Main Article Content
Design: A pilot cross-sectional study.
Patients and methods: Between March and May of 2006, data were collected on 35 over 60 years old patients who live in the community of Buenaventura, with a score in the Barthel index < 85 and their caregiver. Socio-demographic variables were evaluated in the elderly and the caregiver. Medical variables were evaluated. For mental appraisal, the scale of the minimental test was applied and for the elderly depression the scale of geriatric depression of Yesavage was used. For the social evaluation, the family APGAR scale was applied, the care giver’s burden was determined by the Zarit scale, and the functional valuation by the Barthel index.
Results: The mean age and the standard deviation of the patient group was 78.9±10 years. There was a larger proportion of women (68.5%). In the care givers, the regular age and the standard deviation was 49.4±18.8 years, where 91% were women. It was found that for 54.2% of the caregivers there was no burden at all, 40% of them had a minimum burden and the others a greater burden. Bivariate analysis between the care giver’s burden and the number of chronic disease, the score on the minimental test, elderly depression and the family APGAR, resulted in statistic association (p< 0.02). Significant association was found between level of dependency in the basic common day activities related with physical aspects and the presence of care giver’s burden (p< 0.001).
Conclusions: There is an association between aged people, dependent in basic common day activities related with physical aspects, and care giver’s burden. Being the caregivers mostly family members, further studies must be focused on identifying and realizing interventions to prevent or limit the decrease of declining mental health and loss of life quality and the consequent increase of the care giver’s burden.
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