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Testing the caregiver stress model with the caregivers of children with leukemia

Demirtepe, Dilek
The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between the stressors of the caregiving process and the health related outcomes (depression, anxiety, and general psychological health) in caregivers of children with leukemia. Caregiver Stress Model was used as the conceptual framework for the study. In order to measure the stressors of the caregivers, caregiver well-being scale was adapted to Turkish culture as the study 1 by using the caregivers of family members with various chronic illnesses. The analyses showed that Turkish version of the caregiver well-being scale had satisfactory psychometric properties for Turkish caregivers. The sample of the study 2 was composed of 100 caregivers of children with leukemia, who were treated at oncology or hematology departments of hospitals in Ankara and İzmir, Turkey. Nine mediation models were tested using problem focused coping, emotion focused coping, and social support as mediators. The models included primary stressors (caregiving tasks and basic needs) and secondary stressors (interpersonal relationships and role strain) as independent variables; and depression, anxiety, and general psychological health as dependent variables. The findings suggested that emotion focused coping and social support were significant mediators of the relationships between the stressors and the outcomes, however, problem focused coping was not a significant mediator. Different patterns of significant relationships were found between the primary stressors, secondary stressors, and the outcome variables. However, caregiving tasks was not significantly predicting of any of the outcome variables. The strengths and limitations, as well as the implications of the findings, were discussed.