Postdischarge Caregiver Burden among Family Caregivers of Older Trauma Patients

Masami Tabata-Kelly, Mengyuan Ruan, Tanujit Dey, Christina Sheu, Emma Kerr, Haytham Kaafarani, Katherine A. Ornstein, Amy Kelley, Tamryn F. Gray, Ali Salim, Bellal Joseph, Zara Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Importance: Caregiver burden, characterized by psychological distress and physical morbidity, affects more than 50 million family caregivers of older adults in the United States. Risk factors for caregiver burden among caregivers of older trauma patients have not been well characterized. Objective: To characterize postdischarge caregiver burden among caregivers of older trauma patients and identify targets that can inform interventions to improve their experience. Design, Setting, and Participants: This study used a repeated cross-sectional design. Participants were family caregivers for adults 65 years or older with traumatic injury who were discharged from 1 of 2 level I trauma centers. Telephone interviews were conducted at 1 month and 3 months postdischarge with family caregivers (identified by the patient as family or friends who provided unpaid care). Admissions occurred between December 2019 and May 2021, and data were analyzed from June 2021 to May 2022. Exposure: Hospital admission for geriatric trauma. Main Outcome and Measures: High caregiver burden was defined by a score of 17 or higher on the 12-item Zarit Burden Interview. Caregiver self-efficacy and preparedness for caregiving were assessed via the Revised Scale for Caregiving Self-Efficacy and Preparedness for Caregiving Scale, respectively. Associations between caregiver self-efficacy, preparedness for caregiving, and caregiver burden were tested via mixed-effect logistic regression. Results: There were 154 family caregivers enrolled in the study. Their mean (SD) age was 60.6 (13.0) years (range, 18-92 years), 108 of 154 were female (70.6%). The proportion of caregivers experiencing high burden (Zarit Burden Interview score ≥17) was unchanged over time (1 month, 38 caregivers [30.9%]; 3 months, 37 caregivers [31.4%]). Participants with lower caregiver self-efficacy and preparedness for caregiving were more likely to experience greater caregiver burden (odds ratio [OR], 7.79; 95% CI, 2.54-23.82; P <.001; and OR, 5.76; 95% CI, 1.86-17.88; P =.003, respectively). Conclusion and Relevance: This study found that nearly a third of family caregivers of older trauma patients experience high caregiver burden up to 3 months after the patients' discharge. Targeted interventions to increase caregiver self-efficacy and preparedness may reduce caregiver burden in geriatric trauma..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)945-952
Number of pages8
JournalJAMA Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 13 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Postdischarge Caregiver Burden among Family Caregivers of Older Trauma Patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this