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Depressive symptoms in spouse caregivers of dementia patients: A longitudinal study in South Korea

 Woorim Kim  ;  Tae‐Hoon Lee  ;  Jaeyong Shin  ;  Eun‐Cheol Park 
 Geriatrics & Gerontology International, Vol.17(6) : 973-983, 2017 
Journal Title
 Geriatrics & Gerontology International 
Issue Date
Aged ; Caregivers/psychology* ; Dementia/complications ; Dementia/psychology ; Dementia/therapy* ; Depression/epidemiology* ; Female ; Humans ; Longitudinal Studies ; Male ; Middle Aged ; Republic of Korea ; Social Support* ; Socioeconomic Factors ; Spouses/psychology*
East Asian aging societies ; caregiver social network ; dementia ; spouse caregiving ; unpaid caregiving
AIM: To investigate the association between spouse cognitive status and depressive symptoms in cohabiting spouses, and to further analyze how participation in social network-enhancing activities interplays in the objected relationship. METHODS: Data from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging, 2006-2012, were used. A total of 2782 male and 2515 female married participants currently cohabiting with their partners were included in the baseline. The association between spouse cognitive status and depressive symptoms, measured using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale, was investigated through the generalized estimating equation model. RESULTS: When setting the participants living with spouses of normal cognitive function as reference, participants living with spouses having mild dementia (male β 0.7349, P ≤ 0.0001; female β 0.8042, P ≤ 0.0001), and moderate and severe dementia (male β 1.1504, P ≤ 0.0001; female β 1.2462, P ≤ 0.0006) showed higher depression scores in a dose-response relationship. Additionally, male and female subjects participating in social network facilitating activities had lower increases in depression scores than their non-participating counterparts. CONCLUSIONS: Spouse cognitive impairment is associated with increasing depression scores in cohabiting caregivers. Individuals not participating in social network-facilitating activities are more vulnerable to the negative mental health effects of spouse cognitive impairment. Hence, considering the increasing importance of late life depression and cognitive decline in aging societies, it is important to note the protective effects of social network and support in addressing the mental health of spouse caregivers.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Preventive Medicine and Public Health (예방의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
박은철(Park, Eun-Cheol) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2306-5398
신재용(Shin, Jae Yong)
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