Caregivers of veterans with chronic illnesses often stressed, yet satisfied: study
Veterans are almost twice as likely as the general public to have chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and heart failure. Therefore, veterans may require more assistance from informal caregivers, especially as outpatient treatment becomes more common. A University of Missouri researcher evaluated strain and satisfaction among informal caregivers of veterans with chronic illnesses. The findings show that more than one third of veterans' caregivers report high levels of strain as a result of taking care of their relatives; yet, on average, caregivers also report being satisfied with their caregiving responsibilities.
Bonnie Wakefield, an associate research professor in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing, says the majority of caregiving responsibilities belong to veterans' immediate family members, often their wives. Of the caregivers Wakefield surveyed, nearly half reported they felt they had no choice when it came to caring for their relatives.
"Veterans with chronic illnesses have many care needs that often go unnoticed," said Wakefield. "Caregivers help with those needs, such as cooking meals, managing medications and giving moral support."
Wakefield found that only eight percent of caregivers reported that they had high levels of depression, but nearly one-third of caregivers reported high levels of strain. Caregivers' depression and strain usually resulted from lack of coping strategies and from caring for veterans with lower self-reported health.
"Having a lot of caregiving demands doesn't necessarily means that caregivers aren't satisfied," Wakefield said. "Some people get satisfaction from helping others."
Caregivers who reported greater satisfaction tended to have more outside help, such as support from friends and relatives. Also, those with higher satisfaction levels had developed more strategies to cope, such as regular exercise.
Wakefield suggested caregivers seek outside assistance through websites like www.myhealth.va.gov and www.caregiver.va.gov, websites that provide health information and resources to veterans and their caregivers. She also suggested that clinicians, especially nurses, take time to monitor the caregivers' stress levels and offer concrete suggestions about ways to alleviate stress.
The study, "Strain and Satisfaction in Caregivers of Veterans with Chronic Illness," was published in Research in Nursing & Health and was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI). Wakefield's coauthors include researchers from the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the MU School of Medicine. Wakefield also is a core investigator for the Center for Comprehensive Access & Delivery Research and Evaluation (CADRE) at the Iowa City VA Health Care System in Iowa City, Iowa.
Provided by University of Missouri-Columbia
- New study finds caregivers of spouses with dementia enjoy life less Aug 12, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Adult day care services provide much-needed break to family caregivers Jul 18, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Stressed and strapped: Caregivers for friends, relatives suffer emotional and financial strain Sep 21, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Spouse Caregivers at Increased Risk for Stroke Jan 14, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Study shows hospice caregivers need routine care interventions Nov 30, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Bed sharing with parents is linked to a fivefold increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), even when the parents are non-smokers and the mother has not been drinking alcohol and does not use illegal drugs, according ...
Health 8 hours ago | 1.3 / 5 (3) | 0
Doctors tell people with a heart-zapping device in their chests to give up intense sports like basketball and soccer in favor of golf or bowling. But lots of patients ignore that advice—and now new research is challenging ...
Health 8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Little is known about the effect of physical education (PE) on child weight, but a new study from Cornell University finds that increasing the amount of time that elementary schoolchildren spent in gym class reduces the probability ...
Health 10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Living near a major roadway during the prenatal period is associated with an increased risk of respiratory infection developing in children by the age of 3, according to a new study from researchers in Boston.
Health 12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
People who are consistently exposed to both wood smoke and tobacco smoke are at a greater risk for developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and for experiencing more frequent and severe symptoms of the disease, ...
Health 12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Early-life exposure to traffic-related air pollution was significantly associated with higher hyperactivity scores at age 7, according to new research from the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children's Hospital ...
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—A research team, led by Jeremy Barr, a biology post-doctoral fellow, unveils a new immune system that protects humans and animals from infection.
8 hours ago | 4.6 / 5 (12) | 3 |
New research suggests that a compound abundant in the Mediterranean diet takes away cancer cells' "superpower" to escape death. By altering a very specific step in gene regulation, this compound essentially re-educates cancer ...
11 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (11) | 2 |
Bacteria resistant to the antibiotic colistin are also commonly resistant to antimicrobial substances made by the human body, according to a study in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microb ...
2 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Researchers have pinpointed a catalytic trigger for the onset of Alzheimer's disease – when the fundamental structure of a protein molecule changes to cause a chain reaction that leads to the death of neurons ...
11 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Salamanders' immune systems are key to their remarkable ability to regrow limbs, and could also underpin their ability to regenerate spinal cords, brain tissue and even parts of their hearts, scientists have ...
11 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (6) | 2 |