Journal List > J Korean Acad Nurs > v.45(2) > 1003056

Oh, An, Oh, Oh, Kim, Kim, and Lee: Depression and Caregiving Burden in Families of Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis



The purpose of this study was to describe depression, caregiving burden and the correlation of the two variables in the families of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and to clarify factors predicting caregiving burden.


A descriptive and cross-sectional study was conducted with 139 family members who provided care to patients with ALS. The characteristics of patients and families, Korean-Beck Depression Inventory (K-BDI), Korean version of Zarit Burden Interview (K-ZBI) and Korean-Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale - Revised (K-ALSFRS-R) were used as study measures.


The mean score for K-BDI was 19.39 out of 63 suggesting sub-clinical depression and 38.2% of the family members exhibited depression. The mean score for K-ZBI was 66.03 out of 88. The predictors for K-ZBI were K-BDI, age of family member, length of time spent per day in caring, relationship to patient and K-ALSFRS-R.


The results of this study suggest that levels of depression and caregiving burden are high among family members caring for patients with ALS. As depression is associated with caregiving burden, screening and emotional supports should be provided to reduce the burden of care for these family. Support programs to alleviate the care burden are also needed, considering family demographics, time per day in caring giving and K-ALSFRS-R.

Figures and Tables

Table 1

Degree of Depression & Caregiving Burden according to Demographics and Clinical Characteristics


ALS=Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; TV=Tracheostomy ventilation; NIV=Non-invasive ventilation; K-ALSFRS-R=Korean-Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised; a,b,c,d: Scheffé test.

Table 2

Depression and Caregiving Burden of Participants


K-BDI=Korean-Beck Depression Inventory; K-ZBI=Korean version of Zarit Burden Inter-view.

Table 3

Correlation between Depression and Caregiving Burden


K-BDI=Korean-Beck Depression Inventory; K-ZBI=Korean version of Zarit Burden Interview.

Table 4

Predictors of Caregiving Burden among Families of Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis


K-BDI=Korean-Beck Depression Inventory; K-ALSFRS-R=Korean-Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised.


This study was supported by a grant from the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry for Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (No. A101712 & A120182).


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