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J Pediatr Psychol. 1996 Oct;21(5):735-49.

Factors predicting distress among caregivers to children with chronic medical conditions.

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  • 1University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, USA.


Explored informant differences and assessed the importance of sociodemographic factors, child health status characteristics, and caregiver burden to variability in psychological symptoms among caregivers to 116 children with chronic medical conditions. Important informant effects were found. Caregiver-reported, but not physician-reported, burden was an important predictor. Severity of illness, whether rated by physician or caregiver, had little predictive effect whereas child impairment predicted greater distress, independent of sociodemographics. Lower family income and female child sex predicted caregiver distress independent of other variables. Even among families with higher income, those with the lowest income report much higher distress. Results are discussed in terms of the importance of informant choice and the use of sociodemographics as primary rather than control variables in studies of the families of chronically ill children.

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