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Keywords:

  • caregiver burden;
  • elderly;
  • family care;
  • immigrant caregivers;
  • nursing;
  • quality of life;
  • social integration;
  • social support

gallart a., cruz f. & zabalegui a. (2013) Factors influencing burden among non-professional immigrant caregivers: a case–control study. Journal of Advanced Nursing69(3), 642–654. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.06049.x

Abstract

Aim.  To identify factors related to the burden that is experienced by untrained immigrant caregivers.

Background.  There is growing concern about how to provide the care required by an ageing population. Although elder care has usually been provided by family members, this role is increasingly being fulfilled by immigrant caregivers with no formal training.

Design.  Case–control study (burdened/non-burdened according to the Zarit Burden Interview).

Methods.  The study took place between May 2005–October 2009. Anonymous questionnaires were distributed to 110 immigrant caregivers and their corresponding older care recipients (n = 110), who were receiving care in their homes in Barcelona (Spain). The questionnaires included measures of burden, social support, quality of life and social integration, and items about the physical/psychological status of the care recipient and the nature of the care tasks. Two groups of immigrant caregivers were defined according to their scores on the Zarit Burden Interview: burdened (n = 55) and non-burdened (n = 55).

Results.  Burdened caregivers reported less social support, a poorer quality of life, and problems with social integration. Furthermore, 48% said that they lacked knowledge about the care task, while 44% had difficulty performing certain care tasks, which constitutes a risk situation.

Conclusion.  Burden among untrained immigrant caregivers may be reduced by improving their social support systems and quality of life, thereby helping to ensure the availability of the caregiver services, which society increasingly needs.