NCPD Article

Influence of Patient Functional Status and Depression on Strain in Caregivers

Janine Overcash

Mallory Johnston

Loraine T. Sinnott

Nicole Williams

caregiver strain, geriatric oncology, breast cancer, depression, functional status
CJON 2022, 26(4), 406-412. DOI: 10.1188/22.CJON.406-412

Background: Individuals who provide care to older adult women with breast cancer can experience distressing caregiver strain.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine whether functional status and depression in older adult women with breast cancer relates to strain in their caregivers. Relationships among caregiver characteristics and strain were also evaluated.

Methods: This multivariate, cross-sectional study used activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, Timed Up and Go Test, Geriatric Depression Scale, and Modified Caregiver Strain Index (MCSI). Statistical analyses included Wilcoxon rank-sum tests and Spearman rank correlations. Logistic regression was used to predict MCSI scores.

Findings: Patient Timed Up and Go Test and Geriatric Depression Scale scores had the greatest impact on MCSI, with lower function and greater depression associated with increased caregiver strain. Advanced disease was associated with increased caregiver strain. When cancer stage is controlled for, caregiver employment is associated with increased strain.

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