Measuring the mental and physical stress of caregivers of chronic patients: results of a study




caregiver burden, scale, chronic disease, long term condition, assessment


BACKGROUND: Caregiver burden is associated with a worsening of their quality of life in psychophysical terms: increased risk of onset of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety disorders. An increase in caregiver burden is also associated with early institutionalization of the family member. It is therefore desirable to assess the levels of stress and load of these caregivers and identify possible paths of support for this figure.

AIM:  To measure the levels of burden in a sample of informal caregivers of chronic patients through the creation and validation of a modified Italian version of the Caregiver Strain Index.

Materials and Methods: The study involved the translation, modification and administration of the scale to a convenience sample of informal caregivers of chronic patients enrolled in the outpatient clinics of a single hospital center.

RESULTS: The scale has excellent face und content validity (CVI-S=0.95) and good internal consistency (Cronbach's α=0.78). 75%of the sample had excessive burden (Me =8, IQR = [7; 9] cutoff 8). The highest burden values were reported in women, individuals with a lower-middle school and college degree, caregivers living with patients, caregivers caring for more than one person, and those whose caregivers had Parkinson's disease (p<0.05 for all variables).

CONCLUSIONS: The modified Italian version of the Caregiver Strain Index is a valid and reliable, fast, and easy-to-use instrument capable of assessing burden levels in informal caregivers caring for chronic patients. High level of burden reveals the need for the nurse case manager figure for home continuity care.


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How to Cite

Ardizzone, F. (2022). Measuring the mental and physical stress of caregivers of chronic patients: results of a study. Dissertation Nursing, 1(1), 49–63.