Correlates of informal caregiver distress in Parkinson's disease: A meta-analysis

Kam Mei Lau, May Lan Alma Mary Gerardina Au

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Informal caregivers, mainly family members, of persons with Parkinson's disease (PD) are usually burdened with quite different loads of stress. Over the past decade, there is no consistent outcome on the association between characteristics of caregivers and patients (as stress sources), and caregiver distress. This meta-analysis integrated findings from 10 studies on the correlates of caregiver distress in terms of depressive symptoms, burden, as well as stress induced by the caregiving role. The results showed that motor symptoms of patients with PD had the strongest relationship with caregiver distress. Increased motor symptoms and higher dependency in activities of daily living showed the highest effect sizes on caregiver distress ({Pipe}r{Pipe}=.42 -.43) than did patients' higher level of depression (r=.37), more advanced disease stage (r=.33), longer duration of disease (r=.31), as well as poorer cognitive functioning level ({Pipe}r{Pipe}=.28). Among the characteristics of caregivers, only intensity of caregiving was significantly related to higher caregiver distress (r=.46).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-131
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Gerontologist
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011


  • Distress
  • Informal caregiver
  • Meta-analysis
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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