Limited data are available on caregiver burden for stroke and dementia patients. We examined the associations of prevalent stroke and dementia with family caregiver burden in Japanese general populations.Methods
A total of 916 Japanese home caregivers, whose family members were covered by long-term care insurance, responded to the caregiver burden questionnaire. The questionnaire included the caregiver's age, sex and employment status, the patient-caregiver relationship, the patient's history of stroke, symptoms of dementia, care levels under long-term care insurance and the Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview.Results
The mean total score from the Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview was 12% higher in patients with stroke than in those without (p = 0.02) and 40% higher in those with dementia than in those without (p < 0.001). Compared with nonstroke patients without dementia, the mean total score was 21% higher in stroke patients without dementia (p = 0.01), 49% higher in nonstroke patients with dementia (p < 0.001) and 55% higher in stroke patients with dementia (p < 0.001). After adjustment for the caregiver's age, sex and employment status, the patient-caregiver relationship, and the patient's care level and community, the higher scores remained statistically significant for nonstroke patients with dementia and for stroke patients with dementia but not for stroke patients without dementia.Conclusions
Prevalent stroke and, more strongly, dementia were associated with increased family caregiver burden. Among patients with dementia, the presence of stroke did not enhance caregiver burden further.