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Disabil Rehabil. 2012;34(1):53-61. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2011.587091. Epub 2011 Sep 29.

Caregiver perceptions of accomplishment from assisting people with multiple sclerosis.

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Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA.



Identify factors of informal caregivers, caregiving, and people with multiple sclerosis (MS) receiving assistance that are associated with perceptions of caregiver accomplishment.


National data were collected in a telephone interview survey of 530 informal caregivers and analyzed using an ordered logistic regression model to identify factors associated with perceptions of caregiver accomplishment among 442 of these informal caregivers (caregivers providing all data in their survey responses needed for the regression model).


We found that age of the person with MS and duration of caregiving measured by the number of hours per week the caregiver assisted the person with MS were significantly linked to positive perceptions of accomplishment. Conversely, the caregiver's perception that assisting the person with MS was emotionally draining, a spousal relationship, and caregiver education levels were significantly associated with negative perceptions of accomplishment.


Health professionals treating people with MS and their caregivers should be sensitive to the impact caregiving has on the emotional needs of caregivers and to the unique support needs of spousal caregivers. Health practitioners also should be sensitive to the variety of benefit-finding themes expressed by caregivers to facilitate the caregivers' efforts to discover gains in their experiences assisting people with MS, such as perceptions that caregiving provides a sense of accomplishment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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