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Spousal Caregivers of Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery Patients: Differences between Caregivers with Low vs. High Caregiving Demands

Park, Esther O. PhD, RN1; Yates, Bernice C. PhD, RN2; Meza, Jane PhD3; Kosloski, Karl PhD4; Pullen, Carol EdD, RN2

doi: 10.1002/rnj.252
Current Issues: CE ARTICLES
Continuing Education

Purpose Compared to non-caregivers, caregivers have higher rates of depressive symptoms, caregiver strain, less mutuality, and health care visits. However, few investigators have examined family caregivers after coronary artery bypass (CAB) surgery. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in caregiving difficulties, mutuality (i.e., open communication; avoiding sad thoughts), and depressive symptoms based on low vs. high caregiving demands among spousal caregivers.

Design A descriptive, comparative design was used to examine 33 spousal caregivers of CAB surgery patients (16 in low and 17 in high caregiving demand groups).

Methods Measures included: Caregiving Burden Scale, Mutuality and Interpersonal Sensitivity Scale, and Patient Health Questionnaire-9. Groups were compared using Mann–Whitney U statistics.

Findings It was found that caregivers with high caregiving demands reported more caregiving difficulties and more open communication about the surgery compared to caregivers with low demands.

Conclusion Caregivers with greater caregiving demands may need additional support to assist them with the caregiving situation.

Clinical Relevance Priority should be given to family caregivers, who take care of patients in cardiac rehabilitation, with higher caregiving demand.

1 Nursing Department, Daegu University, Daegu, Korea

2 College of Nursing, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA

3 College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA

4 Public Affairs and Community Service, Department of Gerontology, University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, NE, USA


Accepted 18 August 2015


Esther O. Park, Assistant Professor, Nursing Department, Daegu University, 33 Seongdangro 50gil Namgu, Daegu 705-714, Korea.


Grant sponsor: Phi Delta Gamma; Grant sponsor: University of Nebraska Chapter; Grant sponsor: Bergstrom Graduate Nursing Fellowship; Grant Number: NR010923.

© 2016 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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