Caregiver Burden in Huntington's Disease

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ObjectiveHuntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant heritable disease characterized by progressive neuron death and subsequent degeneration of motor, cognitive, and emotional functioning. Caregiver research studies in HD are few. The purpose of the current study was to examine caregiver burden in HD.MethodThe sample consisted of 62 pairs of caregivers and care receivers (persons with Huntington's disease; pHDs). Caregivers were assessed regarding their psychological functioning, subjective appraisal of burden, and appraisal of problem-solving ability as well as the general level of daily functioning of the pHD in their care; pHDs were queried regarding their psychological functioning.ResultsAnalyses showed that caregiver subjective burden, pHD depression, and caregiver problem-solving appraisal were significantly associated with caregiver depression. The results did not support caregiver burden as a mediator.ConclusionsFindings delineate impact of caregiving in HD and highlight the importance of mood assessment and treatment in all groups. Suggestions for future research and implications for clinical interventions are discussed.

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