• PTSD;
  • caregiver burden;
  • partner psychological adjustment


Caregiver burden and psychological distress were examined in a sample of 71 partners of Vietnam War combat veterans. Partners of patients (n = 51) diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experienced more caregiver burden and had poorer psychological adjustment than did partners of veterans without PTSD (n = 20). Among PTSD caregivers, patient PTSD symptom severity and level of interpersonal violence were associated with increased caregiver burden. When accounting for patient PTSD symptom severity, hostility, presence of major depression, level of interpersonal violence, and health complaints, only PTSD severity was uniquely associated with caregiver burden. Caregiver sociodemographic factors including age, race, education, and the availability of social support, did not moderate the relationship between PTSD symptom severity and caregiver burden. Caregiver burden was strongly related to spouse psychological adjustment.