Mal J Nutr 20(1): 27 - 37, 2014

Association between Caregiver Burden with Feeding Problems and Functional Status of Patients with Dementia
Suzana 51k, Chong HY1, Lee YIP, Nurfatina MD1, Nurwahidayu MAP, Siah PP, Nurul A2 & Rosdinom R2

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Feeding difficulty and functional disability are common problems among patients with dementia but their influence on caregivers' burden has not been addressed comprehensively. Thus, this study aimed to determine the association between feeding problems, functional status and caregiver burden among patients with dementia who receive outpatient treatment at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (LTKIvIMC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as compared to their non-demented counterparts. Methods: A cross-sectional comparative study was conducted among 30 patients with dementia (12 men, 18 women, mean age 75 7 years old) and 60 subjects without dementia (25 men, 35 women, mean age 69 7 years), as well as their caregivers. Subjects' functional status, feeding problems and also caregiver burden were assessed using Activities of Daily Livings (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) questionnaire, The Edinburgh Feeding Evaluation in Dementia Questionnaire (EdFED-Q) and Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI), respectively. Subjects were also measured for height and weight. Results: Patients with dementia needed supervision (50%) and physical help during mealtime (40%). The mean functional status score of these patients was higher than the patients without dementia (p<0.05). Caregiver burden score was positively correlated with the EdFED-Q score (r=0.405, p<0.05) but negatively correlated with functional status score (r-0.475, p<0.01). Further, multiple regression analysis showed that after adjustment for age, EdFED-Q score and functional status remained correlated with caregiver burden at R2 of 0.210. Conclusion: Caregiver burden is associated with feeding problems and functional disability among patients with dementia. There is a need to educate the caregivers in order to improve the quality of life of both carers and the demented patients.

Keywords: Caregiver burden, dementia, feeding problems, functional status, outpatient

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