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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Phyllis Gaspar


caregiver drug use, dementia patients, dementia home care, psychotropic drugs


Elderly caregivers of dementia individuals within the community are at risk for mental and emotional stress. One method caregivers have coped with this stress is through psychotropic and social drug use.
Although research has investigated drug-taking practices of the elderly in the community, no research has investigated drug use of elderly caregivers in the rural setting. The objective of the study was to evaluate the usage of psychotropic and social drugs for rural community based caregivers of dementia individuals.
The 30 subjects for this study were obtained from a public health and home health aide agency in northwest Iowa. Descriptive analysis of subject characteristics and patterns of drug use was conducted. Data obtained from interviews with caregivers found 27% consumed prescription psychotropic agents and 43% used over-the-counter psychotropic drugs. Social drug use of caregivers was also determined with data indicating that 27% of the caregivers consumed alcohol.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Caregivers -- Drug use
Dementia -- Patients -- Home care
Psychotropic drugs



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 1993 Debra Juffer. All rights reserved