Patient predictors of caregiver burden, optimism, and pessimism in rheumatoid arthritis.
The authors of the present study investigated the relationship between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients' demographic, medical, and functional status and caregivers' burden, optimism, and pessimism. Subjects were 65 RA patients and their caregivers who were recruited from an outpatient rheumatology clinic. Each caregiver completed the Burden Interview to measure caregiver burden and the Life Orientation Test to measure optimism and pessimism. Each RA patient completed the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scale to measure pain and physical disability as well as a number of cognitive measures to assess two summary psychological cognitive factors labeled self-efficacy expectations and distorted cognitions. These cognitive factors were based on the following commonly used measures in RA research: the Cognitive Errors Questionnaire, the Arthritis Self-Efficacy Scale, the Coping Strategies Questionnaire, and the Pain Beliefs and Perceptions Inventory. Correlational analyses indicated that patients' functional and psychological measures (including poor self-efficacy expectations regarding symptoms) were related to caregiver burden, that patient self-efficacy expectations were related to caregiver optimism, and that patient physical disability was related to caregiver pessimism. Regression analyses revealed that, when competing with other demographic and disease severity variables, the relationships between patient self-efficacy expectations and caregiver burden and caregiver optimism, and patient physical function and caregiver pessimism remained significant. Taken together, these findings suggest that patient expectancies about control over arthritis-related symptoms (including pain) are strongly related to caregiver burden and caregiver optimism and that patient physical status is strongly related to caregiver pessimism.
Beckham, JC; Burker, EJ; Rice, JR; Talton, SL
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