Family caregivers of people living with dementia have high caregiver strain and poor health consequences. Limited research exists on Lewy body dementia (LBD) caregivers and their specific comorbidities. This study aimed to (1) identify the prevalence of self-reported comorbidities among LBD caregivers and (2) contextualize these findings with historical data on caregivers of persons living with Alzheimer disease and associated disorders (ADADs).
In a national, online survey, LBD family caregivers completed the Self-Administered Comorbidity Questionnaire and we compared these findings with extant literature on ADAD caregiver comorbidities.
Among 217 LBD caregivers, 84.3% were female, 39.1% were 64 years old or younger, and 66.8% had >2 years of caregiving experience. Caregivers self-identified as current (83.9%) or former (16.1%) caregivers. The most frequent comorbidities were hypertension (38.2%), depression (35.0%), back pain (34.1%), and arthritis (27.7%). LBD caregivers, particularly younger caregivers, had a higher prevalence of depression compared with ADAD caregivers and older adult populations, and back pain prevalence nearly equivalent to spinal cord injury caregivers.
Our study is the first to illustrate and contextualize specific comorbidities among LBD caregivers. Understanding the causality and impact of these conditions will be critical in designing effective interventions to improve the lives of families affected by LBD.