Online Program

Depression in older Japanese male and female caregivers: The Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES) Project

Monday, November 2, 2015

Tami Saito-Kokusho, PhD, Department of Social Science, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Obu, Japan
Chiyoe Murata, PhD, MPH, Department of Social Science, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Obu, Japan
Seungwon Jeong, PhD, Department of Social Science, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Obu, Japan
Katsunori Kondo, PhD, MD, Center for Preventive Medical Sciences, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
Objective: Population aging in family caregivers may cause serious public health concerns. Studies have reported negative effects of caregiving on health; however, sex differences in those effects and health disparities between caregivers and non-caregivers are still unclear, particularly in non-Western countries. This study examined depression in older Japanese male and female caregivers compared to non-caregivers.

Methods: A total of 21,140 community-dwelling older adults from the JAGES 2013 survey were analyzed. The caregiving variables assessed included provision of any form of care for their family, caregiving role (primary/secondary), relationship with care recipients (spouse/non-spouse), and hours of caregiving per week (<72/≥72 hours). Depression was assessed with a Japanese version of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). A sex-based stratified logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine the effect of each caregiving variable on the dichotomized GDS score, compared with the reference group of non-caregivers (p < .05).

Results: Of those analyzed, 47.9% were men, the mean age was 73.8 years, and 7.5% of men and 8.8% of women were caregivers. After controlling for covariates, caregiving was significantly related to the GDS in both sexes. Moreover, in both sexes, primary caregivers, spousal caregivers, and those with longer caregiving hours were more likely to have depressive tendency than non-caregivers. Additionally, in men, secondary caregivers, non-spousal caregivers, or those with shorter caregiving hours were also related to the GDS.

Discussion and conclusion: Caregiving may deteriorate mental health in Japanese older adults. Respite services may be insufficient to protect mental health in older caregivers, particularly in men.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe how older family caregivers are at risk of mental health decline Differentiate the effect of family caregiving in older men and women Discuss support for improving mental health in older family caregivers

Keyword(s): Caregivers, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working as a researcher in social gerontology and public health for 18 years. My research interests include the effects of engagement in social activities, social networks, and family issues, such as caregiving, on health in older adults.
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.