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[...] Read more.
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.