BACKGROUND: Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) has devastating effects on patients and caregivers, yet the factors underlying caregiver stress are poorly understood.
METHODS: 108 caregivers (79 = FTD, 29 = Alzheimer's disease) participated in a postal survey. Self-report measures of perceived stress, depression, social networks, as well as patient-based measures of behaviour change and activities of daily living were completed.
RESULTS: Depression was a cardinal feature in FTD caregivers, and it accounted for more than 58% of stress scores. Both depression and stress were significantly higher than in AD. Neither the severity of behaviour changes nor functional disability explained caregiver stress.
CONCLUSION: Caregiver stress is a multidimensional construct, and FTD caregivers should receive more support than currently available. Depression plays a key role in coping ability.
- Activities of Daily Living
- Alzheimer Disease/psychology
- Sex Factors
- Social Support
- Stress, Psychological/psychology