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Age, gender, kinship and caregiver burden in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the motor neurons and causes progressive physical impairment. Also, other functions, such as breathing, swallowing and speech are compromised, and the loss of independence makes caregiver burden extremely high. The present study aimed at evaluating the differences in the caregiver burden due to age, gender and kinship. Women reported a higher physical and social burden than men, and partners scored higher in several dimensions of the caregiver burden when compared to sons and daughters. With respect to adult child caregivers, daughters reported higher levels of developmental burden than sons. Age has a significant impact on the caregiver burden, especially for the time dedicated to assistance and physical burden; disease severity is significantly related to the physical burden as well, and also with the developmental burden.
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Keywords: ALS; caregiver burden; family; kinship

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Neurorehabilitation Unit, Neuroscience Department, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana, Pisa, Italy

Publication date: January 2, 2015

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