C.Y.CHAN1, J.G.DE ROZA1, T.Y.DING GABRIEL1, H.L.KOH2, E.S.LEE2
NHG Polyclinics1, National Healthcare Group HQ2
Caregiving for frail older adults with multi-morbidity poses burden, which may be mediated by perceived competence, positivity and social support. Our study aimed to examine psychosocial factors associated with burden among family caregivers of these older adults. We hypothesized that caregivers with lower perceived caregiving competency, positive aspects of caregiving and lower social support perceived burden.
A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at two primary care clinics over eight months in 2020. Convenience sample of primary family caregivers of frail multi-morbid older adults were recruited. Interviewer-administered questionnaires comprising of Caregiving Competence Scale (CCS), short-version Positive Aspects of Caregiving (S-PAC) and modified Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey (mMOS-SS) were used. Mann-Whitney U was used to compare differences between caregivers’ burden as measured by Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI), with cut-off of 10 indicating burden perceived. Multivariable analysis was used to determine factors associated with caregiver burden.
Out of 188 caregivers, 71.8% perceived burden. Majority were female (64.9%), median age was 62 years and 66.5% lived with their care recipients. 61.2% had help from alternative caregivers, but only 20.2% utilized community resources. Burdened caregivers perceived lower caregiving competency (10.0 vs 11.6, p<0.001), lower positive aspects of caregiving (26.8 vs 29.8, p<0.001) and lower social support (24.8 vs 31.4, p<0.001). Only social support remained significant in multivariable analysis (p<0.001).
Psychosocial factors, particularly social support, was significantly associated with caregivers’ burden. Strategies to improve social support network, increase accessibility to community resources and enhance positivity with competency training may help ease caregiver burden.