Behavior disorders and subjective burden among caregivers of demented patients.
UNLABELLED: Many patients with dementia live within the community supported by their family and friends. Majority of patient caregivers suffer from high levels of stress. METHODS: A quasi-experimental study, which compared the effects of nursing interventions on behavior disorders in both patients with moderate to severe dementia and their caregivers, followed over 18 months. The assessments were performed at the outpatient clinic of the Federal University of São Paulo and again at patients' homes with their primary caregiver, after informed consent form. Measurements were performed at baseline and after 18 months (pre and post-test). The instruments used were: The CDR, NPI and NPI-D; Katz Index and FAQ. Simultaneously, caregivers were enrolled onto the Dementia Education Program. RESULTS: The final sample was composed of 31 subjects, having a mean age of 77.4 y.o. (±8 SD). Nursing interventions were effective in reducing some of the behavioral disturbances (Z= -3.1; p=0.002), such as Aggression (Z= -3.7; p<0.001) and anxiety (Z= -2.3; p=0.023). Caregiver distress also reduced upon interventions (Z= -2.2; p=0.030). CONCLUSION: Our results indicate nursing interventions may be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of behavioral disorders and subjective burden among caregivers. Education Programs can improve caregiver burden through conveying information on difficulties related to the disease and how to deal with them.