Caregivers' perception of health, burden, social support, and care receiver problems

Snow-Spracklin, Elizabeth G. (1998) Caregivers' perception of health, burden, social support, and care receiver problems. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

A descriptive correlational study was designed to investigate perceptions of health status in a convenience sample of seventy-five primary caregivers waiting to place older adults in a nursing home. The relationships among sociodemographics, caregiving factors, burden, care receiver problems, social support, and caregiver health status was also explored. The conceptual framework for the study was based on the Stress Process Model (Pearlin, Mullan, Semple, & Skaff, 1990). -- Most caregivers were adult children (66.7%), female (54.7%), living with care receivers (56.0%) in a rural area (61.3%), employed or looking for work (50.6%), and between 46 and 64 years of age (57.3%). Data were collected over a six-month period. The Revised Memory and Behavior Problems Checklist, Consequences of Care Index, Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire, and Descriptive Profile Form were administered during interviews with participants. -- Study findings indicated that most caregivers were experiencing burden and adverse health effects. Caregiver burden was highest for personal and social restrictions, physical and emotional, and economic costs. The majority of participants rated their physical health good, and their mental health fair to good. -- The findings also indicated that sociodemographics and caregiving factors, care receiver problems, and burden had a limited effect on caregiver health status. Care receiver memory and behavior problems, care receiver cognitive impairment, and caregiver overall burden were associated with poorer mental health. With regards to social support variables, only tangible support correlated with physical and mental health. During regression analysis, mental health and employment surfaced as predictors of physical health, and the physical and emotional dimension of burden and physical health as predictors of mental health. -- The results of this study suggest that caregivers are experiencing negative health effects. The factors influencing the caregiving process are complex and require further research to clarify their prevalence and importance for caregivers. Although the results of the current study are not generalizable, they do support some of the findings from previous research and can be used to better inform nursing practice, education, and research.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5722
Item ID: 5722
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 123-132.
Department(s): Nursing, School of
Date: 1998
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Caregivers--Health and hygiene; Caregivers--Mental health
Medical Subject Heading: Caregivers; Mental Health; Health Status; Social Support

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