Burden of Caring for Chronic Diseases and Family Caregivers Health Status
Family caregivers play an essential role in caring for older adults with chronic diseases. People with multiple chronic diseases are responsible for the greatest burden on their caregivers, which in turn will affect significantly their life. Objective: To determine the relationship between burden of caring for older adult patients with chronic diseases and family caregivers' health status. Settings: The study was carried out in the outpatient clinics of Mansoura General Hospital, Mansoura University Specialized Medical Hospital, Mansoura Main University Hospital, Mansoura New General Hospital and Mansoura University Oncology center. Subjects: The study subjects included 186 older adult patients aged 60 years and more, diagnosed with one or more chronic diseases and their family caregivers aged more than 18 years. Tools: Data was collected using four tools, socio demographic and clinical data structured interview schedule, Katz and Akpom Scale, the Zarit Burden Interview and the Short Form-36 Health Survey. Results: Nearly three quarter (74.7%) of the caregivers reported mild to moderate caregiving burden and 21.5% of them had severe caregiving burden. A lower mean total score of the physical and mental health status was found among family caregivers. Conclusion: Caregivers' burden increases by increasing dependency of the older adult patients. A positive direct relationship was found between caregivers' burden and their mental health status. Also, between their physical and mental health status. Recommendations: Develop a guideline to help caregivers of patients with chronic diseases to care for their patients at home. This will help them to cope with the burden of caring and manage stress associated with it. Also, teach caregivers about the available community services, such as respite care and adult day care centers which may help to decrease caregivers stress and burden.