Rubiah M.T., Mariappan U., Tang L.Y.
Abstract: Background: Caregiver burden in caring for the elderly is perceived as an important and serious problem that the family is experiencing. The outcomes of taking care of the elderly with cognitive or /and physical impairment will be either negative or positive. The objectives of the study were to assess the level of burden and associated factors among family caregivers, as well as to investigate the variables correlated to burden. Method: The study was performed in a cross-sectional survey among 335 caregivers who cared for the elderly in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) was used to measure the level of burden. The level of functional dependence of the elderly was assessed by using The Barthel Index (BI) and Lawton Brody Index (LBI). The perceived Social Support was measured by using the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) and WHOQOL-Bref scale for quality of life of the caregivers. The data was analysed using the Software Package for Statistical Analysis (SPSS 22). Informed concerns were taken from participants and Ethical permission was obtained from authority concerned. Collection of data was done through convenience sampling. Results: The result of the study showed that 93 % of the participants experienced burden with mean ZBI score of 34.24 (SD 10.96). 60.8 % experienced mild to moderate burden, 31.4 %at moderate to severe level of burden and 0.6 % at severe level and 7.2 % did not experience burden. The emotional burden represented the most important domain of burden with a mean value of 9.58 (SD 4.76), while burden in loss of control was the least significant with a mean value of 1.84 (SD 0.86). The other domains of burden are; burden in relationship (M 8.04 SD 3.08), social and family life burden (M 5.98 SD3.07), and financial burden (M1.96 SD1.24). Conclusion: This study contributed to improving knowledge concerning symptom arising from burden and emotional distress experienced by the caregivers of elderly individuals. Family caregivers can be taught about problem solving, skill-building training and self-regulation of emotional response. Caregivers need relevant information and education and health personnel need to assist them in these issues in order to equip them in administering quality care in the community.
Keywords: burden, perceived social support, quality of life, caregivers, elderly