Annals of Behavioral Medicine: Caregiver Stress Studied using Female Twin Sets

Posted: May 12, 2014

Using 1228 female twins (188 of whom were caregivers), researchers at the University of Washington examined the origins of different types of psychological distress among caregivers. Findings included: depression and perceived mental health have strong associations with genetic inheritance, anxiety is directly related to caregiving, while perceived stress is more likely to be a reflection of the type of environment a person grows up in. Response to distress also depends on a person's resources such as coping, social supports and income.

The author notes that as the number of people with Alzheimer's will almost triple from 2008 to 2030 many more people will become caregivers, so it's important to target treatments to caregivers at the highest risk.

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[From the Caregiving Policy Digest, Volume 4, #2, March 10, 2014.]