Department of Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


BACKGROUND: Caregiver burden threatens the psychological, emotional, functional and even
physical health of caregivers. The aims of this study were to determine caregiver burden and family
distress and the relationship between them, also to explore predictors of caregiver burden in a sample
of Iranian family caregivers of cancer patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a cross‑sectional study with correlational design. A total of 104
family caregivers of cancer patients were asked to respond to the Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI)
and the Family Distress Index (FDI) together with a sociodemographic questionnaire. For evaluating
the relationship between CBI and FDI scores, the Pearson’s product‑moment correlation was used.
In addition, multiple linear regression analysis was applied to explore the predictive factors of
caregiver burden.
RESULTS: A high burden was experienced by almost half of the caregivers (48.1%). The FDI
mean score was 9.76 ± 5.40 ranged from 0 to 24. A strong positive correlation was found between
the caregiver burden and family distress (r = 0.76). Multiple linear regression results showed the
predictive role of FDI score (β = 0.71, P = 0.001), patient’s gender (β = −0.25, P = 0.001), and early
cancer diagnosis (β =0.13, P = 0.027) in caregiver burden. They could explain 65% of variance in
the level of burden in family caregivers.
CONCLUSION: Family nurses should consider the caregivers burden and vulnerability of families
with cancer patient, especially if the patient is a male or has a new diagnosis. They should also
design special programs for the whole family as a system that family can adapt to the new situation.


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