Twenty-four family caregivers of bone marrow transplant (BMT) patients were interviewed to describe the burden of care and health outcomes (anxiety, depression, symptom distress and fatigue) A descriptive correlational research design with repeated measures was used Data were collected in a conference room in the oncology unit of a midwestern university hospital using a battery of questionnaires Questionnaires were administered pre-BMT (prior to the patient's hospitalization) and 5 and 20 days post-BMT Objective burden remained at a similar level throughout the study (mean range 31 4 to 32 9), whereas subjective burden was highest pre-BMT (mean range 25 3–21 7) Significant correlations were found between objective burden and all health outcomes (P<0 01 to P<0 001) on day 5 Symptom distress was significantly correlated to subjective burden pre-BMT and to both types of burden on days 5 and 20 Results of this study suggest that family caregivers of BMT patients may experience more objective burden than subjective burden, and that burden of care may contribute to negative health outcomes, especially on day 5 post-BMT Interventions designed to reduce sources of caregiver burden and negative health outcomes should be planned according to critical time periods of the BMT patient's hospitalization