, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 151-161
Date: 22 Jun 2012

Burden of caregiving amongst family caregivers of patients with eating disorders

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Eating disorders (EDs) in a close relative can be particularly stressful for family members.


To assess the perceived burden of caregivers of patients with EDs and to identify demographic and clinical variables that could predict this burden.


We conducted a cross-sectional study involving 145 ED patients and 246 related caregivers. ED patients completed the Health-Related Quality of Life in ED-short form, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Short Form-12. Caregivers completed the Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire-EU version, the Short Form-12, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Anorectic Behaviour Observation Scale. Descriptive statistics, ANOVA, Chi-square, and Fisher’s exact test were applied to examine the inter-variable relationships.


A high burden of caregiving was associated with being divorced (β = 14.23, SE = 3.88; p = 0.001), having a low level of education (β = 4.70, SE = 1.96; p = 0.02), having high levels of anxiety (β = 5.45, SE = 2.13; p = 0.01) or depression (β = 5.74, SE = 2.80; p = 0.04), and caring for a relative with a low physical quality of life (β = 5.91, SE = 1.78; p = 0.002).


Evaluating family caregivers of patients with ED for risk factors for increased caregiver burden and offering them assistance could reduce their perceived burden of caregiving.