3 years ago

Depression, sleep problems, and perceived stress among informal caregivers in 58 low-, middle-, and high-income countries: A cross-sectional analysis of community-based surveys

Caregiving has been associated with adverse health outcomes. However, there is a paucity of multi-country, population-based studies on mental health outcomes of caregivers especially from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Thus, we assessed the association of caregiving with depression, sleep problems, and perceived stress in 10 high-, 27 middle-, and 21 low-income countries. Cross-sectional community-based data of the World Health Survey including 258,793 adults aged ≥18 years were analyzed. Multivariable logistic and linear regression analyses were conducted to explore the association of past 12-month caregiving with past 12-month DSM-IV depression, and past 30-day perceived stress [range 0 (low)-100 (high)] and severe/extreme sleep problems. Nearly 20% of the individuals were engaged in caregiving with particularly high rates observed in high-income countries (HICs) (e.g., Finland 43.3%). Across the entire sample, after adjustment for potential confounders, caregivers had a significantly higher likelihood of having depression (OR = 1.54; 95%CI = 1.37–1.73), sleep problems (OR = 1.37; 95%CI = 1.25–1.50), while their mean perceived stress score was 3.15 (95%CI = 2.46–3.84) points higher. These associations tended to be stronger in HICs. A greater number of caregiving activities was associated with a greater likelihood of depression, sleep problems, and perceived stress regardless of country income levels. In conclusion, caregiving has a negative impact on mental health worldwide with possibly greater effects in HICs. Given the growing contribution of caregivers in long-term care, interventions and policies to alleviate the mental health burden of caregivers are urgently needed to maintain sustainable and effective care practices.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0022395617306477

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