208739 Caregiver burden: Associations with instrumental and social support among informal caregivers of people living with HIV/AIDS

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mary Mitchell, PhD , Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Amy Knowlton, ScD , Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Background: Informal caregivers of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) often have a multitude of stressors and great psychological distress, referred to as caregiver burden. Based in part on the construct of stress proliferation by Pearlin and colleagues, we hypothesized that caregiver burden would be associated with instrumental and emotional social support provided by the PLWHA and other members in the caregiver's network. Methods: Data were collected as part of the Action through Resources and Knowledge (ARK) study that was conducted in Baltimore, MD from 2002-2005 and recruited HIV seropositive individuals along with their informal caregivers to answer questions regarding health status, service use, and characteristics of their social networks. The current analyses use data from 215 informal caregivers who were nominated by PLWHAs participating in the study. Caregivers were predominantly African American (89.9%) and slightly more than half were female (56.9%). Results: Multiple linear regression analyses indicated that after controlling for demographic characteristics, health status, and the relationship between PLWHA and caregiver, barriers that informal caregivers encounter in providing care to the PLWHA were significantly associated with greater caregiver burden, while the percent of the caregiver's network who provided emotional support was associated with less burden. Conclusions: These results suggest that caregiver burden is influenced not by the amount of time or the number of tasks that the caregiver performs for the PLWHAs, but the emotional circumstances of care provision. Also, we found that emotional support from social network members, rather than instrumental support, provided protection from greater caregiver burden.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the associations between instrumental and emotional social support with caregiver burden.

Keywords: Caregivers, Stress

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The current analyses are from a manuscript in preparation, which builds upon an in-press manuscript that examined depressive symptoms and coping among this sample of caregivers of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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