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Introduction

Caregiver burden refers to the physical, psychological and social consequences of taking care of a patient. Our aim is to raise the most important research issues on caregiver burden. After introducing the concept, we discuss the predictors, the impact of physical versus cognitive impairment and the gender differences, on burden. Most of the research has been made on demented individuals and elders but also on other chronic patients, as we will refer. Some widely used instruments are briefly presented and the future perspectives on this issue are pointed together with the concluding remarks.

The problem of caregiving has been studied extensively since the 1980s. This issue became of major importance namely because of the growing number of elders and the changing patterns of families and women, ...

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