Using mixed methods to evaluate the use of a caregiver strain measure to assess outcomes of a caregiver support program for caregivers of older adults

Margaret Hellie Huyck, Liat Ayalon, Judy Yoder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Many assessment tools have been developed for evaluating caregiving programs, but the majority are too cumbersome for ongoing use. This study reports on a brief assessment tool used to monitor strain among family members caring for an impaired elder. Design and methods: Participants were enrolled in the SeniorCare program, a program funded by the Administration on Aging to provide care to family caregivers. The Caregiver Risk Screen (CRS) is a 12-item measure of strain, initially developed as part of an in-home assessment procedure. Its utility for use in practice settings over time was assessed using both quantitative and qualitative methodology. Results: Chronbach alpha levels for the CRS were 0.85 at intake and 0.84 at first follow-up. At the first follow-up, the overall index score and five of the 12 items showed statistically significant lessened strain. In subsequent follow-up evaluations, the average improvements were maintained but there was no additional decrease in strain. Individual variations in changes over time were identified by combining quantitative and qualitative information. Themes that emerged in qualitative data served to modify the measure for future use. Implications: The brief Caregiver Risk Screen tool appears to be a reliable and valid tool for use in practice settings. It is acceptable to clients and professional staff. Modifications have been made that may further enhance the suitability of this measure for other settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-165
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2007

Keywords

  • Burden
  • Ethnicity
  • Family caregiving
  • Measurement
  • Outcome evaluation

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