Lack of Choice in Caregiving Decision and Caregiver Risk of Stress, North Carolina, 2005
Published Date:Feb 15 2010
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 7(2).
An aspect of caregiving that has received little attention is the degree to which the choice to provide care affects a caregiver's emotional well-being. We compared a population-based sample of informal caregivers who reported having a choice in caring with caregivers who did not have a choice in caring to determine the extent to which choice affects caregivers' self-reported stress.
We identified 341 informal caregivers who completed a caregiving module appended to the 2005 North Carolina Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. We determined participants' self-reported stress by using a 5-point scale that was dichotomized and used adjusted binomial logistic regression to assess the risk of stress given lack of choice in caregiving.
In the fully adjusted model, caregivers without a choice in caring were more than 3 times as likely to report stress as caregivers with a choice in caring. High level of burden also increased stress. Caregivers with no choice in caring were most commonly the primary caregiver of a parent.
Caregivers who do not have a choice in caregiving were at increased risk of stress, which may predispose them to poor health outcomes. Further investigation is needed to determine whether interventions that target caregivers without a choice in caring can reduce their levels of stress.
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