Do Trajectories of at-home dementia caregiving account for burden after nursing home placement? A growth curve analysis

Katherina A. Nikzad-Terhune, Keith A. Anderson, Robert Newcomer, Joseph E. Gaugler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Transitioning to the nursing home setting is a complex process for family caregivers of older adults with dementia. While nursing home placement (NHP) can alleviate certain caregiving responsibilities, new stressors can also emerge. In the present study, the researchers examined how care-related factors can change leading up to NHP and how these factors influence caregiver outcomes following NHP. A sample of 634 family dementia caregivers (n = 634) were surveyed at three six-month intervals prior to NHP and once during the 12 month period following institutionalization. Growth curve modeling revealed dynamic changes in certain factors leading up to NHP (e.g., caregivers' perceived health), while other factors remained stable (e.g., caregiver burden). Several factors emerged as significant predictors of caregiver burden following NHP, including pre-placement burden and adult day service utilization. For geriatric social workers, these findings may be useful in assessing family caregivers, and in the development and utilization of appropriate interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)734-752
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Work in Health Care
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Received September 11, 2009; accepted December 18, 2009. This research was supported by grant R21 AG025625 from the National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health. Address correspondence to Katherina A. Nikzad-Terhune, MSW, ABD, Graduate Center for Gerontology, University of Kentucky, 306 Wethington Health Sciences Bldg., 900 S. Limestone, Lexington, KY 40536-0200. E-mail:


  • Caregiver burden
  • Dementia
  • Nursing home placement
  • Trajectories


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