Investigating the Burden in Informal Caregivers of People with Dementia and the Modulating Impact of Individual Characteristics During the First COVID-19 Pandemic Wave: A Cross Sectional Study

13 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2022

See all articles by Martina Lattanzi

Martina Lattanzi

Università della Svizzera italiana

Anna Messina

Universita della Svizzera italiana (USI Lugano)

Emiliano Albanese

Università della Svizzera italiana

Maddalena Fiordelli

Universita della Svizzera italiana (USI Lugano)

Abstract

The global burden of dementia has many dimensions. One of them is the impact on informal caregivers, an asset in the care of people with dementia (PwD). While taking care of PwD, caregivers health is at risk and public health policies should account for this. The aim of our study was to explore the level of burden in dementia caregivers in Italy and Switzerland, two bordering regions highly impacted during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to verify the influence of individual characteristics on burden. A cross-sectional online survey was distributed in a convenient sample of dementia caregivers in May-June 2020. Data collected included socio-demographic variables, the burden level measured with the Zarit Burden Interview, and mental health status. The final sample included 571 caregivers, who showed a severe level of burden. Controlling for the impact of individual characteristics, we found that all of them had an influence on caregiver burden level. Our findings suggest that some groups of dementia caregivers, with specific individual characteristics, are more at risk of developing higher levels of burden. Public health policies designed and applied in public health emergencies need to account for the differences of this specific subgroup of the population.

Keywords: Informal caregivers, dementia, covid-19, burden, Cross-sectional study, Zarit

Suggested Citation

Lattanzi, Martina and Messina, Anna and Albanese, Emiliano and Fiordelli, Maddalena, Investigating the Burden in Informal Caregivers of People with Dementia and the Modulating Impact of Individual Characteristics During the First COVID-19 Pandemic Wave: A Cross Sectional Study. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4136197 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4136197

Martina Lattanzi (Contact Author)

Università della Svizzera italiana ( email )

Anna Messina

Universita della Svizzera italiana (USI Lugano) ( email )

Emiliano Albanese

Università della Svizzera italiana ( email )

Maddalena Fiordelli

Universita della Svizzera italiana (USI Lugano) ( email )

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