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J Korean Neurol Assoc. 2005 Dec;23(6):776-783. Korean. Original Article.
Park KW , Kim SY , Kim EG , Kim JW , Kim TY , Sung SM , Sohn T , Yoo BG , Yoon SJ , Yoon SM , Lee SC , Cheong HK , Choi MS , Hong TY .
Department of Neurology, Dong-A University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea. jwkim@mail.donga.ac.kr
Department of Social Welfare, Kyungsung University, Busan, Korea.
Department of Neurology, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
Department of Neurology, Gimhae Hansol Hospital, Gimhae, Korea.
Department of Neurology, Busan Medical Center, Busan, Korea.
The Institute for East Asian Studies in Don-A University, Busan, Korea.
Department of Neurology, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
Department of Neurology, Sungkyunkwan University of Medicine Masan Samsung Hospital, Masan, Korea.
Department of Neurology, Samil Taebong Hansol Hospital, Masan, Korea.
Department of Neurology, Dong-eui Medical Center, Busan, Korea.
Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Sungkwan University, Suwon, Korea.
Department of Neurology, Maryknoll Hospital, Busan, Korea.
Abstract

BACKGROUND: The purposes of this study were to examine the state of depression and life satisfaction of family caregivers and to find out which factors would be significant in determining depression and life satisfaction of caregivers for the elderly with dementia. METHODS: Caregivers of patients with dementia who were registered at nine medical centers in Busan Metropolitan City and Gyeongnam Province were the major subjects of this study. Data was collected by face-to-face interviews. The final sample consisted of 144 cases after eliminating several incomplete questionnaires. Based on the collected data, the authors evaluated demographic findings, general characteristics, and factors influencing depression and life satisfaction of the caregivers using statistical analyses. RESULTS: The severity of depression and the degree of life satisfaction in family caregivers were low. We found that caregiver's anxiety, monthly income, caregiver burden, non-relative network, self-confidence of caregiving, and the degree of the Barthel index of activity of daily living (B-ADL) were significant factors in determining depression of the caregivers (p<0.05). The following two variables were significant factors in determining the caregiver's level of life satisfaction: burden of caregiving costs and patient's Korean mini-mental state examination (K-MMSE) score (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Our results showed that the level of anxiety, caregiver burden and social support, rather than the conditions of dementia patients, influenced depression and life satisfaction for the caregivers of patients with dementia. Therefore, in order to improve the quality of life for caregivers, we should consider psychosocial factors as well as patient's medical factors in influencing depression and life satisfaction.

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