Caregivers Burden of Older Adults with Chronic Illnesses in the Community: A Cross-Sectional Study
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- Limpawattana, P., Theeranut, A., Chindaprasirt, J. et al. J Community Health (2013) 38: 40. doi:10.1007/s10900-012-9576-6
A chronic physical/mental disease not only has direct consequences for the chronically-ill older adults but can also alter the caregiver’s life. The objectives of this study were to identify burdens of community-dwelling older adults, characteristics of caregivers, severity of caregiver burden, and to develop supportive strategies. Caregivers of community-dwelling older adults were randomly interviewed between February and March 2012. Information on baseline characteristics and caregiver burden using Zarit Burden Inventory (ZBI) was collected. One hundred-fifty caregivers were interviewed. The mean ZBI was 20.8 + 11.3 [95 % CI 19.0, 22.7]. The majority of caregiver burden was classified as no burden (52 %). The age of caregivers, self-reported health status and duration of care had a positive relationship with ZBI scores while self-reported income had a negative one. Caregiver burden among Thai community-dwelling elder persons was small as most of those cared for had uncomplicated illness but this might be underestimated. Caregiver-dependent factors were more strongly associated with high burden than patient characteristics. Healthcare providers should consider these factors for interventions to alleviate burden.