Abstract 70: Gender Moderates the Associations between Caregiving and Health Status in Stroke Caregivers
Background: Women who are caregivers report more burden than men in similar caregiving situations. Caregiving is associated with poor health outcomes but there is lack of evidence about whether gender moderates the association. The purpose of this study was to examine whether gender moderates the association between caregiving and health status based on relationship of caregiver with stroke patients (spouse vs. non-spouse) and caregiver being of the same or opposite gender as patient
Method: Caregivers (N=277, 74% female, mean age 53 years) of stroke survivors completed questionnaires after the initial 2 months of post-stroke management. Difficulty and time spent with caregiving tasks were assessed using the Oberst Caregiving Burden Scale. Perception of life changes due to caregiving was assessed using the Bakas Caregiving Outcome Scale. Health status was assessed using a visual analog scale of the Euro Quality of Life questionnaire. Hierarchical multiple regressions were used with an interaction variable (gender x caregiving).
Results: Longer time caregiving, difficulty of caregiving tasks, and negative changes in life were significantly associated with poor health status. Significant gender moderation was found only for spousal caregivers and for caregivers who were the opposite gender from patients. For female spousal caregivers, there were strong associations between difficulty of caregiving tasks and health status, and between perception of life changes and health status, but not for male spousal caregivers (Figure1). Similar results were found for caregivers who were the opposite gender from patients.
Conclusion: Gender in caregiver and patient, and relationship with stroke patients may be beneficial to identify caregivers at high risk of poor health. Further research is needed to examine the dynamics that influence caregiving relationships to be able to individualize interventions responsive to gender and relationship of caregiver to patient.
Author Disclosures: M.L. Chung: None. T. Bakas: None. L.D. Plue: None. L.S. Williams: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.