Impact of a psychoeducational program on three types of caregiver burden among spouses

Authors

  • Marie Y. Savundranayagam,

    Corresponding author
    1. Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P.O. Box 786, Milwaukee, WI, USA
    • Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P.O. Box 786, Milwaukee, WI, USA.
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    • Assistant Professor.

  • Rhonda J. V. Montgomery,

    1. Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P.O. Box 786, Milwaukee, WI, USA
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    • Professor and Helen Bader Endowed Chair in Applied Gerontology.

  • Karl Kosloski,

    1. Department of Gerontology, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 6001 Dodge St., Omaha, NE, USA
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    • Professor.

  • Todd D. Little

    1. Department of Psychology, Director, Quantitative Training program, Scientific Director, Research, Design, and Analysis Unit, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, University of Kansas, 1415 Jayhawk Blvd. Lawrence, KS, USA
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    • Professor and Reynolds Professor of Public Affairs and Community Service.


Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which a psychoeducational intervention called “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” (PTC) influences burden of spouse caregivers. Specifically, this study examined whether spouse caregivers who attended PTC exhibited reductions in stress burden, relationship burden, and objective burden compared to a comparison group.

Design and Methods

The 6 week intervention used a self-efficacy framework to train caregivers to focus on self-care, communicate effectively, and manage emotions. This quasi-experimental study included 115 participants from the PTC group and 95 participants from a comparison group. Assessments were completed before and after the intervention for the PTC group and within a 6 week time period for the comparison group.

Results

Analyses using structural equation modeling showed that participants in the PTC group reported significantly lower levels of stress and objective burden than the comparison group. There were no group differences in relationship burden.

Implications

The findings indicate that PTC can be an effective resource for reducing psychological distress and objective burden among spouses caring for disabled partners. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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