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Role of Social Support in Predicting Caregiver Burden

      Abstract

      Rodakowski J, Skidmore ER, Rogers JC, Schulz R. Role of social support in predicting caregiver burden.

      Objective

      To examine the unique contribution of social support to burden in caregivers of adults aging with spinal cord injury (SCI).

      Design

      Secondary analyses of cross-sectional data from a large cohort of adults aging with SCI and their primary caregivers.

      Setting

      Multiple community locations.

      Participants

      Caregivers of community-dwelling adults aging with SCI (n=173) were interviewed as part of a multisite randomized controlled trial. The mean age ± SD of caregivers was 53±15 years and of care-recipients, 55±13 years.

      Interventions

      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      The primary outcome was caregiver burden measured with the Abridged Version of the Zarit Burden Interview. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis examined the effects of social supports (social integration, received social support, and negative social interactions) on burden in caregivers of adults aging with SCI while controlling for demographic characteristics and caregiving characteristics.

      Results

      After controlling for demographic characteristics and caregiving characteristics, social integration (β̂=−.16, P<.05), received social support (β̂=−.15, P<.05), and negative social interactions (β̂=.21, P<.01) were significant independent predictors of caregiver burden.

      Conclusions

      Findings demonstrate that social support is an important factor associated with burden in caregivers of adults aging with SCI. Social support should be considered for assessments and interventions designed to identify and reduce caregiver burden.

      Key Words

      List of Abbreviations:

      ADL (activity of daily living), IADL (instrumental activity of daily living), SCI (spinal cord injury), VIF (variance inflation factor)
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