Factors related to perceived burden among caregivers of service members/veterans following TBI.

Purpose/Objective: To examine factors related to perceived caregiving burden in a sample of caregivers assisting service members and veterans (SMVs) across four areas: SMV injury and health status; caregiver life circumstances; caregiver duty and responsibilities; and caregiver needs. Research Method/Design: Participants were 214 caregivers (95.8% female; 86.0% spouse/partner; Age: M = 38.6 years [SD = 10.4]) of SMVs who sustained a mild, moderate, severe, or penetrating traumatic brain injury (TBI). Caregivers were recruited from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and via community outreach. Participants completed the Caregiver Appraisal Scale, Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory-4, and Caregiver Questionnaire. The sample was divided into 2 Caregiver Burden groups: High (n = 138) and Low Burden (n = 76). Results: Factors significantly related to higher levels of perceived burden were (a) experiencing a greater caregiving time commitment now and over time, (b) caring for activities of daily living/instrumental activities of daily living, (c) experiencing an impact of caregiving on employment, income, and out of pocket expenses, (d) parenting more than 1 child, (e) having less time to devote to one’s self now and over time, (f) having caregiver needs, and/or (g) assisting a SMV who had incurred a mild TBI; was experiencing greater functional disability; had a posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis; received mental health and rehabilitation treatment; and/or used an assistive device (all p < .05; odds ratios [ORs] = 1.13 to 14.57; ds = .02 to 1.30). Conclusions/Implications: Providing care for a SMV after a TBI can impose a heavy burden, particularly for caregivers who provide support to SMVs with comorbid mental health problems, such as PTSD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)