Online Program

Characteristics of caregiving intensity among Mexican American elder caregivers

Monday, November 2, 2015

Katherine Anthony, MA, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Carolyn A. Mendez-Luck, PhD, MPH, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Current literature reviews of elder caregiving have highlighted the need to better understand the intensity of informal caregiving in diverse populations. Intensity of care is multi-dimensional, however, it is typically measured by hours of care and the number of ADL/IADL supports provided. Additional elements of caregiving, such as number of care recipient illnesses, difficulty of specific caregiving tasks, and emotional drain, can provide valuable insight into intensity of care. We administered a survey to 132 female caregivers of Mexican descent, which asked questions investigating these additional elements of caregiving intensity. The most common illnesses among care recipients were arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Forms of support most frequently attributed to emotional drain were providing emotional support, managing medications, bathing, and helping the care recipient walk. Caregivers ranked forms of support according to their perceived level of difficulty and a difficulty of caregiving tasks score was calculated for each caregiver. We used regression models to determine relations between the number of family member illnesses, difficulty of tasks, and overall emotional drain. Results from a loglinear regression (assuming a negative binomial distribution) indicated difficulty of caregiving tasks was significantly related to increased emotional drain (β= .09, p=.02). In addition, a loglinear regression (assuming a poisson distribution) found that the number of family member illnesses weakly predicted caregiving intensity (β= .02, p=.05).  These findings suggest that difficulty of care provided has negative emotional effects among Latina caregivers and informs our understanding of the multidimensionality of caregiving intensity in this population.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe 3 aspects of caregiving that contribute to intensity of care among Latina caregivers Identify at least 3 elements of caregiving intensity associated with emotional drain among Latina caregivers

Keyword(s): Aging, Caregivers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a co-investigator on multiple studies investigating aging related changes among older adults and minority caregivers. Among my scientific interests is better understanding caregiver and older adult management of multiple chronic diseases.
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.