Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2022

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

April Schmidt, DNP, APRN-BC

Project Team Faculty Member

Rebecca Luebbert, PhD, PMHCNS-BC

Project Team Faculty Member

Amber Fifer, PharmD, ACRP-CP


Memory Loss, Caregiver Burden, Assessment


Background: Over 131,000 people in Illinois identify themselves as caregivers of someone with memory loss. The family caregiver may provide care including, but not limited to, assistance with activities of daily living, financial responsibilities, behavior management, and scheduling, and transportation to medical appointments. The care provided by the caregivers may lead to caregiver burden symptoms of depression, anxiety, and perceived stress. Purpose: Health care providers at a central Illinois memory clinic are not currently completing formal assessments of caregiver burden. This quality improvement project was done to determine if the current memory loss program services provide enough support to prevent caregiver burden in caregivers of people with memory loss or if further intervention is needed. Methods: Assessments were completed during a ten-day clinical period in a memory loss clinic. The Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) and a demographic questionnaire were offered to each caregiver presenting to the memory clinic. Results: Twenty-five caregivers participated in this project, and all participating caregivers reported some degree of caregiver burden. Demographic information, patient Mini Mental State Exam scores from the clinic visit, and ZBI scores were evaluated to determine trends of contributory factors for caregiver burden and/or control of caregiver burden. The caregiver burden results revealed by the ZBI assessment, support the need for implementation of a formal caregiver burden assessment within the clinic. Further study into interventions is recommended to help reduce the symptoms of caregiver burden.

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