Caregiver burden and depressive symptomatology: The association between constructs over time

Norm O'Rourke, Holly A. Tuokko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The current study examines the association between burden and depression symptoms among cohabiting caregivers recruited as part of a longitudinal study of dementia incidence and patterns of care (Canadian Study of Health and Aging). Patterns of change were examined among informal caregivers among those continuing to live with community dwelling care recipients (five years subsequent to initial study participation, N = 137). With control for demographic variables and patient illness features, regression analyses suggest that burden exists as a significant antecedent of depressive symptomatology (subsequent to control for baseline depressive symptoms; F[11,125] = 3.71, p < .05). The reverse association, however, was not observed (again, subsequent to control for demographic variables, patient illness features, and baseline burden; F[11,125] = 1.88, ns). These findings support the operational definition of caregiver burden in which this construct is understood as a form of negative appraisal of current and future ability to cope with care demands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-52
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Gerontologist
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Burden
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Informal caregivers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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