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Caregivers Have Higher Levels of Depression Than Non-Caregivers

Nov 11, 2015

NEW YORK, Nov. 11, 2015—Caregivers of adult relatives have higher levels of depression than non-caregivers, with caregivers in China and Italy having the most severe depression mean scores, according to new findings from Kantar Health’s National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS). The research will be presented today at the ISPOR (International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research) 18th Annual European Congress in Milan.

“Caring for an adult relative, such as an elderly parent, has long been associated with many burdens – physical, emotional and financial,” said Kathy Annunziata, Vice President, Research Services, at Kantar Health. “NHWS research has found that caregivers are very dedicated to taking care of their family members, but with a cost to their emotional wellbeing.”

Across all countries, caregivers experience higher levels of depression than non-caregivers. By severity level, caregivers in China (35 percent) were the most likely to have moderate to severe depression. In contrast, caregivers in Japan reported the lowest level of moderate to severe depression, at 16 percent.

Caregivers are most involved with tasks such as transportation, meals, housework and medication, with caregivers in the UK and U.S. having the largest role and caregivers in France the least. Caregivers are least involved with personal care, such as bathing and feeding, with caregivers in Spain and China the most involved and caregivers in France the least involved. Despite the burdens, caregiving is important for many adults. For example, in Germany and the U.S. caregivers strongly agreed that they “feel privileged to care for the patient.” In the U.S. and UK caregivers strongly agreed that “caring for the patient is important to me.”

“Family members assume important roles when caring for an adult relative, which unfortunately may have a negative impact on their quality of life, especially mentally,” Annunziata said. “NHWS’s profiles illustrate the need for interventions to minimize this burden of depression on caregiving regardless of patient ailment. This is true across all countries and especially in China and Italy, where caregivers appear to be feeling the strain the most with respect to depression. Further research profiling caregivers by the specific ailment their relative experiences is warranted, as the caregiving demands and subsequent burden can vary by ailment.”

About the National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS)

The study’s results were drawn from the 2013 NHWS, a nationally representative, self-administered survey conducted annually. Respondents were provided with a list of conditions and asked which they had experienced and been diagnosed with. Topics covered include the health status, attitudes, behaviors and outcomes among adults 18 or older.

Kantar Health conducts the NHWS in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America. The survey is the largest self-reported dataset in the healthcare industry.

About Kantar Health

Kantar Health is a leading global healthcare consulting firm and trusted advisor to many pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device and diagnostic companies worldwide. It combines evidence-based research capabilities with deep scientific, therapeutic and clinical knowledge, commercial development know-how, and brand and marketing expertise to help clients evaluate opportunities, launch products and maintain brand and market leadership.

Kantar Health deeply understands the influence of patients, payers and physicians, especially as they relate to the performance and payment of medicines and the delivery of healthcare services. Its 600+ healthcare industry specialists work across the product lifecycle, from preclinical development to launch, acting as catalysts to successful decision-making in life sciences and helping clients prioritize their product development and portfolio activities, differentiate their brands and drive product success post-launch. Kantar Health is part of Kantar, the data investment management division of WPP. For more information, please visit