Emotional Caregiver Burden of Carers of Persons with Dementia: A Cross Sectional Study

Our research team conducted a cross-sectional, descriptive, correlational study on caregiver burden for patients with dementia. We hypothesized that females would report higher subjective burden than males, however our findings conclude no significant difference. The mean burden score for males was 50.5 while the mean burden score for females was 49.22. A larger sample size would likely yield different results. We hypothesized that hours spent caring for the patient with dementia (high versus low) would not affect burden levels. Examining our analysis of variance of burden scores by hours of care, we found a significant difference in the high hours of care group versus low hours of care group. This is contrary to our hypothesis, in that we assumed that emotional burden was suspended from differing hours of care provided. Finally, our analysis between household income compared to burden scores R=0.1 yields no association. While this tentatively supports our hypothesis, which assumed there would be no association, due to our small sample size and low correlation, these findings cannot be generalized, as they may have been caused by chance. As discussed in Rubin & Babbie (2008; chapter 10), our cross-sectional does not generate external validity. Because our sample is small, and potentially tainted, our findings cannot be generalized to a wider population of caregivers for persons with dementia. We also encountered problems of internal validity; since our study is cross-sectional in design, there was no way of determining whether our two groups were comparable prior to conducting our study.

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