Objectives We aimed to analyse the degree of carer burden and depressive symptoms in family carers of persons with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and explore the factors independently associated with carer burden and depressive symptoms.
Methods Cross-sectional study using self-administered and interviewer-administered surveys, involving 96 family carer-care recipient pairs. Participants were identified from tertiary ophthalmology clinics in Sydney, Australia, as well as the Macular Disease Foundation of Australia database. Logistic regression, Pearson and Spearman correlation analyses were used to investigate associations of explanatory factors (family caregiving experience, carer fatigue, carer quality of life and care-recipient level of dependency) with study outcomes-carer burden and depressive symptoms.
Results Over one in two family carers reported experiencing mild or moderate-severe burden. More than one in five and more than one in three family carers experienced depressive symptoms and substantial fatigue, respectively. High level of care-recipient dependency was associated with greater odds of moderate-severe and mild carer burden, multivariable-adjusted OR 8.42 (95% CI 1.88 to 37.60) and OR 4.26 (95% CI 1.35 to 13.43), respectively. High levels of fatigue were associated with threefold greater odds of the carer experiencing depressive symptoms, multivariable-adjusted OR 3.47 (95% CI 1.00 to 12.05).
Conclusions A substantial degree of morbidity is observed in family carers during the caregiving experience for patients with AMD. Level of dependency on the family carer and fatigue were independently associated with family carer burden and depressive symptoms.
Trial registration number The trial registration number is ACTRN12616001461482. The results presented in this paper are Pre-results stage.