Anxiety symptoms among informal caregivers in 47 low- and middle-income countries: A cross-sectional analysis of community-based surveys

Lee Smith, Jae Il Shin, Hans Oh, Guillermo F López Sánchez, Benjamin Underwood, Louis Jacob, Nicola Veronese, Pinar Soysal, Laurie Butler, Yvonne Barnett, Mark A Tully, Ai Koyanagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: There are no multi-country studies on the association between informal caregiving and anxiety from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Therefore, we investigated this relationship in a large predominantly nationally representative sample from 47 LMICs. Methods: Cross sectional data from the World Health Survey were analyzed. Anxiety symptoms referred to severe or extreme problems with worries or anxiety in the past 30 days. Information on caregiving in the past 12 months was obtained. Multivariable logistic regression analysis adjusting for age, sex, marital status, education, household size, employment, disability, and country was conducted. Data on 237,952 individuals aged ≥18 years [mean (SD) age 38.4 (16.0) years; 50.8% female] were analyzed. Results: After adjustment for potential confounders, caregiving was positively associated with anxiety symptoms (OR = 1.52; 95%CI = 1.40, 1.65). Greater number of caregiving activities was associated with higher odds for anxiety symptoms dose-dependently, with the OR (95%CI) for engagement in 5 activities (vs. no caregiving) being 2.19 (1.86–2.58). Conclusion: Caregiving is associated with higher odds for anxiety symptoms among adults in LMICs. Given the increasing importance of informal caregivers in long-term care provision and the fact that good health of caregivers is vital to sustain this system, interventions to address mental health of caregivers in LMICs are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-539
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume298
Issue numberPt A
Early online date14 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Not applicable.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Caregivers
  • Low- and middle-income countries
  • Epidemiology

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