Impact of a psychoeducational program on three types of caregiver burden among spouses

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2011 Apr;26(4):388-96. doi: 10.1002/gps.2538.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which a psychoeducational intervention called "Powerful Tools for Caregivers" (PTC) influences burden of spouse caregivers. Specifically, this study examined whether spouse caregivers who attended PTC exhibited reductions in stress burden, relationship burden, and objective burden compared to a comparison group.

Design and methods: The 6 -week intervention used a self-efficacy framework to train caregivers to focus on self-care, communicate effectively, and manage emotions. This quasi-experimental study included 115 participants from the PTC group and 95 participants from a comparison group. Assessments were completed before and after the intervention for the PTC group and within a 6 -week time period for the comparison group.

Results: Analyses using structural equation modeling showed that participants in the PTC group reported significantly lower levels of stress and objective burden than the comparison group. There were no group differences in relationship burden.

Implications: The findings indicate that PTC can be an effective resource for reducing psychological distress and objective burden among spouses caring for disabled partners.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Caregivers / education*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Communication
  • Cost of Illness
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Psychotherapy*
  • Self Efficacy
  • Spouses / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological