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INTRODUCTION: An informal caregiver is an individual who provides any kind of supportive care to a person with a disability. The Zarit scale is a tool to assess the physical, emotional, and social impact on caregivers. The aim of this study is to characterize dependent patients and their informal caregivers, determine the burden of caregivers and if there is an association between caregiver burden, the patient’s level of dependence and the caregiver’s depressive pathology.
METHODS: An original, observational, cross-sectional and descriptive research study was carried out between July and September 2019. The study population included informal caregivers of dependent patients of a primary care unity. Data was collected through home visits and SClínico®.
RESULTS: From the initial population of 157 caregivers, 71 were selected. The average age is 53.96 years and most of them are female (87.3%). There is a family relationship with the patient in all cases. Depressive symptoms in the caregiver were reported in 33.8%. Have severe overload 39.4% and 28.2% mild overload. There is a statistically significant association between the burden of care and the depression of the caregiver (p=0.001), but not between the dependency level and the overload (p=0.977).
CONCLUSION: A high percentage of caregivers of dependent patients are overloaded. Using the Zarit scale can be a useful way to identify caregivers at risk for depression.
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