, Volume 12, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 33-41

Family burden and quality of life

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Providing care to family members dealing with chronic illness may result in feelings of burden or strain for caregivers that can diminish their quality of life. This article examines objective and subjective dimensions of family burden, and the extent to which illness characteristics and contextual variables have been found to contribute to caregiver stress for different chronic illnesses. After discussing some of the problems in the conceptualization and measurement of caregiving burden, it suggests several important directions for future research, including further clarification of generic versus specific factors affecting caregiver burden, greater understanding of contextual variables, the impact of other roles, and examining changes in caregiving demands over the illness course.