Differences Between Dementia Caregivers Who are Users and Nonusers of Community Services.

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

Public Health Nurs

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Public health nursing (Boston, Mass.)

PubMed ID


DOI of Published Version


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OBJECTIVES: To examine differences between users and non-users of community services in caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD). A profile of who used services versus did not use services was developed.

DESIGN AND SAMPLE: Existing cross-sectional data from the NINR funded National Caregiver Training Project (data collected 1995-1997) were used. The sample (N = 241) of caucasian, well-educated caregivers reflected a mix of spouse and adult caregivers with a mean age of 64.8 years.

MEASURES: Variables measured included caregiver social support, burden, and depression as well as problem behavior of PWD.

RESULTS: The majority of caregivers did not attend support groups (73%) or use respite services (79%). Among caregivers who did not use services, 78% lived with the recipient and 77% were spouses. The profile of non-users compared to users revealed that non-users were significantly older, more depressed, and received less social support. On the other hand, non-users provided fewer hours of care per week to recipients who had less cognitive and functional deterioration and fewer behavior problems.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide public health nurses with knowledge about service use in caregivers of PWD. Recommendations regarding caregiver needs for assistance and increased use of services before a crisis ensues are presented.


Adult, Adult Children, Aged, Caregivers, Community Health Services, Cross-Sectional Studies, Dementia, Female, Health Services Needs and Demand, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Public Health Nursing, Social Support, Spouses

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