Impact of inguinal hernia repair on family and other informal caregivers

Whitney Perkins Witt, James Gibbs, Jia Wang, Anita Giobbie-Hurder, Perry Edelman, Martin McCarthy, Leigh Neumayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Hypothesis: Inguinal hernia significantly affects family and other informal caregivers, and hernia repair will significantly reduce caregiver burden. Methods: We analyzed data from a Veterans Affairs Cooperative Study with mixed models to compare the level of burden among caregivers of inguinal hernia patients from preoperative measurement to measurement at 2 weeks and at 3 months postoperatively. Results: Most caregivers were wives (73%) and lived with the patients (88%). There were no differences in caregiver burden by type of treatment. The time caregivers spent assisting patients increased significantly over the 2 weeks following treatment (odds ratio, 4.34). In contrast, 3 months after treatment, caregivers reported spending less time on additional chores than before treatment (odds ratio, 0.12). Furthermore, caregivers' concerns about patients' abilities to perform normal household activities decreased by 2 weeks posttreatment (odds ratio, 0.52). Wives/girlfriends and caregivers of patients with complications were more likely to report these concerns. Conclusions: Inguinal hernia and its repair significantly affect informal caregivers. Caregivers assumed the heaviest time and effort-related burden 2 weeks following hernia repair and expended additional effort if the patient experienced complications. Interventions should reflect when burden is greatest and target the subgroups of caregivers who most need support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-930
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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