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A pilot study compared the difficulties faced by co-resident relatives caring for elderly patients with dementia and those with depression, referred to a psychogeriatric service in London. The mean GHQ-28 score of 23 dementia carers was significantly higher than that of 17 carers of elderly people with depression. The relatively low level of distress in the latter group of carers may have been related to the majority of the depressed patients suffering minor depression. Behavioural difficulties in the patient, a poor premorbid relationship with patient and dissatisfaction with their social contacts were associated with a significant GHQ-28 score (over 4) in carers. However, the two groups of carers reported comparable levels of physical health.

Original publication




Journal article


International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Publication Date





741 - 744