218624 Psychometric properties of the caregiver strain questionnaire in caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorders

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rahul Khanna, MBA, PhD , Department of Pharmacy Administration, School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS
S. Suresh Madhavan, PhD, MBA , Department of Pharmaceutical Systems and Policy, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Michael Smith , Department of Pharmacy: Clinical & Administrative Sciences, The University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy, Tulsa, OK
Julie Patrick, PhD , Life-Span Developmental Psychology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Cindy Tworek, PhD, MPH , School of Pharmacy/Translational Tobacco Reduction Program, West Virginia University/Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Ctr., Morgantown, WV
Barbara Cottrill, EdD , Autism Training Center, Marshall University, Huntington, WV
Prior research has documented the occurrence of high levels of burden among autism caregivers. However, no burden measure has been psychometrically tested in this population. The purpose of this study was to determine the usefulness and validity of the 21-item Caregiver Strain Questionnaire (CGSQ) in measuring burden among autism caregivers. The CGSQ was originally developed to assess burden among caregivers of children with emotional and behavioral disorders.

The study involved cross-sectional data collection using survey methodology from 306 primary caregivers of children with autism. Confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis (CFA and EFA) were conducted to study the CGSQ factor structure. Reliability was assessed using Cronbach's alpha. Correlation of the CGSQ with other caregiving-related measures (mental HRQOL, physical HRQOL, adaptive coping, maladaptive coping, social support, family functioning, child's level of functional impairment and behavioral problem) was determined to assess its construct validity.

The original factor model of the CGSQ was not confirmed in the CFA. However, similar to the three-subscale structure established originally for the CGSQ, results from the EFA provided an 18-item three factor solution. The subscale - subjective externalized strain - observed in this study was similar to the original factor structure. The Cronbach's alpha for the three subscales ranged from 0.74-0.94, and was 0.93 for the entire scale. Correlation of the three subscales with other caregiving situational factors indicated adequate construct validity.

The results provide preliminary evidence for the use of a modified 18-item CGSQ as a psychometrically sound instrument to assess burden in autism caregivers.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Assess psychometric properties of a burden instrument in caregivers of children with autism. 2. Analyze feasibility, factorial validity, convergent validity, internal consistency reliability, and floor-and-ceiling effect of the burden instrument in autism caregivers.

Keywords: Caregivers, Children With Special Needs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because of my education and training in health outcomes research.
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.