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Caregiver Burden, Caregiver Resilience, Family Caregiver, Informal Caregiver, Opioid Use Disorder, OUD, Substance Abuse, Substance Use Disorder, SUD



  1. Tyo, Mirinda Brown PhD, RN, TCRN
  2. McCurry, Mary K. PhD, RNC, ANP, ACNP
  3. Horowitz, June Andrews PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN
  4. Elliott, Kathleen DNP, ANP-BC


Background: Family caregivers are an essential resource for individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD). Overburdened caregivers often experience detrimental effects to their emotional and physical well-being.


Method: A cross-sectional, nonexperimental, correlational study was used to identify correlates and predictors of burden and resilience in caregivers of care recipients with OUD. Pearson product-moment correlation and multiple regression analysis were used to explore the relationships between caregiver characteristics, care recipient characteristics, the caregiver-care-recipient dyad characteristics, and burden and resilience among caregivers of individuals with OUD and to determine the best predictive model. Participants (N = 152) completed the study using an online electronic survey.


Results: The standardized regression coefficients indicated that supervision of care recipient behavioral problems ([beta] = .29), dyadic interaction ([beta] = .29), caregiver stress ([beta] = .28), and care recipient opioid use ([beta] = .12) were the strongest predictors of caregiver burden, whereas caregiver mental health ([beta] = -.31) and physical health ([beta] = .30) were the strongest predictors of caregiver resilience.


Conclusions: Caregiver and care recipient characteristics, and their dyadic interaction, directly influence the degree of burden and resilience reported by family caregivers. Caregivers experiencing increased stress who are tasked with supervising problematic care recipient behaviors are more likely to experience higher levels of burden. In contrast, caregivers with good physical and mental health and adequate resources showed higher levels of resilience.