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Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI)
Please visit this website for more information about the instrument: Zarit Burden Interview
Supplemental - Highly Recommended: Mitochondrial Disease (Mito)
Recommendations for use: Indicated for studies requiring a measure of caregiver burden.
Exploratory: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Stroke
Short Description of Instrument
The Zarit Burden Interview is a 29-item scale specifically designed to measure feelings of burden experienced by the caregivers of elderly persons with dementia.
Caregivers are asked to respond to questions about the impact of the patient's disabilities on their life. The current version of the Zarit Burden Interview contains 22 items. Shorter versions of the instrument also exist but may not be recommended by the author.
The caregivers can complete this themselves or as part of an interview.
Scoring and Psychometric Properties
Scoring: The Zarit Burden Interview is scored on a 5-point sliding scale with scores on items summed for the total scores.
Psychometric Properties:
  • Test-Retest: Coefficients differed as a function of time between assessments, however, this should not be seen as limitation since caregiver burden should vary over time
  • Internal Consistency: Excellent (overall alpha = 0.86)
  • There is a significant amount of research in support of Zarit Burden Interview use in clinical practice and it is considered by many to be the gold standard for determining level of caregiver burden.
  • Easy to administer and can be completed in less than 10 minutes, although may take up to 30 minutes.
  • Can be used to assess caregiver burden across a variety of neurological disorders.
  • The instrument is culturally neutral, as scores have been found to be unrelated to age, gender, locale, language, living situation, marital status, or employment status, suggesting its appropriateness across many patient populations.
  • No training is required.
  • Numerous translations are available.
  • A license agreement must be completed, and a user fee is required for all users (commercial and academic users) and a screenshot agreement must be signed by commercial users.
  • The self-checklist format of the ZBI can be limiting.
  • Positive aspects of caregiving that might reduce feelings of burden are not explored.
Key Reference:
Zarit SH, Reever KE, Bach-Peterson J. Relatives of the impaired elderly: correlates of feelings of burden. Gerontologist. 1980 Dec;20(6):649-55.
Additional References:
Bachner YG, O'Rourke N. Reliability generalization of responses by care providers to the Zarit Burden Interview. Aging Ment Health. 2007 Nov;11(6):678-85.
Hebert R, Bravo G, Preville M. Reliability, Validity and Reference Values of the Zarit Burden Interview for Assessing Informal Caregivers of Community-Dwelling Older Persons with Dementia. Can J Aging. 2000;19(4):494-507.
Lai DWL. Validation of the Zarit Burden Interview for Chinese Canadian Caregivers. Soc Work Res. 2007;31(1):45-53.
Schreiner AS, Morimoto T, Arai Y, Zarit S. Assessing family caregiver's mental health using a statistically derived cut-off score for the Zarit Burden Interview. Aging Ment Health. 2006 Mar;10(2):107-11.
Siegert RJ, Jackson DM, Tennant A, Turner-Stokes L. Factor analysis and Rasch analysis of the Zarit Burden Interview for acquired brain injury carer research. J Rehabil Med. 2010 Apr;42(4):302-9.
Visser-Meily JM, Post MW, Riphagen II, Lindeman E. Measures used to assess burden among caregivers of stroke patients: a review. Clin Rehabil. 2004 Sep;18(6):601-23.
Document last updated March 2024