Caregiver role strain in informal caregivers for the elderly

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Objective: to analyze the frequency of the “caregiver role strain” nursing diagnosis in informal caregivers for the elderly, the defining characteristics and the related factors. Method: a cross-sectional, descriptive study carried out with 99 informal caregivers for elderly residents living in the areas covered by five units of the Family Health Strategy of Cuiabá, Mato Grasso, Brazil. Data collect took place between July and September 2017, through home interviews. A questionnaire elaborated from the literature on the diagnosis caregiver role strain established by NANDA-International taxonomy II was used. A descriptive analysis with relative and absolute frequency was accomplished. Results: the frequency of the “caregiver role strain” nursing diagnosis found in caregivers was 98.0%. The most common defining characteristics were: difficulty in seeing the care receiver with the disease (69.1%); apprehension about the future health of the care recipient (66.0%); apprehension about the welfare of the care recipient, if the caregiver is unable to offer it (61.9%); apprehension about the future ability to provide care (60.8%); apprehension about the possible institutionalization of the care recipient (55.7%); concern with the routine care (55.7%) and social isolation (51.5%). The related factors most frequently found were: duration of care (92.8%); 24-hour a day care responsibilities (75.3%); dependence (77.3%) and alteration in the cognitive function was (73.2%) in the elderly; physical conditions (73.2%) and codependency of the caregiver (61.9%). Conclusion: the frequency of the “caregiver role strain” nursing diagnosis found in this study is high, its defining characteristics concerning mainly the caregiver’s apprehension with the elderly and the related factors refer to the demands of the care provided. The nurse and other team’s professionals must pay attention to the caregivers as well as to the elderly being cared of in the health units, helping them to overcome the difficulties involved in performing their role.




Vechia, A. D. R. D., Mamani, A. R. N., Azevedo, R. C. D. S., Reiners, A. A. O., Pauletto, T. T., & Segri, N. J. (2019). Caregiver role strain in informal caregivers for the elderly. Texto e Contexto Enfermagem, 28.

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