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Multiple Caregivers, Many Minds: Family Discord and Caregiver Outcomes

Background and Objectives: Family caregivers often have other family members helping to provide care. The purpose of our study was to examine relationships between care coordination quality among family members and the following caregiver outcomes: caregiver mental health (depressive symptoms, anxiety), social activity restrictions, and caregiver burden. Research Design and Methods: Secondary analysis was conducted using data from the 2017 Pittsburgh Regional Caregivers' Survey. Six hundred and fifty-five caregivers who had other family members helping with care reported discordance in care coordination, depressive symptoms, anxiety, social activity restrictions, caregiving burden, and covariates such as demographics and known risk factors for negative caregiver outcomes. We used multiple logistic regression and negative binominal expansion models in the analysis. Results: Discordant care coordination was associated with higher levels of caregiver depressive symptoms (p <.001), anxiety (p <.01), social activity restriction (p <.001), and caregiver burden (p <.001) after controlling for known risk factors. Discussion and Implications: We found that lower quality of family care coordination was associated with negative caregiver outcomes. Future research should further investigate the dynamics of family care coordination and impacts on both caregivers and care recipients. The results suggest that caregiver interventions attempting to understand and decrease care coordination discord should be a priority.

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Oxford university press
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