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  1. Pauley, Tim MSc
  2. Chang, Byung Wook PhD
  3. Wojtak, Anne DrPH, MHSc, BSc
  4. Seddon, Gayle BScN, MHSc
  5. Hirdes, John PhD, FCAHS


Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study was to identify factors predictive of new onset and improved caregiver distress among informal caregivers providing assistance for clients receiving home care.


Primary Practice Settings: Home care.


Methodology and Sample: The sample included 323,409 clients receiving home care from a Community Care Access Centre between March 2002 and March 2015 for whom data were available from two subsequent Resident Assessment Instrument-Home Care (RAI-HC) assessments. Separate multivariate logistic regression models were created for onset of and improvement in caregiver distress.


Results: Variables that increase the odds in onset of caregiver distress included primary caregiver is not satisfied with support received from family and friends; client lives with primary caregiver; 65 years and older; has Alzheimer and other related dementia; has condition or disease that makes cognition, activities of daily living, mood, or behavior patterns unstable; took sedatives in the last 7 days; Method for Assigning Priority Levels (MAPLe) score 4 or more; demonstrates persistent anger; has difficulty using the telephone; is married; requires 20 hr or more of informal help weekly; and Clinical Risk Scale score 4 or more. Variables that increased the odds of improved caregiver distress include client now lives with other persons (as compared with 90 days ago); demonstrates good prospects for recovery; treatment changes in last 30 days; surgical wound; female; one or more hospital visits in last 90 days; greater number of months between RAI-HC assessments; and two or more hours of physical activities in the last 3 days. Variables that decreased the odds of improved caregiver distress (i.e., persistent distress) include MAPLe score 4 or more; persistent anger; difficulty using telephone; Alzheimer, related dementia; requires interpreter; and lives with primary caregiver.


Implications for Case Management Practice: Informal caregivers provide essential support for home care clients. Factors predictive of new onset and improved caregiver distress can be used by case managers for comprehensive care planning that addresses the collective needs of the client-caregiver dyad.