/4), 330.

K. B. Adams and S. Sanders (2004). Caregiver differences in experience of loss, grief reactions, and depressive symptoms across the stages of Alzheimer's disease: a mixed methods analysis. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 3, 195210.

K. B. Adams , K. A. Smyth and M. J. McClendon (2005). Psychosocial resources as moderators of the impact of spousal dementia caregiving on depression. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 24, 475489.

P. A. Arean and J. Miranda (1997). The utility of the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale in older primary care patients. Aging and Mental Health, 1, 4756.

D. G. Blazer and C. F. Hybels (2004). What symptoms of depression predict mortality in community-dwelling elders? Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 52, 20522056.

P. A. Carter (2002). Caregivers' descriptions of sleep changes and depressive symptoms. Oncology Nursing Forum, 29, 12771283.

J. Cohen (1988). Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edn. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

K. E. Covinsky (2003). Patient and caregiver characteristics associated with depression in caregivers of patients with dementia. Journal of General and Internal Medicine, 18, 10061014.

P. Cuijpers (2005). Depressive disorders in caregivers of dementia patients: a systematic review. Aging and Mental Health, 9, 325330.

H. Davidson , P. H. Feldman and S. Crawford (1994). Measuring depressive symptoms in the frail elderly. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 49, P159P164.

M. F. Folstein , S. E. Folstein and P. R. McHugh (1975). “Mini-mental state”: a practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 12, 189198.

J. J. Gallo , G. W. Rebok , S. Tennstedt , V. G. Wadley and A. Horgas (2003). Linking depressive symptoms and functional disability in late life. Aging and Mental Health, 7, 460480.

R. Gupta , D. Punetha and S. Diwan (2006). The revised CES-D scale for caregivers of the elderly in India. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 62, 6178.

W. E. Haley (1995). Psychological, social, and health impact of caregiving: a comparison of black and white dementia family caregivers and non-caregivers. Psychology and Aging, 10, 540552.

K. W. Hepburn , M. Lewis , C. W. Sherman and J. Tornatore (2003). The Savvy Caregiver Program: developing and testing a transportable dementia family caregiver training program. The Gerontologist, 43, 908915.

G. McKhann (1984). Clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease: report of the NINCDS-ADRDA Work Group under the auspices of Department of Health and Human Services Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease. Neurology, 34, 939944.

N. O'Rourke (2004). Reliability generalization of responses by care providers to the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) Scale. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 64, 973990.

J. C. Morris (1993). The Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR): current version and scoring rules. Neurology, 43, 24122414.

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. The Gerontologist, 30, 583594.

R. C. Petersen (1999). Mild Cognitive Impairment: clinical characterization and outcome. Archives of Neurology, 56, 303308.

M. Pinquart and S. Sorenson (2003). Differences between caregivers and non-caregivers in psychological health and physical health: a meta-analysis. Psychology and Aging, 18, 250267.

M. Pinquart and S. Sorenson (2004). Associations of caregiver stressors and uplifts with subjective well-being and depressive mood: a meta-analytic comparison. Aging and Mental Health, 8, 438449.

S. D. Pressman and S. Cohen (2005). Does positive affect influence health? Psychological Bulletin, 131, 925971.

L. S. Radloff (1977). The CES-D Scale: a self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Applied Psychological Measurement, 1, 385401.

L. S. Radloff and L. Teri (1986). Use of the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale with older adults. Clinical Gerontologist, 5, 119135.

S. Sanders and K. B. Adams (2005). Grief reactions and depression in caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease: results from a pilot study in an urban setting. Health and Social Work, 30, 287295.

M. J. Schroevers , R. Sanderman , van Sonderen and A. V. Ranchor (2000). The evaluation of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) scale: depressed and positive affect in cancer patients and healthy reference subjects. Quality of Life Research, 9, 10151029.

R. Schulz and L. Martire (2004). Family caregiving of persons with dementia: prevalence, health effects, and support strategies. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 12, 240248.

R. Schulz , A. T. O'Brien , J. Bookwala and K. Fleissner (1995). Psychiatric and physical morbidity effects of dementia caregiving: prevalence, correlates, and causes. The Gerontologist, 35, 771791.

T. J. Sheehan , J. Fifield , S. Reisine and H. Tennen (1995). The measurement structure of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 64, 507521.

C. S. Teel and A. N. Press (1999). Fatigue among elders in caregiving and noncaregiving roles. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 21, 498520.

R. J. Walker , E. C. Pomeroy , J. S. McNeil and C. Franklin (1994). Anticipatory grief and Alzheimer's disease: strategies for intervention. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 22, 2139.

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? *