Utilization of the Short Form Zarit Burden Interview to Screen Dementia Caregivers for Caregiver Burden in the Clinic Setting
University of Kansas
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Informal caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) are known to have increased caregiver burden. Research has shown caregiver burden places persons with ADRD and their caregivers at increased risk for poor health outcomes. Screening caregivers for increased caregiver burden is essential to identifying caregivers in need of additional support and improving such outcomes. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to conduct a needs assessment to determine if routine screening of informal caregivers of patients with ADRD for caregiver burden would identify increased caregiver burden and the need for intervention at an internal medicine clinic in the upper Midwest. This project utilized the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI-12) tool to screen informal caregivers over a 6-week period. All caregivers with increased caregiver burden were offered a referral to respite care, counseling, or case management. Results were used to evaluate the need for routine screening for increased caregiver burden. The number of referrals was also evaluated to determine the practicality of the provider in the clinic initiating referrals for additional support services. Of the 22 caregivers screened, 12 (54.5%) were found to have increased caregiver burden. Caregivers with increased caregiver burden were more likely to be female (9, 75%) and college educated (12,100%). Of those with increased caregiver burden, only 3 (25%) requested referral for support services. These findings indicate that over half of caregivers screened had increased caregiver burden. However, few requested referral for support services. Routine screening of informal caregivers may help identify increased caregiver burden; however, the limited number of caregivers interested in additional support services, requires further investigation. Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, informal caregivers, screening, short form Zarit Burden Interview.
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