Background: Japan and the United States (US) have different cultures of caregiving including differences in family structure and social programs that may influence caregiver strain. Differences in caregiver strain between regions in Japan and in the US have not been investigated in patient-spouse dyads in PD. Objectives: To compare caregiver strain in spouses of PD patients between Yamagata, Japan and Maryland, US. Correlations between caregiver strain and patient/spousal variables are also examined. Methods: In Yamagata and Maryland, spouses of patients with PD completed questionnaires assessing caregiver strain. Patients and spouses completed scales assessing mental health, and medical co-morbidity. PD severity and disability were assessed with the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale and the Schwab and England Activities of Daily Living Scale. Results in the two regions were compared with Chi-square and Student's t-tests. Relationships between caregiver strain and patient/spousal variables were analyzed with univariate correlations and multivariate regression. Results: 178 Spouse-patient pairs were assessed. The level of caregiver strain in PD did not differ between Yamagata, Japan and Maryland, US despite differences in demographics and social support programs in the two regions. Yamagata spouses reported physical, time and financial constraints, while Maryland spouses reported more emotional distress. In both regions, spousal depression was a significant contributor to caregiver strain. Conclusion: Different approaches to reduce caregiver strain will likely be necessary in Yamagata and Maryland since the contributing factors to caregiver strain are influenced by differences in culture and social supports in each country.
- Caregiver strain
- Parkinson's disease