COVID-19 Crisis Effects on Caregiver Distress in Neurocognitive Disorder

Panagiotis Alexopoulos, Rigas Soldatos, Evangelia Kontogianni, Maria Frouda, Souzana Loanna Aligianni, Maria Skondra, Maria Passa, Georgia Konstantopoulou, Evangelia Stamouli, Evgenia Katirtzoglou, Anastasios Politis, Polychronis Economou, Maria Alexaki, Kostas Siarkos, Antonios Politis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have mental health implications for both people with neurocognitive disorder and their caregivers. Objective: The study aimed to shed light on relations between caregiver mental reaction to the pandemic and caregiver distress related to neuropsychiatric symptoms, memory impairment progression, and functional impairment of people with neurocognitive disorder during the period of confinement in Greece. Methods: The study included caregivers of patients with mild (N = 13) and major (N = 54) neurocognitive disorder. The caregiver-based telephone interview was based on items of the neuropsychiatric inventory questionnaire, the AD8 Dementia Screening Instrument, and the Bristol Activities of Daily Living Scale. Regarding the mental impact of the COVID-19 crisis on caregivers, four single questions referring to their worries in the last seven days were posed, in addition to the scales Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item (GAD-7) and the 22-item Impact of Event Scale-revised (IES-R). A stepwise linear regression model was employed for studying the relationship between caregiver distress and demographic and clinical data and caregiver mental reaction to COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Results: Caregiver distress severity during the confinement period was influenced not only by memory deficits (p = 0.009) and neuropsychiatric symptoms (p < 0.001) of patients, but also by caregiver hyperarousal (p = 0.003) and avoidance symptoms (p = 0.033) and worries directly linked to the COVID-19 crisis (p = 0.022). Conclusion: These observations provide further evidence for the urgent need for support of caregivers of patients with neurocognitive disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-466
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Volume79
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Confinement
  • impairment in activities of daily living
  • memory deficits
  • neuropsychiatric symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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