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Objective: Depressive symptoms are common mental health problems among the family caregivers of patients with dementia. However, little is known about the prevalence of depressive symptoms among the family caregivers of patients with dementia in Indonesia. This study aimed to examine: 1) the factors predicting depressive symptoms, 2) the mediating role of social support in the relationship between burden and depressive symptoms, and 3) the association between depressive symptoms and healthcare utilization among family caregivers.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study involving 250 family caregivers of patients with dementia recruited from four hospitals in Java, Indonesia. Data were collected by Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI); the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire (NPI-Q), the Mastery scale, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale. Descriptive statistics, chi-square test, hierarchical multiple linear regression, and Baron and Kenny's regression method were used to analyze the data.
Results: The results revealed that about a quarter of the participants (24.8%) experienced depressive symptoms. Caregiver burden, mastery, behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, and social support explained 45.5% of the variance in the prevalence of depressive symptoms among family caregivers (R2=0.455). Social support also partially mediated the association between caregiver burden and depressive symptoms. There was no association between depressive symptoms and the use of healthcare services among the family caregivers.
Conclusion: The findings revealed that social support is a mediating factor affecting the relationship between caregiver burden and depressive symptoms. Interventions targeting social support to help alleviate caregiver burden would be effective in helping reduce depressive symptoms in the family caregivers of patients with dementia.
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