Lack of choice in caregiving decision and caregiver risk of stress, North Carolina, 2005

Katherine H. Winter, Erin D. Bouldin, Elena M. Andresen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Introduction: An aspect of caregiving that has received little attention is the degree to which the choice to provide care affects a caregiver's emotional well-being. We compared a population-based sample of informal caregivers who reported having a choice in caring with caregivers who did not have a choice in caring to determine the extent to which choice affects caregivers' self-reported stress. Methods: We identified 341 informal caregivers who completed a caregiving module appended to the 2005 North Carolina Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. We determined participants' self-reported stress by using a 5-point scale that was dichotomized and used adjusted binomial logistic regression to assess the risk of stress given lack of choice in caregiving. Results: In the fully adjusted model, caregivers without a choice in caring were more than 3 times as likely to report stress as caregivers with a choice in caring. High level of burden also increased stress. Caregivers with no choice in caring were most commonly the primary caregiver of a parent. Conclusion: Caregivers who do not have a choice in caregiving were at increased risk of stress, which may predispose them to poor health outcomes. Further investigation is needed to determine whether interventions that target caregivers without a choice in caring can reduce their levels of stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA41
JournalPreventing Chronic Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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