The purpose of this secondary analysis study was to determine whether care recipients’ nighttime sleep patterns, medical comorbidity, observed nocturnal agitation behaviors, and caregivers’ perceptions of nocturnal agitation behaviors in care recipients with dementia are associated with caregiver burden. Sixty care recipient-caregiver dyads, comprising older adults with geriatrician-diagnosed dementia living at home with caregivers, participated. Caregivers’ perceptions of the frequency of care recipients’ nocturnal agitation behaviors were associated with caregiver burden; however, objective, real-time data on the frequency of nocturnal agitation behaviors were not associated with burden. Care recipients’ increased minutes of wakefulness before falling asleep and severe cognitive impairment with musculoskeletal/ integument and neurological comorbidities were associated with higher caregiver burden. These results suggest that targeted interventions to reduce sleep onset latency, medical comorbidity, and caregivers’ perception of frequency of nocturnal behaviors may reduce caregiver burden.
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