Spouses of persons with dementia: Their healthcare problems, utilization, and costs

Ann M. Kolanowski, Donna Fick, Jennifer L. Waller, Dennis Shea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Spouses of persons with dementia (PWD) often experience poor health outcomes related to the experience of living with the afflicted spouse. Using the Anderson and Aday Healthcare Utilization Model, we conducted a retrospective review of an administrative database from a private healthcare insurer to compare health problems that precipitate utilization, patterns of utilization, and costs of care of spouses of PWD (n = 979) to those of spouses of persons without dementia (n = 979). Spouses of PWD were treated for more anxiety disorders (OR = 2.97; 95% CI = 1.63-5.44), falls (OR = 7.72; 95% CI = 2.73-21.84), rheumatologic diseases (OR = 2.5; 95% CI = 1.24-5.06), and diabetes with no complications (OR = 1.53; 95% CI = 1.06-2.22), but less pneumonia (OR = .55; 95%; CI = .35-.88) than comparison spouses. Spouses of PWD had a higher number of emergency room (ER) visits (p = .01). There were no differences in costs between the groups. The findings can be used to develop interventions for spouses of PWD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-306
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Nursing and Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Nursing


Dive into the research topics of 'Spouses of persons with dementia: Their healthcare problems, utilization, and costs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this