Author(s): Arai Y, Zarit SH, Sugiura M, Washio M
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Abstract This longitudinal study investigates the experiences among Japanese caregivers who provide informal care at home to the impaired elderly over one year. Little is known about longitudinal changes in caregivers' burden in Japan. Between 1998-1999, 47 pairs of impaired elderly and their caregivers were followed in Matsuyama Town in a rural area of northern Japan. Caregivers were interviewed initially and then again 12 months later. Findings indicated that the mean score of the Zarit Burden Interview at Time 2 was significantly lower than that of Time 1, suggesting that caregivers adapted to their role over time. Outcomes were further categorized as successful and unsuccessful, depending on the pattern of change over one year. Two factors were related to the outcome in univariate analyses: caring for someone with dementia, and caregiver being a spouse. Logistic regression demonstrated that caring for someone with dementia was five times more likely to be associated with an unsuccessful outcome. The caregiver spouse was five times more likely to be associated with a successful outcome, while daughters-in-law were more likely to have an unsuccessful outcome. The present study suggests that (1) changes in well-being among caregivers in Japan are similar to those observed in most studies in the West, and (2) there was evidence of both the adaptation and wear-and-tear models among caregivers over time.
This article was published in Aging Ment Health
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation