Introduction: This study aims to validate the Zarit Burden Interview as an instrument to measure the level of burden experienced by caregivers of patients with dementia (PWD) in Singapore.Materials and Methods: Adult family caregivers of PWD were recruited from the ambulatory dementia clinic of a tertiary hospital and the Alzheimer’s Disease Association. All subjects completed a battery of questionnaires which consisted of demographic questions and the following instruments: the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI), Burden Assessment Scale (BAS), General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28), Dementia Management Strategies Scale (DMSS), and the Revised Memory and Behaviour Problems Checklist (RMBPC). A subgroup of subjects also completed the ZBI for the second time 2 weeks after the first survey. Results: A total of 238 subjects completed the survey. As hypothesised, the Zarit burden score was strongly correlated with BAS, GHQ-28, DMSS, and RMBPC scores (Pearson’s correlation coefficient: 0.53 to 0.73); caregivers who undertook the major role in caregiving, had spent >1 year in caregiving, or experienced financial problems had higher Zarit burden scores than those who were not main carers, with ≤1 year of caregiving, or reported no/minimal financial problems, respectively. The Cronbach’s alpha value for the ZBI items was 0.93; the intra-class correlation coefficient for the test-retest reliability of the Zarit burden score was 0.89 (n = 149). Conclusion: The results in this study demonstrated that the Zarit Burden Interview is a valid and reliable instrument for measuring the burden of caregivers of PWD in Singapore.
Dementia is a growing public health issue in the Asia-Pacific region. The number of people with dementia in the Asia-Pacific region will increase from 13.7 million people in 2005 to 64.6 million people in 2050.
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