263581 Caregiving across the U.S.: BRFSS Data Reveal Impact of Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Erin Bouldin, MPH , Health Services Research & Development, Puget Sound VA Health Care System, Seattle, WA
Elena Andresen, PhD , Institute on Disability & Development (CDRC), Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Catherine E. Morrison, MPH , Public Policy, Alzheimer's Association, Washington, DC
Background: Little is currently known about the prevalence and health impacts of caregiving, especially at the state and local levels and for caregivers of Alzheimer's disease, who are likely to have a greater burden than other caregivers.

Purpose: To compare the caregiving experiences, demographic factors, and health behaviors of caregivers who provided care to a person with Alzheimer's disease or dementia to caregivers who provided care to a person with any other type of health condition or disability.

Methods: During 2010, six states included the optional Caregiver Module on their BRFSS. In the study, we included the 23,158 respondents from these states who provided a valid answer (yes or no) to the caregiver screening question.

Results: In five of the six states analyzed as of December 30, 2011, there were 4,338 caregivers (19.7% weighted), of which 370 (7.5%) provided care to someone with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Experiences between caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's or dementia varied from other caregivers. Caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease or dementia were more likely to report that caregiving created a difficulty, and they provided more intense care over longer periods of time than other types of caregivers.

Discussion: These data suggest that there may be important differences between caregivers based on whether their care recipients have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Based on these data, Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers may need interventions to reduce stress and prevent health problems related to caregiving more than other caregivers.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
The participant will be able to summarize caregiving in public health terms. The participant will be able to describe the burden of Alzheimer's caregiving. The participant will be able to discuss public policy implications of Alzheimer's caregiving.

Keywords: Chronic Diseases, Surveillance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Manage the Alzheimer's Association's Cooperative Agreement with the CDC.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.