Family caregiving and emotional strain: Associations with quality of life in a large national sample of middle-aged and older adults
Citation Haley, W., et al. (2009). Family caregiving and emotional strain: Associations with quality of life in a large national sample of middle-aged and older adults. Quality of Life Research, 18, 679-688.
Design Random sampling design
Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine whether the quality of life correlates to family caregiving and caregiving strain.
Participants The study was comprised of 43,099 participants aged 45 or over. Half of the sample was obtained from selected states (AL, AR, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC and TN) and the remaining participants resided in other geographical locations. About half the participants are African American while the other half are Caucasian. The study consisted of about 50% men and women. Caregiving status was determined for 5,159 (12%) of the participants.
Outcome / Dependent Variables Four groups of participants were identified: noncaregivers, caregivers who reported no caregiving strain, caregivers who reported moderate strain, and caregivers who reported high strain.
Procedure Structured telephone interviews, 12-item short form health survey (Human-Related Quality of Life SF-12), measures of depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale CESD-4), social contacts, and caregiving strain.
Outcomes Subgroups of caregivers who stated they experienced high caregiving strains also had poorer quality of life than other study participants. The study found that caregiver participants who resided with the care recipient reported fewer social contacts and slightly poorer mental health status. Among the caregiving subgroups, sibling caregivers reported having fewer social contacts. Compared to Caucasian caregivers, African American caregivers were more likely to be residing with the care recipient and more likely to be providing care to a sibling than a spouse. Lastly, the study found differences in the reporting of mental or emotional strain among Caucasian and African American caregivers.
Author Haley, W., Perkins, M. Roth, D., Temple, E., Wadley, V.