British Journal of Clinical Psychology

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Volume 41 Issue 4 (November 2002), Pages 331-431

Assessing caregiving distress: A conceptual analysis and a brief scale (pages 387-403)

Objectives: Although it is well known that informal caregiving can have negative outcomes, and is an important factor in institutionalization, there is currently no common model to assess psychological distress in caregivers. In this study, we considered the conceptualization of caregiving distress, and present a five‐dimension, 17‐item Caregiving Distress Scale (CDS).

Design: The CDS was developed by administering several scales from the caregiving literature to a sample of 80 Parkinson's disease caregivers longitudinally.

Method: A total of 58 items from published questionnaires were reduced initially by a hierarchical cluster analysis, then by factor analysis.

Results: This procedure produced five distinctive subscales ‐ relationship distress, emotional burden, care‐receiver demands, social impact, and personal cost ‐ that also had high internal reliability.

Conclusion: The CDS is quick to administer and score, and has the potential to be used to profile an individual caregiving situation. Of critical importance for the application of findings from the caregiving literature, the scale can be used to target the type of intervention for the amelioration of caregiving distress.

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