Predictive Factors for the Objective Burden of Informal Care in People With Dementia A Systematic Review

Claire A. G. Wolfs*, Alfons G. Kessels, Johan L. Severens, Werner B. F. Brouwer, Marjolein E. de Vugt, Frans R. J. Verhey, Carmen D. Dirksen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: Informal care plays a substantial role in the provision of total care in dementia. Several reviews have been published on the predictive factors of subjective burden; however, such a review lacks information on objective burden, which refers to the amount and/or costs of informal care. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to (1) give an overview of the predictive factors that are associated with the objective burden of informal care; (2) discuss whether these factors are similar to the predictive factors of subjective burden; and (3) examine whether they are modifiable. Design: The literature in a number of international databases was systematically searched. Methodological quality and level of certainty were assessed. Results: Ten studies were identified as relevant for the purpose of this review, describing a total of 39 predictive factors. Three factors (behavioral problems and impairments regarding daily functioning and cognition) were considered to be predictors of objective burden. Three factors were not related; 12 were potential predictors; and the results of the remaining 22 factors were inconclusive. Conclusions: Many factors were found to be (potential) predictors of objective burden, reflecting its complex nature. Objective and subjective burdens are 2 different relevant aspects of informal care. Interventions aimed at countering behavioral problems and impairments regarding daily functioning could reduce objective burden.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-204
JournalAlzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • dementia
  • cognitive disorder
  • informal care
  • burden
  • review
  • costs

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