Desempenho cognitivo, sobrecarga e estresse de idosos cuidadores de idosos com e sem alterações cognitivas
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Introduction: The number of elderly people taking care of other elderly people is a growing reality. The burden, stress and cognitive performance of elderly caregivers may differ depending on who they are caring for. Objective: To compare the cognitive performance, burden and stress of elderly caregivers of elderly with evidence of cognitive impairment and elderly caregivers of elderly without evidence of cognitive impairment assisted by Primary Health Care services. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study and quantitative performed with 318 elderly caregivers divided into two groups: 205 caregivers of elderly with evidence of cognitive impairment (CI) and 113 caregivers of elderly without evidence of cognitive impairment (WCI), according to the cutoff score of the Cognitive Examination of Addenbrooke's–Revised (ACE-R). For data collection, the following were used: a sociodemographic and context-of-care questionnaire, ACE-R, Zarit's Burden Scale and Perceived Stress Scale. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was performed to confirm the normality of the data and descriptive and comparative analyzes were performed using Student's T Test and Pearson's Chi-square. Results: Most elderly care recipients were men, with a mean age of 73.3 (±8.0) years and a mean of 3.5 (±3.6) years of schooling. Elderly people with evidence of cognitive impairment were significantly older, less educated, had lower averages in the assessments of activities of daily living and worse cognitive performance, when compared to elderly recipients of care without evidence of cognitive impairment. Regarding caregivers, most were women (77,4%) and married (91,2%). The CI group had a higher mean age (70.6 years; p=0.001), less years of education (2.6 years; p=0.001), and a higher percentage with more than five hours a day dedicated to care (51,7%; p=0.020) when compared to WCI. Regarding cognitive performance, there was an average of 57.8 points in the ACE-R (±17.9) in the CI and 73.3 (±15.0) in the WCI, with a statistically significant difference (p=0.001). AC means were lower than SAC means for all ACE-R domains. There was a higher score for the AC, with a significant difference, both for perceived stress (p=0.029) and for overload (p=0.018). Conclusion: Elderly caregivers of elderly people with signs of cognitive impairment, worse cognitive performance in the total ACE-R and in its domains, in addition to higher levels of overload and stress. The differences found are important for planning activities with elderly caregivers in the context of primary health care.
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