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Vol. 23, No. 4, 2007
Issue release date: March 2007
Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2007;23:219–224

Caregiver Burden Associated with Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia in Elderly People in the Local Community

Matsumoto N. · Ikeda M. · Fukuhara R. · Shinagawa S. · Ishikawa T. · Mori T. · Toyota Y. · Matsumoto T. · Adachi H. · Hirono N. · Tanabe H.
aDepartment of Neuropsychiatry, Neuroscience, Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine, Ehime, bDepartment of Psychiatry and Neuropathology, Faculty of Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, cDepartment of Psychiatry, Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo, dOsaka University Health Care Center, Osaka, and eFaculty of Humanities and Science, Department of Human Psychology, Kobe Gakuin University, Kobe, Japan

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Background: Despite many studies about the association between caregiver burden and behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), there have been no population-based studies to evaluate caregiver burden associated with each BPSD. Objective: To evaluate caregiver burden associated with the individual BPSD in elderly people living in the community. Methods: The subjects were 67 participants with dementia living with their caregivers (diagnosed in the third Nakayama study): 51 Alzheimer’s disease, 5 vascular dementia and 11 other. The Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and NPI Caregiver Distress Scale (NPI-D) were used to assess subjects’ BPSD and related caregiver distress, respectively. Results: In the subjects exhibiting BPSD, aberrant motor behavior had the highest mean NPI score, and depression/dysphoria had the lowest. Agitation/aggression had the highest mean NPI-D score, and euphoria/elation had the lowest. Delusion, agitation/aggression, apathy/indifference, irritability/lability and aberrant motor behavior showed a correlation between the NPI and NPI-D scores. Conclusion: The burden associated with BPSD is different for each symptom and does not always depend on frequency and severity of BPSD. These findings suggest that some symptoms, such as agitation/aggression and irritability/lability, may affect the caregivers significantly, although their frequency and severity are low.

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