Financial Burden Assessments

Financial burden is one specific component of caregiver burden.  Using data from the General Social Survey, Cycle 16, Cranswick (2003) estimated that  over 33% of Canadians incurred expenses related to caregiving and that, of these, 66% reported that the expenses were greater than $100 per month (Health Canada, 2002).  Furthermore, the majority of Canadian caregivers are in the workforce (Statistics Canada, 2002).  Time taken off from one’s job to provide care can lead to lost wages and associated benefits.  Under circumstances such as these, caregivers can experience financial burden which, in turn, can ultimately lead to declines in the physical and mental health of the caregiver.  The following instruments have been developed to assess financial burden as a result of caregiving.

Economic Strain

  • Measures degree of financial strain related to caregiving.
  • 1 item (2-point scale)
  • Aneshensel, C. S., Pearlin, L. I., & Schuler, R. H. (1993). Stress, role captivity, and the cessation of caregiving. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 34, 54-70.

Economic Strains

  • Measures caregiver perceptions of current household expenses and standard of living as compared to before caregiving.
  • 3 items (5-point scale)
  • Pearlin, L. I., Mullan, J. T., Semple, S. J., & Skaff, M. M. (1990). Caregiving and the stress process: An overview of concepts and their measures. The Gerontologist, 30(5), 583-594.

Financial Impact Scale

  • Measures the financial impact of informal long-term caregiving.
  • 20 items (5-point scale)
  • Todtman, K., & Gustafson, A. W. (1992). An instrument for assessing informal long-term caregivers. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 18(3&4).

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