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Keywords:

  • aging;
  • caregiver burden;
  • home care;
  • informal caregivers;
  • pressure ulcer;
  • vulnerable populations

Abstract

Rationale and objectives  The effect of the presence of pressure ulcers on burden of caregivers is unknown. We investigated the relationship between the state of pressure ulcers in vulnerable elderly patients and the burden on their informal caregivers.

Methods  This cross-sectional study enrolled 137 patients aged ≥40 years with limited activity and mobility at 10 home care service facilities in Japan. We assessed pressure ulcer status from medical records and caregiver burden using scores from both the Burden Index of Caregivers (BIC) and the Japanese short version of the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI).

Results  Among patients, mean age was 80.9 years, 31.4% were men, and 83.9% were free from pressure ulcers. Multivariable analysis showed that caregivers whose patients were free from pressure ulcers had significantly higher caregiver burden as assessed by both the BIC [β-coefficient = 3.18, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.42–4.95, P = 0.003] and ZBI scores (β-coefficient = 1.94; 95%CI = 0.30–3.58; P = 0.03).

Conclusions  Our results suggest that the continuous effort involved in keeping patients free from pressure ulcers may be associated with high caregiver burden in informal caregivers.