Three quarter of care for Alzheimer's patient is provided by family and friends and they often report adverse experience which might be physical, psychological, or financial in nature. These adverse consequences as a result of the care provided are known as caregiver burden (Kaufer et al., 2005)
Objective The main objective of this study is to look into the association between apathy severity and the caregiver burden and also identify significant predictors of apathy.
Method This was a retrospective cross sectional study. We selected 160 consecutive patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia and Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment who had a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests and a behaviour rating scale of interest for this study recorded in the database. Nonparametric Spearman correlational analyses examined relationships between apathy and caregiver burden scores. Further correlational analyses was carried out after removing patients with depression (HADS depression scores>or=to 8) .Forward stepwise linear multiple regressions identified significant predictors of apathy.
Results In our study, series of exploratory Spearman rho correlation confirmed the significant relationship between apathy and caregiver burden with and without depression. We did further sub analysis and found apathy to be significantly related to caregiver burden in both AD and aMCI patients
Conclusion This study has shown high association of apathy with caregiver burden both in AD & aMCI. It is clear from the current literature that apathy is a common symptom in both AD & aMCI and has significantly adverse consequence to both the patients and the caregivers. Actively screening, monitoring and managing apathy in clinical practise would improve the prognosis and quality of life of these patients.
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