This study was designed to determine the relationship between psychiatric features of dementia and their impact on caregivers. 35 patient-caregiver pairs were evaluated at two university-affiliated dementia clinics, using standard instruments to rate patient psychiatric features and caregiver burden and depression. There were highly significant correlations between patient agitation and both caregiver burden (r = 0.59, p = 0.0002) and depression (r = 61, p = 0.0001). These associations remained significant after adjusting for multiple demographic and dementia variables. There was no significant association between patient delusions, hallucinations, or depression and caregiver burden or depression. Agitation, particularly physical aggression, may impact caregivers even more than does the cognitive status of the demented patient.

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