Are all caregivers created equal? Stress in caregivers to adults with and without dementia

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Meyers Primary Care Institute

Publication Date


Document Type



Adaptation, Psychological; Aged; Caregivers; *Cost of Illness; *Dementia; Female; Health Status; Humans; Male; Socioeconomic Factors; *Stress, Psychological; United States


Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Geriatrics | Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health


OBJECTIVE: Caregiving for older adults is stressful; however, by treating caregivers as a homogenous group, it is possible that stress-related factors are misrepresented for some. This study of 349 elderly caregivers explored mediators of the caregiving / stress relationship for caregivers to adults with (n = 106), and without (n = 243) dementia.

METHODS: The sample was from the Caregiver Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (CG-SOF), ancillary to SOF, a four-site cohort of 9,704 women.

RESULTS: Stress was higher (p < .001) in dementia than nondementia caregivers (m = 19.85; 16.45). For caregivers overall, intensity and recipient problems were associated with stress but mediated through role captivity. However, relationships differed when stratified by recipient dementia status. Only recipient problems among nondementia caregivers was mediated through captivity.

DISCUSSION: Results confirm previous findings of lower stress among nondementia caregivers and suggest that different factors influence caregivers' appraisal of the situation, including their perception of stress, based on recipients' dementia status.

DOI of Published Version



J Aging Health. 2006 Aug;18(4):534-51. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of aging and health

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed