Are there gender, racial or relationship differences in caregiver task difficulty, depressive symptoms and life changes among stroke family caregivers? Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To examine differences in caregiver perceptions of task difficulty, depressive symptoms and life changes based on caregiver characteristics of gender, race and type of relationship to the person with stroke. METHODS: A sample of 243 stroke caregivers (females n=191; males n=52; non-African Americans n=184; African Americans n=59; non-spouses n=127; spouses n=116) were interviewed by telephone within 8 weeks of the survivor's discharge to home. Measures included the Oberst Caregiving Burden Scale (OCBS) for task difficulty, Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) for depressive symptoms and Bakas Caregiving Outcomes Scale (BCOS) for life changes. Three general linear models computed differences in OCBS, PHQ9 and OCBS scores. RESULTS: Significant differences were found on the OCBS for females (p<0.001) and African American spouses (p<0.048); on the PHQ9 for females (p<0.001), non-African Americans (p=0.047), spouses (p=0.003) and African-American spouses (p=0.010); and on the BCOS for females (p=0.008) and non-African Americans (p=0.033). CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that female and non-African American stroke caregivers are relatively more likely to experience task difficulty, depressive symptoms and negative life changes as a result of providing care. African American spouses were also at risk. Tailoring interventions based on caregivers' characteristics may improve outcomes.

published proceedings

  • Brain Inj

author list (cited authors)

  • Jessup, N. M., Bakas, T., McLennon, S. M., & Weaver, M. T.

complete list of authors

  • Jessup, Nenette M||Bakas, Tamilyn||McLennon, Susan M||Weaver, Michael T

publication date

  • January 1, 2015 11:11 AM