J Alzheimers Dis. 2022 Dec 20. doi: 10.3233/JAD-220997. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Evidence from predominately non-Hispanic White populations indicates that emergency room (ER) admissions and hospitalizations by older adults with and without dementia are associated with caregiver stress and depressive symptoms. These results may not generalize to Hispanic populations because of cultural differences in caregiving roles, responsibilities, and perspectives about care burden.
OBJECTIVE: Investigate the association between ER admissions and hospitalizations by Mexican American older adults with and without dementia and symptoms of depression and stress among family caregivers.
METHODS: Data came from the 2010/11 wave of the Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly and Medicare claims files. The final sample included 326 older adults and their caregivers. Negative binomial regression was used to model the association between hospitalizations and ER admissions by older adults in the previous two years and caregivers’ depressive symptoms and stress in 2010/11.
RESULTS: The number of older adult ER admissions and hospitalizations was not associated with caregiver depressive symptoms. Two or more ER admissions (incident rate ratio [IRR] = 1.26, 95% CI = 1.05-1.51) and two or more hospitalizations (IRR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.07-1.61) were associated with significantly higher caregiver stress. Additionally, ER admissions and hospitalizations for a circulatory disease or injury and poisoning were associated with significantly higher caregiver stress. These associations were not modified by the care recipient’s dementia status.
CONCLUSION: Hospitalizations and ER admissions by older Mexican Americans were associated with greater caregiver stress but not depressive symptoms. These associations were similar for caregivers to older adults with and without dementia.
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