You could be reading the full-text of this article now if you...

If you have access to this article through your institution,
you can view this article in

Predictive Factors for the Objective Burden of Informal Care in People With Dementia: A Systematic Review

Wolfs, Claire A. G. PhD*; Kessels, Alfons MD, MSc; Severens, Johan L. PhD†,‡,§; Brouwer, Werner PhD§; de Vugt, Marjolein E. PhD*; Verhey, Frans R.J. PhD, MD; Dirksen, Carmen D. PhD

Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders:
doi: 10.1097/WAD.0b013e31823a6108
Review Article
Abstract

Background: Informal care plays a substantial role in the provision of total care in dementia. Several reviews have been published on the predictive factors of subjective burden; however, such a review lacks information on objective burden, which refers to the amount and/or costs of informal care.

Objectives: The objectives of this study were to (1) give an overview of the predictive factors that are associated with the objective burden of informal care; (2) discuss whether these factors are similar to the predictive factors of subjective burden; and (3) examine whether they are modifiable.

Design: The literature in a number of international databases was systematically searched. Methodological quality and level of certainty were assessed.

Results: Ten studies were identified as relevant for the purpose of this review, describing a total of 39 predictive factors. Three factors (behavioral problems and impairments regarding daily functioning and cognition) were considered to be predictors of objective burden. Three factors were not related; 12 were potential predictors; and the results of the remaining 22 factors were inconclusive.

Conclusions: Many factors were found to be (potential) predictors of objective burden, reflecting its complex nature. Objective and subjective burdens are 2 different relevant aspects of informal care. Interventions aimed at countering behavioral problems and impairments regarding daily functioning could reduce objective burden.

Author Information

*Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University, School for Mental Health and Neuroscience (MHeNS)/Alzheimer Centre Limburg

Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Medical Technology Assessment, Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC+)

Department of Health Organisation, Policy and Economics, Maastricht University, Maastricht

§Institute of Health Policy & Management (iBMG) and Institute for Medical Technology Assessment (iMTA), Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

This study was funded by the Dutch Research Institute for Care-Medical Sciences.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Claire A. G. Wolfs, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC+)/Alzheimer Centre Limburg, P.O. Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands (e-mail: claire.wolfs@maastrichtuniversity.nl).

Received February 9, 2011

Accepted July 23, 2011

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.