Depressive symptoms among informal caregivers of older adults: insights from the Singapore Survey on Informal Caregiving.

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This paper determines care recipient and caregiver characteristics and caregiving dimensions - associated with depression among caregivers of older adults, using path analysis and assesses whether the identified path model differs between spousal and adult child caregivers.Data from 1,190 dyads comprising care recipients (community-dwelling adults aged ≥ 75 years with at least one activity of daily living (ADL) limitation) and caregivers (family member/friend most involved in providing care/ensuring provision of care to care recipient), who were interviewed through the Singapore Survey on Informal Caregiving (2010-2011), were used. Using path analysis, we assessed the direct and indirect associations between primary stressors (care recipient's ADL and instrumental ADL status, and memory and behavior problems), caregiver health status, receipt of assistance from a foreign domestic worker/maid, amount of caregiving, negative reaction to caregiving, caregiver's self-esteem, perceived emotional support, and caregiver depressive symptoms.Our analysis showed that primary stressors, receipt of assistance from a foreign domestic worker/maid, perceived emotional support, and caregiver health status were directly or indirectly associated with caregiver depressive symptoms, and this association was mediated by negative reaction to caregiving. Caregiver self-esteem mediated the relationship between perceived emotional support and negative reaction to caregiving only among adult child caregivers.The results provide insights into factors associated with depressive symptoms among spousal and adult child caregivers, and help identify targeted interventions for improving caregiver mood.





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Malhotra, Chetna, Rahul Malhotra, Truls Østbye, David Matchar and Angelique Chan (2012). Depressive symptoms among informal caregivers of older adults: insights from the Singapore Survey on Informal Caregiving. International psychogeriatrics, 24(8). pp. 1335–1346. 10.1017/s1041610212000324 Retrieved from

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David Bruce Matchar

Professor of Medicine

My research relates to clinical practice improvement - from the development of clinical policies to their implementation in real world clinical settings. Most recently my major content focus has been cerebrovascular disease. Other major clinical areas in which I work include the range of disabling neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, and cancer prevention.
Notable features of my work are: (1) reliance on analytic strategies such as meta-analysis, simulation, decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis; (2) a balancing of methodological rigor the needs of medical professionals; and (3) dependence on interdisciplinary groups of experts.
This approach is best illustrated by the Stroke Prevention Patient Outcome Research Team (PORT), for which I served as principal investigator. Funded by the AHCPR, the PORT involved 35 investigators at 13 institutions. The Stroke PORT has been highly productive and has led to a stroke prevention project funded as a public/private partnership by the AHCPR and DuPont Pharma, the Managing Anticoagulation Services Trial (MAST). MAST is a practice improvement trial in 6 managed care organizations, focussing on optimizing anticoagulation for individuals with atrial fibrillation.
I serve as consultant in the general area of analytic strategies for clinical policy development, as well as for specific projects related to stroke (e.g., acute stroke treatment, management of atrial fibrillation, and use of carotid endarterectomy.) I have worked with AHCPR (now AHRQ), ACP, AHA, AAN, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NSA, WHO, and several pharmaceutical companies.
Key Words: clinical policy, disease management, stroke, decision analysis, clinical guidelines

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