FCA logo

Ethnicity and Time to Institutionalization of Dementia Patients . . .

Ethnicity and time to institutionalization of dementia patients: A comparison of latina and caucasian female family caregivers

Citation Coon, David, W., et al. (2004). Ethnicity and time to institutionalization of dementia patients: A comparison of latina and caucasian female family caregivers. Journal of American Geriatrics Society, 52, 1077-1084.

Design Randomized, Longitudinal study

Purpose The purpose of the study was to compare rates of institutionalization among Latina and Caucasian female caregivers of family care recipients with dementia.

Participants The study involved 264 female caregivers (154 Caucasian women and 110 Latinas) who provided care to dementia care recipients in the San Francisco Bay area in California. Seventy percent of the Latina caregivers identified as Mexican American while 30% Latinas identified as Cuban American, Puerto-Rican American or other Latin American. All the participants were enrolled in the Palo Alto Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health (REACH) project.

Outcome / Dependent Variables Kaplan-Meier survival analyst was used to test for ethnic differences in regards to institutionalization while a Cox regression analysis was used to determine the characteristics of the care provider and care recipient. Characteristics of the care recipient: Mini-Mental State Examination score of 23 or less or a documented diagnosis of dementia. Care recipients were also expected to not be able to perform one or more ADL’s. Other measurements were used to determine the following: care-recipient’s physical impairment, care-recipient’s cognitive functioning, care-recipient’s memory, care-recipient’s behavior issues, caregiver burden, depressive symptoms of the caregiver, caregiver’s views of their involvement with social activities and the caregiving role.

Procedure Care providers were randomly assigned to a cognitive / behavioral psychoeducational class or an intensive support group. The study consisted of caregivers who were at least 21 years or older and caring for a loved one (family member) with dementia. Caregivers enrolled in the study were required to provide at least four hours of caregiving, reside with the care recipient and provide ongoing caregiving duties for the duration of the study (18-month period).

Outcomes The study found that Latinas delayed institutionalization significantly longer than their counterparts. The study also found that cultural values and positive views of care providing influenced Latina caregivers’ decision to delay institutionalization.

Author Coon, D. W., Depp, C., Gallagher-Thompson, D., Kraemer, H. C., Lane, G., Mausbach, B.T., Rabinowitz, Y.G., and Thompson, L. W.