What is the formal caregiver burden?

Formal caregiver burden is defined as the perceived stress of caring for dependent older adults with a level of professional competence and responsibility. Ignorance of the prevalence of the syndrome among formal caregivers has been identified as a problem, since not identifying it can lead the professional caregiver to perform their work inadequately. Caregivers of dependent patients who wanted to participate voluntarily and signed the informed consent at Home Care in Harwood Heights IL. In the center of Santa Ana, located in El Carmen de Viboral, there was evidence of a higher prevalence of CNS disease, where there were a greater number of patients with profound mental retardation, who are more dependent on their caregivers at Home Care in Harwood Heights IL and require more attention, time and care. A descriptive cross-sectional observational study was carried out in a population of formal caregivers with mental illnesses institutionalized in either of the two centers of the Clínica del Oriente, La Ceja and El Carmen de Viboral.

It was found that 20.8% of the formal caregivers interviewed at the institution had a mild burden and 3.8% had a serious burden. With regard to labor variables, caregivers who had been with the institution for less than three years, who were trainers, with time off work of one hour or less, with 30 patients or less, with a travel time between home and work of less than 60 minutes, with time for recreation, family and friends, and those who considered that their salary was inadequate were the most affected by CBS, without a statistically significant association. Caregiver burden syndrome (CBS) can be defined as a disorder that occurs in those who play the role of primary caregivers of someone who becomes dependent due to various limitations, whether functional or mental. It was found, with respect to sociodemographic variables, that the caregivers most affected by the syndrome, without any statistically significant association, were male caregivers, aged 50 years or younger, single, without children, from socioeconomic stratum 3, in rental housing and with more than two people to support. It should be noted that 13.2% and 20.8% of the respondents reported that they did not have time to rest or do recreational activities, respectively, which indicates that caregivers lack adequate coping strategies to adapt to the situation, as referred to in the 1999 study.

However, it is important to carry out studies that analyze the degree of dependence of patients and its association with the degree of burden on caregivers. The prevalence of caregiver burden syndrome among formal caregivers was lower than that observed in studies on informal caregivers. A poor perception of the work environment on the part of caregivers could have intervened so that they answered the questionnaire inadequately and that, finally, they were diagnosed with CBS disease when it really was a possible dissatisfaction with their work and not something really related to their care work. Early detection of caregiver overload syndrome makes it possible to intervene to preserve the person's health, which in turn affects the health of the patient being cared for.

Among the studies conducted in Colombia, one of them, conducted in Cali, reported a 47% prevalence of SBC in informal caregivers. Most of the caregivers who came to CBS were doing training tasks and, within their position and with respect to nursing assistants, they had more responsibility to the patients of the Oriente Clinic.

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