Explaining family caregiver role strain following autologous blood and marrow transplantation

Deborah Eldredge, Lillian Nail, Richard T. Maziarz, Lisa K. Hansen, Danita Ewing, Patricia G. Archbold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This research project explores family caregiving processes during the first 100 days following autologous blood and marrow transplantation (ABMT). In this paper, we (1) explore patterns in caregiving, and ABMT recipient function early recovery from ABMT; (2) examine the relationships among caregiver demographics, relationship quality, preparedness, ABMT recipient function, predictability of caregiving, caregiver role strain and rewards of caregiving; and (3) examine the relative contribution of caregiver age, preparedness, relationship quality, and ABMT recipient function on caregiver role strain, and rewards of caregiving. Fifty-two family caregivers of ABMT recipients completed questionnaires about caregiving at hospital discharge, and again 2, 6, and 12 weeks following discharge. The amount of caregiving activities performed, and caregiver role strain, declined steadily from 2 weeks to 12 weeks of recovery. The caregiving situation was relatively predictable during recovery, and caregivers reported that caregiving was consistently rewarding. The caregiving activities rated as most difficult were those related to supporting recipients' emotional well-being. Strain from caregiving, although low, was explained by disruption in recipients' emotional and physical functioning, while caregiving rewards were explained by caregivers' preparedness for caregiving. Relationship quality, a significant predictor of strain in other samples, did not influence caregiving strain or rewards in this population. Caregiving processes delineated in studies of caregivers of persons with chronic illness are quite different from those described in this study. The acuity of the recipients' illness, the life threatening nature of the treatment, and the younger age of caregivers, and recipients, may underlie these differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-74
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 15 2006


  • ABMT recipients
  • Caregiver role strain
  • Caregiving process
  • Preparedness
  • Relationship quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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