Objective: To examine differences in caregiver perceptions of task difficulty, depressive symptoms and life changes based on caregiver characteristics of gender, race and type of relationship to the person with stroke.
Methods: A sample of 243 stroke caregivers (females n = 191; males n = 52; non-African Americans n = 184; African Americans n = 59; non-spouses n = 127; spouses n = 116) were interviewed by telephone within 8 weeks of the survivor's discharge to home. Measures included the Oberst Caregiving Burden Scale (OCBS) for task difficulty, Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) for depressive symptoms and Bakas Caregiving Outcomes Scale (BCOS) for life changes. Three general linear models computed differences in OCBS, PHQ9 and OCBS scores.
Results: Significant differences were found on the OCBS for females (p < 0.001) and African American spouses (p < 0.048); on the PHQ9 for females (p < 0.001), non-African Americans (p = 0.047), spouses (p = 0.003) and African-American spouses (p = 0.010); and on the BCOS for females (p = 0.008) and non-African Americans (p = 0.033).
Conclusions: Findings suggest that female and non-African American stroke caregivers are relatively more likely to experience task difficulty, depressive symptoms and negative life changes as a result of providing care. African American spouses were also at risk. Tailoring interventions based on caregivers' characteristics may improve outcomes.
- Depressive symptoms
- Life changes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Developmental and Educational Psychology