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Revista Habanera de Ciencias Médicas

versão On-line ISSN 1729-519X


LLIBRE-RODRIGUEZ, Juan de Jesús et al. Overburden and correlates among caregivers of people with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rev haban cienc méd [online]. 2021, vol.20, n.4, e3944.  Epub 10-Ago-2021. ISSN 1729-519X.


The existence of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (COVID-19) represents an unprecedented health problem around the world, including people with dementia, their families and caregivers.


To study the characteristics of caregivers and care recipients as well as the burden among caregivers of people with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Material and Methods:

Prospective observational study. The universe comprised 3000 people aged 65 years who were selected by simple random sampling without replacement from the population based study of Aging and Alzheimer's Disease. Of them, 160 participants from Havana were evaluated at two different moments: in 2016 - 2018 and from October 1 to November 30, 2020.


The caregivers who were evaluated during the pandemic presented higher levels of stress or higher Zarit burden Interview scores (p=0,017) as well as a greater morbidity as measured by the General Health Questionnaire (p<0,0001) in relation to the study conducted in 2016-2018.

Stress among caregivers was associated with the presence and severity of behavioral and psychological symptoms, OR = 1,02 (95 % CI 1.00-1.03); stages of dementia, OR = 1,61 (95 % CI, 1.45-1.76); greater care needs, OR = 1,56 (95 % CI, 1.14-2.77); fear of getting sick from COVID-19, OR = 1,52 (95 % CI, 1.11-4.12); insecurity about the future, OR = 1,26 (95 % CI, 1.04 -2.53) and job abandonment due to care, OR = 1,19 (95 % CI, 1.01-2.12).


Our findings confirm that there is greater stress and burden among caregivers of people living with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic and that there is a need to achieve coordinated actions in the national health system strategies aimed at supporting people with dementia and caregivers.

Palavras-chave : Dementia; caregivers; stress; burden, mental health; COVID-19.

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