J Gerontol Soc Work. 2022 Jul 26:1-13. doi: 10.1080/01634372.2022.2103762. Online ahead of print.
Caregiving has become an increasingly important medical and social issue in recent decades. We performed a cross-sectional study on pulmonary patients and accompanying informal caregivers who were hospitalized in the chest disease ward of a tertiary center in Turkey between January 2020 and April 2021. Informal caregivers were asked to complete the Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview. A total of 141 inpatients (39% female, mean age: 76.8 ± 10.2 years) and their informal caregivers (77% female, mean age: 54 ± 11.9 years) were evaluated. The caregivers were classified as light to medium burden (group 1, burden score ≤40) and medium to heavy burden (group 2, burden score >40). The mean burden score was 35.7 ± 13.3 points. The number of female caregivers was higher in group 2 (p = 0.025). There was a positive correlation between the burden score and female gender (p = 0.002) and the number of chronic diseases of caregivers (p = 0.020). Statistical analysis revealed a negative correlation between the burden score and the level of education (r = > -0.174, p = 0.040). Caregiver burden is related to the characteristics of the caregiver rather than those of the patient being cared for. Female caregivers with lower education and more than one chronic disease perceive a higher caregiver burden.