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PATIENT CARE


SATOKO TSURU, KOICHI TANIZAKI, HARUKI YOSHIDA – THE UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO TSUGUYOSHI ASANO – ASANO KANAMACHI CLINIC; TAKANORI MOTOKI – JIKEI UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE TAKAMASA KOGURE – PARAMOUNT BED CO. LTD, JAPAN


Sleep quality in carers with dementia patients


The quality of sleep by caregivers may be reduced by the behaviour of patients with dementia at night. The reduction in sleep quality may cause mental and physical issues for the caregiver, potentially forcing home care of dementia patients to be discontinued. This study by Japanese researchers from the University of Tokyo and elsewhere aimed to develop objective data about sleep quality in dementia patients and their caregivers to promote the continuation of care.


Due to aging of society in Japan, the number of patients with dementia is anticipated to increase further.1


However,


care of dementia patients at home often causes large burdens on family members caring for them. Yet there is no method established for the evaluation of a caregiver’s fatigue on the basis of objective data and that means there is currently no system for monitoring the fatigue of family caregivers. If the fatigue of family caregivers


exceeds a limit, care of patients at home cannot be continued. There are cases where the caregiver himself/herself develops physical or mental disorders due to fatigue from care, requiring some treatment. There are even reports on sad events where fatigued family caregivers have killed dementia patients. So there is a need for third parties to


monitor the physical and mental fatigue of family caregivers and predict the outbreak of problems. To this end, it is required first


Satoko Tsuru


Satoko Tsuru is a professor at the School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo. She is the leader of the research group for clinical knowledge structuring in healthcare. Her research interest lies in healthcare social system engineering.


Koichi Tanizaki


Koichi Tanizaki is a member of research staff at the Tsuru Laboratory of the University of Tokyo. He specialises in computer science.


Takanori Motoki


Takanori Motoki is a pediatrician at the Jikei University School of Medicine. He specialises in endocrinology.


110


Tsuguyoshi Asano


Tsuguyoshi Asano is a psychiatrist and the director of


Asano Kanamachi Clinic. He is reader of the dementia section at


Katsushika-ku Medical Association.


Haruki Yoshida


Haruki Yoshida is a graduate student at the School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo.


Takamasa Kogure


Takamasa Kogure is a chief researcher at the Paramount Bed Sleep Research Laboratory


of Paramount Bed Co. Ltd.


to evaluate the fatigue of family caregivers. However, the perception of burden differs among individuals, and it involves various factors. These factors include the relationship


of the caregiver to the patient, severity of dementia, type, frequency and level of behavioral/psychological symptoms specific to dementia, whether or not the caregiver has a positive stance to care, whether or not supporters to care are available, whether or not there is any person helping the caregiver around him/her, and whether or not the caregiver has any activity other than care. Even when the severity of dementia or the level of behavioural/psychological symptoms is similar, the capability of enduring the difficulty arising from care


differs from one caregiver to another. At present, subjective


assessment or self-reporting by individual family caregivers is often used for evaluation of their fatigue. However, such subjective assessment or self-report does not always reflect the status of fatigue appropriately. For the


evaluation of fatigue, an objective indicator is needed. However, as we have already


established, to-date there is no established evaluation method.


Measuring sleep quality One of the characteristics of dementia patients is nocturnal behaviour.


The circumstance requiring


family caregivers to care for patients at night is reported to cause high physical/mental


IFHE DIGEST 2021


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