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Caregiver Burden in Chronic Diseases

Keywords: care giving , caregiver burden , chronic disorder

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Abstract:

Duration of human life has been substantially increased in the last fifty years. Survivals of diseases have been prolonged through the advances in medicine. Together with these gratifying consequences, there appeared novel difficulties to cope with. Furthermore developments including globalization, industrialization and transition from rural to urban life occurred during the last century; so family units became smaller and numbers of members on employment in family units increased. As a result numbers of family members to undertake the responsibility of care decreased. As a concept, caregiver burden expresses physical, psychosocial and financial reactions during the course of care providing. Distinct factors including structures of social, cultural and family units and health care systems may affect conditions of care. Caregiver’s age, gender, ethnicity, education, relationship with the patient, attitude towards providing care, financial situation, coping abilities, her own health, beliefs, social support and cultural pattern are the personal factors that are related to perception of caregiver burden. Burden of care giving is geared to differential aspects of care needs. For instance care needs of physically disabled and medical care requiring patients with spinal cord injuries may differ from care needs of chronic psychiatric disorders, demented patients in advanced age of their lives or cancer patients in terminal periods. Strain due to care giving may differ as a result of properties of care demands. It is aimed to review the burden of caregivers in different medical and psychiatric care requiring conditions and to introduce differential aspects of caregiver burden in these different conditions.

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