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Multifactorial Examination of Caregiver Burden in a National Sample of Family and Unpaid Caregivers

OBJECTIVES To examine factors associated with caregiver burden from a multifactorial perspective by examining caregiver and care recipient characteristics and a full range of caregiving tasks. DESIGN Nationally representative surveys of community‐dwelling older adults and their family caregivers residing in the United States. SETTING 2011 National Health and Aging Trends Study and National Study of Caregiving. PARTICIPANTS Community‐dwelling older adults and their family caregivers. MEASUREMENTS Caregiver burden, comprising emotional, physical, and financial difficulties associated with caregiving. RESULTS: An estimated 14.9 million caregivers assisted 7.6 million care recipients. More than half of caregivers reported burden related to caregiving. In a multivariable regression model, caregivers who assisted with more activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living, health management tasks, and health system logistics were more likely to experience burden, as were female caregivers, adult child caregivers, caregivers in poor health, caregivers with anxiety symptoms, and those using respite care. Dementia was the only care recipient characteristic associated with burden. CONCLUSION: Caregiver characteristics and provision of caregiving tasks determine caregiver burden more than care recipient characteristics. Absence of an association between type of a care recipient's chronic conditions and burden, except for dementia, suggests that the tasks that caregivers who assist older adults with a variety of health conditions undertake shape the experience of caregiving. 

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Journal article
John Wiley & Sons
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Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
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