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Children 2017, 4(5), 39; doi:10.3390/children4050039

Predictors of Caregiver Burden among Mothers of Children with Chronic Conditions

1
University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
2
Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
3
University of North Carolina Kidney Center, School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
4
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA
5
Department of Clinical Research, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC 27506, USA
6
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, School of Medicine, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
7
Department of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sari A. Acra
Received: 31 March 2017 / Accepted: 5 May 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
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Abstract

Objective: The complex medical regimens of children and adolescents with chronic conditions can have a significant impact on families and households. Caregivers may experience burden, which can lead to negative health consequences and poor quality of life. The objective of this study was to determine child-related predictors and risk factors for caregiver burden among parents of children with chronic conditions. Methods: We distributed an institutional review board (IRB)-approved, online cross-sectional survey to parents of children who attended the Victory Junction therapeutic camp. Parents provided information on child demographics, disease characteristics, and healthcare utilization. Parents also answered the adapted Zarit Burden Interview, which measured caregiver burden. Children completed scales about self-management and self-efficacy. Linear regression analyses determined how children’s disease characteristics, health utilization, and self-management skills were associated with caregiver burden. Results: We enrolled 150 mother-child dyads. The mean age of child participants was 12.23 years (±2.5), with an age range of 6 to 16 years. It was determined that children’s number of medicines and injections (β = 0.161, p = 0.047), a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in addition to the primary medical condition (β = 0.216, p = 0.008), frequent visits with a primary care provider (PCP) (β = 0.209, p = 0.026) and emergency room (ER) visits (β = 0.197, p = 0.038), and lower child self-efficacy (β = −0.241, p = 0.041) were predictors of increased caregiver burden. Conclusions: We identified risk factors for caregiver burden among mothers. Future studies should explore additional child-related characteristics as they relate to caregiver burden, and should determine if interventions for mothers of children with chronic conditions can lead to positive outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: caregivers; disabilities; disease management; chronic conditions; health utilization caregivers; disabilities; disease management; chronic conditions; health utilization
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Javalkar, K.; Rak, E.; Phillips, A.; Haberman, C.; Ferris, M.; Van Tilburg, M. Predictors of Caregiver Burden among Mothers of Children with Chronic Conditions. Children 2017, 4, 39.

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