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Monday

 

Examining the Relationship Between Family Caregivers' Emotional States and Ability to Empathize with Patients with MS: STUDY

























Image Source: HARVARDBUSINESSREVIEW


Background:
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common nontraumatic cause of disability affecting young adults in Canada. Caregivers of patients with MS are highly psychologically burdened. Empathy and helping behaviors are hallmarks of quality care, but when they are challenged, suboptimal patient care can result. We aimed to evaluate the prevalence of negative emotional states among primary caregivers of people with MS; the association between the caregiver's empathy-related behavior and the physical and cognitive impairment of the person with MS; and the association between the caregiver's emotional status and his or her empathy-related behaviors.

Methods:
We conducted a descriptive, cross-sectional pilot study with family caregivers of noninstitutionalized individuals living with MS. We used univariate linear regression models for each potential predictor. The Kruskal-Wallis test was conducted to compare differences in caregiver empathic responses depending on Profile of Mood States subscale scores.

Results:
Thirty percent of caregivers had elevated or very elevated mood scores, and such elevated scores were associated with greater functional impact of MS on the person with MS. Patient severity of cognitive impairment was not associated with caregiver mood scores. Caregiver mood state was not associated with empathy-related behaviors. Empathy-related behaviors were less frequent when levels of anger and hostility were higher, but this association did not reach statistical significance.

Conclusions:
Given the elevated levels of fatigue, depression, and anger observed among caregivers in this study, clinicians need to be aware of the potential impact of caregiving and to assess the needs of caregivers.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by INTERNATIONALJOURNALOFMSCARE
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length

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