The Prevalence and Risks for Depression and Anxiety in Hospice Caregivers

Debra Parker Oliver, Karla Washington, Jamie Smith, Aisha Uraizee, George Demiris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Depression and anxiety are common concerns for hospice caregivers. Objective: This study looked at the prevalence and variables associated with hospice caregiver depression and anxiety, as well as the relationship between the two conditions. Subjects: We did a secondary analysis of preexisting data. Measurements: Measures included the PHQ-9 and GAD-7. Results: Nearly one-quarter of caregivers were moderately to severely depressed, and nearly one-third reported moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety. Risk factors for both depression and anxiety included younger age and poorer self-rated global health. Depression-specific risk factors included being married and caring for a patient with a diagnosis other than cancer. The sole anxiety-specific risk factor identified was geographic location, as caregivers living in the Southeast were found to have greater anxiety than those in the Midwest. Conclusion: Hospice providers' recognition of family caregivers as both coproviders and corecipients of care underscores the need to more fully assess and respond to depression and anxiety among caregivers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-371
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of palliative medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • anxiety
  • caregivers
  • depression
  • hospice


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