BioPsychoSocial Assessment Tools for the Elderly - Assessment Summary Sheet

Test: Zarit Burden Interview – (BI) / (ZBI)

Year: 1980

Domain: Psychological

Assessment Tool Category: Caregiver Burden

Variations/Translations: Originally a 29-item scale, the 22 item version is more commonly used. Shorter versions of the ZBI have been developed with 18 and 12 items. Translations of the ZBI are available in French, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Brazilian. The test is known under two different names, the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) and the Burden Interview (BI).

Setting: Can be used in either a clinical or a community setting.

Method of Delivery: Self-report questionnaire

Description: The Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) was developed to measure subjective burden among caregivers of adults with dementia. Items were generated based on clinical experience with caregivers and prior studies resulting in a 22-item self-report inventory that examines burden associated with functional/behavioural impairments and the home care situation. The items are worded subjectively, focusing on the affective response of the caregiver.

Scoring/Interpretation: Each question is scored on a 5 point Likert scale ranging from - never to nearly always present. Total scores range from 0 (low burden) to 88 (high burden). Score values and interpretation are guidelines only.

Time to Administer: Not stated

Availability: Can be accessed online

Software: N/A


Quantitative/Qualitative: Quantitative

Validity (Quantitative): Good construct validity. The items possess content validity as they were derived from clinical and research experience with caregivers of individuals with dementia and reflect common areas of concern, namely, health, finances, social life, and interpersonal relations. Spearman's rho correlations include: .32 with activities of daily living, .32 with social life restrictions, .41 with the Brief Symptoms Inventory, .71 with the global index of burden, and -.57 with the quality of relationship between the caregiver and the recipient.

Reliability (Quantitative): Excellent internal consistency; Cronbach’s alpha = 0.83 and 0.89. A test-retest reliability of 0.71 was obtained.


Bédard, M., Molloy, W., Squire, L., Dubois, S., Lever, J.A., & O'Donnell, M. (2001). The Zarit Burden Interview: A New Short Version and Screening Version. Gerontologist, 41: 652-657

Zarit, S. H., Orr, N. K., & Zarit, J. M. (1985). The hidden victims of Alzheimer’s disease: Families under stress. New York: New York University Press

Zarit S.H., Reever K.E., Bach-Peterson J.  (1980). Relatives of the impaired elderly: correlated of feelings of burden. Gerontologist, 20, 649-655.

Comments: The length of the instrument may be a deterrent to its use in clinical and research environments.