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Spouse and Adult Child Differences in Caregiving Burden*

  • Neena L. Chappell (a1) (a2), Carren Dujela (a2) and André Smith (a1) (a2)

This study compared the correlates of burden for spouse and adult child caregivers at two points in time and assessed whether correlates at T1 predicted burden at T2. The sample consisted of 878 caregivers to older adults throughout British Columbia who were prescribed cholinesterase inhibitors. Burden was measured six months after the older adult was prescribed the medication and one year later (n = 759). Findings suggest that adult children experience more burden than spouses at both T1 and T2 with adult children but not spouses decreasing their burden over time. Correlates of T1 burden explained significant amounts of variance, revealing differential correlates for the two groups and the importance of caregiver characteristics over patient characteristics. Burden at T2 is explained mostly by T2 factors, plus T1 burden, suggesting the importance of relatively immediate factors for direct effects on caregiver burden. Indirect effects operated through T1 burden.

Cette étude a comparé les corrélats de la charge pour le conjoint et les soignants qui sont enfants adultes à deux moments dans le temps et a évalué si les corrélats de T1 à T2 prédit la charge. L'échantillon était constitué de 878 soignants pour les adultes plus âgés de la Colombie-Britannique auxquels on a prescrit des inhibiteurs de la cholinestérase. La charge a été mesurée six mois après la personne âgée a été prescrit le médicament et un an plus tard (n = 759). Les résultats suggèrent que les enfants adultes sentent plus fort la charge que les conjoints à T1 et T2, avec les enfants adultes, mais pas les conjoints, diminuant leur fardeau au fil du temps. Les corrélats de la charge de T1 ont expliqué des quantités importantes de variance, révélant la corrélation différentielle pour les deux groupes et l'importance des caractéristiques des soignants sur les caractéristiques des patients. La charge au T2 s'explique principalement par les facteurs de T2, plus la charge de T1, suggérant l'importance des facteurs relativement immédiats des effets directs sur la charge des soignants. Les effets indirects étaient operationnels par la charge de T1.

Corresponding author
La correspondance et les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être adressées à : / Correspondence and requests for offprints should be sent to: Neena L. Chappell, PhD, FRSC, FCAHS Department of Sociology University of Victoria PO Box 3050 STN CSC Victoria, BC V8W 3P5 (
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A previous version of this article was presented at the International Symposium on Aging Families, Victoria, 3 June 2013. The study was funded by the Pharmaceutical Services Division, Ministry of Health, Government of British Columbia.

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Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement
  • ISSN: 0714-9808
  • EISSN: 1710-1107
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