Content » Vol 38, Issue 5

FACTORS RELATING TO CARER BURDEN FOR FAMILIES OF PERSONS WITH MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY


DOI: 10.1080/16501970600731578

Abstract

Objective: To assess the burden on family carers of persons with muscular dystrophy living in their homes and to determine factors contributing to carer burden.

Methods: The study included 56 dyads of people with muscular dystrophy and their family carers. The variables for carer burden were compared by logistic regression in 2 carer groups (burden + /burden–).

Results: The mean age of the patients with muscular dystrophy was 32.7 years (median 26.7, range 15–65 years) and that of the carers 51 years (median 48, range 30–80 years). The carers reported the care burden using the Zarit Burden Inventory (median score 23, range 0–57/88). Multivariate analysis produced 3 adjusted explicative factors: carer characteristics related to risk of perceived burden are self-report of poor social functioning on the SF-36 (OR = 26.6 (2.6–278); p=0.006), self report of anxiety on the Hospital Anxiety Scale (OR = 7.1 (1.4–36); p=0.02) and being a carer under 48 years of age (OR = 7.8 (1.7–34.5); p=0.007). However, it was difficult to dissociate the different health variables of the carers from each other.

Conclusion: This approach should lead to better decision-making by medical teams, patients and their carers.

Lay Abstract

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