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The Relative Contribution of Subjective Factors to Expressed Burden among Spousal Caregivers of Suspected Dementia Patients*

  • Norm O'Rourke (a1), Beth E. Haverkamp (a2), Holly Tuokko (a3), Sherri Hayden (a4) and B. Lynn Beattie (a4)...

Abstract

Burden among caregivers has consistently been recognized as a function of both subjective and objective variables. In addition to concrete role demands, caregivers' perceptions and appraisal strongly contribute to perceived burden. At present, however, the relative contribution of objective and subjective factors remains unclear. This question was addressed among 70 spousal caregivers recruited within a dementia assessment clinic. Subsequent to adjustment for socially desirable responding, both groupings of variables significantly contribute to the prediction of burden scores. These findings are discussed in the context of the hopelessness theory of depression. Demographic similarity between these caregivers and a corresponding sample of randomly derived spousal caregivers recruited as part of the Canadian Study of Health and Aging (CSHA) suggest the results of this study may be generalized with greater confidence.

La perception des personnes-soutien de l'importance de leur fardeau dépend à la fois de facteurs objectifs et subjectifs. En plus des demandes réelles, d'autres facteurs influencent la perception de l'importance du fardeau. La contribution relative des facteurs objectifs et subjectifs reste cependant inconnue. Nous avons entrepris de clarifier cette question en interviewant 70 individus ayant la charge de leur(e) conjoint(e). Les participants furent recrutés dans une clinique d'évaluation des démences. Après avoir pris en considération la tendance des participants à donner les réponses socialement désirables, les deux groupes de facteurs semblent contribuer de façon significative à la prédiction de la perception du fardeau. La similitude des caractéristiques démographiques des participants comparativement à celles d'un échantillon aléatoire de participants de l'Etude sur la santé et le vieillissement au Canada, suggere que les résultats peuvent être généralisés avec plus de confiance.

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